In what amounts to a repeat of his prior attacks on Christians, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein last week published a release saying the MRFF “fervently denounces” the Christian group OCF performing “spiritual commissioning” ceremonies for new officers. Officers’ Christian Fellowship is one of several para-church organizations that ministers to the military — and one Weinstein seems to hold much animus toward.
Oddly, Weinstein declined to provide his own typically vociferous and alliterative quote, and instead deferred to an “anonymous” letter from a purported retired Army Colonel — who is also “on the membership rolls” of OCF. Referring to OCF’s Command magazine, which covered the commissioning, the Colonel
demand[ed] a retraction and full apology from OCF…Their old-guard OCF leadership will continue to push their radical agenda. Therefore, I ask that ALL COMMISSIONING sources, including all federal Service Academies and state ROTC universities, review Officer Christian Fellowship chapter local practices on their respective campuses…
To be clear, a retired O-6 — who said he had supported OCF both as a cadet and Academy faculty member — apparently lacked the intestinal fortitude to tell OCF his thoughts and instead “filed” a public complaint through the MRFF.
Beyond his hurt feelings, it’s not clear.
The complaint says Read more
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
The Army was actually instrumental in my salvation.
– Capt Roger Taneus, Maryland National Guard
Chaplain (Capt) Roger Taneus just became the newest chaplain in the Maryland National Guard. In an Army article, he talked about how he became a Christian while at West Point thanks to a para-church ministry: 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
On September 1st the annual Combined Federal Campaign will begin. Most troops will know this because a unit rep will come and ask them if they want to donate. Contributions can be made automatically from a servicemember’s paycheck.
As has been noted before, the CFC hosts a wide variety of “charities,” including groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Focus on the Family. This year, Michael Weinstein likely hopes to make up his year’s losses, as his MRFF appears Read more
Jews in Green recently announced LtGen Howard Bromberg, US Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, and Col Glenn Goldman, Director of Military Instruction at West Point, will be speaking to the Aleph Institute’s 2013 “Military Training Course” in January. (Gen Bromberg has spoken there before, and prior speakers have included Speaker of the House John Boehner.)
The annual conference is intended for Jewish members of the military who 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