Brig. Gen. John Teichert gives his first salute to his workforce after assuming command of the 412th Test Wing July 18 at Edwards Air Force Base. (Kenji Thuloweit/Air Force)

Brig. Gen. John Teichert gives his first salute to his workforce after assuming command of the 412th Test Wing July 18 at Edwards Air Force Base. (Kenji Thuloweit/Air Force)

The actions and rhetoric of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation toward the new commander of Edwards Air Force base shows that despite its name, the atheist group isn’t really concerned about religious freedom, contends a leading non-profit legal group that has come to the general’s defense.

As WND reported, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a formal complaint earlier this month with Defense Secretary James Mattis regarding Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert, charging the officer created a public webpage and social media accounts that “promote his fundamentalist, dominionist ‘Christian’ beliefs.”

On its website, MMRF warns of Teichert’s “nefarious fundamentalist agenda,” describing him as “a fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator” who should “be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a wing wearing general’s stars.”

As evidence, it presents a quote from one of Teichert’s “sermons”:

“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.”

“What seems apparent,” said the American Center for Law and Justice, “is that MRFF and its leader Mikey Weinstein care less for religious freedom than they do about ridding the military of religion – specifically Christianity.”

“MRFF advocates freedom from religion, not freedom of religion,” ACLJ said.

The legal group has written a letter to Mattis, warning that MMRF’s frequent demand letters should be treated with caution, “lest the recipients become unwitting pawns in the MRFF’s strategy to eviscerate religious freedom in the U.S. armed forces.”

ACLJ noted the complaint “explicitly claims that some servicemen in General Teichert’s command live in ‘mortal fear’ because they do not share his religious beliefs.”

“Yet the complaint fails to give a single specific example of General Teichert actually doing any of the many things they charge. Their position seems to be that, just because he is a General Officer, his public profession of faith is somehow oppressing the soldiers that serve under him.”

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 is troubled by prayer requests, directed at fellow Christians, that Teichert posted on the web, contending they constitute “religious and gender discrimination” and “advocating an unconstitutional theocracy.”

Among the prayer requests:

  • “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”

MRFF also complains of “historical falsehoods” directed toward “agnostics, atheists and other non-believers,” even though he’s not addressing any of those groups.

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