Robert Wilkie, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, recently published a column hailing a victory for religious freedom that has mostly gone unnoticed — but it is not insignificant.
On January 16th — Religious Freedom Day — the media widely covered President Trump’s proposed changes to federal regulations that would protect prayer and religious exercise in schools. Less widely discussed was the change to the discriminatory treatment of religious organizations within the Federal services.
Under President Obama, faith-based organizations that Read more
Clayton Lassiter was a US Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s a pastor in Florida, and he’s aiming to help veterans with some of the same struggles he had:
Since January, three of Clayton Lassiter’s buddies from his military command have killed themselves.
Having served with the Marine Corps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lassiter has dealt with his own struggles. He’s had nightmares, flashbacks and used to have trouble being in unfamiliar environments.
Notably, the article only mentions the VA once — to highlight that it is “overwhelmed.” Lassiter isn’t out to point people toward the VA; he’s trying to start a group of veterans helping veterans, potentially focusing on the area that helped him: Read more
Though the month of June marks references to both Ramadan and PTSD awareness (among other things), from news coverage and official US military press releases, you’d think June in the US military was all about sex.
The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes June as PTSD awareness month, though as yet Congress has only recognized June 27th as PTSD awareness day. Thus, PTSD awareness month is not enshrined in law as, say, Religious Freedom Day is.
Notably, neither the current Congress nor any prior law recognizes any day or month as a celebration of “Gay Pride” — yet President Barack Obama issued a proclamation marking just such a recognition.
While he has annually issued praise for homosexuality in June, according to Read more
Update: Follow-ups by US Air Force Chaplain and Congressman Doug Collins, Christian Today, and the Christian News Network.
Last Thursday Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF trumpeted his influence in getting a VA clinic to remove a Bible and Bible verse from a POW/MIA table. The story was essentially ignored until FoxNews’ Todd Starnes reported on it yesterday [emphasis added]:
A Bible and Bible verse were removed from a POW/MIA display inside an Ohio Veteran’s Administration clinic after the notorious Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained.
The religious artifacts were part of a “Missing Man Table” recently erected by volunteers at an outpatient clinic in Akron.
Weinstein called the presence of Bible a “violation of the US Constitution.” While the VA didn’t necessarily agree, in an ill-fated attempt to avoid offending someone, they kowtowed.
Starnes accurately reported that official military and government Read more
A Nevada National Guard article marked the 10th anniversary of the crash of Mustang 22, a CH-47 that was shot down in Afghanistan in 2005. (The article was written on the anniversary in September, though published only recently.)
Last autumn marked the 10th anniversary since the Nevada National Guard lost two Soldiers in the worst helicopter accident in Nevada Guard history. Chief Warrant Officer 3 John Flynn and Sgt. Patrick Stewart were killed on Sept. 25, 2005, when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Mustang 22, was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade while flying over Afghanistan…
Flynn and Stewart were the second and third Read more
Update: The VA’s treatment of Christianity over the past Christmas has caught the attention of Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), among others.
A few reports have covered the Veterans’ Administration policy that requires Christmas to be filtered based on its Christian content:
A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook:
“In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”
Apparently, this wasn’t the only Christmas event in which Christianity was Read more
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is now the chair for the Senate Armed Services Committee, the panel that handles military personnel and administrative matters. Gillibrand’s reputation is one of advocacy for homosexuals: Read more
Many have now heard of the Texas High School graduation that received a court-ordered ban on prayer, including the specific words “amen, invocation,” and the like. U.S. District Judge Fred Biery had ruled against the Medina Valley Independent School District in a lawsuit brought by the Schultz family. Biery had determined they would “suffer irreparable harm” if they heard to a prayer at the ceremony. The ruling was appealed, overturned, and the graduation went on as a celebration of freedom of speech and religion.
That wasn’t the first controversial ruling on prayer in Texas.
In a ruling that was largely under the radar, Texas Judge Lynn N. Hughes said the Department of Veteran’s Affairs could not control the content of an invited Pastor’s prayer. The Reverend Scott Rainey, pastor at Living Word Church of the Nazerene, had been invited to give an invocation at a Memorial Day event, and was asked to provide Read more