In a case that has been going on for a couple of years, the Thomas More Law Center has been advocating for Poway teacher Brad Johnson’s right to display banners that quote founding documents with the word “God” in them.
The district court ruled in his favor in 2010, saying the school district displayed unConstitutional viewpoint discrimination when it required him to drop his banners, but did not do the same for other religious viewpoints that Read more
The US military’s support of the Afghan’s practice of Islam has been reported, though not necessarily widely so.
The Washington Post recently noted the Afghan military is working to be viewed as “true Muslims,” or more Islamic than the Taliban.
The [Afghan] campaign represents a bold effort to counter Taliban propaganda and establish the Islamic credentials of the armed forces.
Fighting the battle over religion — often the key to public support in this conservative Islamic nation — is perhaps the Taliban’s strongest suit. If Afghans doubt the spiritual bona fides of their army, the institution stands little chance of gaining popular support.
The Post article notes US officials have been “eager” to bolster the credentials of the Afghan military, and supporting this effort is one way they can do that: Read more
A US Department of Defense news release indicated the Defense Department was “set” for the repeal of the policy most commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The release had an interesting statement regarding policy changes:
While many changes in policies and regulations already have taken place, some changes in how repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law will be implemented must wait until after the law takes effect.
These policies and regulations will be promulgated tomorrow [Tuesday], the Pentagon press secretary said.
This was elsewhere described as
As soon as the ban is lifted, the Defense Department will publish revised regulations to reflect the new law that will allow gays to serve openly. The revisions [include] eliminating references to banned homosexual service…
This appears to be some of the “missing” information Read more
Jason Torpy of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has complained over a poster in the halls of a Simi Valley government building.
The poster features a God Bless America / God Bless You prayer sandwich as well as a reference to Psalms 33 indicating Christian requirements for such a blessing. This display is primarily religious in nature, co-opting patriotism to promote their personal Christian beliefs. This is disrespectful to nontheistic military personnel…
Interesting, isn’t it, that atheists are so intent on framing an issue as “Christian” they continue to assign ‘exclusive Christian’ intent to things like passages from the Hebrew Bible — which is, of course, Jewish.
It’s also fascinating that Torpy is so hypersensitive Read more
As noted previously, US military Chaplains have been working with the militaries of African nations on a variety of issues, including highlighting religious freedom and establishing Chaplaincies within their own militaries. In Uganda once again:
US Navy Chaplain (Capt) Jon Cutler, a rabbi with CJTF-Horn of Africa, recently spent time with the Ugandan military on the topic of the Chaplaincy.
“Taking care of the spiritual, social and psychological aspects of a troop before, during and after they return from combat situations is Read more
General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, has apparently issued a memorandum to his commanders entitled “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” It makes what is probably the most significant official change to the religious environment in the Air Force in some years (reference the “Religious Guidelines” of 2006).
First, it notes that “leaders at all levels”
must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.
which is substantially similar to previous military positions. Of course, the complexity of the environment prevents a detailed explanation as to what constitutes “apparent use” or what may be “apparent…preferential treatment” vice the expected (and required) accommodation of religion. This has long been an understandable challenge with regard to religion and the government, not just the military.
The memorandum then raises new content: Read more
The past week had seen a stir over the decision not to invite clergy to the remembrance ceremony marking the 10th year since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. While some decried it as secularism run amok, it seems the most influential of the persons invited to the podium at the event still managed to make spiritual statements.
President Barack Obama read from Psalm 46, though Read more
The Army has been continuing to brief its basic trainees on the upcoming permissible service by open homosexuals.
At Fort Jackson…Capt. Guy Allsup…recently walked 231 nervous basic training recruits through scenarios…
“Does anybody think that this is going to be a drastic change for deployed soldiers?” Allsup called out to the group.
Ignore the paradox of an officer asking new recruits if things will “change.” The trainees’ answer: Read more