Air Force Gospel Explosion

I guess you guys don’t care about facts…..
First – Master Sergeants in the Air Force ARE NOT leadership.
Secondly – you admitted the First Sergeants were spreading the word – THAT’S WHAT FIRST SERGEANTS DO!!!!  About MANY events!!!! Not just Christian ones!!!!
Keep spreading the Anti-Christian rhetoric, though…
(name withheld)




Dear (name withheld),

I think you’re going to wish you had read Mikey’s bio before hitting the send button on this email.
Mikey is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and spent 10 years there as a JAG Officer. He also spent over three years working in, and for, the West Wing of the Reagan Administration as legal counsel in the White House. 
Mikey knows the responsibilities of a Master Sergeant and First Sergeant.
I’m assuming you’re not now nor ever have been in the Air Force, so here are some facts for you:
What is a Master Sergeant?
Master Sergeant (MSgt) is the third Non-Commissioned Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above Technical Sergeant and below Senior Master Sergeant. The promotion to Master Sergeant is known as one of the most significant promotions in the Air Force, and it is the point where an airman enters the senior Non-Commissioned Officer tier. A MSgt’s responsibilities start to shift from technical duties towards commanding a larger amount of subordinates.
Looks like a leadership position to me.
What is a First Sergeant?
Special Duty Summary: (Note: This is a special duty assignment job. It is not available to new enlistees). Principal advisor to the commander on all issues related to the enlisted force; and exercises general supervision over assigned enlisted personnel. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 521.Duties and Responsibilities:Provides the commander a mission-ready enlisted force to execute the unit mission. Must remain vigilant for, and move to resolve, issues that, left unchecked, would adversely impact the readiness of enlisted members. Prepares enlisted personnel of the organization to deploy in support of mission requirements. Exercise the necessary leadership to provide and sustain a mission-ready workforce for the commander…Assists the commander in preparation and execution of unit training and information programs (e.g. commander’s call). Attends staff meetings. Represents the commander at base meetings and councils, and when conducting tours through unit areas.
The First Sergeant assists the Commander – NOT a Master Sergeant. A Commander’s Call was NOT issued on July 1st for the Gospel Explosion. The First Sergeant assists the Commander – NOT a Master Sergeant. 
It seems that you haven’t read the whole article or have chosen to overlook he Air Force regulations that were broken, so I will quote Mikey’s article:
“On September 1, 2011, then-Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, never one to willingly court even an iota of “religious” controversy, nevertheless issued a truly watershed memorandum for all USAF commanders that stated plainly:“Although commanders are responsible for these programs, they must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion. Therefore, I expect chaplains, not commanders, to notify Airmen of Chaplain Corps programs.”
Do you see how it was NOT the Chaplains, but the Cannon AFB official Command Chain that conducted the unlawful “notifying” here, my friends?
The essence of this aforementioned 2011 memo from General Schwartz was essentially codified into official Air Force orders when it was followed in August 2012 by a similarly crystal-clear set of regulatory standards expected of all Air Force personnel worldwide. In Air Force Instruction 1-1, USAF top brass laid down the letter of the law in regards to religious proselytizing:“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.” (emphasis added)”
The email sent to ALL of his subordinates by MSgt. Lucas and then Master Sergeant Marvin Jimerson Jr. instructing all 27th SOW First Sergeants on base to “Please disseminate within your units” is a violation of General Schwartz’s Memorandum on Religious Neutrality in the Air Force. They broke their own law.
The poster states that the Gospel Explosion will be held at the Canon Chapel, then the email should have been put out by the Chaplains as per the regulations set down above. If the Chaplains had done this there would not be any controversy.
There are other laws regarding religious neutrality in the military:
The religion of the majority in our military does not rule over other religions or those of no religious preference, under the Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment (Establishment Clause) of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise (Free Exercise Clause) thereof . . . “(1st Amendment)
The Establishment Clause comes before the Free Exercise Clause for a reason; the Free Exercise Clause is subservient to the Establishment Clause – not the other way around as some Christians would like it to be. 
The Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause.
Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the “Lemon Test:”
1.      Any law or policy must have been adopted with a neutral or non-religious purpose.
2.      The principle or primary effect of any law or policy must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.
3.      The statute or policy must not result in an “excessive entanglement” of government with religion.
If any government entity’s actions fit into one of these three, then it is a violation of the Establishment Clause
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
What they did is NOT constitutionally protected.
We are not an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish and 75% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) which numbers 240, are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 42,000+ soldier clients are Christians. So, we fight for the rights of Christians more than any other religion.
We also rely on our military supporters for their expertise in all matters concerning the military and religion. To name just a few that you may heard of:
Board Member – Major William E. Barker
Board Member – Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV
Advisory Board Member – Lawrence Wilkerson – Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05).
We also have on our Advisory Board distinguished and honorable military and political personnel, a Nobel Peace prize winner, religious leaders and people from all walks of life.
What I find unbelievable is the fact that you had to go to our website to get Mikey’s email but didn’t even look at our Mission statement. It would have saved you from looking like a fool regarding religious neutrality in the military.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Hi (name withheld),

What’s unbelievable is that you don’t understand military culture enough to know that what First Sergeants say is what is

to be done by those below them in rank and answerable to them. Period. Go tell a First Sergeant he is not “leadership”.
Air Force regulations are not limited to officers, they apply to everyone.

