#1 Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith
05-01-2013, 11:42 PM
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Locked in a Dungeon, being tortured and LOVING IT!
The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense...Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis...”.
The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.
(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians--including chaplains--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2...hristian-FaithKlaatu barada nikto
05-01-2013, 11:52 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Is putting up a Christmas tree an "act of proselytization"?
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
05-02-2013, 12:34 PM
I am doing some more research on this to make sure it is the case. The only places that are mentioning it are right wing blogs (They mention the same thing Brietbart said). Nothing is mentioned from Fox News or the MSM (Then the MSM probably wouldn't report it because it is something they want). Until I see more from a 'credible' source. I will pass on this and take it as being a story in progress.
Something else you have to look at here is that they can't ban you from it. Doing so would violate your 1st amendment right, and it is unconstitutional. If doing such would cause you to go through Court Martial proceedings, the line of lawyers wanting to defend you would be huge.
I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
05-02-2013, 01:12 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
I've been looking and have found a few things. Here is something from today:
Rhetoric heats up in debate over proselytizing in the military
...The latest salvo came this week when conservative blogger Todd Starnes wrote on Fox News and the Christian Post that the Pentagon confirmed that "religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense."
The regulation is not new. In August, the Air Force issued a policy telling its chaplains that they must balance an airman's right to religious exercise with a prohibition against government establishment of religion. A violation of the policy could result in a court-martial.
What is new is a recent demand to enforce the rule. It came after a private meeting last week between Pentagon officials and Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, former Ambassador Joe Wilson and civil rights attorney Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein.
Conservative Christians are particularly upset that the Department of Defense is taking advice from Weinstein, who heads the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
"God help us now when someone with such visceral hatred of conservative Christians — literally tens of millions of Americans — who says sharing this gospel is 'spiritual rape' is helping develop policies for how to deal with Christians in the military," wrote Ken Klukowski, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council.
He draws his conclusions about Weinstein's view of Christianity from a Huffington Post blog in which Weinstein referred to so-called fundamentalist Christians as monsters, bigots, bandits and evil, among other things.
Weinstein told Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn that “there is systematic misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the military.” He called such a culture "a national security threat. What is happening (aside from sexual assault) is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.”...
This academic paper from 2009 lists a hodgepodge of events leading up to the concern about "Christian proselytizing". See what you make of it. (One incident looks clearly like anti-semitic bullying and not Christian proselytization.)
2009 Air Force Academic Paper: THE NEED FOR (MORE) NEW GUIDANCE REGARDING RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION IN THE AIR FORCE
The Air Force and the other services have recently been forced to deal with several high-visibility religious issues, including those at the service academies, in basic training, at the Pentagon and in deployed locations. Starting with the Air Force, in 2003, the Christian Leadership Ministries published an annual advertisement in the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) base paper, including the statement, “We believe that Jesus Christ is theonly real hope for the world. If you would like to discuss Jesus, feel free to contact one of us!” The signatories included over two hundred USAFA faculty and staff, including a majority of USAFA department heads.1
In 2004, Christian Embassy, a group established in 1975 to minister to members of Congress, ambassadors, presidential appointees and Pentagon officials2 filmed a promotional video inside the Pentagon showing several generals and senior defense officials talking about the importance of religion in their jobs and lives. In 2007, the Department of Defense Inspector General publicly released a report finding that senior Army and Air Force personnel violated the Joint Ethics Regulation when they participated in the video while in uniform and on active duty.3
