A number of groups seeking to defend religious liberty in the U.S. military have spoken out against an Air Force Academy's recent decision to erase a bible verse from a cadet's dorm room whiteboard.
The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty have both issued statements condemning the actions of the Colorado Springs-based Air Force Academy. The Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition is headed by the Family Research Council and comprised of 24 groups, including The Liberty Institute, Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel, and the Thomas More Law Center.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's executive vice president, said in a statement that the academy's decision to erase a bible verse from a cadet's whiteboard "reflects that the cadets understand the Constitution and have a greater faith in the Constitution than their leaders. They are freely exercising their constitutional rights that they will be defending upon graduation." more >>
The Boston Beer Company, the brewery that makes Samuel Adams beer, has pulled its sponsorship of Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade amid concerns that parade organizers will not let groups express their homosexuality while marching in the event.
"We have been participating in the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade for nearly a decade and have also supported the St. Patrick's Day breakfast year after year," the company said in a statement Friday. "We've done so because of the rich history of the event and to support veterans who have done so much for this country."
The company went on to say that it was hoping the pro-LGBT group MassEquality and the organizers of this year's parade, Allied Veterans War Council, would have come to an agreement and let veterans express their gay orientation while marching in the parade. Parade organizers previously said that all veterans are welcome to march, but in order to maintain the true St. Patrick's Day spirit of the parade, they cannot express their homosexuality by wearing rainbow colors or carrying gay pride flags. more >>
A Michigan pastor has criticized Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit edition for sexually degrading women and promoting unrealistic and unhealthy appearance expectations.
Laurie Haller, a United Methodist minister in Birmingham, Mich., and 33-year subscriber of SI lambasted the magazine for promoting "women as sexual objects and reinforcing stereotypes of beauty."
"This attitude not only does not contribute to the health and welfare of girls and women, but it condones and even encourages men and boys to treat women as mere instruments of sexual pleasure," wrote Haller on her blog last month. more >>
University of Tennessee's "Sex Week" has led one state senator to introduce two bills that would drastically change the way student activities are funded on college campuses in the state.
The first bill, S.B. 2493, prohibits colleges and student groups from using college money, including student fees, to pay for visiting or guest speakers. It would force student groups hosting events like "Sex Week" to pay speakers from other sources, rather than from general student fees. The second, S.B. 1608, would force universities to spread the money given to paid speakers equally, according to the number of students in each organization requesting funding.
The bills have ignited a storm of controversy, with the University of Tennessee administration and student groups attacking them for targeting "Sex Week" specifically. In an interview on Thursday, the state senator, Republican Stacey Campfield, told The Christian Post that "Sex Week" is not the sole reason for his reforms. "I don't think there's a real divergent point of view at our universities," he declared. more >>
At the U.S. Air Force Academy, jets aren't the only things taking off. So is a campus-wide rebellion against the forces of political correctness. Frustrated by the school's decision to scrub a Bible verse from one of the dorm whiteboards, cadets decided to take matters into their own hands. In a show of defiance, Bible verses started popping up on dry erase boards throughout the dorms – outraging the anti-Christian "tolerance" police at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
This latest controversy boiled over earlier this week, when MRFF insisted that a verse from Galatians, posted on a cadet's personal hallway whiteboard, somehow created a "hostile environment." MRFF's Mikey Weinstein pressed for the cadet – and any officer(s) who ignored the display – to be punished for "misconduct."
FRC's Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (USA-Ret.) couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Once the academy allowed cadets to use these whiteboards for their personal use, censorship of religious commentary is unacceptable. Either the Air Force is very confused about the Constitution of the United States or they don't really believe in the liberties that are provided by that document." In an almost comical overstatement, MRFF said, "[The message] massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny, exceptionalism, and supremacy at USAFA." Lt. Col. Denise Cooper agreed, calling the display "wrong" and suggesting that the Academy use the complaint as "a teachable moment." more >>
Last week a "humanist" group filed a lawsuit in Prince George's County, Md., demanding the removal from public land of a 40-foot cross memorializing the 49 local soldiers who gave their lives in the First World War. Across the country in Lake Elsinore, Calif., a judge ruled against a proposed monument that would have depicted a soldier kneeling before a small cross marking the grave of a fallen comrade (something soldiers actually do, by the way).
In the same town, a mother recently removed a roadside cross honoring her son - killed in an accident - after secularists raised objections even to a small roadside memorial. Heartbreaking video of the mother removing the cross.
Of course these are not the only cross cases. In fact, just last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the American Atheists' attempt to remove the famed Ground Zero Cross from a museum exhibit, claiming that its inclusion in the September 11 Museum and Memorial violated the Constitution. What's next? Lawsuits against religious-themed paintings in public art galleries? more >>