Why do we still have “US” in US Air Force?

It seems that the Air Force is on the forefront of building a politically correct military arm. They’ve been active in a number of areas over past few years, coincidentally tracking with the years our current President has been in office. For instance

The commanding officer of the 3rd Air Force, Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, is under assault by a hodgepodge of liberal advocacy groups after making a difficult decision to overturn a rape conviction.

It has been reported with some controversy that a patrol under Lt. Gen. Franklin’s 3rd Air Force, EUCOM CIF, was on standby to respond to the attack on the Benghazi consulate if the Obama administration had dispatched them. Now the commander is under intense fire from many liberal law makers and activist groups.

Franklin dismissed charges against Lt. Col. James Wilkerson after Wilkerson was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a civilian contractor in a military tribunal. Franklin justified the pardon based on the shaky and inconsistent testimony of the accuser, Kimberly Hanks. Lt. Col Wilkinson was then reinstated and now serves at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

General Franklin was fully within his rights under the UCMJ, so the politically correct – including Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-M.O.), MSNBC host Lawrence McDonnell, the Daily Kos, and Protect Our Defenders – so they’re going after him AND the UCMJ.

Then there’s the Air Force Academy’s war on Christmas.

The U.S. Air Force Academy has pulled out of a Christian-sponsored children’s toy drive after commanders were accused of religious intolerance.

Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the academy’s participation in Operation Christmas Child is inappropriate because of its evangelical Christian roots.

Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham — the son of evangelist Billy Graham. It packs toys and other items into shoe boxes and sends them to needy children around the world, along with a Christian message in each gift.

“This is arrogance beyond measure,” Weinstein told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

I absolutely agree with Weinstein about arrogance beyond measure. Only the arrogance is his not the AF Academy or Operation Christmas Child.

They’re still at it, seems like the Christmas Warriors never tire. This year’s attack is on Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

Officials at Shaw Air Force Base are trying to determine what to do about a holiday display after a Nativity scene was taken down last week.

Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Keavy Rake said Tuesday a Nativity display was set up Friday by a group of volunteers from the base chapel at a small lake on the installation. The site was near where a tree lighting ceremony was scheduled Friday evening.

[…]

Loebe thanked the Air Force for taking the Nativity scene down quickly.

Within 2 hours and 15 minutes of initially being contacted by MRFF, the nativity scene had been promptly removed,” Loebe’s statement read. “MRFF wants to congratulate the Air Force on acting so swiftly to reverse this egregious violation and hopes that in the future they will ensure that no such violations continue to occur.”

That’s a real turnaround. If only our modern Air Force had been able to get to Benghazi in two hours and fifteen minutes.

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Posted by on December 12, 2013.
Filed under Culture.
Tagged with: .
Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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  • Lawrence Westlake

    So an Air Force flag officer unilaterally overturns a sexual assault conviction of an O-5 — not a charge, mind you, an actual conviction after courts-martial — and that’s cited as evidence of the Air Force going PC. Whaaat? Yet another complete non-sequitur blog post. It’s as if the blogger literally didn’t think about what he wrote. As for the whole Christmas angle, FYI, taxpayers fund 100% of the military. Ergo the military should spend 100% of its free time fighting, training to fight and otherwise preparing to fight. There’s a brutal irony inherent to an erstwhile conservative blogger complaining about the Air Force being politicized by the left and then in the exact next breath complaining de facto that the Air Force is not sufficiently Christian. Lastly, the reference to that PC crowd screams with unintended irony. Gillibrand first won her full-time seat against a “Tea Party” nutcase. McCaskill could have been defeated by a mannequin the last time she was up for reelection, but alas instead she faced true social conservative icon, Todd Akin. It was Boxer vs. Fiorina last time around, and the latter wasn’t conservative enough for the true conservatives of the Golden State. Feinstein could have and should have been defeated all the way back in ’94, by Michael Huffington, but alas Feinstein instead won a narrow reelection in which a larger sum of pious conservatives didn’t vote against her because they didn’t like Huffington’s wife, or they thought he was gay, or they didn’t like the fact he was from Texas and not really a Californian. Connect the obvious dots.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      …the above commenter is a moron.

  • Commander_Chico

    Strange that you mention MRFF and Benghazi in this article.

    One of the ex-SEALs killed in Benghazi was on the MRFF advisory board and was known to be opposed to the evangelization of the military.

  • Idahoser

    why am I the only one that sees that by making a decision about religion, government has identified an area where it does not belong?

