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 They were rescinded years ago and Read more
A report at FoxNews highlights a message from US Army Col. Kevin Glasz, brigade commander of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, regarding respect for Islam during Ramadan:
“This is a period of great personal restraint and commitment in addition to renewed focus on worship,” Brigade Commander Col. Kevin Glasz wrote. “I’d like to encourage you to learn just a little more about this religion, but more importantly, I’m asking you to be considerate and do not consume food or drink in front of our Muslim colleagues; it is a simple, yet respectful action.”
In contrast from policies governing US military personnel in Bahrain, which was highlighted here last month, the USUHS is in Maryland, and there are no laws in Maryland governing Ramadan.
Optimistically viewed, it is just a supportive statement from the military to help others respect the faiths of those around them. But as an anonymous Marine officer is quoted in pointing out, this kind of “supportive statement” is only used in reference to Islam: Read more
Update: Tony Perkins addresses the issue at One News Now. Also at the Christian Post.
Todd Starnes at FoxNews reports on the decision by a local National Guard armory not to be recognized at a local Vacation Bible School — because, they said, it would violate the military policies on religion. (The Washington Times and others subsequently picked up the story.)
Bible Baptist Church in Carthage…decided to honor the military during their annual Vacation Bible School. The theme was “God’s Rescue Squad.” And each day of the week, the church invited local “rescue squads” to visit with the boys and girls.
The paramedics came on Monday and on Read more
FoxNews reported that the US embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, raised a rainbow flag immediately below Old Glory.
As many know, the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promise to man that He would not again destroy the earth by flood — something He did after the world’s sin and debauchery brought about its destruction by water. So the rainbow flag is an excellent reminder of God’s promise.
Of course, that’s not what the embassy meant Read more
Chris Stedman, the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, took to the Religion News Service to express his view on recent events at the US Air Force Academy. Specifically, he addressed Todd Starnes’ comparison of how USAFA took down a Bible verse recently and censored Christian cadets in the past — but allowed atheists to advertise their beliefs. Stedman said:
The stated reason for removing the Bible verse—attempting to ensure that no person, perhaps particularly religious minorities, feels coerced or discriminated against—is a good one… Read more
As highlighted by the ever-vigilant Right Wing Watch, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes called into a radio program hosted by Rick Wiles to talk about the whiteboard incident at USAFA. Like many people, Wiles expressed frustration with Weinstein, leading to this:
You know what Mikey Weinstein needs? I’ll say this on my radio show, I can get away with it: he really needs to be met in a dark alley by a couple of special forces commandos and given an attitude adjustment…I’m fed up with that guy.
Starnes responded with principle: Read more
FoxNews Todd Starnes reports on a “Bible controversy” at Maxwell AFB that is, actually, many years old:
For more than a decade new military recruits at Maxwell Air Force Base – Gunter Annex in Alabama have received a Bible from Gideons International volunteers. But that tradition has come to an end after volunteers said they were told by the military that they would no longer be allowed to personally distribute the pocket-sized Bibles to recruits.
A MEPSCOM spokesman explained a little bit more:
Gaylan Johnson, is a public affairs officer for the Military Entrance Processing Command. He told me the Gideons’ side of the story is “not strictly true.”
“They can place their literature within our facility, but they are not allowed to stand there and talk with applicants or hand them (the Bibles) out.”
Unfortunately, this is the product of an old ACLU complaint — from Read more
FoxNews commentator Todd Starnes reports on a LifeWay survey that says 59% of Christians believe they are losing the “culture war.”
“Ten years ago we were talking about who would win the culture war and now we’re talking about how will Christian rights be protected after the culture war,” Ed Stetzer, the president of LifeWay Research told me…
Starnes lists examples of “religious persecution in the United States,” and he starts with the US military: Read more