Atheist group: 'Lock up' USAF commander for his faith

Friday, August 17, 2018
Michael F. Haverluck (

Christian flag over US flagThe atheistic Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed a complaint contending that a Christian commander with the United States Air Force should be fired and imprisoned for expressing his faith.

Earlier this week, MRFF – led by Michael "Mikey" Weinstein – filed the formal complaint with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, accusing the newly installed commander at California’s Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert, of multiple crimes.

“[Teichert] engaged in] intolerance/proselytizing; violations of DoD diversity & civil liberties policies; and Air Force standards violations," MRFF’s complaint states.

Criminalizing Christians

The anti-Christian group also launched a public smear campaign, insisting that Teichert should not just be relieved of his military duties, but also be thrown in jail.

“[Teichert] should be doing time behind prison bars – not commanding a wing wearing general's stars," MRFF’s press release issued Monday reads. “[The commander] has denigrated LGBT individuals, slammed American society at large, and, of course, delivered election voting mandate directives wherein he has effusively urged that only HIS type of approved Christian should ever be elected to American public office."

MRFF also attempted to take a multicultural and religious “tolerance” approach by insisting that 41 members of the Edwards AFB community belonging to a wide array of faith groups found the commander’s profession of faith offensive.

“The military personnel who have complained … include Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists,” CBN News reported, pointing to MRFF’s release.

MRFF particularly has a problem with Teichert portraying himself as a Christian, as evidenced by the group calling his recent prayer request “one of General Teichert’s sermons” – quoting it as if were proof of his criminal activity as a military leader.

"I would ask for your prayers for wisdom in my life of leadership, and discernment and understanding and knowledge for influence over the nation's senior leaders that I get to rub shoulders with,” Teichert was quoted in MRFF’s press release. “My desire in my life is to maximize my impact on people in our country for the Lord."

Not mentioned in the release were dozens of honors and accomplishments achieved by the decorated general while serving his country.

"[Teichert] has directed the F-22 Combined Test Force and commanded the 411th Flight Test Squadron – responsible for F-22 Raptor developmental," his biography posted on Edwards AFB reads. "[He also] commanded the 53d Test Management Group – providing operational test and evaluation of USAF fighters, bombers, combat search and rescue systems – remotely piloted aircraft, aircrew training devices, aircrew flight equipment, weapons and space systems. [Most recently, he] commanded the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews – responsible for the security, personnel, contracting, finance, medical and infrastructure support for five wings, three headquarters and over 80 tenant organizations, as well as 60,000 Airmen and families in the National Capital Region and around the world."

Problem with prayer …

Looking past Teichert’s stellar military track record, an MRFF attorney put together what could be considered a rap sheet of the commander’s “offences” over the past several years.

“The ‘demand letter,’ addressed to Mattis by MRFF legal counsel Don Rehkopf, alleges various thought crimes and newspeak violations by the general – most of which were culled from Teichert's website, Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States (PLUS),” PJ Media reported.

Rehkoph insisted that such a display of faith by a leader in the U.S. Armed Forces is unacceptable and punishable by military standards.

"Sometime in early 2013, he created a public webpage and the blog – along with social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) – to promote his fundamentalist, dominionist 'Christian' beliefs," MRFF’s demand letter allged. "He created an acronym for this he called 'PLUS,' which stands for Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States. [This conduct is a violation of Air Force policy] especially [with its] absence of disclaimers and manifested intolerance for religious diversity. MRFF suggests that one does not need a 'crystal ball' to see that [how] Brig Gen Teichert is using both his military rank – as well as his position and status as an Air Force officer – to aggressively promote his brand of religion, clearly giving the appearance, if not outright impression, that he, in his official status, is endorsing, if not outright proselytizing, his particular brand of politico-religion."

The atheist group was also greatly disturbed that Teichert called for prayer that America would return to its Christian roots, as the general expressed below.

“Ultimately, I pray this tool [PLUS] will prompt Christians to be faithful in prayer such that it will spur widespread revival in our nation,” Teichert wrote on his website. “The goal is to change our national spirit so that the Lord can change our national direction. I’m concerned about our country’s drift away from the foundation on which we were built. I personally believe that those who call themselves Christians are largely to blame because we have failed to stand up for the cause of Christ in our country. We have failed to pray. We have failed to put into practice the principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14. On our watch, we have allowed our country to slip away from its founding Christian principles while it has become increasingly intolerant of Christianity.”

MRFF pulling out America’s Christian roots?

It is argued that MRFF has a problem with anything tracing back to Christianity – especially America’s heritage.

“Weinstein – bigot that he is – has a problem with this kind of religious talk,” PJ Media’s Paula Bolyard asserted. “[MRFF’s letter is] trying to make the case that boilerplate Christian professions are intolerant and in violation of Air Force policy … [and] quibbles about Teichert's telling of history. The letter then detours to include a lengthy diatribe attempting to scrub Christianity from America’s past.”

MRFF attempted in its letter to discredit Teichert and rewrite history according to its atheistic worldview.

"He openly (but falsely) advocates that America was founded as a 'Christian nation,'" the atheist attorney claimed. "Brig. Gen. Teichert and his source ignore commonly known facts – at the 'beginning of the Revolutionary War,' there were no Americans, except the Native Americans, and few of them were Christians. [The statements] demonstrate that Brig. Gen. Teichert’s many religious rants simply have no historical basis."

Weinstein accused Teichert of deliberately misrepresenting U.S. history to those opposed to Christianity.

“[Weinstein] complains of ‘historical falsehoods’ directed toward ‘agnostics, atheists and other non-believers’ – even though he’s not addressing any of those groups,” WND reported.

Turning prayer requests into a complaint list

Listed on MRFF’s complaint are a dozen prayer requests Teichert posted on his PLUS website:

  • "Christian leaders to find favor among men”
  • "A return to our biblical foundation”
  • "Recognition of God’s preeminence in our lives and in our land”
  • "Key leaders accept Christ as their Savior”
  • "Appreciation for our national Christian heritage”
  • "Appreciation for a nation formed, blessed and prospered by God’s power”
  • “President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the Trump administration”
  • “Christian faithfulness to participate in government, preach about government, and pray for government”
  • “A return to national righteousness”
  • "The unborn”
  • “Proper Christian citizenship that includes regular and fervent prayer and fasting”
  • “A change in our national spirit so God can change our national direction”

This calling to pray was condemned by MRFF’s leader, who accused Teichert of being intolerant of different faiths and the LGBT community for posting such a list, suggesting that the decorated general is trying to overturn the U.S. Constitution through inciting divisive prayer.

“To Weinstein, however, the prayer requests constitute ‘religious and gender discrimination’ and ‘advocating an unconstitutional theocracy,’” WND’s Art Moore noted.

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