Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation believes the 2014 NDAA language requiring the US military to accommodate religious expression — not just religious belief — is “a good thing.”
Simultaneously, Weinstein’s MRFF also believes the language is “a blank check for bullies.”
Awkwardly, Weinstein and his “special research assistant” Chris Rodda issued opposing MRFF statements on precisely the same subject.
In mid-December, Rodda, speaking for Weinstein’s “charity,” said this in a little-noticed MRFF posting [emphasis added]: Read more
Update: Retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty was similarly “grateful” that President Obama signed this “improve[d] religious liberty provision” into law.
The Family Research Council released a statement regarding the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act which has passed the Senate and gone to President Obama for his signature. In short, the FRC was pleased to see a strengthening in specific liberty language.
Noting last year’s version of the language, the FRC said the [emphasis added]
DOD has refused to issue the implementing regulations required by that law…Moreover, military branches such as the Air Force have interpreted the law very narrowly to apply only to a service member’s ability to hold a belief, not to practice or express that belief.
That truncated view of religious liberty has Read more
In a short pieced entitled “Atheist says, ‘Boo!’ Navy jumps to attention,” Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty executive director retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews lamented the US military’s seeming subservience to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein:
“It’s just disappointing that the military, the Air Force and now the Navy, is just caving in to a shout from Mr. Weinstein,” says Crews. “He says, ‘Boo!’ and they hide – and that’s very disappointing.”
More interestingly, Crews highlights the core of the push Weinstein has most recently tried — and the one that brought him this “victory:” Read more
Does it pass the Air Force common sense test that a Nativity is officially removed because no one else wants to put up another display alongside it?
In an event that drew national attention — including from the US Congress — Shaw Air Force Base erected a plastic figurine Nativity in front of the base’s Palmetto Chapel. As predicted, it was placed in its traditional location from years past: Read more
Several news reports over the past few months note that faced with growing concerns from its chaplains, the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board — which sends chaplains to the US military — has updated its guidance in light of the repeal of DADT and the open service of homosexuals in the US military:
“Our chaplains want to uphold the authority and relevancy of Scripture while continuing to serve in a very diverse setting,” said Doug Carver, the retired Army major general who leads NAMB’s chaplaincy efforts. “We believe these updated guidelines will help them do that while still sharing the love and the hope of Christ with everyone.”
In short, SBC chaplains must conduct every part of their ministry in accordance with the Christian faith — which reflects the “historic, natural and biblical view of marriage…” The specificity and clarity was praised by retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
The guidelines also seem to specifically call out marriage retreats, like the US Army’s Strong Bonds: Read more
…Who is in charge of the nation’s military[?] “Is it in fact the military chiefs or is it Mikey Weinstein?”
— Tony Perkins, Family Research Council President
A few news sources have picked up on the story about the US Air Force Academy pulling a poster that had the cadet Honor Oath on it — an oath that ends in “so help me God” (discussed here a few days ago). Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, president of his self-founded charity, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has celebrated this as his latest “victory.”
The cadet committee on the subject has met, though not yet made a recommendation to the Superintendent:
Academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal said the Honor Review Committee…discussed…making no change to the oath, making the “so help me God” portion optional, or striking the entire oath…
Vidal said. “We value an inclusive environment that promotes dignity and respect for all.”
The Public Affairs director did not explain how “no change to the oath” could follow LtGen Michelle Johnson’s order Read more
A coalition of Christian leaders met with Air Force leadership and received assurances that they would investigate issues of religious liberty which do not “reflect Air Force policy:”
We appreciate [the Pentagon’s] offer to review decisions that do not reflect Air Force policy made by commanders at various bases. At their request, we will report future events and concerns directly to Air Force leadership.
Retired LtGen Jerry Boykin, retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews, Kellie Fiedorek of the ADF, and talk radio host Sandy Rios met with LtGen Richard Harding, Read more
The Air Force Chaplaincy recently issued guidance (PDF) on how chaplains should handle a variety of situations regarding homosexuals and chaplains whose theologies do not allow them to support that lifestyle:
Wing Chaplains, talk with the chaplains under your supervision so that you are clear on what each chaplain’s endorser’s expectations are regarding ministry to same-gender couples. Honor those expectations and do not ask a chaplain to do anything contrary to his or her endorsement.
The Air Force appears to be the first service to explain how to handle marriage retreats where a homosexual couple may attend. Speaking to the Air Force “MarriageCare” retreats:
When you advertise a MC retreat, announce the chaplain who will be leading the event and the chaplain’s endorser. If the chaplain Read more