Yet Another General Officer Endorses Non-Federal Charity

Michael Weinstein will no doubt be up in arms again.  Just days after he excoriated MajGen Marty Umbarger for his September 2011 video favoring a military support charity, it seems another General officer has done a similar thing.  The self-appointed watchdog for endorsements of non-Federal entities by uniformed officers will likely be enraged.

Brigadier General Loree Sutton appears in a video on the website of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which is clearly a charity and non-Federal entity.  The “problem,” if there is one, is Gen Sutton sings the praises of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence and its facilities, which were funded and built entirely by the charity before being handed over to the military in 2010:

This is a place of hope, of healing.  It is a place of inspiration. Its a place that will forever convey to those of us in uniform the unwavering gratitude of the citizens of the nation we serve.

The NICoE is technically part of Walter Reed — but everything about its beginnings was the IFHF, which also explains the name of the facility.  General Sutton is not the only person to speak positively of the Center or the charity that started it:

Army officials say the foundation…has been highly effective because it can sidestep government bureaucracy on construction projects and provide a financial boost for medical advances that are desperately needed for injured soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors…

Col. Nikki Butler, director of the rehabilitation and reintegration division for the office of the Army surgeon general, said the Army is not dependent on the Intrepid Fund but does appreciate the help.

The charity — which counted among its donors everyone from Donald Trump to the Clintons — fully funded and built the facility on government land, and then gave the keys to the DoD.  The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in the ribbon cutting.  Of course, that likely means Weinstein will demand the building be torn down, as even the stone in the lobby clearly notes it was built by the non-Federal IFHF.

In truth, it appears the DoD and the IFHF have “partnered” for several years to make this facility for America’s wounded warriors possible.  The charitable support for the US military is commendable.  The grand scope of this, however, does not disqualify it from the same guidance as every other event or relationship with charities.

Like General Dempsey’s support for ThanksUSA (a non-Federal entity), the US military’s relationship with the IFHF is apparently consistent with military and government regulations.  That’s not only acceptable, it is laudable.  It is admirable that the US military would partner with charitable organizations to support the well-being of its troops.

In fact, it has always been laudable, and charities and other support groups have long supported the US military — and the military has at times acknowledged the value of those contributions. Until Michael Weinstein complained, it had never been an issue.

Private citizens supporting US troops through charitable and other means — and the military acknowledging those contributions — is a positive in the relationship between the US military and the US public.

It is not a characteristic that should be rooted out, as Weinstein seems to claim.


  • What on earth are you blabbering about here?

    Besides the fact that neither this facility nor the organization that built have anything whatsoever to do with religion, and therefore wouldn’t even be in the purview of the Military RELIGIOUS Freedom Foundation, I don’t think I could find a more UNCLEAR case of an endorsement of a non-federal entity if I tried.

    All the general is doing in the video is praising the facility that she is the director of, which now belongs to the U.S. military, obviously making this an “endorsement” of a FEDERAL entity. She doesn’t even say anything about the organization that built it. All she says is that it’s a great facility. This video is about as much an endorsement of a non-federal entity as a general praising a military facility built by a government contractor would be.

    I’m really starting to fear for your sanity, JD. You seem to see Mikey everywhere and in everything. If this organization ever builds a mental health facility for the military, you might want to go check into it for a while.

  • @Chris Rodda
    You’re the one who said

    [the Pentagon] actually handed us an opening to pursue all appearances by uniformed personnel in “non-federal entity” productions, regardless of how overtly sectarian the content of the program is.

    It is Weinstein who has appointed himself monitor over endorsement of non-Federal entities within the US military. After all, if you’re going to claim actions like those of MajGen Umbarger are inappropriate, to be intellectually honest you need to consider the environment in which those statements are made.

    You’d like to claim that anyone who ever says anything positive about an external organization is violating regulations. As multiple examples demonstrate — all the way up to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs — your premise is flawed.

    neither this facility nor the organization that built have anything whatsoever to do with religion…

    What’s that? Are you implying the MRFF only wants to discriminate based on religious content? That’s not very Constitutional of you.

  • By “how overtly sectarian” I obviously meant the DEGREE OF blatant religiosity. It obviously still means things having SOMETHING to do with religion.

    MRFF absolutely DOES discriminate on the basis of there being SOME CONNECTION TO RELIGION! That’s why we call ourselves the Military RELIGIOUS Freedom Foundation. So, as much as you seem to want us to also become a watchdog for non-religion related issues, we decline.