  • Vagabond661

    People…it’s freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. This tells me we should have prosecuted Nidal Hassan for daring to shout “Allahu Akbar.” If that’s not mixing the military with religion, what is?

  • Brucehenry

    If you don’t see anything wrong or unconstitutional with the taxpayer funded US Air Force distributing a “Christian message in each gift” I can’t help you.

    • Commander_Chico

      Yeah, and why couldn’t they work with Toys for Tots, run by the Marine Reserves?

    • Rodney Kjell

      Please explain how the Air Force is distributing any of these packages? It is done all through Operation Christmas Child. Why are you so against children getting gift overseas? Do you hate children that much that you don’t want any joy to be brought into their life? Or do you hate Christians that much that you don’t want to credit them with doing anything good? As for Toys for Tots, that is a Marine toy drive and is usually for local kids or kids here in the United States.

      • Brucehenry

        If the Air Force is participating in the project, and the aim of the project is to distribute these packages, each containing a “Christian message,” THAT’S HOW, Genius.

        If the Air Force was participating in a project to distribute toys to children in a package containing an “Islamic message,” let’s call it “Operation Ramadan Child,” how would you feel about that, Einstein?

        It doesn’t matter how, specifically, the Air Force is participating. Use of taxpayer dollars to promote a religious message — any religious message — is unconstitutional.

        Oh my God are you a grown up?

        • Rodney Kjell

          “Operation Ramadan Child,” I would have no problem with that, if it was like Operation Christmas Child where government funding is not being used, and it is voluntary. Just because there is no “Operation Ramadan Child” doesn’t mean that there can’t be an Operation Christmas Child that the Air Force Personnel help out.

          Also, can you provide a copy of the orders that make those Air Force personnel participate? If there are none then they are providing no more support than any they do to any other charity. If you say that they can’t support it because of religious ties, then you are discriminating based on religion.

          True, some of the Airman may use this on their fitness report to show community involvement, so you have a problem with the Air Force promoting community involvement?

          • Brucehenry

            Umm, it’s not really voluntary if your superiors are the ones dunning you for your time and money, as in this case. The linked article from the Blaze explains exactly why the commanders decided this was inappropriate, and the commanders were right.

            Individuals in the military are free to participate in any kind of charity drive, religious or not, that they wish to. It’s when the government endorses and participates in the proselytizing efforts of one religion or another that it runs afoul of the Constitution.

            That’s why Toys For Tots isn’t a problem, but Operation Christmas Child IS, at least as far as military participation. The former doesn’t endorse a religious proselytizing effort, the latter does.

            If, as you say, and I doubt your sincerity, you would “have no problem” with the government participating in the spread of an Islamic (or Christian) message to children, you really really really don’t understand the basic Enlightenment principles this country was founded upon.

            EDIT: PS, the Blaze relates, and Michael omits, that the project is moving forward, WITH the cadets participating. It’s just that it isn’t being promoted by the cadets’ superiors but by the Chaplain Corps and so is indeed completely voluntary.

            In other words, another example of conservative butthurt over an injustice that isn’t really an injustice, just another Teapot Tempest.

          • Rodney Kjell

            Evidently you have a reading and comprehension problem.

            ” “PLEASE, PLEASE CONSIDER SPENDING SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY TO LOVE ON A KID AROUND THE WORLD!!,” the email said. It was sent by a cadet after approval from a cadet leader, the newspaper reported.” The request was placed by a cadet who got permission from their leader.

            Just remember, not allowing one charity while allowing another just because one is religious based is discrimination and against the law.

            You still haven’t answered why you hate kids? You must you don’t want them to get gifts. Also, since Toy for Tots does not send to the same areas that Operation Christmas Child saying no to Christmas child and yes to Toys for Tots is discrimination.

          • Brucehenry

            A cadet leader is the superior of a cadet, Brainiac.

            The academy’s commandant agreed it was a mistake. Here’s the link in case you can’t find it above. Note the last paragraph where the commandant explains exactly why:

            http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/11/04/air-force-academy-backtracks-on-christmas-toy-drive-because-its-too-christian/

            No one said anything about “allowing” a charity or not “allowing” another. The issue was whether the Academy itself, through its Cadet Wing, should endorse and participate in proselytizing efforts, rather than simply taking no stance on a charity the chaplains make known to the cadets. The cadets who wish to are free to participate, and those who do NOT wish to are no longer feeling any pressure from their Cadet Leaders.

            I’m sorry if the difference is too nuanced. I suspect you’re a teenager, with your “Nuh-uh, YOU’RE discriminating!” squawks. Not to mention your “Why do you hate the children?” ridiculousness.

