CORRECTION: SPEECH AT AIR FORCE ACADEMY NOT FREE
By Rev. Ted Pike
6 Mar 06
Several weeks ago the national media, Christian/conservative leaders,
and even ADL's Abe Foxman concluded that Christian rights to evangelize
and use the name of Christ in public prayers had been restored at the
Air Force Academy.
Yet now, as the dust from this furor has settled a little, both sides
are informing us that such freedom, at least in part, has not actually
been recovered by Christians.
Here's my best approximation of the facts:
1. Officers have been given back their right to witness to cadets.
2. Cadets can witness to each other.
3. Chaplains can use the name of Christ within their own chapels.
4. Chaplains cannot use the name of Christ in public prayers.
The following confirms such restrictions still exist:
First, Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff, special assistant for values and vision
to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff.
He helped draft the revised guidelines on witnessing, released on February
9th by the Air Force.
He summarizes the new guidelines in a newspaper interview in "The
Jewish Week." "...The bottom line has not changed -- clergy
may not invoke the name of Jesus Christ while offering prayers at official
government ceremonies." 1
Second, Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, the Navy chaplain who recently
went on an 18-day hunger strike. He was protesting Navy guidelines
which also forbid the use of Christ's name by chaplains in public ceremonies. "Nothing
has changed! They want prayers, but no religious beliefs. Huh? Non-religious
prayer? The new guidelines and old guidelines are practically identical,
so even now Air Force chaplains cannot pray 'in Jesus' name' in public
ceremonies. Blatant censorship continues!" 2
Klingenschmitt says that Rabbi Resnicoff wrote the Navy's 1998 policy
forbidding chaplains to use Christ's name in public prayers. 3
Third, Stewart Ain, writer for The Jewish Week. He agrees with Klingenschmitt,
saying the Air Force, assisted by Rabbi Resnicoff, "...beat back
GOP pressure" to resist allowing chaplains to use the name of
Christ on public occasions. 4
Fourth, Rep. Walter Jones (R. - N.C.) is a member of the House Arms
Services Committee who led a drive by 71 House members and three Senators
to restore free speech at the academy. Upon being told that the new
academy guidelines did not restore chaplains' rights to use Christ's
name in public prayers, he said, "To me, this is a sad day for
First Amendment rights... Why should the federal government be dictating
your thoughts and your speech? This is what seems to be happening...
Chaplains are not free to pray their faith and their tradition outside
of their church and synagogue." 5
A History of Free Speech for Chaplains
Throughout most of American military history, chaplains have been
free to witness to all military personnel. This has included the right
to publicly pray in Jesus' name. It has also included the right of
rabbis to publicly recite Jewish prayers or invocations.
Yet Rabbi Resnicoff feels that chaplains today should be restricted
in their right to voice religious opinions or initiate religious discussion
outside of their chapels. "In the guidelines we are dealing with
limits on chaplains who believe they must evangelize and change (another's)
religion... We are saying (that is OK) if the discussion is voluntary...
A chaplain must agree to support people of all religions. A chaplain
dealing with others has to help them become stronger in their (own)
In other words, a Christian chaplain is forbidden to convert service
personnel to Christianity. Initiative toward conversion must be "voluntary," coming
from the unconverted. Further, no attempt must be made to convert such
personnel away from their own religion. Rather, according to Resnicoff,
chaplains must encourage those of other faiths to remain and deepen
within their own beliefs.
Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith, agrees with Resnicoff's emasculated "universalized" role
of chaplains. "The chaplain is to minister to all." Restricted
from public evangelism, he says, they should only be "allowed
to minister to their own faith in their own chapel." 7
Of course, such restrictions violate the consciences and calling
of Christian chaplains. They force them to deny their New Testament
obligation to go into "all the world," evangelizing "in
the name of Jesus," primarily as dictated by the Holy Spirit,
not military guidelines.
What's the Solution?
As never before, Jewish activists worldwide are exerting pressure
to dictate church/state policies concerning evangelism. The fracas
at the Air Force Academy began when a Jewish activist, Mikey Weinstein,
filed a lawsuit against the academy for allowing "religious coercion" by
Christians. Now it is becoming clear that another, very highly placed
Jewish activist, Rabbi Resnicoff, has been playing a pivotal role in
stripping Christian chaplains of their free speech, in both the Navy
and Air Force. Jewish activists are working with the Jewish ADL to
extend such restrictions to all the armed services.
What is a balanced solution to this conflict between the values of
Christianity and Jewish activists?
Israel Shows the Way
Let's consider how the State of Israel excludes such a conflict.
