Hill Air Force Base in Utah held its National Day of Prayer on May 6th with the theme of
Lord, pour out your love, life and liberty, from 2 Corinthians 3:17.
The group heard “interfaith prayers” from a Catholic priest, a Protestant chaplain, a Jewish Airman, a local Mormon, and…a heathen. SrA Mark Udy is a beard-wearing “priest” serving the “heathen, Asatru, and Norse pagan community” at Hill AFB.
Interestingly, Udy spent most of his allotted time explaining to the group who and what he was, which is probably understandable given that it’s unlikely there were many people in the audience from his “faith groups” or those who recognized them. He did, however, cite a few recognizable names: Odin and Thor.
In a pluralistic government institution, it’s bound to happen. In some ways, what Read more
Did you know that last Thursday, 16 January 2020, was Religious Freedom Day in the United States?
The Day commemorates Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom — written before the US Constitution — which says, among other things:
All men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities…
The rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind…
President Trump’s proclamation repeated the quote above and began with: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity,” the MRFF, recently published a bit of fan-mail from a person excoriating President Trump’s Tuesday proclamation of Religious Freedom Day.
And even Weinstein’s own research assistant, Chris Rodda, probably grimaced.
The letter, written by a “30-year Active Duty Air Force Officer”, lambasts Trump’s proclamation, claiming it is a “dog whistle of Fundamentalist Christian Dominionism.” As proof [formatting original]:
To understand his real declaratory intent, we need only look at his last paragraph in which he says, “I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen…”
…[Trump] ENLARGES the views of those that see 2018 as ‘The Year of Our Lord,’ i.e., Christians only.
Longevity in the military is clearly no guarantor of intellectual acuity.
As anyone with an elementary education and an internet connection could tell you, the Read more
Each year since 1993 the President has declared January 16th to be “Religious Freedom Day,” in order to remember the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. President Trump has not yet released his proclamation.
Update: From President Trump’s proclamation [emphasis added]:
Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion. Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification. These incursions, little by little, can destroy the fundamental freedom underlying our democracy…No American — whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner — should be forced to choose between the tenets of faith or adherence to the law.
Jefferson’s statute continues to be a strong expression for the value of religious liberty even today. Though the statute has been discussed in many places and in great depth, there are two important points to take from the statute. First, Read more
A few years ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein begged his supporters to search for awards that his “charity” could win, even saying they’d provide the supporting text for the submission — meaning, of course, the MRFF was essentially trying to get itself “awarded”. And Weinstein wasn’t even shy about the motivation for such self-promotion, clearly stating on his own website at the time [emphasis added]: Read more
Monday, 16 January 2017 marks the annual Religious Freedom Day, as proclaimed by President Obama over the weekend:
Religious freedom is a principle based not on shared ancestry, culture, ethnicity, or faith but on a shared commitment to liberty — and it lies at the very heart of who we are as Americans…We must be unified in our commitment to protecting the freedoms of conscience and religious belief and the freedom to live our lives according to them…
Part of being American means guarding against bigotry and speaking out on behalf of others…
Religious liberty is more than a cornerstone of American life — it is a universal and inalienable right…
Religious Freedom Day marks the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, originally authored by Thomas Jefferson. It preceded the US Constitution and its similarly-themed First Amendment by several years.
President Obama’s 2017 statement was Read more
A stinging rebuke of the American government’s take on religious liberty was recently launched not from self-righteous, supremacist Christians, but from two Rabbis of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group. Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein targeted the recently released, 300-page report (PDF) by the US Commission on Civil Rights, saying [emphasis added]:
[The report says], in part, is that Americans need to be protected from Bible-thumpers, and anyone else whose beliefs run afoul of the administration’s PC police. Religious folk need not apply.
The pair took aim at the report’s citation of President John Adams having said Read more