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AF Religion Guidelines


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^Good point.

We are always being told to kiss the asses of our gracious hosts, but we (as operators) rarely run into actual host nation personnel (as opposed to TCNs), as they are hardly on base here. Maybe the leadership that hobnobs with these folks should follow their own advice, since they appear to be the only ones that actually have regular interactions with them.

I was in a meeting last night when an Army major brought this memo up. He was ridiculed by the Air Force JAG sitting in the room for bringing up "trivial information".

Know your enemy...

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I think you're a sharp dude in other posts but you are wrong about this. I don't care whther or not their faith is "understood by the vast majority of Americans." That is irrelevant, and certainly not the job of the military to fix. Do you think there will be a GO letter advising Muslims to bring small gifts to the squadron in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ during Christmas? Think I'm even allowed to say Merry Christmas on base? Last year my base said we should only say "happy holidays" when in uniform to avaoid the impression that the AF endorses any one particular faith. Now these guys get a month off PT and a special letter explaining the importance of this time of year? I work on Christian holidays but Commanders are "encouraged" to give these guys time off for their evening meal? A deployed aircrew should avoid eating in the daytime if a muslim on their crew can see? Dude, if you don't see the double standard I can't help you. Religion should not be an official discussion item period. Why the hell should the military be "promoting communication" about religion? Our job is to win wars, not social engineering. If someone unknowingly or knowingly steps on my faith I STFU and focus on the mission; how can I be offended when someone doesn't honor something they don't believe? This is a double standard and it's bullshit.

This GO is the lead chaplain for the Air Force, so it isn't some random GO. It is his responsibility to make sure that AF personnel's religious needs are being met. This memo falls squarely within his purview. Like I said before, memos like this come out all the time (perhaps the day-to-day crewdogs usually don't see them because they generally apply to commanders; I was an Exec and saw plenty of advisory letters like this from the chaplain, JAG, etc.). It isn't the job of the Chaplain to fix ignorance by the American populace, but it IS his job to make sure the religious needs of AF people are being met. Since some ignorance is evident, it is important to educate commanders and those responsible for subordinates to make sure that their religious preferences are accommodated as much as possible.

I think the best example of this is a commander who's subordinate kills his wife and two children. It's an awful thing, but until the individual is convicted, the commander is still obligated to make sure his needs are being met, to include religion and legal needs. This is one of those things that, as long as it doesn't interfere with the mission, I see no reason not to allow such accommodations.

There is a vast difference between someone expressing "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" (neither of which should be offensive to ANYONE...and if you are offended by it you need some thicker skin...) and being required to buy presents.

The Air Force, as a whole, isn't in the business of "'promoting communication' about religion", but the chaplain corps IS explicitly responsible for such communications. If a memo like this didn't come out, they would be derelict in their duties:

http://www.usafhc.af.mil/

Air Force people live and work around the world serving our country. Chaplains serve side-by-side with them, leading worship services and observances, providing pastoral care, and advising leadership as they magnify the Air Force Chaplain Corps vision of Glorifying God, Serving Airmen, and Pursuing Excellence.

To be clear, I am addressing the AF-wide memo, not the BS one from the 'Deid.

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BTW, can we move this to its own thread. This is taking away from all the other shenanigans at the 'Deid.

Moved. I was going to make it it's own thread, but it seemed to be a good contrast with this existing (albeit old) thread.

I wonder what options commanders will have when a practicing Muslim enrolls in a formal flying training program. Having flown in Saudi during Ramadan, I can tell you that they severely limit their flying (no high G such as BFM, no manual low-fly, no extended sortie duration, etc). A student who cannot fly during this period would - in the least - wash back. Christmas is a built-in break to the current programs for us, Ramadan is not. So now we're in a pinch - do they allow the student to jack up a formal training schedule, or do they tell them to make a choice between the two?

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I think a big part of the question comes down to this, do you put your faith above your service?

I for one think it MUST be the other way around. Faith needs to be respected, but put on the back burner to accomplish the mission. If the mission and your faith interfere, you are in the wrong line of work. Maybe I am a heathen basterd, but that is how I roll.

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I think a big part of the question comes down to this, do you put your faith above your service?

I for one think it MUST be the other way around. Faith needs to be respected, but put on the back burner to accomplish the mission. If the mission and your faith interfere, you are in the wrong line of work. Maybe I am a heathen basterd, but that is how I roll.

Agreed...I mean, 2.