In Israel it is out of the question that a minority of Christians
should force the government and military to remove stars of David or
menorahs from public places -- or that chaplains in the Israeli military
be forbidden to recite Jewish prayers in public ceremonies.
Why? Because Israel is defined by its Jewish history and majority.
It is a nation founded by Jews upon Jewish principles, heritage, and
aspirations. Its religion is officially orthodox -- so orthodox, in
fact, that it unashamedly discriminates against reform and conservative
forms of Judaism.
So be it.
America's Christian Identity
America is also a nation overwhelmingly founded in reference to the
aspirations and values of a religious system: Christianity.
Yet Jewish activists, emerging from an ethnic/religious minority
of only 2-1/2 percent of Americans, demand that public symbols, observances,
and values of the predominantly Christian majority be forbidden in
deference to Jewish sensitivities.
Of course, no one advocates that Jewish chaplains in the U.S. military
be proscribed from saying Jewish prayers in public. Christian chaplains
merely ask as much -- to pray in a manner that is authentically Christian.
The Christian employs Jesus' name in prayer because of the Person
and power for Whom it stands. The authority implicit in the name of
the Son empowers not only redemption but recommends to the Father that
if it is His will our petitions be granted.
To Christians, the name of Jesus is Christianity. It is the name
above every "...name that is named..." (Eph. 1: 21, Phil.
2:9). Jesus forbids Christians to deny His name (Rev. 2:13). To omit
His name in public prayer is to be ashamed of Him. Christ says if we
are ashamed of Him before men He will be ashamed of us in the Day of
Judgment (Mark 8:38).
Christians Discriminated Against
For Jewish activists Weinstein, Resnicoff, and Foxman, allowing chaplains
such authentic Christian prayer is out of the question. Instead, Rabbi
Resnicoff recommends that chaplains say, "In your name we pray." 8
Result: It is the consciences of Christian chaplains, not Jews, which
are now being "coerced" at the Air Force academy.
The Rabbi Deceived Us
It is clear that Rabbi Resnicoff, by helping create purposefully
obscure language in the revised Air Force guidelines, is complicit
in a deception. Certainly, the concept that Christian chaplains cannot
use the name of Christ in official ceremonies could have been expressed
as simply and clearly as I have just done. Instead, Resnicoff helped
couch that prohibition in language so ambiguous that, as Chaplain Klingenshmitt
said, "They fooled everybody... They fooled Jay Sekulow." 9
Many other Christian/conservative leaders including James Dobson,
Ted Haggard, and, yes, I informed countless Americans that free speech
was again alive and well at the Air Force Academy. Now we find that
as a result of Resnicoff's deception we have inadvertently misled our
fellow Americans. Resnicoff is responsible for the egg on our faces.
Surely, Resnicoff's duplicity is not proper for an advisor to the
very highest level of the U.S. military -- one who determines ethical
policy for the Air Force as a specialist in "values and vision."
Christian leaders should call for his resignation.
The Twisted Ethics of ADL
We should also demand removal of ADL (an adjunct of a Jewish religious
organization, B'nai B'rith International) from its federally delegated
role as teacher of hate crimes ethics to the FBI, Justice Department,
and all police departments in America.
ADL, through its "sensitivity training" programs for government
and police, twists time-honored ethical values to make "hate" equal
bias against homosexuality and "tolerance" acceptance of
ADL has no interest in promoting the ethical values of Christian
America. ADL serves the interests of international Jewish activism
and is the American arm of Mossad, Israel's secret intelligence-gathering
spy organization. 10
What kind of ethical "values and vision" does Mossad possess?
The same as Rabbi Resnicoff's.
Mossad's motto: "By way of deception..."
Daily, 02/10/06. "Air Force still no-Jesus Zone?" page
2 Ibid, page 4.
3 Ibid, page 6.
4 The Jewish Week, 02/10/06.
8 WorldNet Daily, 02/10/06, page 5.
10 B'nai B'rith International, parent organization of ADL, is a "synonym
for organized Jewry." Describing itself as "the body and soul of
the Jewish world," it has a powerful political presence in more than 50
countries. It is "the oldest Jewish organization," existing at least
a half century before the Zionist movement. Throughout the 20th century, B'nai
B'rith has been the most powerful force behind Zionism and establishment of
the State of Israel. So powerful is B'nai B'rith's activist arm, ADL, that
no member of Congress dares criticize it, let alone call for a congressional
investigation to explore ADL's allegiance to Israel. Yet such an investigation
is unnecessary because ADL's words and actions over the past century have made
it clear that it is Israel's agent. ADL, B'nai B'rith, AIPAC, Likud, and Mossad
are thus one, permeable to each other and working to establish an overlay of
Jewish "values and vision" throughout the world. (quotations from