U.S. Military Members Under Pervasive Pressure from Christian Evangelists

Few people are aware of the extent of the fundamentalist Christian programs now going on in the U.S. Military aimed at turning our country’s Military into a global Christian mission for Jesus Christ.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), based in Albuquerque, New Mexico has working for years to draw attention to this situation. Mikey Weinstein, the head of MRFF, says these religious efforts constitute a “systematic program of indoctrination sanctioned, coordinated, and carried out by fundamentalist Christians within the U. S. military.” He writes that Christian programs in the military “[represent] a bona fide national security crisis” that is ongoing “throughout the entirety of the United States Air Force in particular, and the U.S. Armed Forces as a whole, whereby unchecked evangelizing activity is carried out on Uncle Sam’s time and the taxpayer’s dime.”

A shocking YouTube compilation of clips contains clips of videos created by the many parachurch groups that operate freely within the U.S. military shows military chaplains and fundamentalist preachers stating openly that they consider the military a hunting ground to recruit followers for Jesus Christ. They refer to military recruits as a “ripe harvest field,” and say the military offers them a “unique opportunity for a gateway ministry.”

Major General (Ret.) Bob Dees, Executive Dire actor of the Campus Crusade for Christ International’s Military Ministry, states, “The first strategic objective is to evangelize and disciple the enlisted members of the enlisted Air Force.”

Footage taken by AlJazeera shows Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, the Army Command Chaplain in Afghanistan (the chief of all of the Army chaplains in Afghanistan) telling members of the military that they need to go on a recruiting drive for Christ. “Hunt ’em down and get ’em in the Kingdom, that’s what we do, that’s our business,” Hensley says.

A representative of the military branch of Campus Crusade for Christ states,

“Our purpose for Campus Crusade for Christ at the Air Force Academy is to make Jesus Christ the issue at the Air Force Academy and around the world, and I think that we’re seeing God do that. We’re seeing kids come to Christ, being built up in their faith and being sent out to reach the world. They’re government-paid missionaries when they leave here.”

All activities shown in the video are currently ongoing in the U.S. Military and are open violations of U.S. law. The rules regulating Air Force culture, Air Force Instruction 1-1 (pdf), state that “Every Airman is free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all.” The regulations mandate that

…Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.

The activities shown in the video are shocking and need to be seen to be believed. You can support the efforts of MRFF here, or write to your own elected officials and express your opinion about this blatant violation of service members’ rights, Air Force rules and the U.S. Constitution.

16 comments for “U.S. Military Members Under Pervasive Pressure from Christian Evangelists

  1. Daniel
    September 2, 2015 at 11:18 am

    “What I don’t understand is why Christians can’t simply believe in their own religious teachings and leave other people alone. Why must Christians push their religion on others? Why not just live and let live? The pushing of their religion on others is the most odious part of Christianity.”

    Ms. Landman, are you sure you want Christians to believe in Christianity but “leave other people alone”? God’s Word tells us to take care of the poor, the widows, the orphans. How many Christian organizations are doing just that? The Bible tells us to seek justice. How many Christian organizations work to free people from slavery, child and sex trafficking, etc.? I could go on.

    I submit that what you find odious about Christianity is not Christians living out their faith but the gospel message: that all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God and that apart from the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we cannot be saved and we cannot spend eternity with God. In fact, apart from salvation through Jesus, we will all spend eternity separated from God in almost unimaginable pain and suffering.

    As a Christian, I am still a sinner. I fall short every single day. If anything, the more I learn about Jesus, the more I become aware of my own sin and the greater his gift of salvation becomes. And because of this, I can’t help but tell others about Jesus and how amazing he is.

    • Anne
      September 2, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Daniel,

      To answer your questions, yes, I’m sure I want Christians to leave other people alone and stop pushing their religion on others. While some Christians engage in good works, we cannot forget or forgive the trauma by pedophile priests, “prosperity gospel” preachers who promote Christianity for their own personal enrichment, the persecution of members of the U.S. military who are not Christians but who are under constant, pervasive and often threatening pressure to adopt Christianity or sacrifice their careers, the lies and cheating of so-called “televangelists,” Vatican scandals, the Crusades and so much more. If you feel you have “sinned,” then by all means work to correct your own behavior, but please at least consider that the truly just thing to do is leave the rest of humanity alone to believe what they like. We should do good by others simply because it is the right thing to do, not because we’re afraid of being punished in a likely non-existent afterlife.

