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Becket Fund: Moments ago, a Virginia district court heard arguments regarding the Navy’s decision not to admit secular atheists into its religious chaplaincy.
The Hill: It pains me to say this as a veteran, but the American military is engaged in a terrible double standard. It claims to want to respect people for who they are, but in reality, it is involved in an almost cult-like determination to advance the hyper-homosexualization of the military, and as a result, it is tearing apart the good order and discipline which holds our armed forces together.
National Law Journal (Access via Google): The Army cannot block a Sikh college student from enrolling in his school’s ROTC program because he wears a turban and has long hair and a beard, a federal district judge in Washington has ruled.
USA Today: Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Tuesday that gay and lesbian troops for the first time will be protected from discrimination by the same equal opportunity policy that protects other service members.
The Washington Post: A court case working its way through the military justice system raises a basic question: Should a member of the military be allowed to post a religious passage in her place of work?
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: A two-star general has come under fire from an outside anti–religious-liberty group for speaking openly of his faith.
Navy Times: Despite pressure from both sides of the religious divide, Navy boot camp officials are standing firm on their decision to bar more than a half dozen civilian volunteer religious leaders from conducting services on the base.
Navy Times: John Chantry, a practicing Druid, was shocked to receive an email April 3 advising him that he was prohibited from continuing to lead earth-centered religious services for recruits at Recruit Training Command.
The Washington Times: Christians are leaving the U.S. military or are discouraged from joining in the first place because of a “hostile work environment” that doesn’t let them express their beliefs openly, religious freedom advocates say.
The Daily Signal: While the nation debates whether Christian business owners should be forced by the government to cater same-sex marriages, the military is embroiled in its own dispute over religious freedom.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: The Air Force has quickly reversed a ban on the words “have a blessed day” when used by military personnel to greet visitors at the security gate entrance to Robins Air Force Base.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: The Navy has relieved a chaplain from duty allegedly because he offered counseling on sexuality consistent with his Christian faith.
Christian Today: Military veteran and former Navy chaplain Wes Modder is at risk of being discharged because of alleged insensitivity towards premarital sex and same-sex relations during counselling sessions, Fox News reported Monday.
Fox News: A chaplain who once ministered to Navy SEALs could be thrown out of the military after he was accused of failing “to show tolerance and respect” in private counseling sessions in regards to issues pertaining to faith, marriage and sexuality, specifically homosexuality and pre-marital sex, according to documents obtained exclusively by Fox News.
Religion Clause: In United States v. Sterling, 2015 CCA LEXIS 65 (NMCCA, Feb. 26, 2015), the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a court martial conviction of a marine corps member for disobeying a lawful order to remove signs containing Biblical verses that she had taped up around her desk.
Military: The military’s divorce rate dropped again last year reaching its lowest point since 2005, according to statistics released today by the Defense Department.
USA Today: The decision to discharge transgender soldiers from the Army would be made by a top, senior civilian official under a plan outlined in a draft document obtained by USA TODAY.
Christian News Network: Twenty-four members of Congress have signed a letter addressed to Army Secretary John McHugh in support of a chaplain who was recently reprimanded for citing the Bible during a suicide prevention training session.
Christian News Network: The U.S. military has approved hormone treatments for gender reassignment requested by Army private Bradley Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year sentence on espionage charges.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: Twenty-four senators and U.S. representatives have written a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh about a chaplain disciplined for giving spiritual guidance as part of a suicide prevention briefing to Army Rangers while stationed at Fort Benning.
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty: The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty commended Air Force officials Tuesday for declining to succumb to activist demands that they remove from a military website an article about Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo of the 433rd Airlift Wing, who spends his Christmas holidays doing medical mission work in Guatemala and Mexico.
Military Times: “The establishment clause [of the Constitution, which forbids the government from establishing an official religion or favoring one religion over another] does not require the AFRC to remove this article or to censor any references to SMSgt. Gallo’s mission trips,” Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Travis Barham said in the letter.
Military.com: The Air Force Reserve Command is expected to decide Friday whether a Reserve feature story about a senior master sergeant who proselytizes in Guatemala with his family should have been posted on the command’s official webpage. And now whether the story should be pulled.
