In a somewhat long but interesting article first published in the Jewish Exponent and republished by the Army, 1LT Avi Behar, a 23-year-old Army Lieutenant, recalls a day in Afghanistan in which he had an epiphany about religion and relationships both in the US military and the Afghan Army.
Earlier in the day, with the help of an Afghan General, his unit helped a local get his truck, overloaded with his produce, unstuck from the side of the road. Later, he came back to base to celebrate Chanukah:
Upon returning that night…our battalion chaplain put together a Chanukah service. We had discussed the idea a few days prior, but I wasn’t expecting what I was about to experience. Read more
As noted previously, Said Musa has been imprisoned in Afghanistan for the crime of converting to Christianity. According to some articles, he has been sentenced to be hanged (and, depending on timing, may have been already).
The World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission has protested, claiming this violates Afghanistan’s own Constitution. The article also notes that
Afghanistan is ranked No. 3 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries with the worst Christian persecution.
As noted at the Wall Street Journal, the US government has called on Afghanistan Read more
Michael Weinstein, ever the critic, apparently doesn’t take kindly to criticism himself.
The Colorado Springs Independent reports Weinstein’s lawyers sent a “warning” to the publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette over its recent editorial criticizing Weinstein’s attack on the US Air Force Academy’s prayer luncheon.
[Gazette Editor Wayne] Laugesen’s editorial scolded Weinstein for attempting to infringe on free-speech rights, and said Weinstein opposed McClary’s appearance “because he is Christian.”
“That is false, and I have no doubt Mr. Laugesen and the Gazette know it full well,” Dallas attorney Randal Mathis writes…, adding that “publishing the statement is obviously calculated to offend, scare, and potentially mislead to the point of inciting unstable people.” Mathis makes Read more
Below is an update on ongoing issues with respect to the planned repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
- Polis says USAFA should hire gay Chaplain, welcome same-sex dating
- Virginia’s proposal to institute its own DADT for its National Guard
- Transgender appeals for equal treatment following repeal
- Hunter’s Restore Military Readiness Act of 2011
- King’s combat unit DADT repeal exemption
- Repeal training to begin shortly
- Video message from General Amos on repeal
The Air Force Academy has filed affidavits in response to the MRFF lawsuit seeking to prevent the 10th Air Base Wing’s National Prayer Luncheon. The event is scheduled for this Thursday, with USMC Lt (Ret) Clebe McClary as the key (but not only) speaker.
The Air Force Times indicates Chaplain (LtCol) Dwayne Peoples discussed the Chapel- (not command-) sponsorship of the event, and Col. Todd W. Robison, 10ABW Vice Commander, described the use of the government email announcing the event. The paper notes LtCol Robert Kraus and Capt Jackson Grant also filed affidavits, though their content is not described.
As previously noted, Michael Weinstein’s MRFF seems to boast “insiders” at the US Air Force Academy.
The most recent is Barry Fagin, who writes a column at the Colorado Springs Gazette — and also serves on the faculty at the US Air Force Academy. Fagin is a member of the Rocky Mountain “Skeptics” and a recipient of the Michael Weinstein’s 2009 MRFF Thomas Jefferson “award.” He recently wrote an article defending Michael Weinstein from public criticisms over his lawsuit against the US Air Force Academy’s upcoming National Prayer Luncheon. (Weinstein described the article as “perfect.”) Fagin described Weinstein as “not anti-Christian,” and said
The vast majority of people who illegally cross the border separating church and state are Christians. So they are the majority of those caught and punished by the courts.
Of course, he failed to cite any factual cases of military Christians “caught and punished” by any court. Still, it appears he would like to see Christians court-martialed for expressing beliefs consistent with mainstream Christianity. In replying to the comments on his article, he said Read more
According to an Air Force Academy press release, General Michael Gould, USAFA Superintendent, had this to say about the upcoming National Prayer Luncheon:
[Gould] took on what he called “the big elephant” surrounding the Air Force Academy in the media in recent weeks: the National Prayer Luncheon, scheduled to be held at the Falcon Club Feb. 10. The event will feature retired Marine Lt. Clebe McClary as keynote speaker in addition to readings from followers of Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Islamic faiths.
“Let me just set something straight: this is Read more
Being a Christian in the military sometimes creates challenges in situations civilians take for granted. For example, how do you find a church? The concept of a “home church” and steady lifelong attendance takes on a whole new meaning when you move every two to four years.
As a military Christian, the single most important thing you can do when you arrive at a new assignment is establish your spiritual support, and finding a church is crucial to that end. There are many options and no single correct answer. Some people prefer the locale and access of the military chapel; others, the non-military feel of community churches. Each option has its positives and negatives — the only ‘bad’ choice is to do nothing.
The Base Chapel
As a military Christian, when you arrive at a new assignment your Read more