MG Olson

Praise Jehovah God!!  A great victory today in your viscious attack against MG Olson, USAF.   I truly don’t know how you can consciously live with yourself.  You must be a miserable human being.  Your hate and anti God beliefs have blinded you.  I will pray God changes your heart before you can destroy the life of another God fearing individual.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld) –
Thanks for writing to the MRFF.  I support the organization in a variety of ways (including assisting with this type of email correspondence).  I’m also a lifelong, committed and active Christian (as well as a USAF Academy graduate and Air Force veteran).
With all due respect, your perspective is incorrect about the MG Olson situation and the concerns that were raised by the MRFF.  While I appreciate your fervent support of a fellow believer, the truth is that we have not challenged MG Olson’s beliefs, nor are we ‘anti-God’.
The sole issue with MG Olson’s participation at the NDP Task Force event is that it violated his obligations as a USAF leader, as clearly spelled out in the regulation that governs this particular area of Air Force life (and from which I’ll provide a direct quote in a moment)
Specifically, here is why what he did was inappropriate:
First, the event at which MG Olson spoke was not any sort of ‘official’ National Day of Prayer event.  Rather, it was a private event sponsored by a group of Christians who call themselves the “National Day of Prayer Task Force” — a private, sectarian religious group that promotes a very specific religious doctrine.
The NDP Task Force is not, as you might be led to assume from the name, open to participation by all Americans of sincere beliefs who wish to share the sentiments of a National Day of Prayer.  In fact, to be even a volunteer for the NDP Task Force, applicants must agree to a very specific statement of Christian belief that excludes even many professed Christians (notably those of the most ancient, liturgical traditions).
Still, I fully support (as does everyone at MRFF) the rights of the private citizens associated with the NDP Task Force to exercise their Constitutionally-protected right to freedom of religion.
But Maj Gen Olson does not share all of those same rights, and in fact has some specific obligations due to his position as a senior AF leader. Specifically, he is bound by obligations that are described in Air Force Instruction 1-1 and which apply to all USAF leaders:
“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 manner in which Maj Gen Olson chose to participate in the NDP Task Force event ignored the direction of AFI 1-1 and allowed his participation to take on the hue of an official endorsement:
— He appeared in full uniform
— He did not indicate at any time that he was speaking as an individual, and not in his role as a USAF leader
— Most troubling, he called for specifically sectarian prayers that the Defense Dept and all troops should “depend on Christ”
For those reasons, I believe that MRFF objections to the manner in which he participated in this event are understandable and justified. I would hope that you, too, can see that the manner in which he participated can very easily be “construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.”
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Mike Challman
Christian, Veteran, MRFF Supporter

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1 Comment

  1. Yeshua Warrior

    Praise God, another win for Him!

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