    Have you really become so entirely consumed with your bizarre Mikey fixation that you’ve completely lost all ability for critical thinking? If so, I don’t think you should wait for this organization to build a mental health facility. I’d urge you to check yourself in somewhere immediately.

  • @JD
    As you are well aware, MRFF is not in the discrimination against religion business, especially not religion practiced within the parameters established for them by the US Constitution. MRFF’s sole interest is in dealig with rogue churches and religious organizations which flout the constitution and routinely violate civil and military law, thereby interrupting freedom of religion in the Armed Forces.

    MRFF supports religion and an individual’s right to practice it freely in all venues in which its legitimate practice is allowed by law. The Armed Forces contains practitioners of many different religions who should be free to practice their faith unequivocally.

    As an example, MRFF does not lump all Christians together which you seem to be intent on doing. The many different sects of Christianity may be practiced unhindered in the military. It is when a religious sect, group or church runs afoul of the Constitution and attempts to dominate the military environment that MRFF seeks to undertake action against them.

    Such a sect is known to us as Dominion Christians. The name says it all. Adherents to this sect have abrogated their oaths to support and protect the constitution and have participated in many illegal acts of which I am sure you are aware, having been directly informed of them by various MRFF staff and volunteers and a number of bona fide media outlets, including military publications.

    Dominionists are dedicated to a militant form of evangelism, using, as a foundation, the “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV). This “commission” from Jesus Christ to “make” disciples world-wide, is taken literally and put into practice in the military as command centered and coercive proselytizing.

    MRFF has uncovered, reported and demanded such activities be stopped and has achieved a certain degree of success in that regard.

    However much remains to be done to curb and hopefully eliminate Dominion Christianity and its unconstitutional activities. Just like in the defeat of European Fascism and Nazism, good men and women are now rising up against the evils of Dominionst Christian activity in the armed forces. It is not easy as Christian Dominioism had become well entrenched across the military spectrum including training facilities and our beloved service academies where the nucleus of this abhorrent practice took root.

    It is incumbent on all American citizens, including armed forces members to report all incidents in which coercive Dominion Christian proselytizing is employed through the proper channels. It is important to follow the progress of the report through the chain of command as submitters of these reports have often experienced blockage in the chain by high ranking dominionists and have had to seek outside assistance. MRFF is aware of such illegal and unAmerican activity as blocking a legitimate complaint and stifling dissent and has established methods to get the information to the proper authorities. MRFF is currently addressing some 29,000 client case complaints against Dominionist activities. This huge number indicates a problem of immense concern but one MRFF will gladly pursue.

  • @Chris Rodda
    And by that you reveal you fail to do an even superficial analysis of the environment. The Supreme Court has routinely ruled that the government cannot discriminate against conduct merely because it is religious.

    In other words, if the government selectively enforces its non-Federal entity endorsement regulations only when the non-Federal entity is faith-based, it is illegally discriminating on the basis of religion. And yet, by your own admission, that is precisely what you are demanding the government do.

    Thanks for clearing that up.


    MRFF does not lump all Christians together…

    What Weinstein and you do is assign religious labels to people, regardless of the actual faith they may or may not have. That’s convenient, isn’t it?

    Adherents to this sect have abrogated their oaths to support and protect the constitution…

    Do you not see the lunacy of saying holding a religious belief violates the Constitution? You’ve lost touch with reality again.

    report all incidents in which coercive Dominion Christian proselytizing…

    How do you tell the difference between “dominion Christian proselytizing” and “Christian proselytizing?”

  • @JD
    MRFF assigns religious labels only when required to identify those religous purveyors who operate outside of legal and constituional provision and only when identified as rogue religious organizations or cults.

    It is not lunacy to say that Dominionist Christians violate the constitution with their belief system because they actually do.

    Dominion Christian proselitizing is a horse of a different color than the evangelizing called for by the Great Commision.

    Dominionists require a committment beyond that which is required by military oaths. Theirs is a demand for conversion and blind committment to a neofascist brand of obedience and self surrendering to a central power.

    Of all the Cults, Covens. Congregations and other religious gatherings, Dominion Christianity is the most dangerous and debilitating.

    Those in the Military who would advance Dominionism are part of an insidous movement to replace our constitution with Biblical Law and remand America to a theocratic government. JD is in the forefront of this movement.

