Peterson AFB has ruled that Major Steve Lewis was within the rules when he kept his Bible on his desk:
We have concluded that no abuse of liberties has occurred, and Maj Lewis’s behavior and the workplace environment at the RNSSI are well within the provisions of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, paragraphs 2.11 and 2.12, “Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation” and “Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause.”
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was livid, naturally, as he doesn’t like it when Christians have the same religious liberty protections as everyone else. Therefore, he filed an immediate and aggressive…FOIA request. Actually, he didn’t even file it. Weinstein — who pays himself nearly $1,000 a day, every day, for his “work” in his charity — instead had a volunteer log onto the Air Force eFOIA site and submit the request for him.
…they’re just the only ones criticized for doing so.
Given the way the American culture has drifted over the past few years and the impact that drift has had on religion, religious freedom, and the military, it might be forgivable that people would assume conservative Christians are the only ones publicizing their beliefs from within the military.
That’s an easy framing, but it is not an accurate one.
It turns out that other “liberal” religious beliefs — and even non-beliefs — have been just Read more
Update: The creator of the monument explained the reason for his design here:
Al Larsen intended the small Latin cross in each silhouette to mark a grave — like the rows of white crosses at the Normandy American Cemetery in France, where more than 9,000 American World War II troops are buried.
“This is what it means to me,” Larsen said in an interview Wednesday. “It don’t mean no church thing.”
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State claims otherwise.
Todd Starnes at FoxNews highlights an effort by the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State to have a war memorial removed from a park in Knoxville, Iowa:
“It was clear to us it was a memorial to fallen veterans,” Mayor Brian Hatch told me. But it wasn’t clear to everyone.
About a month ago a citizen filed an anonymous complaint — arguing that the memorial was promoting Christianity and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Mayor Hatch told me the city council ignored the complaint.
“We didn’t take any action because it (the memorial) did not have any religious ties to us at all,” he said. “I only see it as a memorial to the veterans and it shocked me that someone could see it otherwise.”
The offended party apparently called the AU, and the fight was on.
Officials at Fort Gordon say they will not be able to send an honor guard to a July 5th service at Abilene Baptist Church because it violates a military policy banning any involvement in a religious service.
“While there are conditions under which the Army can participate in events conducted at a house of worship, we cannot participate in the context of a religious service,” Public Affairs Officer J.C. Mathews told me.
For a person who practically makes a living calling people “liars,” you’d think Chris Rodda would be more careful not to put herself in the position of being perceived as untruthful. But that’s precisely where she found herself just last week.
In a lackluster article that explained the MRFF’s objection to the “odious” missionary trip of US Air Force SMSgt Larry Gallo (discussed previously), Rodda goes after FoxNews’ Todd Starnes for his statement that George Washington would have been “thrown in the brig” for praying at Valley Forge, were he to do so today. The MRFF wouldn’t have objected to Washington’s prayer, Rodda exclaimed,
just as [the] MRFF would never object to any member of today’s military…privately engaging in any religious activity.
While “never object[ing]” is a bit less enthusiastic than “supporting” or “defending,” it is at least a non-confrontational position that acknowledges the rights of military members.
The problem is, Chris Rodda’s statement isn’t true.
While recent changes in Air Force regulations and a favorable congressional hearing have given some groups a positive perception of the direction of religious liberty in the US military, it is worth noting that even that trend isn’t universal, and it hasn’t reversed some of the damage done over the past few years.
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain recently kicked off the holiday season with its traditional tree lighting — absent one of its longstanding traditions. In 2012, Jason Torpy — an atheist and former Army officer — single-handedly persuaded the US Navy to ban a children’s “live Nativity” from the tree lighting ceremony.
The reason? According to Torpy, the kids
threaten[ed] US security and violat[ed] the Constitution.
It was probably “easier” for the Navy to surrender to Torpy and remove the children’s event rather than try to defend it for its positive value. Thus, plastic baby Jesus Read more