Maj. Gen. Craig Olson

Thank you for bring to my attention Maj. Gen Craig Olson. 

Because of your site I was able to listen to his speech.  What a inspiring speech.

 How great to hear God mentioned at a national Day of Prayer. 

Your work to bring attention to God to so many people will be rewarded by God when you stand in front of him.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld)

This was not the National Day of Prayer signed into law in 1952. This was the National Day of Prayer Task Force – a private, non-profit organization.

The National Day of Prayer is for those of all faiths as a day of prayer and meditation.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force is strictly a conservative evangelical Christian organization called the “National Prayer Committee” that was formed to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer (the same day as the original National Day of Prayer) for the purpose of organizing only evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal government entities.

The National Day of Prayer is sanctioned by the government where the National Day of Prayer Task Force is not.

As a Christian, it is wonderful to hear the testimonies of other Christians, but a person that is in the military must abide by the strict guidelines of religious neutrality while in uniform.

If he had showed up in civilian clothes there wouldn’t have been a problem.

Parker v. Levy:

“This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. … The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech [to include religious speech] that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.” (Emphasis added) Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974

Our military is secular and by giving his speech on Christianity in uniform – which gives the impression to the world that we have a Christian military – demeans the morale of those of other faiths. His speech is constitutionally unprotected.

Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12:

2.12. Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. 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 violation of this – by speaking in uniform at a civilian event- is a potential felony under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A person in uniform also cannot attend a political rally.

Civilian laws and military rules and regulations are different.

Major General Olson knows these rules but chose to ignore them.

Again, we are not trying to take God out of the military, but Major General Olson cannot be given an exception to the rules because of his rank or his religion.

We endorse the religious freedoms or lack thereof of all of our soldiers, but they must conduct their lives under the rules set out by the military while in uniform.

Blessings,

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member

 

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