Religious groups who endorse US military chaplains have asked the US military for “equal time” after they hosted religious liberty critic Michael Weinstein at the Pentagon. Said retired Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews, of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty:
Crews says if the Air Force wants to be serious about religious liberty, its sole and exclusive meeting should not be with a man who calls religious service members “spiritual rapists” or “human monsters.”
“[Mikey Weinstein] is not the person to talk about religious liberty,” he states. “So we’re asking for a meeting with senior Air Force officials to [request that] if they’re going to revise their policy, we want to make sure that the religious liberty of all the airmen who are serving courageously in the Air Force gets maintained.”
If the Air Force wants to be serious about religious freedom, its sole and exclusive meeting should not be with a man that calls religious service members ‘spiritual rapists’ or ‘human monsters’…
The military — specifically, the Air Force — has long been accused of granting Michael Weinstein special access to military leaders. It seems Weinstein has had ideological allies at the top of the US Air Force, which may be why he has Read more
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will be the graduation speaker at the 29 May graduation of the USAFA Class of 2013. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the US Naval Academy graduation on 24 May 2013. (Neither event will have the traditional fly-over or airshow.) It does not appear the West Point speaker has been announced, though the Secretary of Defense is frequently one of the speakers.
Chuck Norris recently cited “36 examples of religious liberty assault” (in Part 1 and Part 2) to defend an assertion that religious liberty is under attack in America. About a third of his examples involved the US military, all of which have been discussed here before (amplifying remarks follow):
- Culture and courts are also trumping citizens’ First Amendment rights who are refusing on religious grounds not to support or participate with groups and events that run contrary to their faith and practice. As a result, wedding cake bakers, T-shirt makers, bed and breakfast owners, pastry shops, high-school teachers, military chaplains, restaurant owners, photographers, parents, churches and others have been harassed, bullied, suspended, fired and sued for merely exercising their Christian beliefs. [As described by CARL.]
- A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cross displayed as part of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Read more
According to NBC News, the US Army is starting the process to recoup the cost of atheist former Cadet Blake Page’s West Point education:
In a memorandum dated Dec. 12, the superintendent of West Point Academy, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon, did recommend to Army headquarters that Page be honorably discharged and that recoupment — in the form of money or service as an enlisted soldier — be waived.
The response, signed by Thomas R. Lamont, assistant Army secretary, approves Page for an honorable discharge, but disapproves the waivers. In the Jan. 28 memorandum, he orders the West Point superintendent “to conduct a recoupment investigation.”
The Army could demand up to $250,000 or order Page back to active duty, where he previously served enlisted before Read more
Contrary to a prior prediction that Michael Weinstein would seethe at the thought of LtGen Robert Caslen taking the helm as Superintendent of West Point, it seems Weinstein has chosen to do the complete opposite:
I am pleased to announce that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation fully endorses the United States Senate’s confirmation of the President’s nomination of Lt. General Robert Caslen to the position of Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
If only it were that simple. The “endorsement” (cross-posted) is a veritable portrait in self-contradiction and capriciousness. Weinstein says he is “pleased,” but later says he has “non-trivial trepidation” — yet also “wishes him well.” Demonstrating both his repetitive redundancy and intellectual inconsistency, Weinstein says he has no idea what Caslen will “actually do,” but “he incontrovertibly deserves and merits [sic] the chance to do it.”
During Gen Caslen’s involvement in the Christian Embassy controversy in 2006, Weinstein said those involved in the scandal were equivalent to al Qaida, Iraqi militant Muqtada al Sadr, and deserved to be court-martialed. Two years later, Weinstein Read more
The Department of Defense recently announced that President Obama has nominated a new Superintendent for the US Military Academy at West Point:
Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced today that the President has made the following nominations:
Army Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., for reappointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Caslen is currently serving as chief, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, Iraq.
LtGen Caslen has had a long and distinguished career, which began when he graduated West Point in 1975 and includes a tour as the West Point commandant of cadets. He is also a Christian, Read more
Since former cadet (and current MRFF “client”) Blake Page made his awkward public departure from West Point over “criminal” Christianity, there has been a simmering of the issue of prayer at the US Military Academy. For the most part, the only loud voices were critics who want to see West Point end public prayers.
The Alliance Defending Freedom just recently weighed in, encouraging West Point to stand firm in the face of criticism and honor both its legacy and religious freedom. The ADF’s David Hacker said
“The First Amendment allows public officials to acknowledge our nation’s religious heritage,” he notes. “Anti-religious groups with misguided ideas about the First Amendment should not be allowed to destroy a time-honored, perfectly constitutional American custom.”
The ADF sent a letter to West Point on behalf of the Chaplain Alliance Read more
It’s the time of year for lists and summaries, and various sites and groups are compiling their “best of” and “mostest” lists for 2012. Consistent with last year’s apparent trend, issues of religion and the military seem to have largely fallen from the visibility they once had. For example, BJC online lists their “Top Religious Stories of 2012” — not one of which references the military. Likewise the Christian Post. The Religion Clause and the Stars and Stripes lists both made only one relevant reference, to the much delayed Fort Hood massacre trial.
Curious as to what others were reading here this year? The Top 10 most-read stories on ChristianFighterPilot.com for 2012 are Read more