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Thread: AIR FORCE: CHRISTIANS' RELIGIOUS SPEECH NOT LEGALLY PROTECTED RIGHT

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    AIR FORCE: CHRISTIANS' RELIGIOUS SPEECH NOT LEGALLY PROTECTED RIGHT

    AIR FORCE: CHRISTIANS' RELIGIOUS SPEECH NOT LEGALLY PROTECTED RIGHT






    by KEN KLUKOWSKI
    16 Mar 2014

    Christians in the U.S. military are being told they must forfeit their First Amendment rights. Bible verses are being erased from cadets’ personal dorm-room white boards, and military lawyers claim that legal protections for religion only pertain to matters such as clothing and growing beards but do not extend to any religious expression such as talking about one's faith or posting a Bible verse.


    Last year Breitbart News broke the story of a campaign by anti-Christian extremists to suppress traditional Christian expression within the U.S. military. There were conflicting stories regarding the possible court martial of service members who share the gospel of Jesus Christ and confirmed reports of military chaplains being officially censored, as well as Bibles temporarily banned from the Walter Reed military hospital.

    After these stories went viral on the Internet, Republicans in Congress launched an investigation, then introduced legislation to specify that religious expression is a protected right for men and women serving in uniform. Although President Obama originally threatened to veto the legislation, those protections were signed into law in December 2013.

    Now these new protections are being put to their first test. Military officers at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are saying that the Obama-Hagel Pentagon does not regard these new protections as encompassing religious speech or writing. As such, cadets are not allowed to post Bible verses on their personal white boards in their dorm rooms.

    This latest incident occurred when a cadet (whose identity we are not disclosing) posted Galatians 2:20 on his personal whiteboard, posted outside his living quarters in a residential dormitory. That verse reads, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

    According to media reports, several people at the academy contacted Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the radical anti-Christian group that had been in communication with the Defense Department under President Obama regarding adopting new policies for religious expression in the military. Weinstein claimed that he called the Air Force Academy to complain about the Bible verse and further claims that two hours and nine minutes later, the verse was gone.

    Sources quote Weinstein as saying that having this verse on the outside of the dorm room “clearly elevated one religious faith over all others at an already virulently hyper-fundamentalist Christian institution.” He is quoted as adding, “It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny…”
    Contrary to existing reports, Academy personnel did not erase the Bible verse or order the cadet to remove it.

    Breitbart News spoke with Mike Berry, an attorney who is director of military affairs with Liberty Institute. Berry traveled to the Academy last week and met with cadets of different religions. These cadets say these personal messages are traditionally allowed on cadets’ whiteboards. A message might ask to meet for a basketball game or root for a favorite sports team. They claim it is a meaningful exercise in which many cadets include spiritual or inspirational quotes, whether Bible verses, a verse from the Quran, or from football legend Vince Lombardi.

    Berry exclusively tells Breitbart News:

    We met with Col. Paul Barzler, the Air Force Academy Staff Judge Advocate, to find out what really happened and to ask about the Academy’s policy on religious exercise. It turns out that, contrary to Mikey Weinstein’s claims, the cadet may have voluntarily removed the Bible verse from his white board. But I was stunned to find out that, had the cadet not removed the verse, Academy officials would have ordered him to do so. I asked why, and Col. Barzler explained that, because the cadet held a leadership position, it could create the perception that he was forcing his religious beliefs on subordinates. I pointed out that under the Constitution, federal law, and military regulations, cadets have the right to religious exercise. I was shocked when he responded that Air Force policy, from the Pentagon, is that the term "religious exercise" does not include written or verbal speech. [emphasis added]

    Berry then reminded the colonel regarding the specific legal protections service members have, from the Constitution itself, to Acts of Congress, to military regulations. He says of the colonel’s response:

    He went on to state that the Air Force interprets [Department of Defense] Instruction 1300.07 to only apply to religious grooming and apparel matters, but not writing a [Bible] verse on a white board or even verbally sharing a verse. This means that, under Air Force policy, cadets and airmen are not free to express their religious beliefs through words or writing. This policy appears to come from a March 2013 Air Force JAG memo that interpreted federal law in that way.

    Last week, on Mar. 14, 2014, the Air Force Academy issued a press release regarding this situation. It says, “While we swear an oath to Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States, Airmen are also bound by [military policy].” It references Air Force Instruction 1-1, which was adopted several years ago once President Obama took office and is frequently used to suppress religious speech, especially by Christians. The press release then adds that “sometimes we must put the good of the entire unit before the good of any single individual.”

