The US Air Force Academy announced that Col Linell Letendre was the sole “finalist” to become the next Dean of Faculty at USAFA:
“This is wonderful news for our cadets, our faculty, and our Academy,” said Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria. “Linell’s leadership and commitment to world-class education and leader development will be invaluable to the USAFA team. She has a tremendous perspective that will integrate and elevate our institution and our Air Force leaders of tomorrow.”
The elevation of Col Letendre, a USAF JAG, to Permanent Professor and Department Head was highlighted here four years ago, largely because of her public record on issues of religious liberty within the Air Force. She was, for example, one of a few Air Force lawyers who advised the Air Force on Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaints against ChristianFighterPilot.com. She has reportedly towed the Read more
USAF LtCol Linell Letendre has been named as a new permanent professor to “lead the law department” for the US Air Force Academy:
“Lt. Col. Letendre’s selection for permanent professor indicates the trust placed in her by those who lead our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, the Academy’s dean of the faculty. “Her impeccable record of service and dedication to education will strengthen the Academy and nation as we strive to develop leaders of character.”
Ordinarily such a staffing decision hardly rates notice, much less an official press release, but the status of permanent professor at a military academy requires Senate approval and bestows a permanent rank of Colonel, making it somewhat notable.
Potentially more notable, however, are LtCol Letendre’s unique qualifications. Far from being an unknown JAG, Letendre has become a veritable “go to” legal officer in cases involving religion or homosexuality (or both).
In 2007, she and retired US Army Major David Fitzkee (also a USAFA law professor) co-authored a paper in the Air Force Law Review entitled “Religion in the Military: Navigating the Channel Between the Religion Clauses“. This paper was called a “definitive work” on the subject. As noted previously, Fitzkee wrote an abridged and updated version of this same article in 2012, and both works contained strong positive and strong negative statements on regarding military religious freedom.
Their paper was subsequently published again in Attitudes Aren’t Free, a collection put together by then-LtCol James Parco (an avowed supporter of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and frequent critic of Christians in the US Air Force).
Letendre was also the legal advisor to US Army General Carter Ham while he was co-chair of the controversial Comprehensive Review Working Group tasked to assess the impact of repealing the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Letendre’s advice Read more
An Air Force Airman posting as “A1C Venom” has started a YouTube page in which he comments on various issues of religion, including “Atheism in the Military.” His video is calmly presented and not altogether unbalanced, though a few of his comments are confusing, leading one to wonder if he actually understands some of what he’s saying or how well informed he is.
For example, he states at the beginning of the video that he’s “seen a lot of discrimination” as an atheist in the military, yet he doesn’t provide a single example of discrimination. He does talk about prayer at military events (which he feels is Read more
Trijicon has become the most recent company to file a lawsuit claiming that obeying the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) would violate the religious convictions of its owners.
The most recent complaint alleges, “the Mandate illegally and unconstitutionally requires Trijicon to violate its and its owners’ religious beliefs by forcing the company to provide abortion-inducing items, such as ‘Plan B’ (the so-called ‘morning after pill’), Ella (the so-called “week after pill”), and Read more
FoxNews reports on the continuation of a “scandal” from 2010: Trijicon, the maker of the much-vaunted ACOG gun sight, was known for putting an abbreviated Bible verse reference on the end of its serial numbers. Michael Weinstein found out, claimed that Islamic terrorists were offended when they were shot by rifles with these scopes, and demanded the Army remove them. Trijicon ultimately offered to provide kits to remove the references. (After threatening legal action against Trijicon, Weinstein also apparently implied his MRFF was a Christian organization…)
The Army now claims these inscriptions violated the terms of the contract: Read more
NBC recently updated the controversy of Bible references being inscribed on the side of Trijicon’s ACOG weapon sites sold to the US military (as well as other nations).
Nearly three years later — despite the military’s assertion that is making “good progress” — the code remains on many rifles deploying to Afghanistan…
For those unfamiliar with the original story, Trijicon makes industry-leading sights for weapons and has sold them by the hundreds of thousands to the military. (They’ve reportedly increased marksmanship in the Army.) On the side of the scope, the identification number is followed by an abbreviation that refers to a Bible verse.
As is Trijicon tradition, every verse makes some reference to “light,” as their sights use a form of ‘light enhancing’ technology.
Michael Weinstein complained in 2010 Read more
Mike Farrell, better known as BJ Hunnicutt of M*A*S*H fame, apparently thinks his “service” with Father Mulcahy qualifies him to speak with authority on the US military chaplaincy. He authored a lengthy piece on the Huffington Post written in the style of Chris Rodda; that is, heavy on vague accusations and light on facts:
Today, a huge percentage of our military chaplains, according to thousands of aggrieved American servicemen and women, present themselves as fevered salesmen for a fundamentalist version of Christianity rather than as simple, caring souls with a willingness to listen and no attached quid pro quo. These religious hucksters see themselves as “government-paid missionaries” and the youth under their domain “as ripe as black bananas.”
Farrell fails to quantify or provide support for his “huge percentage,” and provides no source other than the vague anecdotes of Michael Weinstein’s MRFF “clients.” (Farrell, conveniently enough, is a member of Weinstein’s advisory board.) Farrell is also apparently blind to his own prejudice, calling people who hold beliefs with which he disagrees “hucksters.”
He authoritatively continues: Read more
Michael Weinstein took a pay cut in 2010, so it looks like he felt the need to write a book to try to make up the difference. He wrote an “op-ed” printed on the Washington Post website, though it was characterized by a fairly solid theme: No new material, except for hawking Weinstein’s book.
It was refreshing, in some respects, to see Weinstein eschew the subtlety of some of his supporters and just come right out and say he and his “religious freedom” group are targeting Christians: Read more