Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Air Force Academy Follows Constitution on Cadet Oath While Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family, Throws a Temper Tantrum!

Perkins says he wants to know “Who’s running the United States Air Force: General Mark Welsh or Mikey Weinstein?” It turns out who is running the United States Air Force is the United States Constitution, the document the Religious Right most loathes.

When the Constitution says "Freedom of Religion" the founders didn't say that we all had to worship the same God or worship a God at all.  They said we have the freedom to worship as we please. Shame the evangelicals never got that through their heads as they try to tell the rest of us how to think and lead our lives.  This is the latest in the campaign to make America all evangelical which will never happen. Perkins makes money when he goes after things like this.  Would be dollars are flowing into Focus on the Family this week to support Perkins fight against the Academy.  IMHO this is nothing more than a fundraising gimmick.

The Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy is beautiful especially when you come in from the north entrance and look at the Chapel against the Rocky Mountains.  No matter your faith, your religion, or no religious beliefs it is a beautiful structure that is just as impressive inside.  Some facts about the Chapel are listed below the picture.  The Academy as a whole is beautiful but this Chapel is magnificent!  If you are in Colorado Springs, please take the time to go visit the public areas of the Academy and take a tour - you won't be disappointed.

Soaring 150 feet toward the Colorado sky, the Air Force Academy Chapel is an all-faith house of worship designed to meet the spiritual needs of cadets. It contains a separate chapel for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist religious faiths, plus two all-faiths worship rooms. There are two main levels, with the Protestant nave on the upper level (seats 1200). 
The Catholic (seats 500), Jewish (seats 100) and Buddhist chapels are located beneath it. Beneath this level is located a large all-faiths room and two meeting rooms. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services may be held simultaneously without interfering with one another. 

The worship area known as the Cadet Chapel - Falcon Circle came about through a request from the Air Force Academy's followers of Earth-Centered Spirituality, an umbrella of traditions that includes Wicca, Paganism and Druidism. 
Note to Tony Perkins from Focus on the Family -- General Welsh is upholding the Constitution something the evangelicals of this Country more and more are ignoring unless it is the 2nd amendment which they have trampled on with their own version.  Guess Perkins missed the part that 'so help me God' is not part of the oaths at the Naval or West Point Academies.  
The West Point equivalent oath does not include the words "so help me God," said Frank DeMaro, a school spokesman. It states, "A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do." 
Officials at the U.S. Naval Academy did not immediately return a call. "The Honor Concept" on the Naval Academy website includes similar proscriptions against lying, cheating and stealing but includes no religious reference.
Today it is no longer part of the AF Academy oath but we didn't hear him railing about the Naval Academy or West Point.  Is is because the AF Academy shares Colorado Springs with the religious hard right Focus on the Family that under Perkins has lost all sense of reality?

When I read this at The Examiner, all I could was think that the evangelical community has effectively jumped the shark and lost all common sense when Perkins is their spokesman who couldn't even get the facts right on George Washington:
Once again, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has deliberately attempted to confuse tolerance with religious persecution.
Tony Perkins still hasn't figured out that supporting any measure he disagrees with is not unconstitutional. 
Perkins, who had previously called President Obama's "pro-homosexual agenda" a "breach of trust", attacked Obama and his administration in his most recent fundraising letter for "colluding" with the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of some sinister plan to create a totalitarian government. 

"The President needs to be exposed for colluding with the SPLC to stifle debate on social policy issues by means of intimidation, fear-mongering, and spreading lies," he writes.  
"The majority of Americans do not agree with the President's leftist agenda to remake our country into a socialist state ruled by a totalitarian government bureaucracy. And the President knows this. So he is using—and abusing—his presidency to steamroll the American people and implement his radical vision for America." 
Perkins has been rhetorically at war with the SPLC since it designated the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group in 2010.
In response to complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Air Force announced that the phrase "so help me God" at the end of the Honor Oath was now optional. 
Extra emphasis on that last word: Optional. As in cadets can still say "so help me God" if they elect to. 
Tony Perkins, however, asserts that the new policy is not only discriminatory to Christians, but disrespectful to George Washington.
"Anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein recently probed the Air Force Academy," Perkins said on his radio show today. "The Air Force Academy Superintendent responded in 68 minutes, when he marked down his objections to the phrase, 'So help me God,' contained in the Academy honor code. ...
His (Weinstein) complaint this time was a poster that included the honor oath with the phrase, 'So help me God.' Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson said the oath is being reviewed because the Academy values an inclusive environment that promotes dignity and respect for all. 
"Really? Does that include those like General George Washington who initiated the phrase, 'So help me God,' or does that inclusion only make room for those who want to dismantle America's Christian heritage?" 
There's just one problem: There is no evidence whatsoever that George Washington ever said "So help me God" during his oath. James Madison excluded the words "So help me God" while working on a committee drafting an oath bill, and there is no documentation of Washington having added it back in. 
In fact, according to George Mason University history professor Peter Henriques, the first documented case of a President adding the words "so help me God" to his oath was that of Chester A. Arthur in 1881. 
Or, in a nutshell, Perkins attempted to attack religious freedom as religious persecution by presenting a myth as history: The political stupidity equivalent of a double-play.
The last paragraph made me chuckle as more and more we are finding the religious hard right like Tony Perkins using myths for facts.  Since when is following the Constitution, against Christianity.  Members of all religious faiths just not evangelicals can still use the words 'so help me God' if they choose but it doesn't mean every one is subjected to the same words if they choose to leave them out.  People like Perkins are acting more and more like dictators as time marches on.  It is their version of everything like someone died and made them king.  I don't need Tony Perkins and his ilk to tell me how to live my life or what to do.

This much to do about nothing which seems to describe the hard right of today!

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