Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his research assistant Christine “Chris” Rodda have been railing against US Army 1LT Alex Stovall for the past couple of months. Stovall is a member of the Army Reserve, and he’s also a candidate for Arizona’s ninth congressional district.
Stovall’s political comments – made as a candidate in the vein of Donald Trump – have drawn much of the MRFF’s ire, as has the fact he’s shown up in campaign ads and interviews while in uniform.
Making political comments while a civilian – that is, a Reservist not on orders – is a non-event. There are quite a few US military members in Congress on both sides of the aisle (according to the CRS, 14 in both houses), and they’ve certainly all made political comments about their political adversaries and the Nation’s leadership. When not on military orders, they are civilians and can speak as such — which is why Army Capt Alan Kennedy sued his chain of command over the punishments he received while participating in BLM “protests” while not on orders.
Even as a failed lawyer and JAG who was apparently relegated to administrative law while in the Air Force, Mikey Weinstein should still know this, but the accusation makes for “good” press for him. It attracts the attention of those who don’t know any better – even if it’s not entirely true.
Wearing the uniform while engaged in political activity is certainly an issue (and it has been an issue for others in the past), but it has nothing to do with religion or religious liberty in the US military, which makes you wonder why Weinstein is trying to become the uniform police for the military. The nexus for Weinstein’s cabal comes in the fact that Stovall is a Reserve chaplain candidate – and this is where Weinstein and Rodda go off the rails, recently Read more
Noted last year when she began training, 1Lt Saleha Jabeen has now graduated the chaplain’s course and has become the first female Muslim chaplain in the entire US military:
The graduation ceremony for BCC Class 21A was a historic event as the Air Force aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive service…
“I did not have to compromise on any of my religious beliefs or convictions,” Jabeen said. “I am surrounded with people who respect me and are willing to receive what I bring to the table as a woman, a faith leader, and an immigrant.”
Jabeen’s entrance into the military as a chaplain is Read more
Various news outlets covered the US Navy’s decision not to renew the contracts of civilian chaplains who were filling critical billets in the military chaplaincy:
The Navy has declined to renew contracts with Catholic priests in a supposed “cost-cutting” move, leaving bases without enough chaplains to keep services going…
The San Diego Tribune’s headline was somewhat misleading, as “other religious services continue” because most of the contract chaplains are Catholics, so the “other religious services” will continue to be served by active duty military chaplains.
Part of the Navy’s reasoning, according to Vice Admiral Yancey Lindsey, was that chaplain contracts were ended
at bases where those services are readily available in the surrounding community outside the base.
Such reasoning is dangerous toward Read more
The Air Force recently announced the commissioning of Saleha Jabeen as a chaplain candidate — which will make her the first female Muslim Chaplain when she completes her program. Jabeen was formerly an enlisted health care specialist in the US Army. Interestingly, Jabeen’s academic credentials come from North Park University (a private Christian school in Chicago), the Catholic Theological Union and Trinity Christian College. Air Force Chief of Chaplains Steven Schaick, who commissioned her in Chicago at the Catholic Theological Union, said
“Any time we advance religious freedoms, it’s a win for all persons of faith. The fact is America is a place where the Constitution guarantees your freedom to embrace or abstain from religious ideals, and the Chaplain Corps, which Jabeen just entered, exists to ensure every Airman has a religious freedom advocate. This is a big day not just for Muslims, but for persons of all faiths. I could not be more proud of our Air Force for being willing to commission and embrace the first female Imam in the Department of Defense.”
It’s an interesting thought. First, biased critics of the military chaplaincy are quick to Read more