MIKEY’s OP-ED – Air Force leaders hammer helpless subordinates with Evangelical “Gospel Explosion”

Ho hum, just another fundamentalist “Jesus Freak” day of joy in the U.S. Air Force, spewing out another major illicit act of despicable denigration towards the Constitution of the United States. This latest anti-Constitutional outrage comes to us from Cannon Air Force Base (AFB), host to the USAF’s 27th Special Operations Wing (SOW), which lies on the outskirts of Clovis in my home state of New Mexico near the border with west Texas. Hold on to your seats, folks, because this situation is “explosive” in the figurative sense of cluster bombs peppering the landscape – where you discover one, you can be sure that dozens (possibly hundreds) of others lie in close range. As far as the combustible mix of unlawful fundamentalist Christian proselytizing and secular military duty is concerned, the USAF is an absolute and abominable minefield – and this latest so-called “Gospel Explosion” at Cannon AFB is a putrid, and sadly typical, example of command leadership streaking haphazardly right through that minefield.

Please permit me to explain. It won’t take long…

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10 Comments

  1. Lee Reed

    Mikey, I really appreciate the MRFF’s work and have donated to it on occasion, but I think the tone of this particular Op Ed is a bit, well, Trumpish (you know, The Donald). Of course, you want people to get pay enough attention to grasp the underlying facts but I’m afraid you may lose support for your (our) position by in effect characterizing your opponents as mendacious pond scum who should be tied to a tree and fed by slingshot. See what I mean? Even for the Daily Kos, the piece seemed a bit flippant. I think it detracts from the seriousness of the issue. Best wishes, LR

  2. Yovonne

    Mikey, I’m grateful for all that you and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation do and I do what I can to support you both financially and by spreading the word on social media and will continue to do so, but I have to agree with Lee Reed on this. It’s much better to take the high road than to get down in the gutter and sling mud and excrement, metaphorically speaking.

  3. Kathryn A. Stone

    With this kind of audacious & persistent proselytizing, it must be difficult for Mikey to restrain himself. kas
    +

  4. BirdManBlue

    So, if the Senior NCO forwarded an flyer saying “Eid Celebration for Everyone! Ramadan is over! Please encourage ALL of your people to come celebrate Allah’s goodness and the Miracle of the Prophet’s Message in the Koran with an EXPLOSIVE feast!” and then the Wing Commander forwarded this his subordinate commanders, what would the Faux-News Freaks be saying? Probably that religious fanatics had taken over one of our key special forces bases. Well, guess what? Religious fanatics seem to have taken over one of our key special forces bases.

  5. BirdManBlue

    So, if the Senior NCO forwarded a flyer saying “Eid Celebration for Everyone! Ramadan is over! Please encourage ALL of your people to come celebrate Allah’s goodness and the Miracle of the Prophet’s Message in the Koran with an EXPLOSIVE feast!” and then the Wing Commander forwarded this to his subordinate commanders, what would the Faux-News Freaks be saying? Probably that religious fanatics had taken over one of our key special forces bases. Well, guess what? Religious fanatics seem to have taken over one of our key special forces bases.

  6. Isaiah thomas

    I am the choir director for this explosion. I want to make one thing clear. No one is forcing anyone to go anywhere or do anything. You can clearly tell by the lack of the participants! A lot of people don’t even know about the explosion! When we asked to “pass the word around” that’s what it was. This is strictly volunteer and no one is being forced to do it. The writer of this article seems misinformed and rather hateful. If you don’t want to participate then don’t! If you are being forced use your chain of command because I certainly don’t want a spirit of malice around us and the people that need it. Be blessed!

  7. Yeshua Warrior

    Bravo Isaiah!

  8. Yeshua Warrior

    This is certainly no proslyetizing event. Here is the posting from the Cannon AFB online newsletter – Gospel Explosion
    August 15
    Base Chapel
    2 p.m.
    National gospel recording artist, Wess
    Morgan, will be performing at the Base
    Chapel on August 15. The service which
    begins at 2 p.m., will also feature
    performances by Voices of Cannon and
    Praise Dance Ministry.

    This seems more like a concert than anything else which also includes the bases won Voices of Cannon!

  9. BirdManBlue

    Isaiah, I appreciate that as the choir director you see this as a COMPLETELY voluntary event, but you clearly have no idea how power and influence work in a military hierarchical environment. When a Senior NCO or commander or senior officer sends out messages with “opportunities” to participate in an event, the cogs in EVERY subordinate’s brain machine start turning. “Does the boss EXPECT me to go, but can’t order me?” “Will I get valuable ‘face-time’ with these senior leaders if I go?” “If the boss goes, but I’m the only one that doesn’t, will that reflect badly?” Etc, etc. That’s just the way the world works–in the military especially. If the boss orders McNuggets at McDonald’s, then more often than not, the junior airman beside him is going to switch his order from a cheeseburger to the McNuggets. Why rock the boat?
    You can say all you want that they should take it up their chain-of-command if they feel like there’s undo influence, but guess what? You really don’t know how those people along the chain of command feel about the issue either and it could be career suicide to complain about an event when the captain or major or lieutenant colonel to whom you’re addressing the issue has a bible on his desk and tickets for his entire immediate family to attend the EXPLOSION!!!
    You can have your event. You can put flyers up on unofficial boards. You can make a Facebook group. BUT, when a senior NCO or officer sends it out from her or his personal e-mail or from an official site that is not reserved for chaplains, then undo command influence and endorsement can and should be inferred and assumed.
    Ask yourself this: “What would I think if your boss was repeatedly sending you invitations to political rallies in support of Hillary Clinton (or another candidate for POTUS if you actually support her)?” It’s simply inappropriate and an egregious violation of the trust and responsibility that comes with a senior military or command position. Same here.

  10. Cannon AFB NCO

    Two things that really chap my hide. One, the blatantly Christian prayers (invocations) before every event on base. Two, the fact that I’m expected to speak to these people (the chaplaincy) whenever the going gets tough? No thanks. I have no interest in speaking with someone with an advanced degree in fairy tales. Get me a humanist or atheist chaplain then we’ll talk.

    You know who else we’re encouraged to speak with when we need help? Our First Sergeant. And guess what, MSgt Marvin Jimerson, from the dailykos article, was just named the First Sergeant of the Year for the Air Force. MSgt Lucas is also a First Sergeant at Cannon AFB. Read the Air Force First Sergeant’s creed and let that soak in for a minute. The struggle is real.

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