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As for the TCN thing - I remember a large majority of the TCNs I 'watched' were quite proud of the fact that they were Christians and not Muslims. A lot of them wore hats and shirts and things with "I love Jesus" type slogans on them. "Jesus. Christian. Same-same." *point at me, point at self*

As for the letter - it's an advisory memorandum, so it in and of itself has little bearing, but most Commanders now, especially at NAF/MAJCOM/Wing levels seem to take all advisories/recommendations as 'gospel' (sts) so I could see it being implemented. It appears that about half of the letter from the Chaplain was directly copy-pasted into the current Deid policy letter. I'm not saying I like it, but I didn't like listening to civilian coworkers telling me I was going to hell, and I didn't like listening to folks on the television saying I was involved in some sort of illegal, unjust, oil seeking war. I'm of the opinion my profession doesn't really allow me to have an opinion on those sorts of things, but it in some way is continuing the right for those people to say those things. YMMV. My 2 cheap cents.

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No, no, no. While other religions may have a day set aside for them, or very short-term accomadations, or even letters explaining the religious observance to the rest of us...This is the first time I've been forced by a policy letter to participate in a religious celebration for a religion I'm not a part of.

If we issued a policy letter than said no one in the USAF could eat meat on Fridays during Lent, the leadership would be roasted for not separating church and state. But because Islam is the vogue, "oppressed" religion right now, it's fine to force everyone else to follow their beliefs.

Next up, burkhas for all the chickas in the squadron.

Huh? I didn't read anything in that memo that said you had to fast during Ramadan.

Okay, I've read that memo three times and I can't find a single thing to get worked up over. Its purely informational and isn't directive, so I don't see how it can be interpreted as an endorsement or sponsorship of anything.

3.

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2

These comments were made referencing the memo in the Al Udeid thread. If you don't think it's a double standard to direct a US military member to avoid eating during a certain time so as not to offend another US military member, I don't know what else to say. I don't have a problem being nice guests in another country and not blatently disrespecitng them while they're watching. I don't have a problem with a memo advising me on how to be sensitive stateside should I so choose (although not having one for every religion is another double standard) to other religions holy days. I do have a problem with the Deid policy stating I should alter my behavior to accomodate the religion of other military members. The conversation moved threads halfway and so may appear a little disjointed.

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These comments were made referencing the memo in the Al Udeid thread. If you don't think it's a double standard to direct a US military member to avoid eating during a certain time so as not to offend another US military member, I don't know what else to say. I don't have a problem being nice guests in another country and not blatently disrespecitng them while they're watching. I don't have a problem with a memo advising me on how to be sensitive stateside should I so choose (although not having one for every religion is another double standard) to other religions holy days. I do have a problem with the Deid policy stating I should alter my behavior to accomodate the religion of other military members. The conversation moved threads halfway and so may appear a little disjointed.

Exactly. I was refering to the Deid memo, paragraph 4, where it talks about not eating, drinking, smoking, or cursing in front of the TCNs during daylight hours.

Thankfully, another memo soon followed stating that chow halls would still be open, and you were fine to drink water all day long.

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Exactly. I was refering to the Deid memo, paragraph 4, where it talks about not eating, drinking, smoking, or cursing in front of the TCNs during daylight hours.

Thankfully, another memo soon followed stating that chow halls would still be open, and you were fine to drink water all day long.

Okay, not that anyone cares, but this is my stance-

I disagree with anyone forcing me to change a normal behavior as to not offend a particular religion. That is total crap. The Deid policy is stupid.

However, the memo from the Chaplin in this thread is benign.

So just to recap, for you keeping score at home. Deid = horrible oppressive policy that should be broken immediately and Chaplin memo = non-event.

that's all I have to say about that.

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I'm of the opinion my profession doesn't really allow me to have an opinion on those sorts of things, but it in some way is continuing the right for those people to say those things. YMMV. My 2 cheap cents.

What ever happened to the concept of Citizen Soldier? You want it your way, hire mercs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlZru4nEfI0

Out

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 9 months later...

Fuck that guy. Every word out of Mickey Weinsteins mouth is cartoonishly inflammatory. That guy would die if he couldn't create a global crisis out of a paper cut. Based on what be believes, every pagan was burned atop eagles peak on recognition day for the glory of the Holy Roman Empire.

This guy is a dumbass with a megaphone.

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$5 bucks says the "fix" will be to ban all whiteboards or signs of any kind outside of rooms for anything besides official use....

(DISCLAIMER: Not a Zoomie....)

You, sir, are a perceptive person.

That was the policy sent out, from what I've heard.

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The "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy wasn't popular apparently, but it worked quite well. Why isn't there a "Don't Like Don't Look" policy.

Too much bitching about sand in the va-j-j and not enough fucking doing your jobs.

Commanders and everyone does not have time for this shit...

Insane.

Bendy

Edited by Bender
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