Tag Archives: religious freedom

Muslim Chaplain to Oversee 14,000 Troops in US Army Division

US Army Chaplain (LtCol) Khallid Shabazz has been all over the news the past few days in response to the recent revelation he — a Muslim chaplain — was being installed as the chaplain for the 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

Given the social reaction to Islam in America, to an outsider it may sound a bit dramatic for a Muslim to become the “spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers,” as he has been portrayed in the press, but it’s not quite the fuss it’s being made out to be.

For one thing, Shabazz is no more a “spiritual leader” (a term the media is using, not Shabazz or Read more

Concerned US Troops on Transgender Policy and Children

On military moves to a state that would allow a boy to use a girl’s locker room:

[Military families with children] are being asked to choose between our country and keeping our kids safe. Being military, we don’t have a say which state we move to next. We don’t know if it will be a state that protects our civil rights or one that won’t.

On policies that would create a “right” to choose which bathroom, shower, or other traditionally private facilities they want to use:  Read more

Air Force Censors “Gendered Language” — Declaration, Constitution Next

The Virginian-Pilot reports the US Air Force has taken down posters hung at Langley Air Force Base because they contained “gendered language.” The Air Force had previously defended the posters against accusations by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein that they violated regulations on religion. With that avenue closed, the National Organization for Women rolled in and declared the posters “sexist” because they referred to “men” and “gentlemen”. The Air Force now says [emphasis added]

With additional time to review all seven posters outside the narrower, primarily religious context of the original complaint about two of them, we concluded the gendered language used in the display interfered with intended messages about personal integrity.

We’ve chosen to update the display with something that reflects the diverse and inclusive force we are today.

How the Air Force believes “gendered language” “interfere[s]” with “personal integrity” might make a fascinating discussion.

For his part, Mikey Weinstein — ignored by the Air Force, again — appeared Read more

On Christianity, Children, Transgenders, and President Trump

Children should not be turned into pawns of culture war experimentation…

There are good reasons to put boys and girls in different bathrooms and locker rooms and sometimes sports teams, reasons that don’t impugn the dignity of people but uphold it… Every human being knows that there are important, and necessary, differences between men and women. Without such recognition, women are harmed and men are coarsened…

“If anything, there’s much more of a case to be made that one can feel to be a different age than one’s doctor’s exam or birth certificate would show…It’s something else entirely if chronological self-identity is Read more

US Navy Chaplain Brings Islam to Africa

People tend to connect more through their faith than anything else.
– Chaplain Abuhena Saifulislam

US Navy Chaplain (Cmdr) Abuhena Saifulislam, stationed in Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as the USAFRICOM deputy command chaplain, recently spent a week in Djibouti

with members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Religious and Civil Affairs, they met with the deputy director of Islamic affairs for Djibouti, the Sultan of Tadjoura and representatives of the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti among others.

Besides meeting with local leaders, Saifulislam participated in religious Read more

US Air Force Academy Hosts Annual Prayer Luncheon

Quietly and without controversy, the US Air Force Academy hosted its annual prayer luncheon last week.

The keynote address came from motivational speaker DJ “Eagle Bear” Vanas, a 1993 USAFA graduate and “enrolled member” of the Odawa Nation, a Native American tribe:

“Our spirituality makes us strong from the inside-out,” he said. “It strengthens and sustains us…

When we practice our spiritual faith, we make better decisions.”

The USAFA article references only Read more

Navy Chaplain Returns to his Buddhist Roots

An official DoD article recounts the interesting story of Aroon Seeda, a 13-year-old Buddhist monk in training in 1988 who met a group of US Marines — and then decided he wanted to become one.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2008 with the goal of becoming a chaplain. He received his citizenship several months after completing basic training and attained his goal in two years and seven months.

Chaplain Aroon Seeda is the only Buddhist chaplain in the Department of the Navy…

Now-Chaplain Seeda returned to Thailand recently in Read more

Retired Chaplain Calls for Defense of Military Religious Freedom

Governmental discrimination against people of faith in the armed forces is unacceptable and will impact the morale of any unit…

It has been the norm for these last eight years for service members to be pressured to renounce their religious views on topics like sexuality — or be punished for not doing so — as well as other attacks on religious freedom in the military. This “religious cleansing” has national security implications.

Mr. Trump should quickly change Read more

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