Retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews penned a blog at The Hill decrying the “double standard” in the US military between religion and sexuality:
I cannot help but reach the conclusion that, since the repeal of the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, homosexual advocacy has become a sort of “religious” force, and the American military gives it preferential treatment to established faiths in violation of its very own regulations…
Crews’ primary example is the recent decision by the Army to not support an Independence Day event at a church, while it did participate in the DC Capital parade celebrating sexual “pride.” Crews cites Army Regulations 360-1, saying
Section 3.2(a) specifically states, “Army participation must not selectively benefit (or appear to benefit) any person, group, or corporation (whether profit or nonprofit); religion, sect, religious or sectarian group, or quasi-religious or ideological movement; fraternal organization; political organization; or commercial venture.”
…The movement to advance homosexual legal and social demands within the military has taken on every hallmark of a “quasi-religious or ideological movement.”
It is by definition at least an ideological movement. But, Read more
Skip Ash of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) penned an article last week taking Michael “Mikey” Weinstein to task for Weinstein’s demand that the Air Force court-martial Major General Craig Olson. In the piece entitled “The Radical Assault on Faith in the Military Must be Stopped,” Ash called Weinstein’s allegations “outlandishly wrong” and “hogwash!” (This comes after Weinstein’s friend, Chaplain Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, described (PDF) Weinstein’s attack as “hysterics” from an “activist with an axe to grind against religion.”)
The ACLJ also revealed that they wrote their own letter (PDF) to Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh with a remarkably clear and simple explanation of the error of Weinstein’s ways (Crews wrote a similar one (PDF)). Referring to Weinstein’s imploring of General Welsh to “take a good, hard look” at the video of General Olson’s speech, the ACLJ said [italics original, emphasis added]: Read more
Retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty recently teamed up with Michael “Mikey” Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to send the Navy Recruit Training Command a joint letter (PDF) complaining about the Navy’s decision to ban civilian volunteers from leading religious services:
We have testified before the same Congressional panels. We have spoken out on the same incidents in the services. And, we are always on opposing sides, but in this instance it is easy for us both to say that the Navy went too far and is clearly in violation of the Constitutional religious liberty rights of American sailors at the Recruit Training Command.
While the MRFF said pigs must be flying for the MRFF and the Chaplain Alliance to be working together, it’s really not that dramatic. For one thing, Weinstein Read more
Following a public relations debacle in which a low-level commander gave Michael “Mikey” Weinstein a short-lived “victory” in his attacks on religious freedom, the US Air Force reiterated to its commanders that they should not be directly dealing with Weinstein. Quoting retired US Army Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews: Read more
In response to recent attacks on religious freedom, an article by Chuck Holton questions whether Christians in the US military have become the new class of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” worried the chaplains who follow the biblical view of same-sex relationships. Congress then stepped in, passing a bill that guaranteed the rights of all military personnel to exercise their faith.
Ron Crews, head of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said the result of that legislation is that “chaplains can be chaplains.”
Unfortunately, there continue to be attacks on Christians who want to exercise or express their faith as they serve in the US military. (The article cites the story of Chaplain Lawhorn, for example.) While these attacks have generally come from outside the service — from critics like Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, for example, who attacks even Christian church services — the US military has sometimes reacted to these attacks as if the critics were correct from the outset, even if they were ultimately proven wrong. The perception of this propensity is unprecedented on any other issue over which the military is critiqued.
The result has been Read more
As previously noted, the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel invited five civilian witnesses to provide testimony on the state of religious freedom in the US military last Wednesday.
- Michael Berry, Liberty Institute attorney who acted on behalf of cadets at the US Air Force Academy this year
- Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews, an outspoken advocate for military religious freedom
- Travis Weber, Director of the Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, US Naval Academy graduate and former Naval aviator.
- Rabbi Bruce Kahn, a retired Navy Captain and Chaplain, a founding member of the Equal Rights Center, and an advocate for homosexual “rights.”
- Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder and sole employee of his Military Religious Freedom Foundation, engaged in a self-described “war” against Christians in the US military.
Contrary to some predictions, it wasn’t really a contentious meeting. What the hearing did reveal was the committee members were Read more
The congressional hearing postponed in late September, in which a House Armed Services subcommittee was to hear testimony on military religious freedom, has been rescheduled for tomorrow, 19 November, at 1400 Eastern. The hearing is scheduled to be broadcast online.
The original invitees included retired Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry, Travis Weber of the Family Research Council, retired Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Bruce Kahn, and former Air Force Captain Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.
Chaplain Crews recently made a point of saying he intended to speak about the “duplicity” of the US Air Force, which published an atheist’s commentary but censored a Christian’s. Read more
The Public Affairs officer at the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing had a tough job — explaining the reasoning behind Col Craig “Bluto” Baker’s decision to censor an article by his medical group commander, Col Florencio Marquinez, because Michael “Mikey” Weinstein found it “odious.” Spokesman James Sims told FoxNews’ Todd Starnes this:
It’s very clear what you can and cannot say in an Air Force publication. Once it was brought to our attention and we compared it with the regulation, we found it was in violation of the regulation.
The article violated AFI 1-1, Sections 2.11 and 2.12.1, and the Revised Interim Guidelines Concerning Free Exercise of Religion in the Air Force guidance, and finally, ‘The Air Force Military Commander and the Law’ book.
That’s a fascinating — and error-filled — statement by the public affairs officer.
To the easy parts first:
First, the “Revised Interim Guidelines Concerning Free Exercise of Religion in the Air Force” do not exist. They were rescinded years ago and Read more