Illegal Religious Activity in the Military SOULD BE PROSECUTED

By Larry Jones

It's enough to make any rational person very upset over the way some right wing fundamentalists can lie through their teeth and still claim to take the Bible literally, including the commandment not to lie. Fortunately they often get caught by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) not only in their lies but also in their flagrant breaking of federal laws, violations for which a right wing religious group should definitely be held accountable and prosecuted.

The November video of the month on MRRF's website shows a virulent anti-Obama and anti-Muslim sermon by Cecil Todd, founder of a Christian fascist group called Revival Fire, followed by a few comments by Navy Chaplain Brian K .Waite, who appears illegally in uniform.

Revival Fire has close ties to the Pentagon and, at the request of the Pentagon's Chief Chaplains, has been shipping via military airlift tens of thousands of Bibles to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003, more than enough to get a Bible to every member of the military, especially since other Christian fascist groups like Campus Crusade for Christ have also been shipping Bibles. The ones shipped by Revival Fire bear the Department of Defense seal on their covers, another obvious illegal violation by the U.S. government. Such fundamentalist groups as Revival Fire believe that the constitutional separation of church and state is a myth and they rewrite history to "prove" it. (See "Why the Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State," by Rob Boston, assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.)
Here's the straight skinny about uber-liar Naval Chaplain Brian Waite who now is joined at the hip with Revival fire. According to MRFF, "his educational credentials consisted primarily of diploma mill degrees, and that he had written a virulently anti-Muslim book in 2002, which was pulled off the market when it was revealed that much of its content was plagiarized and that Waite had faked two of the endorsements on its back cover."

Waite, who, as you will see in the video below, claims to have left his mega-church in Oklahoma to re-enter the military from the reserves immediately after 9/11/01. However, he didn't actually decide to do this until the spring of 2002, which was, coincidentally, right after his plagiarism scandal became public.

Waite was also fired from his teaching position in the military ministry program of the properly accredited Graduate Theological Foundation when the truth about his plagiarized  anti-Muslim book became known. The military ministry program was then disbanded.

On the website of Tim Todd, son of the vituperative Cecil Todd you saw on the video, there appears Brian Waite standing next to Tim with the younger Todd's statement:
"We must let the Muslims, the Hare Krishna's, the Hindu's, the Buddhist's and all other cults and false religions know, 'You are welcome to live in America...but this is a Christian nation...this is God's country! If you don't like our emphasis on Christ, prayer and the Holy Bible, you are free to leave anytime!'."
Well, many of us don't like that emphasis, but we"re not leaving. We"re staying here to fight such hate-mongers as the Todds and that totally dishonest Christian fascist Chaplain Waite.


Remember reading in September about that infamous DVD called "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" which was being sent by the millions as newspaper inserts in election swing states to scare people away from voting for Barack HUSSEIN Obama?  Now it turns out that two of the alleged Muslim ex-terrorists in the film along with a third Muslim "ex-terrorist," each of whom is now a fundamentalist Christian, were hired for a total of $13,000 to speak at the Air Force Academy last February.

At the time Muslim organizations objected to the fact that no other perspective about Islam was offered. The three speakers always portray Muslims as inherently violent. "Their entire world view is based on the idea that Islam is evil," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on Islamic American Relations. "We want to provide a balancing perspective to their hate speech." The three are Zak Anani, Kamal Saleem and Walid Shoebat. They all were born in the Middle East but Saleem and Shoebat are now American citizens. Anani has Canadian citizenship.

David Antoon, a 1970 Academy graduate and a member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation stated that "This stuff going on at the today is part of the endemic evangelical infiltration that continues." Again, the mixing of overt religion with government sponsored education is unconstitutional and should be prosecuted. MRFF has filed suit against such activities.
The New York Times last February reported that academicians who have heard the three speak say "some of their stories border on the fantastic," as in fantasy, and have also wondered why the Air Force Academy did not hire experts on terrorism instead of born-again Christians of questionable repute to speak to their classes. 

Legitimate Arab-American civil rights organizations have been curious to know why, when the U.S. has been so eager to detain, jail, or deport anyone with terrorist connections, none of these three has been apprehended. When questioned about this apparent contradiction, the FBI said there were no warrants for their arrest. Apparently, America's paid snoops don't believe their stories anymore that a lot of truly thoughtful people. But they also are not willing to move against the illegality of their appearing at the AF Academy.

After demands by MRFF for equal time to counter the Anti-Muslim mischaracterizations, the Academy finally allowed MRFF founder and Academy graduate Mikey Weinstein and two advisory board members, Islam expert Reza Aslan and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to speak to the cadets.

Middle East expert Chris Hedges, currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former New York Times writer, recently put the stories of these three two-faced men whom he calls the three stooges of the Christian right in proper perspective:
"The public denigration of Islam, and by implication all religious belief systems outside Christianity, is part of the triumphalism that has distorted the country since the 9/11 attacks. It makes dialogue with those outside our "Christian" culture impossible. It implicitly condemns all who do not think as we think and believe as we believe as, at best, inferior and usually morally depraved. It blinds us to our own failings. It makes self-reflection and self-criticism a form of treason. It reduces the world to a cartoonish vision of us and them, good and evil. It turns us into children with bombs."


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.