MRFF vs. the Campus Crusade for Christ
You can quickly familiarize yourself with Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry by reading the report on the Military Religious Freedom (MRFF) website at the following link:
This report contains details about the Campus Crusade Military Ministry hierarchy, their goal (which they're already well on their way to achieving) of using our military to create "government-paid missionaries for Christ," and a number of quotes from this organization. Much of this story is about two Campus Crusade videos, one filmed at the Air Force Academy, and the Campus Crusade program of indoctrinating basic trainees through their "gateway" ministry at Fort Jackson, the largest Army basic training facility. This background information about the organization will make it easier to understand, and see the significance of, the specific items below.
There are a number of elements to this story, outlined here first, with the details and/or photos for each item below.
1. Campus Crusade Military Ministry -- three separate examples
2. Photos from Fort Riley -- These include, among other things, a shot of an office door in a Military Police building on which is a picture of Ann Coulter with the quote, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
3. Photos of Malmstrom Air Force Base's new "Enabled by Christ" Christian men's store in its on-base exchange facility.
4. Mandatory Christian concerts at basic training installations -- This story was written about by Josh Harkinson on Mother Jones a few weeks ago, but the track-covering done by Eric Horner Ministries after the Mother Jones story is a story in itself. Eric Horner, a Christian country singer, regularly appears at military bases, with some performances being mandatory for basic trainees. He has endorsements from General Petraeus and other commanders, was introduced to George Bush by Fort Jackson's base commander, Brig. Gen. James H. Schwitters, and, most recently, has been made an "honorary Ft. Jackson drill sergeant" by Gen. Schwitters.
Fort Jackson "God's Basic Training" -- (#1a in above outline)
From the "God's Basic Training" Bible study outlines, developed by Campus Crusade for Christ's Fort Jackson Military Ministry director Frank Bussey for basic trainee Bible studies.
From the "Can a Christian Soldier Kill?" outline:
III. In Public State Service, NO to murder, YES to killing
Here are a few examples of the Fort Jackson Military Ministry photos, found on a Campus Crusade website, http://www.busseymilmin.com. Because these photos are all clearly deliberately posed, there is no question that they were taken for the purpose of promoting the Military Ministry. Apparently, they're teaching the soldiers right off the bat in basic training that it's OK to violate the same regulation that the Pentagon Inspector General found the Christian Embassy officers guilty of violating. The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Snodgrass, is setting the example by violating it himself.
There are two other things going on at Fort Jackson that are worth noting.
1. The Military Ministry director is permitted to hang posters around the base advertising the "Jesus Film," and to go around to the basic training units inviting all the recruits to attend the screenings. See: http://www.jesusfilm.org/progress/northamerica.html?type=regular&id=334
2. Cadence International has a facility near Fort Jackson called "Victory Ranch," and hold retreats, endorsed by the Fort Jackson chaplain, every weekend -- three weekends for soldiers in AIT (Advanced Individual Training, where soldiers just out of basic training learn their particular job), and one weekend for permanent party.
Cadence is a ministry that preys on soldiers who are about to be deployed, stating on their "Strategic Ministry" page that "Deployment and possibly deadly combat are ever-present possibilities. They are shaken. Shaken people are usually more ready to hear about God than those who are at ease, making them more responsive to the gospel."
Campus Crusade Air Force Academy video (#1b in above outline)
This promotional video is a few years old, probably filmed in the spring of 2003, but is still in use. It can be found on the Global Pastors Network's resources webpage for Bill Bright (the founder of Campus Crusade), under Military Ministry.
The above link is to a half-hour long video containing the Air Force Academy segment. The link in the above outline, http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/video/USAF.mov, is the seven-minute segment that will be on the MRFF website.
The most important thing about this video is that they actually come right out and say they're creating "government-paid missionaries."
Like the Fort Jackson basic trainee photos, the appearance of the three cadets in uniform in this video shows that they're teaching future officers that its OK to violate the same regulation that the Christian Embassy officers violated before they're even out of the academy.
