Written by: Chuck Wooten, Command Chief master Sergeant, USAF (Retired)
I read with interest and disbelief, the op-ed of Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a retired Army Colonel and Advisory Board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) in the May 22, 2015 issue of the Huffington Post. In his hate piece, Wilkerson calls Air Force Major General Craig Olson a “danger” and referred to him as “American Taliban.” Why? Because this senior leader had the gall to publicly proclaim “I am a redeemed believer in Christ.” Apparently, according to Wilkerson, he is a dangerous man, making a dangerous display of religion.
Before I begin with my mission to publicly rebut and take Wilkerson and his hate group to the woodshed, I think some housekeeping is in order:
First, like Major General Olson, I too, am a redeemed believer in Christ.
Second, my intention is not to defend General Olson. The U.S. Air Force found nothing to substantiate the need for action. The MRFF squawked and squawked but failed to make a case for immediate court martial and have the general punished to the fullest extent of the law. That must’ve hurt.
Third, I am not defending the Christian faith. Because we (Christians) serve an almighty God, and He doesn’t need us to defend Him from squawkers. He knew about them and how they were going to behave before the foundation of the Earth. People cannot surprise God.
What I am doing, however is to approach this hate speech of Wilkerson’s (he’ll forgive me for not calling him “sir”…respect is earned) from a different perspective. Because I’m an unapologetic Christian and senior military leader (retired), I call things as they are, but I do it with love. As an aside, the haters really can’t handle our love walk, so it occurs to me; this is exactly how Jesus would deal with this issue. I will follow His example and be quite blunt.
Now that we have those things established, let’s get on with the task at hand, calling out Lawrence Wilkerson and the MRFF. I know, it’s a fool’s errand…these people have hearts so hard toward Christ it’s almost biblical, but as a leader I simply cannot allow Wilkerson’s hate to go unchallenged.
Wilkerson asserts that anyone in uniform, who “wears their religion on their sleeves” is a danger to our country. Aside from being hyperbolic, it is his position that could pose a danger. Now, I suppose in Wilkerson’s jaundiced mind, Olson’s profession of his faith – in uniform – in public – at a Christian prayer event – broadcast by a Christian T.V. network, posed a danger to America. Olson was an invited, official speaker—thus, the uniform, to speak about his faith at an event set up specifically to receive his message. Where is the danger?
The retired Army Colonel goes on to assert that our enemies will use Olson’s profession of faith as a propaganda tool. Guess what, Colonel? Our enemies only have to lightly peruse the MRFF website to get all the propaganda fuel they need. Please, Colonel spare us your projection tactics. They are boring, but I digress…
Wilkerson and his cronies try desperately to pass themselves off as authorities on the Constitution, which they claim is the basis for their very existence. No harm in that except, in trying to stick with their false narrative, they spend way too much time trying to convince everyone that the Constitution says what it doesn’t say. Unlike my liberal brothers-in-arms, I’ll use specifics:
Wilkerson refers in his article to “the Constitutional separation of church and state.” Guys, come on…this is such a tired and worn out argument. Saying it over and over will not make it truth. Never. Nowhere. Not once does this appear in the Constitution. It never has and never will. You know as I that this “wall” was referred to in writings between Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. Last I checked, the Baptist Association of Danbury was not a participant in drafting our Constitution.
Wilkerson goes on to claim that, “We officers, when we take the oath of office, surrender for the duration of our service the privilege of publically professing our religion.” Colonel Wilkerson, that is a lie and you know it. Honor and integrity are clearly not your core values as a human and an officer.
Wilkerson cites Secretary/General Colin Powell to bolster his claim. He writes of Powell as someone “who incidentally, would never have worn his religion on this sleeve.” He conveniently fails to mention that Powell stated publically, “I have the moral fortitude…” and the “…blessings of a Christian education and Christian upbringing and the blessings of a strong moral family.” One has to wonder how his words don’t qualify as a public profession his Christian faith,” according to Wilkerson and the MRFF? Hypocrites.
As a senior enlisted leader of the greatest Air Force ever, I can personally attest that the assertion of any profession of religion has no impact on a unit’s good order and discipline. No more so than any person’s profession of sexuality …but it is unlikely that Wilkerson would want to talk about that. The troops are driven to accomplish their mission…Period. Wilkerson ignores that simple truth to make his vitriolic, insulting and flimsy argument.
