I'm 22, married, and a minarchist libertarian. If you don't like what I have to say, then you're more than welcome to hop your ass right off my page. I'd say thanks for stopping by, but I really don't care.
Tumblr: All religions are stupid!
Tumblr: Except for Islam don't you dare say anything about Islam you intolerant racist bigot die in a fire
It’s really sad that every pro-atheist post I’ve seen on here isn’t really pro-atheist, but anti-Christianity. A vast majority of the pro-Christianity posts I see are just that… Pro-christianity… Verses from the Bible, biblical artwork, etc.
The head of the Indiana National Guard says he made a video promoting an evangelical Christian group because it helps soldiers who struggle with their marriages after coming home from war.
But a military watchdog group says Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, the Guard’s adjutant general, violated military rules and the First Amendment by promoting a religious group in the 33-second video while in uniform.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, based in Albuquerque, N.M., sent a letter to the National Guard Bureau on Thursday asking that Umbarger be investigated and punished. Former Air Force attorney Mikey Weinstein founded the group, which seeks to guarantee religious freedom in the military.
The issue, Weinstein said, is that Umbarger’s message promotes one religious group over others. In the military, Weinstein says, such a show of support from a two-star general is intimidating.
“He should be removed immediately,” Weinstein told The Indianapolis Star on Monday, “and, from our perspective, court-martialed.”
Umbarger made the video in September 2011 on behalf of Centurion’s Watch, a Christian group based in Indianapolis that offers marriage counseling to military families. It was posted on the nonprofit’s website.
In the video, he says: “I would say Centurion’s Watch is a wonderful way that you can help. Any donation or resource that you can give this organization — it’s faith-based, it’s wanting to keep families together with the stresses and strains of being apart, being in harm’s way, risking their lives for this, for this country. I can’t think of a better organization that you can support. So if you want to give back, if you want to have some way you can help, I would highly encourage that you support this organization.”
The problem lies not so much with the message but rather that Umbarger was giving it while in uniform, military law experts say.
“As a private person, he can endorse anything he wants,” said Don Guter, who dealt with ethics issues as the 37th judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy from 2000 to 2002. But, Guter added, “by using his title, wearing his uniform — that’s what makes it a problem.”
Kevin Cieply, ethics adviser with the Wyoming Army National Guard for about 61/2 years, said that while Umbarger shouldn’t have worn his uniform, his endorsement sounded fairly innocuous.
“He’s not warranting anything. He’s not saying any specifics about it. He’s not showing any inside information about the organization. It’s almost like a used car salesman saying, ‘This is a good car.’ “
But Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School in Connecticut, has called for Gov. Mitch Daniels to dismiss Umbarger.
“Even if he had been wearing his birthday suit, I’d have a problem because he has a very limited function,” Fidell said. “Everybody knows he’s an adjutant general. He’s not a clergyman, he’s not a chaplain, he’s not the head chaplain for the National Guard. It’s just utterly wrong and utterly against the neutrality that a state agency should be displaying.”
It’s unclear what, if any, sanctions Umbarger will face. But military legal experts say he may receive a letter of reprimand explaining what he did wrong and warning him not to do it again. Or it could be as serious as Umbarger being removed from his position.
Reached Monday, Jane Jankowski, spokeswoman for Daniels, said her office was not aware of the alleged ethics violation and had no comment. The National Guard Bureau, based in Washington, D.C., also had no comment.
Umbarger was appointed the adjutant general in 2004 and has been in the Indiana National Guard for 43 years. He leads more than 15,800 personnel.
After speaking with military lawyers Friday, Umbarger said he asked Centurion’s Watch to remove the video from its website. Monday morning, Umbarger said he reported the details of his involvement in the video to the Department of the Army.
“I was thanking an organization that was trying to help my soldiers and their families,” he said. “I do, kind of looking back on this, know I’m Marty Umbarger, but I’m also General Umbarger. But it was pure heart in my actions.”
He said he made no personal gain from the organization and is not involved with the group. He described himself as Christian but declined to say which denomination.
He did not want to speculate on if or how he might be investigated or punished.
Doug Hedrick is listed as the president and founder of Centurion’s Watch on the group’s website, which also lists him as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Hedrick, a chaplain, did not return a phone message.
Weinstein asked that the National Guard Bureau investigate Hedrick, as well.
If the military or governor takes no action, Weinstein says, he will file a class-action lawsuit in federal courts. He said he made the complaint on behalf of 31 clients who are either in the Indiana National Guard or Indiana Air National Guard. He would not disclose who they are.
I’m literally in shock that this anti-religion bullshit has come to Indiana. I’ve never been a big fan of the General, but that’s because I’ve listened to him speak a few times and it always sounds overly rehearsed… Like he uses the speech for every similar event, just changes names. This, though, is completely stupid. Atheist activists crying because their feelings are hurt. While MG Umbarger has his flaws, he does do a lot to try to make coming back home better for the soldiers. I’ve never heard of someone who puts as much thought into helping soldiers’ and their families not just on duty, but also at home. It’s obvious that his intent wasn’t to maliciously promote any particular religion, but rather to share his religious experience with his soldiers so that those who do want help can know where to get it. But yeah… I’m fuming right now.