Thursday, October 26, 2006

Onwarder, Christian Soldiers

Back in May I published a post discussing the battle by radical evangelical Christians and their Congressional supporters to water down the Air Force's then policy for chaplains which forbade the use of sectarian prayers at involuntary or non-sectarian gatherings. This policy was drawn up in reaction to a Congressional investigation of the Air Force Academy into allegations of discriminatory conduct and proselytizing by evangelical staff officers toward non-evangelical and non-Christian cadets.

To update this story, on Sept 30th the Congress removed a provision from the defense appropriations bill that would have allowed military chaplains the freedom to offer these sectarian prayers at such gatherings. This is not likely to be the end of the story on this issue, as it will most likely be re-introduced in the next Congress if Republicans hold onto the House. Congress also nullified the existing policy directives of the Air Force and Navy and asked the services to publish new directives.

On October 16th the Air Force published its new guideline (via Jews on First).

The main whistleblower for the scandal at the Air Force Academy, and the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Air Force over its refusal to stop religious proselytizing by superior officers, is Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, a former Air Force Academy grad and White House legal counsel under Ronald Reagan. It was the discriminatory treatment exerienced by his son, a cadet at the AFA in 2004 when the investigation started, that prompted Weinstein to take legal action to redress this flagrant violation of the constitutional separation of Church and State by membrs of the Air Force.

Weinstein has just published a book this month titled "With God on Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military". He has also founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to promote the cause of ensuring that the military is not coopted by sectarian interests, but remains a meritocracy available to Americans of all beliefs.


Blogger Unchained Grace Ministries said...

Unchained Grace Ministries has long since been recognized as a hard hitting aggressive ministry. Not too long ago, we completed a book known as "Will you be a Soldier in God's Special Forces?" Written during the time of some of the toughest trials and attacks by the devil, it quickly became known as THE document that dispenses with the cheap platitudes, cliches and useless euphemisms often referred to as "bumpersticker" religion. What does it truly take to go from a mere foot soldier in God's army to being one of the few He can count on to be there for those who need Him the most. Find out on our website and click on the God's Special Forces page.
Praise the Lord! - Mike Cretella

October 26, 2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

... remains a meritocracy available to Americans of all beliefs.

What does this, or rather, its antithesis, have in common with

he will hold true to his out of touch 'atheist' belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas."

Tribalism, the bane of civilization.

IMHO, American exceptionalism is based primarily upon one thing: merit trumps tribe.

Attempting to favor someone because of group membership, as opposed to someone else of another group is simply un-American.

Those AFA Evangelicals learned nothing from Jim Crow laws.

October 26, 2006 11:34 PM  
Blogger Peter Burnet said...


I asked you once before why this is happening and, as I recall, you gave a very good description of the informal ways these issues used to be dealt with by lower-level officers at squad or platoon levels. Although I am far removed from all this, I tend to share your concerns, but what do you think is driving both the religious ferver and the forcing of the question into high-level, very public forums? Why are the old tried and true ways no good anymore? Seriously, no baiting. Well, maybe a little one. Do you really think Jim Crow analogies are appropriate? Do you want that battle waged within the Air Force during a war?

October 29, 2006 6:06 AM  

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