    This press release only makes the situation more alarming to a legal analyst. An Air Force policy instruction carries some force of law, but it is trumped by a Defense Department regulation. Those regulations, in turn, are subordinate to federal statutes adopted by Congress, which for over three months now has expressly provided that religious expression is a protected right. All of those must follow the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, where the First Amendment makes both free speech and free exercise of religion fundamental rights for all Americans.

    As Berry summarized, “This is a stunning development because it is now clear that the Air Force is interpreting federal law and military regulations in an unlawful way. And it is absolutely shameful because the brave men and women of the U.S. Air Force who make huge sacrifices for our religious freedom are having theirs stripped away.” Hinting at legal action that could be forthcoming, Berry concluded, “This is not only morally wrong, it’s illegal.”

    Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter@kenklukowski.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2...rotected-Right

  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    One can almost feel the very presence of satan himself at the USAF Academy ..

    First Amendment to U.S. Constitution
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    The Williamsburg Charter, signed on the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights. The full text of the Williamsburg Charter is available here.
    Last edited by HAPPY2BME; 03-17-2014 at 05:41 PM.
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  3. #3
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    There is a growing Anti Christ movement in America you see and feel in every direction!

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    HAPPY2BME and oldguy like this.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Wiccans get worship area at Air Force Academy

    A double circle of stones sits atop a hill on the Colorado Springs campus


    2/1/2010

    AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Air Force Academy has set aside an outdoor worship area for Pagans, Wiccans, Druids and other Earth-centered believers, school officials said Monday.
    A double circle of stones atop a hill on the campus near Colorado Springs has been designated for the group, which previously met indoors.

    "Being with nature and connecting with it is kind of the whole point," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier, who sponsors the group and describes himself as a Pagan. "It will dramatically improve that atmosphere, the mindset and the actual connection."

    The stones were moved to the hilltop last year because erosion threatened to make them unstable in their previous location near the visitors center. Crews arranged them in two concentric circles because they thought it would be a pleasant place for cadets to relax, Longcrier said.

    When Longcrier and academy chaplains were looking for an outdoor worship space, they discovered one already existed in the form of the circles.

    Lt. Col. William Ziegler, one of the academy's chaplains, said designating the space is part of the school's effort to foster religious tolerance and to defend the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

    'A freedom thing'

    "It's about our commitment as airmen to protect freedom and defend freedom. To me this is a freedom thing," he said.

    The school also has worship facilities for Protestant and Catholic Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.

    The academy superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, has made religious tolerance a priority. It became a concern in 2004 when a survey found many cadets had heard slurs or jokes about other religions and that some felt ostracized because they weren't religious.

    Longcrier and Ziegler said they've heard no criticism of the new worship space but both noted its presence was just made public.
    "Not to say that it's not coming, but so far we haven't had any real issues," Longcrier said.

    He said 15 to 20 cadets have shown an interest in Earth-centered beliefs, and eight to 10 regularly attend Monday night meetings. Of those, six or seven are devout believers and the others are "searchers," Longcrier said.

    The academy has about 4,000 cadets. The school is one of five U.S. service academies, including West Point and Annapolis. Cadets graduate as second lieutenants.

    Gods and goddesses

    "Earth-centered" spirituality encompasses many beliefs, Longcrier said, many that recognize multiple gods and goddesses and observe holidays tied to the seasons.

    Longcrier said he personally doesn't consider gods and goddesses to be actual beings but personifications of natural events that human ancestors wanted to put a face on.

    "The goddess is symbolic of the Earth," Longcrier said. "Do I believe I'm worshipping this female entity living in the Earth or up in space somewhere? No. The symbolism is very important."

    The group's meetings are usually devoted to mediation, lessons or ceremonies, he said.

    Longcrier, who oversees laboratories in the academy's astronautics labs, said he has military designation as a "distinct faith group leader."

    Anyone is welcome to visit the new worship site but it should be treated as a religious structure, he said. A formal dedication is planned in March.


    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35188048/ns/us_news-faith/t/wiccans-get-worship-area-air-force-academy/



  5. #5
    Senior Member oldguy's Avatar
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    It is also about breaking the military, by creating confusion and infighting the military will become less organized this has long been the intent of the hard left and sadly it is working.
    I'm old with many opinions few solutions.

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