MRFF Demands DoD Revoke Authority of Chaplain Endorser Who Suggested Democrats Should Be Executed
Chris Rodda printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 04:55:11 PM EST
As I wrote back in May, the antics of disgraced former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, and his retaliation against the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, after the two organizations issued a joint letter to the Chief of Naval Operations requesting an investigation of his use of his image in uniform to solicit funds for political causes, led MRFF to take a closer look at Klingenschmitt's endorser, the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC) and its leader, retired Army colonel Jim Ammerman. What we found was astounding, and led to a decision by MRFF to formally demand that Ammerman, whose agency provides the ecclesiastical endorsements required by the Department of Defense for over 270 military chaplains and chaplain candidates, be stripped of the authority granted to him and his organization by the DoD to endorse military chaplains.

MRFF's letter to the Secretary of Defense, copied to numerous other government and DoD officials, went out on June 24, accompanied by a 55-page package of enclosures supporting the four separate reasons that Ammerman's authority must be revoked.

Included among these enclosures is a 1997 memorandum from a three-star general calling for an investigation of Ammerman and CFGC at that time. This memorandum includes nine pages of excerpts from Ammerman's radio appearances and Prophecy Club video, "Imminent Military Takeover of the U.S.A.," a video circulated among militia groups. Ammerman's statements included everything from saying that Bill Clinton (president at the time the video was released) should have been executed to inciting the militia types by making claims that his chaplains were reporting back to him that they had inside information that the U.S. military was preparing to attack U.S. cities and claiming inside information from other sources indicating an imminent threat of the United States being placed under martial law. Unbelievably, as Kathryn Joyce reported in her recent Newsweek.com article, "Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word," the outcome of this 1997 investigation was that the DoD found Ammerman's statements to be within the bounds of free speech, and Ammerman retained his authority as a DoD authorized chaplain endorser.

Updating the list of excerpts from the 1997 memorandum is a list of more recent quotes from Ammerman, recent CFGC chaplain newsletters, and statements made by Ammerman's protégé, current CFGC chaplain Army Major James Linzey, including an excerpt from a CFGC newsletter suggesting that the four democratic senators who were candidates for president in the 2008 election, including, of course, Barack Obama, should be arrested and executed for voting against making English the official language of the United States.

Here is the letter sent by MRFF to the Secretary of Defense:

June 24, 2009

Hon. Dr. Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000


Secretary Gates,

It has recently come to the attention of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) that an ecclesiastical endorsing agency authorized by the DoD to approve chaplains for military service has continually been in flagrant violation of a number of DoD regulations, the U.S. Code, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the United States Constitution for well over a decade.

1. The Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC), headed by retired Army Col. E.H. Jim Ammerman, which, according to its website, currently has over 270 chaplains and chaplain candidates in all branches of the military, habitually denigrates all religions and religious denominations except Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity. This denigration, which includes virulently anti-semitic and Islamophobic statements, as well as the deprecation of Catholicism and mainstream Protestantism, occurs in the CFGC's chaplain newsletters, as well as in the speeches, media appearances, and videos of both Mr. Ammerman and a currently serving CFGC chaplain, Army Maj. James F. Linzey. (See attached enclosures for numerous specific examples of these disparaging statements.)

2. Both Mr. Ammerman and Maj. Linzey have made numerous statements against the government of the United States and certain government officials and departments, promoted civilian militia movements, and disseminated many conspiracy theories in an attempt to foment disloyalty to the government of the the United States among both civilians and military personnel. This type of activity has previously led to an investigation of Ammerman and CFGC, called for by Air Force Lt. Gen. Normand Lezy in 1997. (See enclosed memorandum.)

DoD Directive Number 1325.6, "Guidelines for Handling Dissident and Protest Activities Among Members of the Armed Forces," cited in Lt. Gen. Lezy's 1997 memorandum, states that "Military personnel must reject participation in organizations that espouse supremacist causes." The Prophecy Club, an organization for which both Mr. Ammerman and Maj. Linzey have made videos, unquestionably espouses a supremacist cause. In addition, various statements made by both Mr. Ammerman and Maj. Linzey in their Prophecy Club videos, as well as in other forums, such as radio appearances and speeches, incontrovertibly violate one or more of the following statutory provisions found in Enclosure E1.2 of DoD Directive Number 1325.6.

E1.2. STATUTORY PROVISIONS

E1.2.1. Applicable to All Persons E1.2.1.2. Section 2385 -- Advocating overthrow of the Government. E1.2.1.3. Section 2387 -- Counseling insubordination , disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty.

E1.2.2. Applicable to Members of the Armed Forces E1.2.2.5. Section 888 (Article 88, UCMJ) -- Contemptuous words by commissioned officers against certain officials. E1.2.2.9. Section 934 (Article 134, UCMJ) -- Uttering disloyal statement, criminal libel, communicating a threat, and soliciting another to commit an offense.

3. According to the definition of a "Religious Organization" found in DoD Directive Number 1304.19, "Guidance for the Appointment of Chaplains for the Military Departments," CFGC is not eligible to be authorized as an ecclesiastical endorser. CFGC is not an "entity that is organized and functions primarily to perform religious ministries to a non-military lay constituency." CFGC, which is operated out of a house located in a residential neighborhood of Dallas, Texas zoned for single family homes, did not have a "non-military lay constituency" at the time of its founding, but was founded for the sole purpose of endorsing chaplains, and this continues to be its primary purpose to this day.

