General in trouble over prayer

By The Foundation for Moral Law

The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based foundation established to defend religious liberty, spoke out Wednesday in defense of an Air Force Major General who is under attack for his speech for the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

Speaking for a Task Force event on May 7, General Olson credited God for his accomplishments in the military and referred to himself as a “redeemed believer in Christ.”

That speech aroused the ire of Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). In a letter to Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Walsh, Weinstein called General Olson’s speech “a brutal disgrace to the very uniform he was wearing” and demanded that the General be “immediately, aggressively, and very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes and transgressions.”

Not so, says the Foundation for Moral Law. Foundation President Kayla Moore declared that “The Constitution General Olson took an oath to defend, and which he has defended throughout his career, also protects his right to free exercise of religion and to share his beliefs with others. The same Congress that passed the First Amendment, also passed a bill to establish congressional chaplains. General Olson spoke of the role of faith and prayer in his own life and military career, entirely appropriate for a Day of Prayer event. He made no representation that he was speaking for the Air Force or expressing official Air Force policy.”

Foundation Senior Counsel John Eidsmoe, a retired Air Force Judge Advocate, noted that in 2014 Congress added a provision to the Defense Appropriations Bill requiring the Armed Forces to accommodate soldiers’ and sailors’ rights to free exercise of religion and to infringe those rights only in cases of military necessity. Eidsmoe added that “Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation distort the U.S. Constitution and do not speak for American military personnel. They constitute a radical fringe element that wants to give God a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces and to suppress the rights of military personnel to pray to Him or mention His Name.”

The Foundation has addressed letters to Generals Walsh and Olson and has offered to assist in Gen. Olson’s defense.

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