Tag Archives: religious freedom

US Senator Wicker: Atheism Incompatible with Military Chaplaincy

Responding to the leaked news that the Navy is considering a “humanist” chaplain, Republican Senator Roger Wicker wrote a column published at FoxNews that said an atheist should not be put in the “undeniably religious position” of a military chaplain:

I oppose the appointment of a “secular-humanist” chaplain, and I have formally requested that the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations reject this application. I am not alone in my request. Twenty-two of my colleagues in the Senate have joined me in this effort.

Senator Wicker notes with some irony that Read more

Board Recommends Navy Appoint Humanist Chaplain

Though not officially announced, a few websites and organizations have revealed that the Navy Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility (CARE) Advisory Group has recommended that Jason Heap, an atheist, be appointed a US Navy chaplain. (The official silence may be because CARE’s decision was leaked in violation of Navy policy, which dictates the sessions be “closed” with members forbidden from “discussing deliberations or recommendations”.)

Heap had previously sued the Navy over its denial of his application to become a chaplain.  The lawsuit was largely dismissed, though some claims proceeded.  One site claimed the suit was subsequently “settled” under unpublicized terms.

Navy regulations say the CARE group is primarily composed of senior chaplains and other senior leaders. CARE ensures the “full spectrum” of professional qualifications is considered when someone applies to be a chaplain. The objective, in context, is to prevent people from becoming chaplains just because they meet the bare minimum requirements.

CARE’s role is to validate Read more

Chris Rodda Has Dramatic Grammar Fail in Attack on President Trump

Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant at the MRFF, fancies herself a distinguished, if somewhat self-styled, author. On Friday, though, her failures in basic grammar and research made her boss look like an idiot.

Late on Friday Chris Rodda published a blog entitled “Trump Cites “Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day” Law to Order Flags Flown at Half-Staff for Billy Graham.”

It doesn’t sound particularly egregious, but it does sound stupid. Presidents don’t even write those things, so some staff weenie really messed up and made President Trump look bad, didn’t they?

Except they didn’t.

President Trump’s message was actually published more than a week prior, and it made no reference to any law. Rodda hand-waved the apparent contradiction of her argument with a mysterious [emphasis added]

Trump also issued an extra special version of this order to the military.

As is standard Chris Rodda practice, she Read more

Air Force Chaplains: “You’re not going to be proselytized”

A fairly benign article on the chapel community at the small Schriever AFB, CO, listed some of the events held throughout the year. The chaplains went out of their way to say the events they host are not coercively religious:

“Our events are not religion-based,” Werner said. “During retreats, we hold educational classes teaching how to deal with life issues. You’re not going to be proselytized.”

Chaplain (Capt) Portmann Werner probably could have used a little more nuance in that statement, since some of the events the article referenced included Ash Wednesday and Christmas Eve services, which clearly are “religion-based.” Even marriage workshops hosted by the chapel generally allow for some element of religion, even if they’re not a full-blown religious guideline for marriage.

On one level, it’s Read more

The Veterans’ Chaplain and Moral Injury

At The Ada News, a local paper from just outside Oklahoma City, Richard Putnam wrote a short piece on “Christians and Violence” entitled “The Veterans’ Chaplain.”

Putnam, who apparently supports the concept of a military and non-pacifistic defense, also says:

How…do we square the business of defending ourselves and our loved ones with Jesus’ explicit command to not engage in violence? The answer is, of course, that we cannot. We cannot obey Jesus’ command to remain nonviolent and engage in battle to protect our families.

The short column is best summed up here [emphasis added]: Read more

Mikey Weinstein Misses Another Military Prayer Luncheon

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein tried to stop Kenneth Copeland from speaking at Fort Jackson’s Prayer Breakfast in February, apparently believing he needed to protect US troops from Copeland’s religious beliefs regarding faith, healing, and PTSD. While Weinstein’s pleas were loud and desperate, the event went on regardless.

Not much later, David Barton — seemingly Chris Rodda’s sworn enemy — spoke at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, but the MRFF was apparently unaware. Since no one complained, Weinstein and Rodda were unable to protect the troops from Barton’s — presumably offensive — Christian beliefs and presentation on the history of prayer in America.

At about the same time, another prayer luncheon occurred at Fort Hunter Liggett, where a keynote speaker held politically sensitive views and religious beliefs opposed by a substantial percentage of American citizens — and, yet again, Mikey Weinstein was silent.

This time, the speaker Read more

USAFA Hosts Transgenders at Character Symposium

Last week, the US Air Force Academy hosted its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium. Superintendent LtGen Jay Silveria — fresh off his “diversity” Op-Ed — noted that diversity was a large part of this year’s NCLS as well:

[Silveria said] the Air Force Academy’s appreciation for diversity and its willingness to respectfully address controversy make the school stronger…

The theme of the event is “Ethics and Respect for Human Dignity, a topic Silveria called “timely and pertinent.”

USAFA’s opening press release noted speakers at the NCLS included Dr. Ruth Read more

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