On 28 April 2005, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State sent a multipage complaint to then- Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, documenting what it called systematic and pervasive religious bias and intolerance at the highest levels of USAFA command structure.4 On 2 May 2005, the Acting Secretary of the Air Force directed a team investigation to assess the religious climate at USAFA.5 Also in May 2005, Chaplain (Capt.) Melinda Morton, assigned to USAFA, stated that the religious problem at USAFA “is pervasive.”6
In June 2005, the Headquarters Review Group Concerning the Religious Climate at [USAFA]
(Review Group) released its report. The report documented seven specific events of 3 what appeared to be “questionable behavior,” and referred those events for command follow-up. In addition, the Review Group identified nine findings regarding the overall climate and made nine recommendations. The first recommendation was the following: “develop policy guidelines for Air Force commanders and supervisors regarding religious expression.”7
In July 2005, Chaplain Brig.Gen. Cecil Richardson, then the Deputy Chief of Air Force Chaplains (presently Maj.Gen. and Chief of Air Force Chaplains at the time of publication), stated in a New York Times interview, “We [chaplains] will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched.”8 The distinction, he said, is that proselytizing is trying to convert someone in an aggressive way, while evangelizing is more “ gently” sharing the gospel.9
On 6 October 2005, USAFA graduate Mikey Weinstein joined four 2004 USAFA graduates in suing the Air Force in federal district court, claiming that USAFA illegally imposed Christianity on cadets at USAFA. The case was dismissed by the judge a year later, who ruled that the plaintiffs had graduated and were thus unable to prove any direct harm.10
On 25 October 2006, former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschimitt filed suit against the Navy in federal district court for, among other claims, violating his First Amendment rights by discouraging him from praying in the name of Jesus. 11 While he was a Navy chaplain, Klingenschmitt’s commander issued him a direct order which instructed him that he could only wear his uniform if conducting a bona-fide religious service. Soon afterward, Klingenschmitt conducted a prayer vigil in uniform outside the White House, followed by a news conference to pressure President Bush to issue an Executive Order regarding military chaplains’ right to pray as they wished. Klingenschmitt was subsequently court-martialed for failing to obey a direct order and was involuntarily separated from the Navy.
The religious issues continued well into 2008. In February 2008, USAFA was criticized by Muslim and religious freedom organizations for playing host to and paying three speakers who critics say are evangelical Christians pretending to be alleged former Muslim terrorists.13
On 5 March 2008, Army SPC Jeremy Hall, an atheist, and Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), a group headed by USAFA grad Mikey Weinstein, filed suit against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and SPC Hall’s commander, MAJ Freddy Welborn. The suit alleged that SPC Hall was denied his First Amendment right to be free of government sponsored religious activity.14 On 10 October 2008, the plaintiffs dismissed the suit.15
In August 2008,the Air Force Times interviewed Chief of Air Force Chaplains Maj.Gen. Cecil Richardson. A reporter asked him to respond to a question about whether he wasconcerned that a Christian chaplain who was visited by a troubled airman who wasn’t interested in religion might steer the airman toward Jesus. Chaplain Richardson’s response: “Well, you know, sometimes Jesus is what they need.They’re asking for it.”16
On 24 September 2008, PVT Michael Handman, a Jewish soldier attending basic training at Fort Benning, GA suffered a beating at the hands of fellow soldiers.17 MRFF, in a 16 October 2008 letter to Secretary Gates, alleged that prior to the beating, PVT Handman was a victim of anti-Semitic actions by his drill sergeants.18...
Last edited by Elspeth; 05-02-2013 at 01:18 PM.
05-02-2013, 03:15 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
MRFF holds that:
No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
No member of the military may be compelled to curtail – except in the most limited of military circumstances and when it directly impacts military discipline, morale and the successful completion of a specific military goal – the free exercise of their religious practices or beliefs.
Students at United States military academies are entitled to the same Constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedoms and the free exercise of those freedoms to which all other members of the United States Armed Forces military are entitled.
No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.
It is the responsibility of the military hierarchy to ensure that the free exercise of religious freedoms of all enlisted personnel are respected and served.
All military personnel have the right to employ appropriate judicial means to protect their religious rights.
05-02-2013, 04:42 PM
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Their mission statement that you so expertly cut and paste from the website sounds all nice and neutral. Looks good on paper and allows donors to feel guilty free when they open up their wallets.