Note: The chaplain's name is spelled wrong in the video. His name is John Ditter (not Didder).
Description of the "God and the Military" DVD (#1c in above outline)
Originally released in 1997 by Nelson and Hudson Publishing, the "God and the Military" DVD was re-released in 2005 for distribution by Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry, and is currently included in the Military Ministry's "Chaplains Boxes."
The speaker at the event was Tommy Nelson, Pastor, Denton Bible Church, Denton, TX
Nelson's audience for the filming consisted of Texas A&M cadets and an assortment of officers from the various branches of the military, ranging in rank from Lieutenant to Colonel, all appearing in uniform.
Nelson's presentation opens with the following:
"I, a number of years ago, was speaking at the University of North Texas -- it happens to be my alma mater, up in Denton, Texas -- and I was speaking to an ROTC group up there, and when I stepped in I said, "It's good to be speaking to all you men and women who are in the ministry," and they all kind of looked at me, and I think they wondered if maybe I had found the wrong room, or if they were in the wrong room, and I assured them that I was speaking to men and women in the ministry, these that were going to be future officers."
The first question in the study guide that accompanies the video is:
"If you are in the military, then you are also in the m__________."
Photos from Fort Riley -- (#2 in above outline)
Because of the photos that our guy at Fort Riley sent of the seal on the chapel doormats, I went to check out whether or not this seal was an official seal used throughout the Army, but in doing this, found something far more important. The image below is of the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, which is located at Fort Jackson. (Bush toured this school and met with the chaplains after the same graduation where he had the meeting with Eric Horner about his ministry. See item #4.) All personnel assigned to this unit must wear this, regardless of their personal beliefs. This is from the official explanation of the symbolism: "The pages of the open Bible represent the primacy of God's Word."
Enabled by Christ store at the Malmstrom Air Force Base on-base exchange facility -- (#3 in above outline)
Mandatory Christian Concerts for Basic Trainees -- (#4 in above outline)
This is a link to the Mother Jones story on the Eric Horner Ministries concerts. In the comments on this story, Chris Rodda [Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation] responded to Mr. and Mrs. Horner's accusations that the article was full of lies, and detailed all the track-covering that the Horners were doing immediately after the story came out, which included altering the quote on their website from General Petraeus. This will probably give you a better idea of what was going on than anything I could send you now.
In a post titled "Our mighty God orchestrated a Presidential Visit!," on the Eric Horner Ministries message board, Horner describes, in a lengthy list of numbered items, all the details of his command performance at the Fort Jackson graduation that Bush attended. This is the part about the meeting with Bush meeting mentioned in the Mother Jones piece:
13. Afterwards we were in the Presidents holding area waiting to meet him and the General from the base leaned over, winked at me and said "thanks for all you've done for our Brigade". He had set it up the meet and greet. There wasn't supposed to be one but the General at FT Jackson made it happen for us. Thank you Lord for him!
14. President Bush walked in and he couldn't have been nicer. He was very kind and paused to take photos with us. The General then spoke up and explained to him that we came as a ministry to the troops. The President seemed to get excited about that and thanked us several times. Again, I'm not looking for glory in what we do but it was pretty cool to hear those words from the President.
15. Debby asked him, how we could get some of our music in to his hands and he said "give it to me right now and I'll have them for sure". Of course Deb was prepared and she gave him 3 of our c.d.'s as well as a brochure about our ministry to the military. As they whisked him away in the motorcade, we could see him reading something that looked like our brochure in the car.
16. Folks the Lord made a way to get us to the very top person in the chain - talk about eliminating the middle men. Please pray for favor in all of this. If the President heard or saw something he liked, he could open more doors for us to grow this ministry than anyone else. (at least anyone of this world)
Here's the link to the whole thing:
Please contact the Military Religious Freedom Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for further information on any of the above items.