Ten years ago, Americans United began looking into allegations of improper promotion of fundamentalist Christianity at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
A federal lawmaker thinks cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy and all members of the armed forces, whether enlisted or commissioned, should be forced to recite an oath that ends with the words “so help me God,” and he recently introduced legislation that would attempt to do just that by requiring Congress to approve any changes to oaths.
When you work at a place like Americans United, you have to be prepared for people who feel compelled to write in and tell you why you’re all wrong. Some do it politely, but many more don’t.
Sometimes the reactions we get are funny. I’ll never forget the man who emailed us a few years ago after I appeared on the Fox News Channel. He not only disagreed with what I said, he made fun of me for wearing a hairpiece! (I hate to break it to you, pal, but my mop is 100 percent real.)
So, have you heard the one about how the military is preparing to court-martial anyone who dares to say “God bless you” if someone sneezes?
OK, I’m being facetious. The stories being told about the Armed Forces by the Religious Right aren’t that strange – yet. But they are getting there.
The brass at a Missouri military facility have invited disgraced Religious Right “historian” David Barton to speak at a National Day of Prayer event, and we’re demanding that he get promptly disinvited.
When U.S. military leaders announced that openly gay men and women would be permitted to service in the armed forces, Religious Right leaders went ballistic.
They asserted that the move would destroy military cohesion and leave our fighting force less able to do the job. Of course, that didn’t actually happen. One year after the change, military leaders reported that the new policy was working out fine.
At a luncheon today, Americans United will present awards to two people who have worked hard to preserve religious freedom for all.
Corwyn Schultz will receive AU’s Religious Liberty Award. As a high school senior last year, Corwyn had the courage to stand up to official, coercive forms of prayer at his graduation ceremony. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order striking down the prayers, but unfortunately a higher court overturned it. The case, which is sponsored by Americans United, is ongoing.
Did you know that President Barack Obama’s name is really “Barry Soetoro”? Did you know that he “obviously hates Christianity”?
Were you aware that Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is an “atheist Jew” who deserves to be thrown into a swamp?
Have you heard that God was so angry over a recent court ruling striking down the National Day of Prayer that he sent a fireball soaring over Wisconsin?
The situation regarding the role of religion in the U.S. military just got a whole lot stranger.
ABC News is reporting that a major manufacturer of rifle scopes has been engraving citations from the New Testament on the sights. The company, Trijicon, freely admits what it has done and defends its action.
On Friday I wrote about Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who has been trying to raise money and recruit supporters through a Religious Right Web site titled prayinjesusname.org.
Americans United and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) took issue with Klingenschmitt's site and his e-mail alerts that referred to him as "Chaplain Klingenschmitt" and showed him in a Navy uniform. We wrote to Navy officials, arguing that Klingenschmitt was attempting to mislead people, as he is a former chaplain.