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:
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
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) religion." 6 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.
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 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).
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.
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 it.
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…"
1 WorldNet Daily, 02/10/06. "Air Force still no-Jesus Zone?" page 5.
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 www.bnaibrith.org)
TAKE ACTION! As a policymaker for the U.S. military, Rabbi Resnicoff has helped block efforts even by members of Congress to restore free speech to military chaplains. It is vital, then, that a congressional investigation of the military's violation of First Amendment liberties be initiated. Chaplain Klingenshmitt sends this appeal: "I need your help getting congressional hearings from Chairman Duncan Hunter and Senator Lindsay Graham. We have 130 chaplains ready to testify about how they were punished for their faith." Call Rep. Duncan Hunter and Senator Lindsay Graham tollfree at 888-355-3588 or toll at 202-225-3121. Tell them the following:
"Please help restore free speech to chaplains in the U.S. military. Use your influence to begin congressional hearings to investigate denial of free speech to chaplains in the Navy and Air Force."
TALK SHOW HOSTS: For interview with Rev. Ted Pike on this issue, call 503-631-3808.
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