      • Daniel
        September 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

        Anne,

        Thanks for your thoughtful response. You say, “[P]lease consider that the truly just thing to do is leave the rest of humanity alone to believe what they like.” I believe that every single human being–including those who just want to believe what they like–will meet their Maker one day. Even those who do not recognize God are still recognized by God. God is our judge and Jesus is our advocate if we ask him to be, if we have asked him to save us. How much would I have to truly hate a person to not *tell* them about the free gift of salvation?

        Jesus never forces salvation on anyone. I never force my beliefs, either. But I have a responsibility to share those beliefs, with love and in humility, knowing that I deserve absolutely nothing and yet have been given absolutely everything. If my audience rejects the message, that is their choice. But I have to at least provide them the opportunity. I have to tell them about my Jesus and his incredible love for a broken world.

  2. gail Anderson
    August 20, 2015 at 12:57 am

    This is WRONG to use our military to do as you say God’s work. You are brainwashing them into thinking they are missionaries and not the military of the United States. There was ALWAYS to be separation of church and state and with this you are going against it. Not all military men and women chose to worship God, Jesus or any other kind of religion. It is not up to anyone of you. If I find out my son is being brainwashed with this nonsense i am going to report it.

    • Robert Fritch
      August 20, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Gail, everyone refers to Christians as wanting to “brainwash”, well with all the sin and immorality there is today, we need to have our brains washed, and what better person to do it than the Lord Jesus Christ, for His shed blood does wash our brains of all sin. Actually, every Christian, whether they like it or not is a missionary, many will not go to a foreign country, but many can be missionaries right where they are. At your job that is your mission field or for a student, his/her fellow classmates are their mission field, same with a soldier, his/her fellow soldiers are his/her mission field. Christ calls all believers to make disciples and the Apostle Paul said that we are all ambassadors for Christ. All I can say Gail, is if you do not like it, too bad and I say that with as much grace as possible.

      • Anne Landman
        August 20, 2015 at 1:21 pm

        What I don’t understand is why Christians can’t simply believe in their own religious teachings and leave other people alone. Why must Christians push their religion on others? Why not just live and let live? The pushing of their religion on others is the most odious part of Christianity.

        • Robert Fritch
          August 20, 2015 at 3:56 pm

          Dear Anne,

          You ask why Christians can’t live and let live, because we know what is at stake here! It literally comes down to life or death, where a person will experience life eternally or death eternally. It is a matter of heaven or hell. We are out to populate heaven and depopulate hell. Jesus said Himself, that there is no way to God but through Him. No one can earn their way to heaven, good works (Catholics or Mormons) will not get you there, being a nice person will get your there, does not matter how much money you give or or how many dogs or cats you have rescued. It all comes down to the simple fact is did you receive God’s free gift of salvation which He offered through His Son by dying on a cross for our sins, taking on Himself the penalty of our sins which is what sends us to hell for all eternity. Christians are to not force a decision upon you but to share the good news of what Christ as done for each one of us, but it all comes down to your decision, but that decision has eternal consequences to it, so make your choice wisely. I am sure you have seen either a billboard or have here this famous verse, but it is very true, “for God loved the world (that is you and me) so much, that He gave His only Son, that we may then have life eternal with Him.”

          • Anne Landman
            August 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm

            Mr. Fritch, with all due respect, you are clearly entitled to your own personal beliefs as is everyone else, no matter how strange others may believe them to be, but you would do well and show more respect to your fellow human beings if you were solely concerned about your own personal “salvation” and left others to engage in their own beliefs. It’s the proselytizing of Christianity that makes it onerous to others.

