Tag Archives: USAFA

Post-Commissioning: Leaving the Fishbowl

As noted in this short article, many military cadets, strapped for time, cash, and energy, dream of the day when they will finally graduate and enter the “real” Air Force, Navy, etc.  They hope for that day when they can finally have the time and resources to do the things they know they should, like give money to their church, read their Bible, or attend a fellowship.  What some don’t realize is that life may be just as busy “on the outside.”

Thus, the time to integrate those Christian characteristics into their life–to turn choices into habits, which are the basis for a lifestyle–is now, because there will never be a “better” time. Read more

Dobson’s Resignation…and the Military

Many outlets carried news of Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson’s resignation as chairman of the organization.  Interestingly, this caught the attention of some military/religion activist groups.  They have frequently belittled Focus and accused it of complicity in its dealings with the US Air Force Academy just a few miles away in Colorado Springs, accusing it of attempting to “Christianize” the military.

The new outrage is over Dobson’s replacement: Patrick P. Caruana.  Caruana is a 1963 Air Force Academy graduate and retired as an Air Force Lieutenant General in 1997.  To some, it is the perfect proof of conspiracy.

Book Review: For God and Country

Cross Training Publishing, 2000.
Topic: Autobiography / Christian Living

Fisher DeBerry was the US Air Force Academy’s head football coach for 23 years.  He turned the USAFA football team into a national powerhouse, and he riled some people for his outspoken Christianity while working with young military cadets.

DeBerry’s book is part autobiography, part witness.  It describes his upbringing and career as head coach, and also his philosophy as a Christian in public life.  He describes his life as “the Three F’s: Faith, Family, and Football”–in that order.  He describes many of the conscious choices he made to encourage faith and family priorities in those he worked with and coached.  He speaks of the value of children, parenting, and the importance of school teachers–something few people may know DeBerry did before coaching college football.

His chapter on “Faith” is a wonderful read in which he says “we have our missions fields right here,” and encourages Christians to “spread the word daily by how we live and conduct ourselves:”

You don’t have to beat your chest and proclaim “I’m a Christian” to everyone you meet. But you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Being a Christian has everything to do with how you approach life and the way you treat people.

Your Christianity isn’t just about what you say, it is shown by the consistency of how you live your life.

Unfortunately, the book isn’t produced with the highest quality editing, and those who have no interest in the US Air Force Academy or its football program may find some of the book uninteresting.

This book was written before the lawsuit and controversies over religion at the Air Force Academy, which cited and frequently criticized DeBerry’s outspoken Christianity as football coach.

Recommended.  It has wonderful pearls of wisdom and guidance, though some of its subjects are slightly niche.  It does have some Christian living advice that would be pertinent to the military Christian.  It’s a quick read and worth it, though those bored by football or USAFA may have to skim some parts.

This book is available from Amazon. (This site is an Amazon Associate and may earn from qualifying purchases made through Amazon referrals.)


“Military Religious Freedom,” continued

As noted in a prior post, Michael Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation intend to expand their recent lawsuit against the military, intending to impact religion in the military as a whole.  The MRFF’s lawsuit against the Air Force Academy was thrown out in 2006.  Like the Academy suit, the recent lawsuit is based on an individual event, but Weinstein intends to similarly use it to (in his words) Read more

The Controversy of Christianity in the Military

Some Americans believe that an “evangelical coup” is being mounted by Christians in the United States’ military.  The concept is absurd to mainstream America, which is why the constant tide of press releases by organizations trumpeting such a conspiracy is most often ignored.   

Many Christians agree that those who accuse them of attempting to establish an American theocracy are fringe.  While downplaying their conspiracy theories is wise, Christians cannot simply dismiss or ignore them.  Every now and then such accusationas erupt into “scandal,” as occurred at the Air Force Academy several years ago.  There are people in the United States today who honestly believe that Christians (especially those in the military) are a threat to freedom, democracy, and national security–and those people and organizations are part of the growing movement to impact Christians in the government and military today.

On a recent internet comment regarding “The Evangelical Christian Takeover of the Military,” one such person opined that  Read more

Pre-millennial, Reconstructionist, Dominionist, Evangelical Christians

Several months ago, Mr. Michael Weinstein made some boisterous but virtually ignored comments about the reasons for his conflict with the Air Force.  During an interview with the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix Online (and repeated in his April 25th debate at the Air Force Academy), Weinstein said

I am not at war with Christianity or with evangelical Christians, but with a subset: postmillennial, reconstructionist, dominionist, evangelical Christianity.

(During the Academy debate, Weinstein said “pre-millennial,” rather than post, and added “dispensational” and “fundamentalist.”  In an email reply to a request for clarification, Mr. Weinstein indicated that pre-millennial was a “correction” to his previous descriptors.)  While dramatic, there have been few public responses.  Weinstein apparently enjoys a status as one of the few “religious” Americans who can call for the “defeat” of another religious sect and not be roundly criticized by the press and the public.  More recently, Weinstein made similar assertions when he said

We have a Christian Taliban within our US military, the Pentagon has become the penacostalgon and this administration has turned the Department of Defense into a faith based initiative…Dominionist Christians [are] praying and preying on non-Evangelical Christians.

Though his original lawsuit against the Air Force Academy was dismissed, Weinstein’s crusade continues.  He has already announced his intentions to file a new federal lawsuit to overcome the “technicality” that scuttled the first.  To understand why Weinstein acts as he does, it is interesting to analyze who he says he is “at war” with.  Read more

Weinstein/Sekulow Debate Results

According to local news reports, the debate between Weinstein and Sekulow at the Air Force Academy was “cordial.”  Presumably, both sides are working on their after-action reports, as none have yet been published.  According to the Fox report, Weinstein had demanded to speak at the Academy and the debate was the format the Academy agreed upon.  The only content yet known about the debate includes Weinstein’s assertion that Jewish servicemen not be allowed to wear a yarmulke, while Sekulow maintained they should.* Weinstein also made known his intentions to file another lawsuit against the Air Force, this one including plaintiffs that have standing.  The debate can be heard here.

*Neither Weinstein nor Sekulow were entirely correct about the yarmulke.  While Rabbi Goldman did lose his lawsuit in 1986 in which he sued to wear the yarmulke, the 1988 (updated in 2003) version of Department of Defense Instruction 1300.17 specifically allows the wearing of a yarmulke.  There are still “exceptions,” but the Jewish headgear is the only religious apparel specifically mentioned.

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