Officers’ Christian Fellowship and First Liberty Institute recently participated in an episode of OCF’s fledgling Crosspoint podcast in which retired Navy JAG CAPT Chris Blake and First Liberty lawyer (and Reserve Marine JAG) Mike Berry discussed the “religious rights of those in uniform.”
At one point, CAPT Blake asks “what has changed” over the past few decades that makes it seem the support for religious freedom has waned since the unashamed exercise of faith years ago. To that, Mike Berry had a witty reply:
The opponents of religious freedom have become louder…but that doesn’t make them more correct.
That was an observation Read more
Retired USAF BGen David Warner, Executive Director of Officers’ Christian Fellowship, recently wrote about the changing nature of the military environment — and the challenge it presents to Christians today:
When I served, our on-base neighbors had traditional marriages. I didn’t know what sexual dysphoria was. No one mentioned that they had a different sexual orientation. I bring up these points not to rail against our current culture, but to highlight how vastly different the military environment is today…
Gen Warner notes, though, that isn’t just the military culture [emphasis added]: Read more
An interesting article at WORLD Magazine last month talked about “one of the most popular and thriving officially sanctioned clubs” at the US Military Academy at West Point — Officers’ Christian Fellowship:
At the United States Military Academy, one of the most popular and thriving officially sanctioned clubs is an openly evangelical Christian campus ministry. Officers’ Christian Fellowship, or OCF, has a database of more than 800 Cadets and an active participation of 400—nearly 10 percent of a student body of 4,400.
The OCF ministry at West Point is run by retired Army Colonel Tom Austin and his wife, Cheri, at a house just outside the gate: Read more
In early December the Military Christian Fellowship posted a Christmas message from its “patron,” General David Hurley:
Christmas is a time of great celebration for Christians everywhere as we celebrate the birth of our Lord….Regardless of where you are next year I encourage you to seek the friendship and fellowship with Christians through MCF or the other military Christian ministries; with old friends and with workmates…I value the work of the MCF and was privileged to attend the Defence Christians Dinner and the MCF Spiritual Boot camp Seminar with my wife Linda this year. Wherever you are serving this Christmas I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and God bless you and your family in 2013.
For those unaware, General Hurley is the highest uniformed member of the Australian military. Due to differences in structure, there isn’t a direct American equivalent, though the closest would probably be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Read more
Michael Weinstein recently gave an interview in which he said absolutely nothing new (a surprisingly common occurrence, given that his “war” on religious freedom in the military is several years old). It remains amazing, however, that no one calls Weinstein out on his obvious disdain for Christians — for no other reason than expressing Christian beliefs.
The interviewer asked a simple question: “What kind of complaints do you hear about?”
After his standard vagaries about assaults and ruined careers, he brought up Officers’ Christian Fellowship: Read more
Chris Rodda, the researcher for Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, recently answered an email from an MRFF critic who questioned their stance against the Holman Bibles. Much of the reply was pedantic or boiler plate from their other replies (another MRFF employee, Andy Kasehagen, has also published identical thousand-word copy/paste replies to different critics’ emails). The meat of her reply, though, was interesting:
The reason for MRFF’s actions to get the official military emblems removed from the Holman Bibles was much more than just the constitutional issue of a government entity endorsing religion.
The Holman Bibles also contain a large section of materials promoting an organization called the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF)…The other issue with these Bibles is that they violate the JER and specific branch regulations that prohibit the endorsement of a non-federal entity. The OCF is a non-federal entity, so allowing an official military emblem on a book promoting the OCF, as these particular Bibles do, is in clear violation of these regulations.
While Rodda repeats the MRFF position, the military — which enforces its regulations — disagreed. After all, if there was any such violation, it Read more
Mitchell Levin writes a daily “This Day in Jewish History” that is carried a few places on the internet. At the Jewish CJN, the July 16 edition of Levin’s piece featured none other than Michael Weinstein. This is how Levin — who appears to have no stake or hidden agenda — portrays Weinstein:
2006: In an article entitled “Marching as to War,” The Washington Post reported on the efforts of Mikey Weinstein, graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the father of an academy graduate, to stop the missionary work of Christian ministers at the Air Force Academy. In particular he is targeting the Officer’s Christian Fellowship who says its goal is a “spiritually transformed military with ambassadors for Christ in in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.”
The Washington Post article was largely friendly to Weinstein. According to Levin’s summary, though, Weinstein’s purpose is opposition to Read more
As predicted last November, Michael Weinstein went fishing for controversy over military-themed Bibles and finally managed to manufacture a scandal out of the nearly decade-old Holman series of military-themed Bibles carrying official military service seals.
But what that led to is even more interesting, for Weinstein may have let slip (again) his real target in his “war” against religious freedom in the US military.
For its part, the military says the decision to withdraw permission for Holman to use the seals was administrative housekeeping. Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda cried malarkey, saying the military never would have revisited the permission if not for the MRFF inquiries.
As it has in the past, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, representing 2,000 military chaplains, is calling on Congress to investigate why the military is so keen on bowing to pressure from the MRFF.
The end result is the Holman Bibles can be Read more