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
Two recent articles, among others, demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the US military and the local church — especially churches that go out of their way to serve the military community.
The relationship between the military and Manna Church in Fayetteville — outside Fort Bragg — was documented at Religion News Service:
This dynamic megachurch is similar to many others across the country, except for this: 70 percent of church members are military families based at Fort Bragg, the nation’s largest military installation. And despite a rapid turnover of members, due to deployments, retirements and transfers to other bases, the evangelical church has not only held steady, but grown.
Manna Church actually spreads Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein bristles at accusations his organization is “anti-Christian”, despite a deep well of examples to bolster that characterization. To defend himself, Weinstein frequently touts the unsupported — and irrelevant — claim that “96% of his clients” and many of his friends and family are Christians. He and his research assistant, Chris Rodda, are also quick to tout instances in which the MRFF (says it) has defended Christians to rebut the accusation it spends all of its time attacking Christians, and Christians alone.
To that point, the MRFF recently said it had “assist[ed] [a] senior Christian military chaplain” with regard to a complaint that arose as a result of his chapel sermon. As published by the MRFF [emphasis added]:
A senior active duty Christian Military Chaplain [sic] contacted MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein for assistance in responding to an investigation initiated after a sermon he preached during a worship service at his military base chapel. This investigation resulted from…complaints levied by a congregation member alleging Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Contempt for the President of the United States based on the content of this MRFF client’s sermon.
Briefly, the Navy chaplain declined Read more