        • Robert Fritch
          August 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm

          Anne,

          In your last post you said “no matter how strange others may believe them to be, but you would do well and show more respect to your fellow human beings if you were solely concerned about your own personal “salvation” and left others to engage in their own beliefs.” If I showed respect to my fellow human being and being solely concerned about my own salvation, then I would be guilty of not obeying Christ’s last command, to make disciples of all the nations, and have to have it on my consciousness that I did not give someone the opportunity to have eternal life after they die, but let them go to the fires of hell and have them ask we, why didn’t you tell me!!! Let me ask you Anne, if you were to die tonight, and you were to stand before God and He were to ask you, why should I let you into my heaven, how would you respond???

          • Anne Landman
            August 20, 2015 at 11:10 pm

            Mr. Fritch, when you are dead, no one can talk to you anymore.

  3. Joan Slish
    August 19, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for posting this and bringing attention to the takeover of our military by this extreme Dominionist Christianity. We have a Constitution that prohibits government and religious entanglement but they believe they must obey God over our laws. The Air Force has used ‘Augustine’s Just War Theory’ and ‘Jesus Loves Nukes’ to brainwash the cadets into believing they are ‘Warriors for Christ’ and every war is a ‘Crusade.’ Go to our website and search those terms.

    • Robert Fritch
      August 19, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      I just love the made up words that those affiliated with MRFF use, especially their favorite one of “Dominionists” when if you do a word search for that online in Webster’s Dictionary, that word cannot be found at all in the dictionary. I saw the other day where another person affiliated with MRFF or quoting on their website the word “Christianist” I guess a combination of Christian and Dominionist.

      Above one of the quotes that is used is that a chaplain I believe says that the miltiary is a field ready for harvest, well that is what Jesus said, that “the fields are white unto the harvest.” and this would apply to the military, your place of work, the sports world, the educational institution you attend, whether it be elementary, middle school, high school, college or graduate school. Jesus commanded his disciples to go make disciples, or as the Greek renders it, in your goings make disciples, so chaplains of any stripe are just following the command of Jesus to make disciples wherever they find them.

      I am not a Dominionist as they call it, I am not concerned about setting up a theocracy here on earth, that is what Jesus will do when He returns again when every nation, tribe and tongue will have to bend their knee to Him and call Him Lord!!

      • Anne Landman
        August 19, 2015 at 4:41 pm

        I easily found the following definition of “Dominionist” simply by asking Google to define the term: “Dominion Theology or Dominionism is the idea that Christians should work toward either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.” –Oct 12, 2013

      • Megan
        August 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        dominion
        noun
        1.
        the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority.
        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dominion?s=t

        -Ist
        1.
        a suffix of nouns, often corresponding to verbs ending in -ize or nouns ending in -ism, that denote a person who practices or is concerned with something, or holds certain principles, doctrines, etc.: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/-ist

        Therefore Dominionist is neither made up.

  4. Rael Nidess, M.D.
    August 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    It’s good to see a thoughtful essay on this contentious & polarizing issue. Nonetheless, it’s critical to maintain an analytical perspective on the issue. At present, the American project is in danger of subversion by those who would turn back the clock from the time of the 1st Amendment, to the time of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Puritanical (literally) theocracy it represented (they didn‘t flee to America to establish democracy!). This charge from modernity into the past is being led by fanatical Christian Demonists (the Christian ‘flip-side’ of the Islamic State coin) who put their faith ahead of the Constitution, in all aspect of their lives… just ask the gaggle of GOP Presidential nomination contenders; they’re very open about the primacy of their faith. For them, LaHaye & Jenkins‘ novel ‘Left Behind‘ isn‘t fiction, it‘s ‘future history‘, And while our Constitution defends the right of any citizen – outside the military – to believe what they wish and say what they believe, those inside the military can bully their subordinates (intentionally or not) into behaving in a manner contrary to their own beliefs because to do so may put them into their superior’s ‘bad graces’ or, worse, subject them to charges ranging from ‘disrespect’ to mutiny. And, while the American public has the choice of whether to vote for someone who’s concept of the future embraces fomenting an Armageddon they feel they must bring about to usher in their messiah’s next ‘coming’, or not, such fanatical personalities in the military have access to the most destructive weapons in the history of mankind and the worldview (aka: ‘faith’) that makes it possible for them to bring it about. Hence Mikey & the MRFF’s battle to insure that the military adheres strictly to the provisions of the Constitution. Those who feel they cannot must leave for civilian life.

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