There’s nothing anti-Christian about supporting the Constitution, nor is there anything anti-Christian about protecting
the right to freedom of religion in the military. What becomes clear, though, is that certain Christians are so insecure in their
belief that they need to make up a war on Christianity so they can indulge themselves in feeling victimized.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Hi (name withheld) –
Mikey Weinstein has read your email and asked if I’d be interested in replying to it.  I’m happy to do so, because I’d like to take a crack at correcting several misconceptions that you appear to hold, based on your note.  As for who I am — I’m a lifelong, committed, and active Christian, as well as USAF Academy graduate and veteran Air Force officer.  I’m also a staunch supporter of the efforts of the MRFF to “ensure that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
To be as brief as possible in addressing your misconceptions —
Master Sergeants are, indeed, Air Force leadership, with real leadership obligations and responsibilities — we are very clear about that fact at the MRFF, where the vast majority of us are veterans, active military members, or family/friends of current or former military. And because Master Sergeants are part of the leadership cadre of every unit, they are obliged to adhere to what is described for all USAF leaders in AFI 1-1, which says among other things —
“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.”
You can insist that this clear, simple language doesn’t apply to NCO’s… but you’d be wrong.  It applies, as it plainly states in its own text, to leaders at all levels.
The second area where you are mistaken is to insist that the “Gospel Explosion” event can be promoted like “many events”. Even the Cannon AFB spokesperson got it wrong, when she said there was no issue because the information about the event “was distributed in the same manner as one for any activity at the base, like a standup comic or a golf tournament.”
Here is the thing — there is no expectation of Constitutional rights and freedoms when it comes to comedy and golf. But there certainly is for religious beliefs, and so sectarian religious events cannot be promoted in the same manner as a stand-up comic or a golf outing. This particular event should have been promoted through the chaplaincy, and not through the line leadership of the units. Simple as that.
So we’ll keep spreading our rhetoric about the importance of the Constitution… something that is not “Anti-Christian” in the slightest.  But thanks for writing.
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

Seriously – you’re funny!
(name withheld)


Enjoy the laugh, (name withheld). You evidently lack the experience to understand the military culture. I suggest  you

consider getting some before venturing into criticizing something you don’t understand.

I’m afraid your religious hypersensitivity has led you into areas you’re finding it difficult to navigate.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Lol 🙂
Keep hating!
(name withheld)

Back atcha.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Wow ‘Pastor’ Joan
You went to a lot of effort to try to make me look like a ‘fool’. 
Very Christlike of you. 
I stand by what I’ve seen first sergeants do REGULARLY. And while a MSGT may be above some others – so are SSGTs! 
As I said – ridiculous. And if you are really a pastor, I pray for you
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
We are not a bunch of wimps who roll over and take the blame for the behavior of Air Force personnel, who trample the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, the Memorandum on Religious Neutrality from the Chief of Staff for the Air Force and the UCMJ.
The ONLY ones who can mass email a base on a religious event are the Chaplains. Period.
If any other religion did the same thing, we would be calling them out, too. But, it’s always the Christians – who think they are above the law – that do this and then scream persecution.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2
The final judgment on these Christians that are resisting the laws set down by our governing authorities will not come from us but from Jesus Himself.
If you’re going to judge me and doubt my ordination for following the above scripture and holding other Christians accountable to it, then I will pray for you.
Mikey and his lawyers have my ordination papers and you have no right to question it because I don’t think and act the way you would like me to.
Pastor Joan

You’re mistaken. I don’t doubt you are ordained. I just am surprised by the acidity you exude, while claiming to be a Christ-follower.
And no – I wouldn’t complain if a Shirt sent an email about a Jewish or Muslim get together.
And if you think Romans means supporting any/all laws, then you’re sadly mistaken.
And I will pray for you:)
(name withheld)

Pastor Joan

I agree!
(name withheld)

As a pastor, Joan, how does it feel to work with those who want to suppress God?
All this fear of a leader enforcing their faith ‘or else’ – funny how you never hear of it actually happening. God forbid we send an email about a concert!!!! Oh – the horror!!
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
You are entitled to your opinionBut you are not entitled to your own facts.’ Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
You don’t hear about it because out of our 42,600+ military clients, 96% of them are Christians and we keep their names anonymous for fear of retribution. And, yes the fear is real. If it wasn’t, this organization would fold, but we are gaining more Christians clients as the military tries to cleanse it of those Christians that are not Evangelical Fundamental Dominionist “born-again” Christians and non-Christians.
US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”
This is no joke and not a laughing matter. How would you feel if you were a Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, etc. and you were in the military today and was told this? Even though this was said in 1999, it still goes on today.
We have liaisons on almost every military base in the world. Every email we receive and our responses are blasted out to them to be sent to our soldiers and supporters in their areas. They have suffered things you can never imagine and you are making a mockery of them.
You’re going to be famous but not in the way you expect.
Pastor Joan


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