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General Promotes Evangelical Christianity

Brig. General Teichert

Air Force Brigadier General E. John Teichert, newly installed commander of the 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base, has been accused of operating an online ministry that promotes his particular brand of Evangelical Christianity to base troops, contractors, and civilian employees.

The site, known as PLUS—or Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States—“denigrated LGBT individuals, slammed American society at large,” and promoted “approved” Christians for elective office, according to the complaint.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, founder of the Military and Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), yesterday delivered a demand letter about the general's activities to Secretary of Defense John Mattis, on behalf of 41 Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Agnostic members of his organization, demanding that these violations of the First Amendment right to religious freedom cease.

General Teichert, nicknamed “Dragon,” reportedly wants to use his senior military position, not just to press his religious views on subordinates, but also to influence national policy. In one sermon, he said:

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“I would ask for your prayers for wisdom in my life of leadership and discernment and understanding and knowledge for influence over the nation's senior leaders that I get to rub shoulders with. My desire in my life is to maximize my impact on people in our country for the Lord.”

MRFF is a 13-year-old organization that advocates for separation of church and state in the military.

Here is a press release from Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF:

General Teichert Should Be Doing Time Behind Prison Bars, Not Commanding a Wing Wearing General’s Stars

“Today, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) through its legal counsel Mr. Donald Rehkopf, Esq., made an official demand to the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, to immediately and comprehensively investigate USAF Brigadier General E. John Teichert.

This fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator is the brand new Wing Commander of the prestigious 412th Test Wing at the storied Edwards AFB in California.

MRFF is representing 41 courageous client complainants against Brigadier General Teichert at Edwards AFB. This constituency of MRFF clients includes USAF officers, enlisted personnel, USAF civilians and civilian contractors. 32 of MRFF’s clients are practicing Christians (Protestants and Roman Catholics). The remainder include Muslim, Jewish and Hindu followers as well as adherents to non-faith traditions such as atheism, agnosticism, humanism and secularism.

Brigadier General Teichert’s disgraceful, illegal and brazen promotion of his personal flavor of his weaponized version of Christianity represents one of the worst and most egregious cases MRFF has ever encountered in its 13 years of First Amendment civil rights advocacy. The depth and width of Brigadier General Teichert’s unbridled path of utter and bold destruction to the Constitutional guarantees of separation of church and state nearly defy measurement.

Teichert can best be described as a one person “Tailhook Scandal” for the USAF as regards unauthorized fundamentalist Christian proselytizing and undue Christian religious influence peddling. Indeed, Teichert has utilized his titular position as an extremely senior USAF Commander, and now Flag Officer/General, as an ugly and illicit force multiplier to prey (and pray) upon his otherwise helpless military subordinates. He perpetrates this iniquitous evil via various vile and wicked communication tools but, especially, his online fundamentalist Christian ministry website known as “PLUS”; “Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States”. Teichert has inextricably intertwined his USAF position of senior command with “PLUS” wherein, to highlight just a few of his “ministry’s" targets, he has denigrated LGBT individuals, slammed American society at large, and, of course, delivered election voting mandate directives wherein he has effusively urged that only HIS type of approved Christian should ever be elected to American public office.

Anyone wishing to read Teichert's outrageous, sectarian religious statements of fundamentalist Christian primacy, domination, exceptionalism, exclusivity and supremacy-illegally and wretchedly buttressed by his absolutely deliberate and intentional utilization and nefarious leveraging of his senior, active duty, USAF command rank and position-can easily access them by clicking on the following link: https://prayatlunch.us/

But Teichert, alone, is hardly the only villain in this unconstitutional train wreck.

MRFF demands to know who Teichert’s USAF and DoD enablers are and have been. Prior to assuming his new position at Edwards AFB, Teichert was the Wing Commander of the immensely visible 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The 11th Wing is the “Host Wing” at Joint Base Andrews which is world famous for being where Air Force One is housed and maintained. This Command allowed Teichert almost unrestricted universal access to the highest dignitaries and officials of DoD and the White House including Trump's own family. How many of them are complicit through either gross malfeasance or misfeasance in permitting Teichert’s reign of abhorrent fundamentalist Christian proselytizing terror? Whoever and wherever they currently are, these individuals, too, must be investigated and punished.

MRFF demands that Secretary Mattis aggressively pursue justice in this investigation of Brigadier General Teichert. Teichert has, in the opinion of MRFF, viciously violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice and should be tenaciously and most visibly prosecuted and convicted of same.

Just as the Navy did in response to the "Tailhook Scandal" of September, 1991, the DoD and USAF must convey a powerful, unmistakable message to the rest of the United States armed forces that Teichert's unconstitutional actions of sectarian religious proselytizing-- not to mention his religiously-based overt and public partisan political attacks -- will never be tolerated and will be severely punished.

Indeed, General Teichert should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a Wing wearing General’s stars.”

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
505-250-7727

Dick Price
Editor, LA Progressive