Tag Archives: religious freedom

Damaged Cross Inspires Okinawans

An interesting article at The Asahi Shimbun describes the story of a church’s cross that managed to survive — though significantly damaged — the US invasion of Okinawa during World War II:

In the closing days of World War II, a vast area of the Shuri district was reduced to ashes. But the cross of the Shuri church, which belongs to the United Church of Christ in Japan, barely withstood the destruction.

When the community built a new church tower in 2008, the congregation voted to rebuild a replica of the damaged cross, rather than a new Read more

Mikey Weinstein Demands US Army Ban Evangelist Kenneth Copeland

UPDATE: Fort Jackson says “there are no plans to rescind the invitation,” as reported by MRFF-friendly Nina Burleigh at Newsweek. Fort Jackson said [emphasis added]:

The Prayer Breakfast is open to all community members, is entirely voluntary, and is cost free to the Army and attendees. Mr. Copeland’s participation in the prayer breakfast is not an endorsement by Fort Jackson of him or of any comments that he may present. Fort Jackson respects and protects all individual’s rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution, including ensuring access to religious services and events for those who wish to participate and protecting the rights of those who do not.


Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has sent an email to Fort Jackson, SC, demanding the Army post disinvite Kenneth Copeland from their upcoming National Prayer Breakfast. Addressing MajGen John Johnson, Fort Jackson’s Commanding General, Weinstein wrote that Fort Jackson’s upcoming speaker:

is the universally despicable, discredited, fundamentalist Christian extremist/supremacist Kenneth Copeland. Do you know ANYthing of moment about this feckless, religious bully/provocateur, General Johnson?

Weinstein went on to call Copeland “disgusting,” “a miserable, fundamentalist Christian wretch,” a “divisive and corrosive individual/religious predator and bully” and “hideously reprehensible fundamentalist Christian charlatan cum exclusivist bigot.”

Clearly, Mikey Weinstein has a thing for Kenneth Copeland.

But other than his dripping vitriol and thesaurus-like list of adjectives of disdain for the prosperity gospel minister, Weinstein never Read more

Gov Sam Brownback Confirmed as US Religious Freedom Ambassador

The newest American Religious Freedom Ambassador is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback:

The chamber voted 50–49—calling on Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie vote for the second time that day—to install Brownback in the vacant State Department position, which monitors persecution and discrimination on a global scale through the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF).

The at-large ambassadorship was created in 1998, though Read more

Media Announces Totally Normal West Point Gay Wedding

Cries by the homosexual movement that their behavior is normal, mainstreamed, and commonly accepted are constantly undermined by the unsettling and undue attention paid to homosexuality — like the press coverage of the “marriage” that occurred between two male US Army Soldiers at West Point earlier this month. As reported by the Associated Press:

Two Army captains who met at West Point returned there to be married, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage of active-duty personnel at the storied New York military academy.

One of the two, Capt Vincent Franchino, is cited in a New York Times version of the article indicating his belief that violating military policies by lying is “better” than Read more

Chris Rodda Cringes at MRFF’s Attack on President Trump

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity,” the MRFF, recently published a bit of fan-mail from a person excoriating President Trump’s Tuesday proclamation of Religious Freedom Day.

And even Weinstein’s own research assistant, Chris Rodda, probably grimaced.

The letter, written by a “30-year Active Duty Air Force Officer”, lambasts Trump’s proclamation, claiming it is a “dog whistle of Fundamentalist Christian Dominionism.” As proof [formatting original]:

To understand his real declaratory intent, we need only look at his last paragraph in which he says, “I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen…”

…[Trump] ENLARGES the views of those that see 2018 as ‘The Year of Our Lord,’ i.e., Christians only.

Longevity in the military is clearly no guarantor of intellectual acuity.

As anyone with an elementary education and an internet connection could tell you, the Read more

Atheists Call on Defense Secretary Mattis to End Military Prayers

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and American Atheists sent a letter (PDF) yesterday to Secretary of Defense James Mattis calling on him to act to end “coerced religious observances” within the military.  Alison Gill and Rebecca Markert write that

The complainants allege, among other things, that facility organizers regularly include scheduled prayer in graduation ceremonies, cadets who opt not to attend worship services on Sundays are instead given menial tasks to perform, and instructors regularly lead recruits in prayers prior to administering tests.

The letter provides no examples. It appears to Read more

Religious Freedom Day, 16 January 2018

jefferson2Each year since 1993 the President has declared January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” in order to remember the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. President Trump has not yet released his proclamation.

Update: From President Trump’s proclamation [emphasis added]:

Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.  Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification.  These incursions, little by little, can destroy the fundamental freedom underlying our democracy…No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.

Jefferson’s statute continues to be a strong expression for the value of religious liberty even today. Though the statute has been discussed in many places and in great depth, there are two important points to take from the statute. First, Read more

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