Tag Archives: rick baker

US Marines Pray in Formation at NFL Game

Fresh off accusations the US military forces its young, impressionable troops to pray in formation, an entire formation of US Marines did so in front of nearly 75,000 football fans.

Marines perform their version of ‘Tebowing’ before the Broncos-Jets game on Nov. 17. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

Actually, they’re Tebowing.  Then again, Tebowing is praying, by definition.  And they’re in uniform.  These Marines must be Read more

Tennessee State Rep Calls for Removing Muslims from Military

A few websites have noted Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick’s statement to ThinkProgress interviewers that Muslims should be removed from the US military.  The video is available on YouTube.

It’s worth noting Womick’s political position has been somewhat inflated in a few reports.  For example, ThinkProgress suffixed his name with (R-TN), as did some others, which is inaccurate.  The “party-state” designation is used for members of the US House; it is redundant to say “Tennessee state rep (R-TN).”  The more accurate description is (R-34) or R-Rockvale, as Womick represents District 34 in the Tennessee State House.  As a state representative, Womick has no influence over the US military.  (As an aside, Rep Womick was an F-15 fighter pilot during Operation Desert Storm.)

That said, his comments were widely reported and not well received (with one exception).  He’s been described as un-American and said to be “defaming all members of the military.”

Womick uses US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan and PFC Naser Abdo (though he forgets his name) as support for his position, saying they are examples of the Islamic inconsistency with military service.

Ironically, it seems Rep Womick agrees with religious freedom critic Michael Read more

Top Air Force General Issues Order on Religious Neutrality

General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, has apparently issued a memorandum to his commanders entitled “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” It makes what is probably the most significant official change to the religious environment in the Air Force in some years (reference the “Religious Guidelines” of 2006).

First, it notes that “leaders at all levels”

must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.

which is substantially similar to previous military positions. Of course, the complexity of the environment prevents a detailed explanation as to what constitutes “apparent use” or what may be “apparent…preferential treatment” vice the expected (and required) accommodation of religion. This has long been an understandable challenge with regard to religion and the government, not just the military.

The memorandum then raises new content: Read more

MRFF Targets Military Ministries. Again.

Speaking for Michael Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Chris Rodda recently went on the offensive against Officers’ Christian Fellowship, a Christian military ministry.  (This isn’t really new.  Rick Baker lists virtually every Christian ministry in existence in his frequent diatribes against religious freedom in the military.)  Rodda’s write-up sounds like the intro to a Twilight Zone episode:

Throughout the US military…lurks an organization of over 15,500 fundamentalist Christian military officers who think their real duty is not to protect and defend the Constitution, but to raise up “a spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.” These officers belong to an organization called the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF)…

(Rodda later gives a second nod to the Twilight Zone with the Read more

MRFF Highlights its Own Lack of Credibility. Again.

Michael Weinstein and his associates in his self-founded and awkwardly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation frequently rely on anonymous anecdotes, unsubstantiated accusations, or claims they cannot publicly support beyond vague innuendo.

In short, Weinstein’s credibility relies immensely on “trust me.”

Unfortunately for him, he’s long since lost any semblance of credibility, thanks in part to his researcher, Chris Rodda, who has had some issues with this in the past.

Rodda once belittled supporters of a Christian group at USAFA, claiming their support was a manufactured letter-writing campaign — despite public evidence Read more

Campus Crusade for Christ to Become “Cru”

The American arm of the ministry known as “Campus Crusade for Christ” will begin phasing out that name and officially become “Cru” over the next year or so.

Amazingly, that’s been big news, even at Fox, CNN, and the Washington Post.

In a classic case of “can’t win,” critics from both sides have blasted the organization.  Some supporters are disappointed to see what they feel is bowing to political correctness.  Some detractors think it is a weak attempt to mask the ‘true mission’ of evangelizing the world.

“Cru” is already used Read more

Seymour Hersh and Michael Weinstein Share Conspiracy Theories

A few weeks ago, Seymour Hersh, whose fame is essentially centered on the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, made headlines when he said portions of the US military were trying to conquer and convert the Muslim world:

The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh alleged in a speech in Qatar that key branches of the U.S. military are being led by Christian fundamentalist “crusaders” who are determined to “turn mosques into cathedrals.”

Hersh specifically cited now-retired General Stanley McChrystal and, more vaguely, much of the US Special Operations community.  He claimed members of the US military were members of a small sect of Christianity out to continue the crusades:

He then alleged that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who headed JSOC before briefly becoming the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and his successor, Vice Adm. William McRaven, as well as many within JSOC, “are all members of, or at least supporters of, Knights of Malta.”…

“Many of them are members of Opus Dei,” Hersh continued. Read more

“Freedom” Group Takes Threatening Stance Against Troops

Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation publicly prides itself on its self-proclaimed “defense of the Constitution,” but its recent response to a critic defies its own description.

A detractor emailed the MRFF defending the “christian concert coming to FT Bragg [sic],” previously discussed here.  The MRFF published the message, as it frequently does, and its response was telling.

Rick Baker, an MRFF “regional coordinator,” said  Read more

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