  • @Richard

    It is not lunacy to say that [someone] violate[s] the constitution with their belief system…

    Please explain to the class how a belief can violate the US Constitution.

    JD is in the forefront of this movement.

    Thank you for the stellar example to prove my point. To reiterate:

    What Weinstein and you do is assign religious labels to people, regardless of the actual faith they may or may not have.

  • @JD

    Whomsoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States e.g., by replacing that government with a Christian theocracy, violates the Constitution. Many Dominionist authors, Rev. Pat Roberston among them, advocate such a takeover and state it plainly in their writings. I offer you Robertson’s “Secret Kingdom” in which a blueprint for such an act is plainly visible.

    Dominion Christian leaders such as Rousas John Rushdooney and Gary North, who espouse Christian reconstructionism, both insist that America is a Christian Nation, for, by and of believing Christians. Christian Dominionist leaders today are calling for a Congressional “Christian Nation” Amendment to the Constitution. This is common knowledge. This is sedition, pure and simple.

    By saying that you are in the forefront of this movement I don’t mean that you are marching in the van waving a Dominionist flag. What it means is that you aid and abet this movement by making excuses for it, soft pedaling it, making diversions, and maintaining an exclusive organization of “Christian only Pilots” within the corps of Air Force pilots. It is you who have segregated Christian from other pilots thereby separating them from the greater brotherhood of pilots serving honorably for decades.

    Mr. Weinstein and I do not assign religious label to peple. They are self-identified by their acts and their writings. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” is apropos.

  • @Richard
    Two critiques to your response:

    First, you changed the parameters of the question. Advocating the overthrow of the government is not a belief; it is action, as are all the other synonyms you listed. So, again, how can a belief violate the Consitution?

    Second, have you read the Constitution lately? Which clause would be violated by such a belief?

    Previously, you said

    MRFF assigns religious labels only when required…

    Now you say

    Mr. Weinstein and I do not assign religious label to peple.

    Which is it?

    They are self-identified by their acts and their writings.

    Presumably, to be intellectually honest, you would defend those people who have called the MRFF and Michael Weinstein “anti-Christian” on the same principles. His standard defense of “96% of our clients are Christians” is unrelated to his “acts and [his] writings.”

    Your personal attack is a strawman.

  • @JD

    Huh? Does not the belief in the righteousness of overthrowing the government precede the act of overthrowing the government? Wouldn’t you first justify, by belief, the need for such acton?

    MRFF assigns religious labels to religions, religious sects, churches, etc only when required for purposes of separating and identifiying those who violate the law and abrogate the US Constitution.

    We do not assign religious labels to people. We have used the same descriptors that certain people or their other critics have used to identify themselves such as Gen. William Boykin who describes himself as a “Holy Roller” In 2004, he was reprimanded for remarks comparing the war against radical Islam to a Christian struggle against Satan and for saying Muslims worship idols and not “a real God.”

    As for MRFF and Mr. Weinstein being anti-Christian, it has been explained ad nauseum that when one makes a statement about the unconstitutional, unAmerican and dangerous acts of certain religious groups they are bona fide criticisms based on the acts of that group and its leaders.

    Mr. Weinstein and MRFF are anti-Dominion Christian and are proud to have assisted many of our young men and women in the armed forces who were subject to command centered and cooercive Christian (here read Dominionist) proselytizing to extricate themselves from such abusive treatment. Some 29,000 client case complaints of overbearing and illegal proselytizing are currently being addressed by MRFF.

    It becomes easy to delineate Dominion Christianity from the law-abiding, patriotic, Christians who are contributors to America’s success. Dominion Christians can only be though of in the context of the Christians who participated in the Crusades, Witch Hunts, Pogroms, Genocide, Slavery, Hegemony, Inquisitions, Discrimination and militant proselytizing.

    Please do not contiue to attempt to intimate that these two groups are one.

  • @Richard

    We do not assign religious labels to people

    In just one example, you previously said:

    Ben, you’re just a Christian Supremacist and JD you’re Just a Dominion Christian.

    You are self-contradiction embodied. And you still failed to answer the question.

  • These are not labels as I know them. These are descriptors. Labels would mean the kind of Christian Supremacist he is like, “Ben, you are a DANGEROUS Christian Supremacist. Or JD you are just a DEDICATED Dominion Christian.

    These are contradictions only in the narrow thinking process of a Dominionist.