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


Thoughts on the Finale of the Finn Debacle
Now that Bishop Robert Finn has finally resigned his leadership of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri -- here are some final thoughts......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
DeVos and School Privatization Funders Backing Philadelphia Democratic Mayoral Candidate
The Betsy DeVos-led American Federation for Children (AFC) and its core funders have spent more than fifteen million dollars in Pennsylvania over the last......
By Rachel Tabachnick (0 comments)
Religious Right Rabbi: Christian Coalition Favorite Daniel Lapin Resurfaces
Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, one part of the job was......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Christian Right leaders escalate anti-LGBTQ threats
As marriage equality has advanced around the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue in June, threatening language......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that......
By Bill Berkowitz (1 comment)
Whine Festival: Second-Tier Religious Right Leaders Still Don't Like Marriage Equality
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.In preparation for this, a sad collection of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)

Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (0 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
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 (5 comments)
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 (5 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 (5 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 (2 comments)
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 (2 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.