Tag Archives: religious freedom

USCIRF Counsels Government on Religious Freedom

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom is a bipartisan US government panel that issues an annual report on the American government’s support of religious freedom.

This year, the report indicates that the US government is becoming less concerned with “religious freedom in its foreign policy and national security decisions,” despite evidence of religious persecution around the globe.

In particular, the USCIRF took issue with the government’s recent semantic change that replaced “religious freedom” with Read more

In Defense of Religious Freedom

In several articles on this site, the premise has been repeated that true religious freedom is not the suppression of differing ideas, but the encouragement of them.  Sometimes this is a cautionary tale to Christians who feel that other religions should not have the same freedoms as Christians.  More often, however, it is a rebuttal to those who would silence or restrict Christians in order to avoid offense or exposure to a differing moral stance.

Hugh Hewitt has a similar explanation on his site, in his criticisms of those who criticized CBS for allowing Tim Tebow and his mother to air a “Celebrate Life” ad during the SuperBowl:

Most people of faith are strong proponents of religious liberty because they are very acquainted with the stories of religious persecution in almost every other part of the globe.  The answer to religious intolerance Read more

Chaplain Considered for Medal of Honor

Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun, a World War II and Korean War Chaplain who died in captivity in North Korea, was recommended for the Medal of Honor by outgoing Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.

According to the Stars and Stripes,

Kapaun was captured by the Chinese in the fall of 1950, when Communist forces overran the 1st Cavalry Division in northern Korea near the Chinese border. American commanders had ordered their forces to retreat, but Kapaun, a Catholic priest with the 3rd Battalion, refused and stayed to care for the men who couldn’t flee.

Stripes also called Kapaun a “prisoner of war,” which while commonly understood is technically inaccurate.  Read more

US Army Promotes Religion in Afghanistan

Despite controversies over religion in the military and the sensitivities of troops talking about religion with locals, the US Army has actually assigned a young Captain to do that very thing.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, US Army Capt James Hill’s job is to

turn Islam into a weapon against the Taliban.

Though the Wall Street Journal emphasizes the Captain’s religion (the article is entitled “The Baptist and the Mullah Launch a Faith-Based Attack on the Taliban”), Read more

Book Review: For God and Country

Cross Training Publishing, 2000.
Topic: Autobiography / Christian Living

Fisher DeBerry was the US Air Force Academy’s head football coach for 23 years.  He turned the USAFA football team into a national powerhouse, and he riled some people for his outspoken Christianity while working with young military cadets.

DeBerry’s book is part autobiography, part witness.  It describes his upbringing and career as head coach, and also his philosophy as a Christian in public life.  He describes his life as “the Three F’s: Faith, Family, and Football”–in that order.  He describes many of the conscious choices he made to encourage faith and family priorities in those he worked with and coached.  He speaks of the value of children, parenting, and the importance of school teachers–something few people may know DeBerry did before coaching college football.

His chapter on “Faith” is a wonderful read in which he says “we have our missions fields right here,” and encourages Christians to “spread the word daily by how we live and conduct ourselves:”

You don’t have to beat your chest and proclaim “I’m a Christian” to everyone you meet. But you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Being a Christian has everything to do with how you approach life and the way you treat people.

Your Christianity isn’t just about what you say, it is shown by the consistency of how you live your life.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t produced with the highest quality editing, and those who have no interest in the US Air Force Academy or its football program may find some of the book uninteresting.

This book was written before the lawsuit and controversies over religion at the Air Force Academy, which cited and frequently criticized DeBerry’s outspoken Christianity as football coach.

Recommended.  It has wonderful pearls of wisdom and guidance, though some of its subjects are slightly niche.  It does have some Christian living advice that would be pertinent to the military Christian.  It’s a quick read and worth it, though those bored by football or USAFA may have to skim some parts.

This book is available from Amazon.

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Weinsteins Complain about Wright-Patterson

Casey Weinstein, son of MRFF founder Michael Weinstein, was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB with his wife while they were both on active duty.  He remains in the area looking for a job as a reservist.  Now, a local Jewish paper is carrying an article in which Michael Weinstein has said

Wright-Patterson Air Force base is a “hotbed” of “unconstitutional religious intolerance.”

The younger Weinstein reportedly complained about a “prayer in Jesus’ name” that was a “violation of Air Force regulations” (a conclusion which is actually incorrect).  He also “got in [the] face” of his superior over an email about John Gibson’s The War on Christmas.  [Casey Weinstein, a 2004 Air Force Academy graduate, was a fairly vocal supporter of his father’s accusations against the military even while the younger Weinstein was on active duty.  (He also posted an interestingly accusatory comment here.)] Read more

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