Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Air Force Officer Surrenders Over Operation Christmas Child?
Lt. Col. Donald Tasker was targeted by atheists because he sent out an email encouraging his squadron to help fill out shoe boxes for "Operation Christmas Child."
Tasker was clearly trying to do the right thing. Bless needy children---orphans.
The problem? Operation Christmas Child is a part of Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, which is a Christian relief organization.
Now, some believe, Lt. Col. Tasker is trying to separate himself from his email because the pressure is being applied by Mikey Weinstein's atheist organization deceptively called "Military Religious Freedom Foundation."
Operation Christmas Child has been serving needy children for many years. Over those years it has provided tens of millions of shoe boxes filled with toys and personal necessities for kids who would otherwise know nothing of the joy of Christmas.
Samaritan's Purse is a relief organization that provides medical and other assistance wherever in the world tragedy strikes. Volunteers from that organization are on their way to Afghanistan and Pakistan today to assist earthquake victims from Sunday's earthquake.
However, because the organization, headed by Franklin Graham, is motivated by Christian compassion, atheist groups would rather stop their work than allow needy people to be helped---in this case, needy children.
Weinstein's organization alleged that Tasker's email constituted an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because the shoe boxes to be filled with toys also carry a Gospel message.
Weinstein says Tasker's email is an unambiguous endorsement of religion.
Now some are reporting that Tasker subsequently attempted to separate himself from the email.
Some say the email, which was forwarded by the USAF commander's administrative assistant Valencia Branch, was altered before being sent.
Tasker reportedly wrote an email to the entire 436 Force Support Squadron that says, "The invitation included in that [the previous] email also contained language supporting the Christian faith and encouraged participation in this event as an act of Christian faith. I want to be absolutely clear that the email in question was not sent at my direction and is not endorsed in any way by me or any level of command."
Weinstein is now declaring the repudiation email as "a total victory" for the atheists.
Clearly Weinstein got the results he wanted.
Was this a forced denial?
Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty Executive Director Ron Crews says Weinstein's self-proclaimed victory was based on misinformation and intimidation, arguing that no policies were violated by Branch or the email encouraging the squadron's participation in Operation Christmas Child.
He says, "We should be commending members of the Air Force, not condemning them for wanting to serve orphans."
While atheists fight for "freedom from religion," they themselves seem to be very religious.
In fact, the Supreme Court has in effect suggested, inadvertently, that atheism "is" a religion.
In the case US v Seeger and other similar cases, the Court, in their dislike of traditional religion---particularly Christianity, has defined religion as "whatever someone believes so sincerely and so strongly that it affects the way they act."
Atheism and humanism certainly qualifies as a religion according to the Supreme Court. Shouldn't they too be "separated" from the "state" in the same ways they try to separate Christianity?
I'll be talking more about this on the radio today. You may join me live at 9 AM PDT or the rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PDT from anywhere in the world. Here's how.
If you have time, watch this YouTube video. It is an exchange between David Barton and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the wife of former evangelical minister Dan Barker, who together founded the largest atheist organization in America--Freedom From Religion Foundation. The video is 12 minutes.
Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.