In an interesting deviation from its prior statements on accommodating religion, the US Military Academy at West Point has apparently required two observant Sikh cadets to wear their ceremonial uniform cover — known as the “tar bucket” — “over or in place of” their turban. The cadets, Gurijuwan Singh Chahal and Arjan Singh Ghotra, maintain this “would desecrate their religious values” and have filed a lawsuit in response:
“Forcing New Cadet Chahal and New Cadet Ghotra to choose between their country and their God in this manner violates the Army’s own regulations, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” the complaint states.
(Arjan Singh Ghotra previously enlisted Read more
“I was asked by an investigator at one point if I was gay, and I lied,” said Sue Fulton in an interview with NBC Out. “I carried that with me for years. When it came time for the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ fight, that’s one of the reasons I worked so hard. To redeem myself.”
– former US Army Captain Sue Fulton, USMA Class of 1980
A failure of integrity tears at the conscience, as even Fulton acknowledges. Interestingly, her solution was not to be an officer of integrity. It was not to change her behavior but to change the policies. Yet that doesn’t change the face she lied.
While Fulton advocated for homosexuality for years in the name of “tolerance,” it would seem Read more
Military troops of faith — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and others — have long served in the US military. They have done so with honor and distinction, earning the highest accolades and making the highest sacrifices.
And former Army officer Sue Fulton thinks they shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the military at all.
As discussed by Sonny Hernandez, in an interview with the New York Times Fulton was aghast that military chaplains have the gall to claim their God is greater than their government — and they should therefore not be in the military:
Some chaplains argue: ‘My first responsibility is to God.’ Well, if your responsibility is to God and not the Army, you need to get out of the Army.
Hernandez accurately summarized Fulton’s intolerant and ultimately unconstitutional advocacy:
[When] Fulton argues that chaplains should get out of the military if God is first in their lives, she is establishing a religion over theirs…She is [saying] the Constitution only works one way, and that the Defense Department’s policy on pluralism is extended only to those with convictions are agreeable to hers.
Fulton’s declaration is utterly ridiculous — and bigoted. Millions of troops before Read more
Called it. From 15 November 2016:
USAFA cadets got civilian wifi.
Trump was elected.
Cubs won World Series.
You know what comes next? Army may beat Navy.
2016 has been an interesting year. What next?
Mikey Weinstein’s Read more
Military and veteran atheists, transgenders, and homosexuals are in conflict over President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate retired Gen James Mattis for Secretary of Defense.
Military atheists have been generally supportive of Gen Mattis, noting he was wildly popular as a leader and, speaking to their primary concern, never gave them reason to worry over issues of religion. (As an example of the conduct that helped his subordinates respect him, consider how he reacted when his pilots landed at the wrong airport.)
This has put some atheists at odds with their sometimes allies in the LGBT movement, who see Mattis as a potential means for Trump to undo their “progress” over the past few years — though they can’t directly connect it to a religious issue over which to complain.
That said, Don Branum, a former US Air Force Academy Public Affairs staffer who has implied he was improperly treated for speaking his views against Christians, still managed to claim Mattis is Read more
A US Military Academy Facebook photo from their University of Texas at El Paso football victory raised the ire of activists, as it showed the cadets wearing sombreros while being hosted by the largely Hispanic community [emphasis added]:
The school should apologize for the image and take it down, said Lisa Navarrete, an official with the National Council of La Raza, a nonprofit group in Washington that focuses on immigration and other Latino issues. The use of sombreros to represent Latino people is an “old-school and dated stereotype” that offends many people, Navarrete said.
“I am a huge sports fan, so I understand that trashing your opponents in silly and not-so-silly ways is part of the game,” she said. “But I am also old enough to remember when banana peels were thrown at Georgetown University basketball players. Ugly bigotry is still ugly and offensive, even in the context of entertainment.”
With regard to the public Read more
The video below is a Washington Post interview in which LtGen Robert Caslen, US Military Academy Superintendent, addressed his response to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint about the team prayer requested by West Point football Coach Jeff Monken. The 4 minute response is worth watching, as he speaks with nuance that is often lost when he is subsequently quoted.
That said, nuance isn’t everything:
LtGen Caslen said they removed the original video that included the prayer because it was “offensive” — a seemingly illogical explanation. PETA finds the use of live mules as Army mascots offensive, but the Army continues to do it. The practice of liberty ensures that someone will be offended, and since Read more
Last Saturday, the US Military Academy football team posted a video of the celebration following their win over Temple. The video included the players kneeling in prayer in the locker room.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein wasn’t having it:
Officials with the U.S. Military Academy pulled Read more