4. In a clear and blatant violation of CENTCOM's General Order 1-A, which absolutely prohibits the proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, a network of forty CFGC chaplains has engaged in the organized distribution in Iraq of Arabic language Bibles and other Arabic language fundamentalist Christian evangelizing materials to the Iraqi people. The violation of this explicitly prohibited activity by these forty CFGC chaplains was initiated, encouraged, and aided by Mr. Ammerman. (See enclosed Newsweek article and other enclosures.)

Given CFGC's and Mr. Ammerman's multiple, habitual, and ongoing violations of military regulations, the U.S. Code, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and Mr. Ammerman's encouragement, aiding, and abetting of the chaplains he oversees in their violations of these regulations and the United States Constitution that they swore an oath to uphold, MRFF demands the immediate revocation of CFGC's ecclesiastical endorsing authority. Furthermore, MRFF demands an aggressive investigation to identify and swiftly punish all CFGC chaplains and any other enabling DoD military or civilian personnel involved in any of the aforementioned violations of military regulations and/or the U.S. Code.


Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder & President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org


Enclosure

CC:
President Barack Obama
Pete Geren - Secretary of the Army
Ray Mabus - Secretary of the Navy
Michael B. Donley - Secretary of the Air Force
Admiral Michael Mullen - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General James E. Cartwright - Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General George W. Casey, Jr. - Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Admiral Gary Roughead - Chief of Naval Operations
General Norton A. Schwartz - Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
General James T. Conway - Commandant of the Marine Corps
Carl Levin - Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
Ike Skelton - Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services
Executive Director of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board
Gail H. McGinn - Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
Pedro L. Irigonegaray, Esq. - Law Offices of Irigonegaray & Associates
Robert V. Eye, Esq. - Law Offices of Kaufman & Eye


The entire package of enclosures sent with this letter can be viewed on the MRFF website. In addition to the items and articles mentioned above, the package contains articles by Bruce Wilson and Talk to Action contributor Ruth, both of whom volunteered many hours to help MRFF in its investigation of Ammerman and Maj. Linzey, and whose tireless efforts over the last two months, and continuing exposure of the many aspects of this story, are greatly appreciated.





Display:
Quite right. I was astonished at just how far off the wall Ammerman and his sidekick Lindzey actually are.

by Richard Bartholomew on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 05:51:49 AM EST

This is an amazing piece in investigation and follow through.  Please keep up the good work.
It's a shame that few too many Americans are awared of this issue.  At least the President has a copy now... and that is reasurring.

by deatons on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 03:36:18 PM EST

...responds to the MRFF letter regarding CFGC. The cynic in me says that the DoD will blow this off. Talk me down.

by xDARKxENERGYx on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 12:16:29 PM EST

Please keep on this stuff. You do a great job!

by brother maynard on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 02:45:42 AM EST

Thanks for a nice share you have given to us with such an large collection of information.
medicare advantage plans

by carlakim15 on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:40:19 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Short Takes
Pando Daily:  Journalist Mark Ames has published a must-read story about how Reason,the flagship magazine of libertarianism, published a special issue in 1976 promoting......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads - Updated
Cross-posted from The Huffington Post. The head of Maryland's Republican Party, Joe Cluster, has called local candidate Michael Peroutka to the woodshed for a......
By jhutson (3 comments)
Short Takes
Bilgrimage:  Bill Lindsey discusses "an outstanding series of articles" by Frank Cocozzelli here at Talk to Action, originally posted in 2007, about the close......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 1)
In light of the recent US Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby -- which exempts, closely held corporations that invoke "sincerely held......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 2)
The following is the second installment of a three part sub-series regarding the influence of non-mainstream, ultra-traditional Catholics now sitting on the US Supreme......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
An Opus Focus on SCOTUS? (Part 3)
"The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it,......
By Frank Cocozzelli (8 comments)
Access Denied: The Religious Right Opens Up A New Front On Its War Against Birth Control
Some commentators continue to insist that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was no big deal. It's a......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
William Barber Takes Us to Church at Netroots Nation
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, the leader of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina gave a rousing, perhaps historic keynote speech at Netroots......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, "The Family"
As I introduce my new Center Against Religious Extremism report Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, "The Family"), In 2010......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Lessons in Taking the Long View in the Long Form
Historian Leo P. Ribuffo recently published a wise and erudite essay at History News Network. In it he discusses trends among historians regarding how......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Missing Pieces of the Story of Sun Myung Moon
The recent coverage of the life and death of Richard Mellon Scaife, a transformational figure in recent American history, was pretty underwhelming. (Fortunately, our......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
When I Won One Over My Old (Former) Friend Jerry Falwell
July 13th was the anniversary of our friend Jerry Sloan's confrontation on live television with Moral Majority founder, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. This......
By JerrySloan (1 comment)
Vatican Defrocks A Bishop Over Sexual Abuse - But Not Finn.
Pope Francis recently indicated he is serious about ending child sex abuse and cover-ups by Catholic prelates by defrocking a former apostolic nuncio (a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Bob Jones University and the Real Roots of the Religious Right
Historian Randall Balmer notes writing in Christian Ethics Today, that the real beginnings of the Religious Right lies not in 1973 Roe v. Wade,......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Becket Or Wreck It?: Little-Known Religious Right Group At Heart Of Hobby Lobby Case
The Supreme Court's recent (and horrendous) ruling in the Hobby Lobby case dealing with workers' access to contraceptives has turned the spotlight on the......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)

Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (1 comment)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)
A Wiccan Witch In Salem
Since it's only two weeks from Halloween, I made my usual foray into Christian Right Country to find out what their plans are for this Halloween. I don't know where to be sad or......
irishwitch (0 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else © 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.