A video posted on the website of a Washington D.C.-based religious group called the Christian Embassy features senior military officers in dress uniform talking about religion and incorporating Christianity into the military.
The video is the latest source of church-state nonseparation outrage for Mikey Weinstein, the Air Force Academy graduate, Albuquerque attorney and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which fights for religious freedom in the military. Weinstein recently wrote a book, With God on Our Side, about his battle against religious intolerance.
Earlier this year Weinstein lost a lawsuit against the Air Force over the practice of Christian proselytizing at his alma mater when a judge ruled the parties named could not have had their First Amendment rights violated because they no longer attend the academy. Weinstein has vowed an appeal, and now, he is demanding an investigation, and possible disciplinary action, against the officers who appear in the video. The video, which is posted at the Christian Embassy website, is filled with testimonials from Pentagon officers and presidential appointees praising the organization and talking about sharing their religion.
On the video, MRFF notes, “Major General Jack Catton, brags about how he shares his faith with all who come through his office, presumably including junior personnel.”
“My first priority is my faith in God, then my family, and then my country. I share my faith because it describes who I am,” Gen. Catton says in the video. “You have many men and women who are seeking God’s council and wisdom as we advise the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense. Hallelujah.”
In a prepared statement, Weinstein, who once worked as an attorney in the Reagan White House and later as Ross Perot’s general council, expressed his disgust.
“This video contains some of the most blatant and egregious violations of both the Constitution and military regulations I have ever seen,” said Weinstein in a prepared statement. “It is truly astonishing that senior military officials have the impudence to appear in their official capacity discussing their desire to proselytize Christianity to fellow military personnel during the duty day and in the offices of the Pentagon itself.”
The video is posted at the Christian Embassy’s website.
The Christian Embassy describes itself as “a non-political, multi-denominational ministry that has been caring for, encouraging and equipping our country’s leaders and decision-makers for nearly 30 years. We were founded by Washington officials, concerned business leaders and Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International.”
Or, as Colonel Betty Price, USAF, (Ret) is quoted on the group’s site, “The Christian Embassy exists to help (military leaders) plug into the source of real wisdom. The need for this divine strength and wisdom has never been greater, since decisions we make now will determine how ready we are for the next inevitable conflict our country faces.”
Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent.