A few sailors aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, were recently highlighted for their unique exercise of religious freedom. From the official news release:
Heathenry, a religion with roots in Norse culture and mythology, is being practiced by a small, committed group of Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood, from Eagle River, Alaska, is John C. Stennis’ Heathen lay leader.
The story is “interesting” enough that the normally sleepy Navy news report has been widely repeated across the media, though it seems to have Read more
In February the US Supreme Court will hear the case of the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a near-century old war memorial in Maryland that anti-religious groups claim is an illegal endorsement of religion.
The Cross was ruled “unconstitutional” by the Fourth Circuit, and that is how the case approaches the Supreme Court.
Many have spoken out in defense of the memorial, which might explain why one group that filed a brief in support of the cross went unnoticed.
A group of retired flag officers are asking the Court (PDF) to “correct the court of appeals’ stilted view of the First Amendment” and defend the cross. Those officers include:
This year issues of military religious freedom have boiled to the surface in two primary ways: free exercise and public expression.
For example, in its “top ten” list for 2018, The Baptist Joint Committee, a left-leaning group on religious liberty issues, highlighted the Masterpiece Cakeshop at #8 and the Bladensburg Peace Cross at #7. Similarly, Howard Friedman at the Religion Clause put Masterpiece Cakeshop at #1. The resolution of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which is arguably still ongoing, is directly related to the military: The case will ultimately Read more
More than 530 US Air Force Academy cadets will graduate this year with a pilot training slot:
More than 530 U.S. Air Force Academy cadets from the 2019 graduating class have been matched to attend pilot training pending final qualifications and commissioning. This is a 26 percent increase over the 2018 class.
So there’s a consideration if you’re Read more
Retired US Air Force General Roger Brady made some waves in 2005 when he led an investigation of the US Air Force Academy’s religious climate. Much to some activists’ dismay, the report said there were some issues and perceptions, but there was not a systemic or institutional religious problem at USAFA. (Gen Brady also famously criticized Airmen who contacted their congressmen — an explicitly protected form of communication within the military.)
General Brady was interviewed recently by Christianity Today on faith and the military in a Veterans’ Day article that led off noting the recent “controversy” surrounding Air Force BGen John Teichert — as initiated by “former Air Force Captain and activist attorney Mikey Weinstein“.
The interview was highlighted by the Baptist Joint Committee — a liberal leaning group — as having “both some troubling and some heartening perspectives and insights.” That seems accurate, as Gen Brady says thing both sides of the religious liberty debate will support and oppose. In fact, in just two sentences he managed to hit both sides of the fence [emphasis added]: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s veritable public relations officer, Pam Zubeck of the CSIndy, published an article late yesterday claiming a cadet at the US Air Force Academy said something and another cadet didn’t like it.
And that’s about it.
The incident isn’t explained fully in any one paragraph within the article, but putting the pieces together it appears upperclass cadets at a lunch meal are alleged to have said:
The 11 Jews murdered [in Pittsburgh] would now be burning in hell forever because none of them had accepted Jesus as their savior prior to being shot and killed.
A first year (Fourth Class) cadet who is Jewish apparently Read more
Take a knee? Believe in something? While some are backing away from Nike over its apparent political stance, it seems the US military academy sports teams aren’t.
Kind of an interesting set Read more
Until this summer, Col Martin “Marty” France was the Head of the Department of Astronautics at the US Air Force Academy, and he had been for some years. As a permanent professor he was allowed to maintain his rank and his position — and then retire with a promotion, as a Brigadier General.
Nine days after he retired, one of BGen (retired) France’s first acts as a civilian was publicly joining Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF.
In fact, it seems he isn’t ashamed of admitting he was in the tank for Mikey all along, even while he served on the USAFA faculty Read more