But it hides the ugly truth about what this "Organization" really believes as bared out by the file quotes of its founder.
You can try all you want to put lipstick on this pig but it still smells.
And your defense of this kind of rabid bigotry and attempted subversion of the 1st Amendment is disgusting.
Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk 2
05-02-2013, 04:56 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
here. The statements come from the main web page of Mikey Weinstein's organization, and they do look good on paper. But a recent article (not the HuffPo or Breitbart) makes it clear that Mikey has other plans:
WAOI, Channel 4 (NBC):Pentagon is urged to crack down on religious proselytizing
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is urging the Pentagon to court martial officers whose subordinates feel they're being proselytized.
MRFF president Mikey Weinstein says even a Christian bumper sticker on an officer's car or a Bible on an officer's desk can amount to "pushing this fundamentalist version of Christianity on helpless subordinates."
Weinstein and other leaders of his foundation met with top officials at the Pentagon last week.
The Rev. Ron Crews, who heads the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, agrees that faith shouldn't be forced on the lower ranks. But he says evangelical Christians believe that God wants them to share their faith with others.
He worries that making religion a forbidden topic will discriminate against evangelicals and drive them from the military.
Crews is asking for "equal time" to share his concerns with Pentagon officials.
05-02-2013, 05:56 PM
Religious proselytization has always been against regulations. Servicemembers, including chaplains, can express their faith, but they cannot attempt to impose it on their fellow Servicemembers. Mikey Weinstein, who is an anti-religious bigot, has equated a simple expression of faith, such as a bumper sticker, with overt proselytizing, and is trying to get the administration on board. I've been in since the mid-80s and have never had a chaplain of any faith attempt to impose their religion on me.
BTW, here's the Discoverthenetworks.org entry on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Weinstein's organization:
www.DiscoverTheNetwork.org Date: 5/2/2013 3:53:11 PM MILITARY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOUNDATION (MRFF) 13170-B Central Avenue, SE - Suite 255
Phone :(800) 736-5109
- Seeks to eradicate the religious bias and coercion that it deems prevalent among high-ranking Christian members of the U.S. military
Established in 2006, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) describes itself as “a watchdog group” that is “dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled ..." The organization’s primary objective is to eradicate the religious bias and "coercion" that it deems prevalent among high-ranking Christian members of the U.S. military. Toward that end, MRFF functions as “a clearinghouse for violations reported by military and civilian personnel,” offering “complete anonymity” to all complainants.
Headed by retired Air Force lawyer Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, MRFF declares: "At a time when the United States is encouraging greater religious freedom in Muslim nations, it is imperative [sic] upon America to show by example that religious pluralism is a viable and preferred option. Any sign of hypocrisy in United States policy ... toward the free exercise of religion within the military makes it more difficult to convince others to follow our nation's chosen path.”
In December 2006, MRFF issued a “Compliance Report on the Pervasive Violations of the United States Constitutional Religious Freedoms of Military Personnel.” “Military and civilian personnel," says this document, "are subjected to blatant and unlawful displays of religiosity at mandatory formations, religious bias, and illegal proselytizing by their peers and superiors alike.” The report identifies “pervasive violations of United States Constitutional religious freedoms of military personnel” in five major areas:
(a) Blatant displays of religious symbolism on military garb: “The 523rd Fighter Squadron [in the Air Force] is known as the ‘Crusaders.’ … Members of the Squadron wear patches which prominently feature a large cross -- an unmistakable emblem of the Christian faith -- as well as other accoutrements of the historically dressed crusaders: broadsword and armored helmet. This unabashed display of religiosity creates a divisive atmosphere among Air Force personnel. … The Squadron’s patch and promulgation of the idea that the United States military is fighting a religious war, jeopardizes the safety and success of the men and women battling religious fundamentalism overseas.”