            PS it’s always amusing when a person who doesn’t know the meaning of simple English words like “leader” accuses another commenter of having a “reading comprehension problem.”

          • Rodney Kjell

            Since it was a Cadet that sent the e-mail, you are wrong.

            And it is about choosing a charity, if it isn’t name the comparable charity that does the same as Operation Christmas Child that is not religious.

            I’m sorry if the fact that the government has to treat all charities the same (Provided they are not engaged in illegal activity.) and when the government does not, that it is discrimination.

          • Brucehenry

            And since it was a Cadet Leader who had to approve it, with the approval of HIS chain of command, I am right.

            Again, the commandant of cadets explains the mistake HE made in the last paragraph of the Blaze story. He takes responsibility and recognizes the issue.

            But whatever. Go ahead and be wrong about the constitutionality of stuff like this. In this case it doesn’t matter, since all the cadets who wish to participate in this program are happily participating — just without the official seal of approval of the Air Force’s chain of command. Which is as it should be. Now that the program is being promoted by the chaplains rather than the cadet wing the constitutionality issue disappears.

            If you are unable to see the difference, or if you cling to your I’m-a-victim butthurt because you enjoy your pseudo-martyrdom, well, I can’t help you.

          • Rodney Kjell

            No, you are wrong, because as a Cadet they have to get approval for most if not all activities of this nature.

            ” just without the official seal of approval of the Air Force’s chain of command.” You are aware that the Chaplain are part of the Air Force ? They wear the uniform, and they can give orders. You statement that for the individual cadet to get permission to help a charity is a violation of the Constitution and not the for the Air Force’s Chaplains is just wrong.

            Where I am claiming to be a victim? Just because you hate little kids getting presents overseas, and are a hypocrite doesn’t bother me in the least.

            You still haven’t pointed to an organization that does what Operation Christmas Child does.

          • Brucehenry

            Again read what the commandant said about the mistake HE made in giving this charity the Air Force’s seal of approval. Also the statement Weinstein made in being fine with the chaplains endorsement.

            Because, you see, the proponents of separation of church and state have no problem with the chaplains. Everybody, including service members, have the right to practice or not practice their religions. Since service members might have little opportunity to do so WITHOUT a chaplain corps, we don’t object to it. Since we are for freedom, you see.

            In any case, why are you upset? The charity is still doing its work. Cadets are still participating. No one is attempting to stop them. The children you claim I hate, lol, are gonna get their presents, and even their “Christian messages.”

          • Rodney Kjell

            That’s right you don’t hate Children, you just hate Christians. That is why you get all upset about a Cadet trying to help a Christian organization. If the Cadet could get approval to help any charitable organization then they have to be given approval to help Christian organizations, Muslim organizations or any other religious organization. What part of equal treatment under the law don’t you understand? You cannot discriminated based on Religion.
            And no you are not for freedom of, you are for freedom from. The separation of Church and state does not mean what you think it means. It means that the state cannot tell the Church what to preach and that the Church as an organization cannot tell the State what to do. The Church as individuals can tell the state what to do though.

          • Brucehenry

            Well there’s a few decades of case law on my side and your opinion on yours, so there’s that.

            In this case, everyone is happy. The cadets who wish to participate get to participate. The cadets who do not wish to participate don’t feel pressured to participate. The watchdog group is happy. The charity is happy. The academy is happy. The kids who get the presents are happy. Why aren’t you happy?

            Anyone who has ever felt the awkward pressure when their boss “asks” them to buy his kid’s school fundraising candy knows why the Air Force chain of command shouldn’t “ask” cadets to participate in a proselytizing efforts.

            I really don’t need teenagers telling me what the separation of church and state means, BTW.

          • Rodney Kjell

            Well, Mr Henry, case is actually on my side, as the individual has the right to do charitable actions and ask others to do the same, the state cannot say no to those charitable action based on the persons religion.

            Now you may argue that the charitable actions are taking place on government time and that’s what makes it unconstitutional, but then all charitable actions would be. You see there is not one rule for one group and another for another group.

            Evidently, your reading comprehension still is not working as it was not the Air Force chain of command asking the cadets to participate, it was a cadet who asked if the cadet could participate in the charity.

            Just out of curiosity, do you treat everybody with as much disrespect as you did me? Or just those nasty mean old Christians?

          • Brucehenry

            Pretty much everybody, but especially butthurt Christians who refuse to take “yes” for an answer.