Christian News Network: The U.S. Army has ordered the removal of a sandwich board outside of an Arizona recruiting office because it included the phrase “On a mission for God and country.”
The Christian Institute: A statue of a soldier kneeling before a cross has been removed from a war memorial in North Carolina following a legal threat by a secular organisation.
Christian News Network: A number of residents from the city of King, North Carolina came together on Sunday to peacefully protest the removal of a veterans memorial in the city and to stand in solidarity in support of the display.
Aleteia: Alliance Defending Freedom President also discusses assaults on religious liberty in the US military.
The Daily Signal: In his first-ever media interview, the military chaplain who was punished for making references to the Bible during a suicide-prevention seminar last month says he was simply doing his job.
The Dahlonega Nugget: An Army chaplain is in hot water with his superiors after he shared spiritual advice during a suicide prevention course for soldiers at Camp Frank D. Merrill.
Christian News Network: The U.S. Army has issued a “letter of concern” to a Georgia chaplain for citing the Bible during a recent suicide prevention training session.
The U.S. Army has issued a letter of concern to one of its chaplains for “using Christian scriptures and solutions” during a suicide prevention training session with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion held on Nov. 20 at the University of North Georgia.
The Christian Institute: The British Army would be better served by secular chaplains, a former battalion commander has claimed.
Congressman confronts military activist in heated exchange over ‘fundamentalist Christian monsters’ quote during religious freedom hearing
The Blaze: Sparks briefly flew Wednesday when Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a First Amendment group, appeared before a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee to discuss complications and confusion surrounding religious freedom in the U.S. military.
Military Times: Neither conservative chaplains nor atheist advocates think the military is properly enforcing rules on religious expression in the ranks.
Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, will testify before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday concerning the need for strong religious protections and accommodations in the military.
Family Studies: As the nation reflects upon the service of nearly 22 million veterans this Veterans Day, Americans are reminded of their strength, sacrifice, and commitment, which continue long after they take off the uniform and reintegrate into their communities.
Religion News Service: The Oxford-educated man who unsuccessfully sought to be the Navy’s first humanist chaplain is suing the Pentagon, claiming unconstitutional discrimination.
Christian News Network: In a landmark decision last week, a federal judge in Oregon declared ‘secular humanism’ to be a religion, opining that those who profess to be atheists and secular humanists should be afforded equal protection rights under the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution and be allowed to enjoy the same liberties to practice religion that religious groups are able to enjoy.
The Christian Post: “So no matter how stressful your life can be with juggling family issues, relationships, career advancement, work, school, or any burden that life throws your way, cast it upon the Lord and He will sustain you,” the colonel wrote.
National Law Journal: The Department of the Army discriminated against a civilian worker who was transitioning from male to female, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Thursday.
Opposing Views: “Col. Baker trampled Col. Marquinez’s First Amendment rights,” said Joseph La Rue, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “And in doing so, he tacitly sent a very dangerous message: if you’re a Christian, you can’t be a commander in the Ohio Air National Guard. Or, at the very least, you must keep your Christianity to yourself.”
Christian News Network: ADF Legal Counsel Joseph La Rue wrote in a report on the matter on Friday that he believes Baker’s actions run counter to the Constitution because they amount to censorship.
Family Studies: There has been a lot of discussion in the last few weeks about the declining marriage rates among young adults in the United States. According to a recent Pew Research report, a record number of adults in the United States—1 in five adults age 25 and older—have never been married. Harry Benson has argued on this blog that the trends are much the same in the U.K. Philip Cohen has argued that the downward trend is, in fact, global.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Can Christians be commanders in the Ohio Air National Guard? Apparently, only if they keep quiet about their faith. At least, that seems to be the answer that Col. Craig R. Baker, the Commander of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio National Guard recently gave when he censored a unit newsletter.
Christian News Network: The United States Air Force has decided to allow an atheist airman to omit the phrase ‘So help me God’ from the reenlistment oath after a prominent humanist organization threatened to file a lawsuit about the matter.
Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s not as “glamorous” or exciting as a showdown in the courtroom, but often the most effective thing our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys do in their ongoing fight to preserve your family’s religious freedom is “simply” write a letter. A letter, of course, backed up by years of frontline experience on the legal battlefield, made possible by your encouragement and support.