(b) Placement of a biblical quotation above the door of the Air and Space Basic Course classroom: “Air and Space Basic Course (ASBC) is a mandatory six-week training course for all Air Force officers … at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. … Prominently displayed over the doorway [of the classroom] is a quote from the Old Testament. … [I]t comes from a passage, Isaiah 40:31, that promises restored vigor to those who worship -- ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.’ This quote … has caused numerous officers to complain of feeling both uncomfortable and isolated. … Only those Christian officers who ‘wait upon the Lord,’ apparently, will ‘mount up with wings as Eagles.’”
(c) Illegal use of official military e-mail accounts to send e-mails containing religious rhetoric: “The e-mail below," says MRFF, "was widely distributed on November 22, 2006 [by Staff Sergeant Jessica M. Wilson], through an official Air Force e-mail account … This e-mail clearly violates the separation of church and state and also violates military regulations”:
“Here’s wishing you all a safe, wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving!!! May it be filled with love, family, and lots of good food!! I love you all! Be well!! Remember that it is not about celebrating the Pilgrims, or the football game, and all that but more about being a day to thank the Lord our God for all we have. All that is good comes from God and we need to worship, honor, and praise Him for all we have now and all He has saved us from and for all that is to come. All Glory Be To God!!”
The email also contained eight Old Testament quotes on the subject of gratitude to God.
(d) Attempts by missionary organizations to train active-duty military personnel to evangelize their subordinates and peers: “It is ... the duty of military leadership to provide an egalitarian environment for all who choose to serve. Organizations such as the Force Ministries and the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OFC) make this nearly impossible to accomplish. Force Ministries ... places their [sic] staff -- retired and currently enlisted military personnel -- on and near military bases and campuses throughout the world. At these ‘strategic locations’ Force Ministries' missionaries work actively to train the men and women of our nation's armed forces to evangelize their military peers and subordinates. … The OFC has a similar mission …”
(e) Military leadership openly discussing their commitment to bring religion into the military: At issue was a video produced by Christian Embassy, an organization whose mission is “to help diplomats, government leaders and military officers find real and lasting purpose through faith and encouragement.” The video, which appeared on Christian Embassy's website, carries a disclaimer that says "the views expressed by any government officials in this video are their personal views and are not intended to represent the U.S. government nor any department in which they serve."
Notwithstanding the disclaimer, MRFF states: “[S]erious violations were committed by prominent figures featured on the organization’s ten-minute promotional video. … [S]everal members of military leadership appear in the video, dressed in full uniform openly discussing their personal connection to Jesus and how they make this connection part of the work they do in their professional capacity each day. [They] state that, among other things, with the help of Christian Embassy, they hold bible studies while on duty in the workplace, many times in their offices.”
Characterizing such public displays of faith by high-ranking military personnel as examples of "fanatical unconstitutional religious persecution," Mikey Weinstein says these incidents create an "internal national security issue every bit as great as the one we're fighting outwardly. Thejihadists, the insurrectionists, everybody from the head of Hamas, Hizbollah, the Islamic Jihad, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade[s], they see us as invading American imperialists and crusaders." “It's egregious beyond the pale,” adds Weinstein. “We apparently have a radicalized, evangelical Christian Pentagon within the rest of the Pentagon. … When we’re facing a global war on terror against what we call Islamic extremists, it certainly doesn’t help when we have apparently a viewpoint from the cognoscenti and glitterati, the leadership of the Pentagon, pushing a particular virulent worldview down the throats of people who are helpless to argue against it.”
The MRFF Board of Directors is headed by Kristen Leslie (an assistant professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Yale Divinity School), and David Antoon (a former U.S. Air Force commander) who vocally opposes the “extreme Evangelical coercive overtones influencing the Academy.”
Some notable members of the MRFF Advisory Board are Richard T. Schlosberg III, the immediate past President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Smita Singh, Director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development Program; and former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
The foundation specializes in taking trivial acts of faith and conflating them with jihad, rape and other atrocities. Weinstein is the kind of anti-Christian bigot who makes it impossible for people of all faiths to deal with each other reasonably.--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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- Jun 2008
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