Tag Archives: religious freedom

Military Chaplains Exist to Protect Religious Rights

In a fairly bluntly worded official Air Force article, SSgt Shelton Sherrill provided a decent explanation for the sometimes misunderstood role of a military chaplain:

According to the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. For military members, chaplains are one of main advocates to help them protect this right.

Chaplains…provide religious accommodations to ensure everyone is free to exercise their beliefs, provide ethical advice to leadership, unit visitations and confidential counseling.

Edit: Actually, commanders are the ones who provide religious accommodations, not chaplains, as chaplains have no authority to authorize anything. (Chaplains famously have “rank without command.”) However, Read more

Alex McFarland: Mikey Weinstein Debate to Create a Friendship

As previously noted, Dr. Alex McFarland recently participated in a four-person debate with Michael “Mikey” Weinstein. Within the debate, it was refreshing to hear Dr. McFarland articulate a defense of the virtue of religious freedom, including military religious freedom.

Mikey Weinstein didn’t say anything he hasn’t already said a dozen times over the past decade — except to directly contradict Dr. McFarland’s assertion that a Christian who witnesses to another doesn’t do so because they consider them less of a person or otherwise devalue Read more

Congress Lauds Air Force over Military Religious Freedom

Many have grown accustomed to Congress taking the military to task for what it considers breaches of the religious freedom of US troops. Sometimes those congressional reprimands seem to have “fixed” issues. Other times they haven’t — and Congress has decided to pass a law to fix it instead.

It was an interesting turn, then, to see Congress go out of its way not to chide once more, but to laud the Air Force for defending religious liberty:

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) led a bicameral letter of support to Pease Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in response to a complaint that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) lodged against the base…

As you’ll recall, the FFRF lodged vague, vicarious complaints about chaplains’ prayers during official events. Pease AFB was so unmoved it didn’t even bother to respond to the FFRF.

Congressman Collins, who is also an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, led Read more

Column: Military Chapels Not Barred from Evangelism

Nathan Newman, an Air Force Reserve Officer and George C. Marshall Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, responded to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette by Tom Roeder discussing the (previously discussed) 4-year closure of the US Air Force Academy Chapel.

In it, Roeder had said:

Religion is a big deal at the academy and other military bases but not for the reasons one might suspect. The services are barred from evangelism, and promotion of faith is restricted, but the academy like the rest of the military must care for the religious needs of troops under federal law.

In the guest column, Newman respondedRead more

Group Opposes Army Nominee Mark Green over Views on Sexuality

Some have recently said that a person’s views of or support and advocacy for homosexuality should not be relevant to the government office they are appointed to fill.

However, some of those same groups are now opposing an appointee to government office — purely because of his views on sexuality [emphasis added]:

The American Military Partner Association…accused Mr. Green of making “a shameful political career out of targeting LGBT people for discrimination…Based on his vicious, anti-LGBT record, Mark Green cannot be trusted to ensure all those who serve have the support they need and deserve.”

Mark Green is a Tennessee state senator, identifies as a conservative Christian, and he is now President Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army.  If he has made a “career” out of targeting Read more

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Quotes Bible at Swearing In

When the newest Justice of the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch took his oath today, he promised to be a “faithful servant to the Constitution.” That wasn’t his only biblical reference:

I will never forget to whom much is given to much will be expected, and I promise you that I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation.

That’s a reference to Luke 12:48, for those who assumed it was from Benjamin Franklin or just a historical quote.

Many have faith that Justice Gorsuch — who also spoke directly to military religious freedom during his confirmation, in a little-noted exchange — will be an advocate for religious liberty in the face of what one of his fellow justices has called hostility toward traditional moral beliefs.

Dr. James Dobson praised the seating of Justice Gorsuch — and intimated that President Trump may soon have another vacancy to fill:  Read more

Yokota Air Base Sees Jesus Hopped the A Train

A group called Arts in the Armed Forces (which was founded by Kylo Ren Adam Driver) recently brought a production of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train” to Yokota Air Base:

The play is a drama on moral responsibility and the modern prison system. It takes place in a New York State prison on Rikers Island, where a young man finds himself in prisoned facing murder charges and is befriended by a surprisingly kind ex-serial killer on death row.

Sounds interesting enough.

But in the modern era characterized by divisive ideology, any media production citing Jesus and morality will almost certainly go only one of two directions: It will preach for — or it will preach against.

The ‘A’ Train preaches against. Really against.

Its near-constant stream of expletives would Read more

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