Barbwire: The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is making it optional for cadets to include the phrase “so help me God” in their enlistment oaths after a Nevada atheist crossed out the phrase and was barred from re-enlisting.
The Christian Post: The Air Force announced that it will no longer require airmen to include the phrase “so help me God” as a part of an enlistment or officer appointment oath.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Travis Barham says they sent the letter to Penn State after an atheist group claimed that the Bibles violate the First Amendment. Barham says that accusation is absurd. “No court in the country has ever held that placing Bibles in the guest rooms of government-run facilities somehow violates the Constitution,” he tells OneNewsNow.
Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty will testify before the House Armed Services Committee Friday concerning the need for strong religious protections and accommodations in the military.
Christian News Network: A nationally-recognized humanist organization is threatening to sue military officials after an atheist airman stationed at an Air Force base in Nevada was told that he must accept ‘so help me God’ in the reenlistment oath or his application will not be accepted.
Atheist airman who refuses to swear ‘So Help Me God’ in reenlistment oath has until November to comply or leave
The Christian Post: An atheist airman who is refusing to say “so help me God” in the Oath of Enlistment statutorily required to reenlist in the Air Force, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the Department of Defense. He now has until November to comply with the requirement or leave when his contract expires, according to an Air Force official.
Deseret News: Atheists and non-believers are targeting military installations over religious accommodations and statements, advocacy groups and media sources report.
Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s not too often that an old Beatles song solves a Constitutional question. But since Mr. Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation furiously denounced the Gideons’ time-honored practice of leaving Bibles in hotels, motels, and inns across America as violating the “Establishment Clause,” it is to the Beatles we turn for answers.
“Chaplains on Navy bases and ships aren’t illegal, and neither are Bibles in Navy lodges. Rather than surrender to the misguided demands of activists with inaccurate views of the very Constitution that our service men and women fight to preserve, the Navy should adopt a policy in keeping with the First Amendment – that donated Bibles are welcome in Navy lodging as they always have been. As the coalition letter indicates, support for such a policy has deep and undeniable roots in both American history and Supreme Court precedent. We encourage the Navy to take a strong stand in the face of this hollow threat.” -Alliance Defending Freedom Chief Solicitor Gary McCaleb
Patheos: Note the beautifully written letter from the occupant of the White House. It is simple, dignified and full of an assumed faith, shared hope and noble spirit.
World Mag: The U.S. Navy on Friday put a hold on an order to remove Bibles from base lodging. The order came in response to complaints from the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Alliance Defending Freedom sent the Navy a letter explaining that the Constitution allows private groups like the Gideons to place Bibles, at their own expense, on government property.
AL.com: The Navy has cleared the way for Gideons Bibles to return to its lodging facilities.
The Christian Post: The U.S. Navy has reversed its decision to remove Bibles from Navy rooms, and has noted that it would be reviewing its policy. Navy Exchange Service Command officials had previously said they would be removing all religious literature, following complaints from an atheist group.
Stars and Stripes: The Navy on Thursday ordered the Bibles returned to rooms and said it is reviewing a decision by the Navy Exchange to remove them from its worldwide network of military hotels.
The Washingon Times: Bibles began disappearing from Navy lodges over the summer after complaints were made by an atheist group, but that decision has now been reversed while a policy review takes place.
WVEC (Military Times): Alliance Defending Freedom also sent a letter to the vice president and Navy Lodge program direction in Virginia Beach making its case that allowing Bibles in guest rooms is constitutional.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is commending the Navy for its decision to allow Bibles to remain in Navy lodges and guest quarters for the time being. Navy officials announced Thursday that Bibles would remain while the policy on religious materials in guest quarters is reviewed.
Chaplain Alliance urges Navy to reverse decision on removing Bibles from rooms following atheist group’s complaint
The Christian Post: The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty has spoken out against the Navy’s recent decision to remove Bibles from Navy lodges and guest quarters, following a complaint from atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to the Navy Exchange Service Command Wednesday after it needlessly agreed to remove Bibles from guest rooms in hotels and lodges on Navy bases after receiving a complaint from an atheist group.
Christian News Network: The U.S. Navy has directed that Bibles be removed from hotel rooms on naval bases following a complaint from a prominent atheist organization, reports state.