In the news: Christianizers in the military

Anti-semitic attack on Air Force Academy graduate

by, May 11, 2006 /p>

May has brought forth new reports about Christianizers in the U.S. military. Most significantly, an Air Force general used his military email account to send 200 of his Air Force Academy classmates a pitch for a Republican congressional candidate that focused on the man's Christian credentials. The Jewish academy graduate who shared his copy of the email with reporters was attacked by an old-style anti-Semite and the candidate.

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans rebuffed an effort to call for sensitivity in the Air Force's policy for chaplains. Issued in February, that policy delighted Christocrat because it allows chaplains to offer sectarian prayers at official occasions. Lastly, a zealot Navy chaplain, Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, got his fight for sectarian prayers back into the news.

The emailed campaign pitch came from Maj. General Jack J. Catton Jr., who is based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, where he orders major weapons systems. Catton urged his 1976 Air Force Academy classmates to support retired Air Force General Bentley Rayburn, a Republican candidate for Congress in Colorado.

"In need of Christian men"
Catton wrote: "We are certainly in need of Christian men with integrity and military experience in Congress." And he attached a message from Rayburn, who, referring to Congressional debates on religious intimidation at the Air Force Academy, wrote: "For those of us who are Christians, there is that whole other side of the coin that recognizes that we need more Christian influence in Congress."

Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force Academy graduate who is suing the Air Force to stop religious coercion by conservative Christian evangelicals, showed reporters the email. To date, Weinstein's exposure of Catton's message has garnered more reaction than Catton's disregard of church-state separation (especially important for a high-ranking military officer)and both men's blatant promotion of sectarian Christianity. Rayburn felt free to tell the Denver Post: Weinstein "will be happy when you erase any notion of religion from the public square. I think he's a pretty lone voice out there, because I think that's not the proper interpretation of the Constitution. … Obviously, he's on a crusade."

Anti-semitic email
Weinstein also received this anti-semitic email:

From: Al Parker
Date: May 8, 2006 12:53:41 PM MDT
Subject: military religious freedom

Posted on

Once again, the Oy Vey! crowd whines and complains over trivialities. This jew used to be an Air Force lawyer and got the e-mail because he's apparently an alumni of the Air Force Academy! This is just one more example of why filthy, hook-nosed jews should be purged from our society. They whine and complain about nearly everything. Jews are a cultural cancer. There's only one way to deal with cancer: get rid of it.

Weinstein, who recently established the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (, commented that he receives more supportive communications than attacks. The Washington Post quoted him saying that Catton's email was "evidence of a continuing attack on separation of church and state by evangelicals in the military."

The Air Force said it was investigating Catton's email.

Republicans won't tolerate tolerance
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress rebuffed an effort by Democrats to moderate gratuitous Republican language reinforcing the Air Force chaplain guidelines that allow sectarian prayers to Jesus at official events. They voted down Democratic Rep. Steve Israel's amendment reading: "... chaplains shall demonstrate sensitivity, respect and tolerance for all faiths present on each occasion at which prayers are offered."

The Navy may have finally moved to discipline Chaplain Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt. Last year he went on a hunger strike over purported discipline that the Navy denied applying. Klingenschmitt said he was in trouble because he insisted on praying to Jesus in nonsectarian settings.

This time there is only Klingenschmitt's claim -- in a lightly circulated AP story (see below), that discipline is forthcoming. He says the Navy will punish him for his March appearance in front of the White House with deposed Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore to protest restrictions on sectarian prayer. Klingenschmitt wore his uniform on that occasion.

TOPIC: Church-State Separation > Christian Right Inroads Into The Military