Should any person’s faith, or lack thereof, becomes an issue of good order and discipline, that unit has deeper leadership problems. Blaming it on religion is a weak and disingenuous cop-out…and Wilkerson knows this, too.
The over dramatization of the Christian influence in Wilkerson’s piece is absurdly laughable. The notion that our military forces are no different than al qaeda, ISIS, al nusra because of Christian “religious fanatics” is stunningly stupid. If he doesn’t know that, his judgment is even more flawed than I initially believed.
Singling out Major General Olson in such a malicious and libelous fashion is what is truly egregious, not his open profession of faith. Attacking the Air Force’s leadership by calling them cowards (being afraid of certain members of Congress) is equally libelous on the part of Wilkerson. Carrying the attack to the halls of Congress shows desperation and imminent failure of the MRFF. Don’t take my word for it, simply peruse the MRFF website. It won’t take long to find the cry for cash. In fact, the plea to donors is the ONLY decent thing written by the CEO, “Mikey” somebody or other.
To boil this entire issue down to its lowest form, Wilkinson and the MRFF are nothing more than predictable liberals. They make a living by fabricating controversy where none exists (think Al Sharpton). They hide behind massively loquacious pieces of hate-filled diatribe which ultimately means nothing. A by-product of their incessant squawking is a colossal waste of tax dollars when a branch of the military or court has to divert attention from its mission to swat these gnats aside.
It must be exhausting for Wilkinson and the MRFF to fight a fictitious foe only to have their butt handed to them in defeat. That’s what the U.S. Air Force just did to them in the case of General Olson. Move along, nothing to see here folks.
What leftists like Wilkerson and their evil minions fail to recognize is that we’ve (Christians) have heard this song before…many times. There is truly nothing new under the sun. They are no more clever in trying to destroy the Christian church than every other thug-wannabe that’s tried over the past 2000 years. Really, the only things that change are the names. We’re still standing.
While this group spews liberal buzzwords designed to incite faux rage directed at Christians in the military, their real foe is Christianity itself. Simply put: they hate Jesus (and He knows it, too). They can try and deny it or disguise it by diversion, but it never works. The truth is the truth. Every attack Wilkinson and his cronies launch under the banner of religious freedom carries a bull’s eye aimed directly at the Cross of Jesus.
Interestingly, there are no similar attacks on Muslims. Even when Nadal Hasan murdered 13 and injured 32 in the name of Allah, the MRFF didn’t spring into action and try to shut down the Ft. Hood leadership or squawk at Big Army to bring him to justice. What they did, according to “Mikey”, was to condemn what Hasan did, BUT, went on to explain that he did it because he was being picked on and couldn’t take it anymore. Hasan clearly wore his “religion on his sleeve” and in the chambers of his weapons, but was somehow excused by MRFF. I personally find that curious. Apparently, according to the MRFF’s perverted thinking, it’s okay to murder in the name of allah, but not okay to profess to be a believer in Christ.
Let’s face it; the MRFF is nothing more than a low-level, low-influence group of Christian persecutors. This next statement is going to make some liberal brains explode…
We just don’t care about you or your plans to destroy the church. You will not succeed, so ultimately, you just don’t matter to us. Really. We knew this job was dangerous when we took it…like joining the military. Persecution for us is a way of life. We get it. It has to be done according to the Word of God. We were made fully aware that our walk of faith would include persecution and we’re willing to endure. So, in very, very real terms, all of this is a fulfillment of Holy Scripture and Wilkinson and his ilk are in actuality, aiding in bringing into manifestation God’s Word. There are those that have to persecute and those that have to endure it, but WE humans, we get to choose which team to play for. It’s not that complicated. Be assured though, we are guaranteed victory. We read the end of the book…we win.
Know this, Mr. Wilkinson: we that follow Jesus are also willing and able to tell those that hate us, “we love you and we forgive you. Above all, we hope one day you’ll know the love God has for you and invite Jesus into your heart.” Wrap your mind around that, Colonel.
And one final thought for Wilkinson and the MRFF to ponder:
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. ~ Jesus
Originally posted over at the Arizona Daily Independent