The Corner

Angry Atheists Strike Again

To add to what Michael wrote about the Air Force’s suspension of the class called “Christian Just War Theory” taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base: Never mind that for literally centuries just-war theory has played a critical role in military history and military ethics. Never mind that just-war principles underly not just the Geneva and Hague conventions but also the U.N. Charter itself. Never mind that just-war theory is critically important to thousands of current American service members and that questions about just-war theory are common and recurring (I heard them while deployed to Iraq). All of that is less important, apparently, than the fact that a few delicate souls were offended by a PowerPoint.

The Fox News article contains this astounding quote from Air Force spokesman David Smith:

“In an effort to serve all faiths, we try to introduce none in our briefings and our lectures,” Smith told Fox News Radio. “Once we heard there were concerns, we looked at the course and said we could do better.” 

Our military is comprised of hundreds of thousands of Christians and thousands of members of other faiths (and thousands of atheists as well). They come from different intellectual and spiritual traditions, and the government is emphatically not “serving” them when it essentially acts as if they — or their ideas — don’t exist.

The chief complainant, Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, declared that had the course not been pulled, he would have filed “an immediate class action lawsuit.” He further declared that the Constitution “absolutely separates church and state.” It does no such thing, and it’s a shame that the Air Force has capitulated (for now, at least). Mr. Weinstein’s lawsuit would have faced very, very long odds in federal court.   

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More