An atheist group with a long history of litigation against religious expression in the military now contends the new commander of Edwards Air Force Base in California should be imprisoned for declaring his Christian beliefs.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a formal complaint this week with Defense Secretary James Mattis regarding Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert, reported PJ Media. It alleges he engaged in “intolerance/proselytizing; violations of DoD diversity & civil liberties policies; and Air Force standards violations.”
MMRF complained that Teichert created a public webpage and a blog, along with social media accounts, that “promote his fundamentalist, dominionist ‘Christian’ beliefs.”
The conduct, the demand letter alleges, is a violation of Air Force policy, “especially the absence of disclaimers and manifested intolerance for religious diversity.”
Weinstein’s group said in a statement Monday that Teichert “should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a wing wearing general’s stars.”
Teichert, the atheist group contended, “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.”
Teichert is a decorated general with an extensive resume. Most recently, he commanded the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews, which, according to his bio, is “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.”
But Weinstein’s group, in its news release found one of Teichert’s “sermons” troubling.
The general is quoted saying: “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. My desire in my life is to maximize my impact on people in our country for the Lord.”
PJ Media noted MMRF also quibbled with Teichert saying America was founded as a “Christian nation.”
“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 statement, MMRF said, “demonstrate that Brig Gen Teichert’s many religious rants simply have no historical basis.”
The atheist group also didn’t like Teichert’s prayer requests. They included praying for:
- “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”
PM Media pointed out that Teichert is writing to a Christian audience on his website.
To Weinstein, however, the prayer requests constitute “religious and gender discrimination” and “advocating an unconstitutional theocracy.”
And he complains of “historical falsehoods” directed toward “agnostics, atheists and other non-believers,” even though he’s not addressing any of those groups.