Military Religious Freedom Foundation Wants Air Force Chaplain Gagged
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation,: Mikey Weinstein’s militant: organization, wrote a letter of complaint against US Air Force Chaplain: Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes.
MRFF is the very same foundation which has labeled Christians “fundamentalist monsters” and accused Evangelicals of attempting to “reign of theocratic terror.” It would seem Mr. Weinstein is confusing Christians with Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood.
As Breitbart’s: legal columnist: Ken Klukowski: writes:
As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”
Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.”
This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”
As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”
MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.
So there is no freedom of speech for military chaplains? When a person enlists as a chaplain they denounce the First Amendment?
Fox News’: Todd Starnes: reported: re the MRFF letter:
They fired off a letter to the Air Force base allegedly on behalf of 42 anonymous airmen who allegedly complained.
“In the civilian world, such anti-secular diatribe is protected free speech,” wrote MRFF’s Blake Page in a letter to Col. Duffy. “Beyond his most obvious failure in upholding regulations through redundant use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members by telling them that regardless of their personally held philosophical beliefs they must have faith.”
The Air Force agreed and approximately five hours after the MRFF complained, they removed the chaplain’s essay.
“While certainly not intended to offend, the article has been removed from our website,” Col. Duffy wrote in an email to the MRFF.
“We remain mindful of the governing instructions on this matter and will work to avoid recurrence.”
But that’s not good enough for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. They want the chaplain punished for what he wrote.
“Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” Page wrote. “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately reprimanded.”
Ironically, the Air Force left six complaints about the essay on their website.
Ron Crews, the executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told Fox News the chaplain was well within his duties to write an article about faith.
“To say ‘everyone has faith’ is correct,” Crews said. “For Weinstein to say, ‘I do not have faith’ must mean he has never flown because to step in an airplane is to have faith in a pilot’s ability and faith that mechanics have properly maintained the plane.”
Crews said the incident is yet another example of chaplains facing attacks for expressing their religious beliefs.
At a time when the: Muslims are well-represented: within Obama’s administration, and when the Muslim Brotherhood has been, until the recent coup, supported in Egypt by the WH, Islam is tolerated…Christianity not so much.
What would the founders, each of whom espoused Christianity to one degree or another, think of the gagging of a Chaplain?
Here is the “controversial” censored column:
“Chaplain’s Corner: No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II”
By Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes
Many have heard the familiar phrase, “There is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole.”
Where did this come from?
Research I verified in an interview with former World War II prisoner of war Roy Bodine (my friend) indicates the phrase has been credited to Father William Cummings.
As the story goes, Father Cummings was a civilian missionary Catholic priest in the Philippines.
The phrase was coined during the Japanese attack at Corregidor.
During the siege, Cummings had noticed non-Catholics were attending his services.: Some he knew were not Catholic, some were not religious and some were even known atheists.
Life-and-death experiences prompt a reality check.
Even the strongest of beliefs can change, and, I may add, can go both ways — people can be drawn to or away from “faith.”
With the pending surrender of allied forces to the Japanese, Cummings uttered the famous phrase “There is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole.”
In one of my many discussions with Roy, he distinctly remembered a period on the “Hell Ships” — these were ships the Japanese used to bring POWs from the Philippines back to Japan.: They were unmarked and thus ‘fair game’ for attacks from the allies from the air and sea.
Of the 3,000-plus POWs listed on the ships, only 180 survived the journey.
“When our own planes were attacking us,” Roy said, “I remember Father Cummings calming us down by reciting the Lord’s Prayer and offering up prayers on our behalf.: For a brief moment I did not hear the yells and screams of dying men as our boat was attacked by our own men.”
He went on to say, “There was a peaceful quiet during the attack that I cannot explain nor have experienced since.”
Later on during the trip to Japan, Cummings, after giving his food to others who needed it more, succumbed to his own need and died of starvation.
Everyone expresses some form of faith every day, whether it is religious or secular.
Some express faith by believing when they get up in the morning they will arrive at work in one piece, thankful they have been given another opportunity to enjoy the majesty of the day; or express relief the doctor’s results were negative.
The real question is, “Is it important to have faith in ‘faith’ itself or is it more important to ask, ‘What is the object of my faith?’”
Roy never affirmed or expressed whether his faith was rooted in religion or not, but for a moment in time on the “Hell Ships,” he believed in Cummings’ faith.
What is the root or object of your faith?
Is it something you can count on in times of plenty or loss; peace or chaos; joy or sorrow; success or failure?
What is ‘faith’ to you?
Mikey Weinstein has undoubtedly never read the verse which the founders were well-acquainted with:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
This post was used with the permission of The Black Sphere.
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Helpful. (They cheat a little: one is from TV not the movies.)
I appreciate John giving me some space in his blog today. Some of you may know me from TechRepublican, a