I’m not entirely comfortable with this and am glad that it’s being investigated:
A military watchdog group is asking the Defense Department to investigate whether seven Army and Air Force officers violated regulations by appearing in uniform in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization.
In the video, much of which was filmed inside the Pentagon, four generals and three colonels praise the Christian Embassy, a group that evangelizes among military leaders, politicians and diplomats in Washington. Some of the officers describe their efforts to spread their faith within the military.
“I found a wonderful opportunity as a director on the joint staff, as I meet the people that come into my directorate,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Jack J. Catton Jr. says in the video. “And I tell them right up front who Jack Catton is, and I start with the fact that I’m an old-fashioned American, and my first priority is my faith in God, then my family and then country. I share my faith because it describes who I am.”
Pete Geren, a former acting secretary of the Air Force who oversaw the service’s response in 2005 to accusations that evangelical Christians were pressuring cadets at the Air Force Academy, also appears in the video. The Christian Embassy “has been a rock that I can rely on, been an organization that helped me in my walk with Christ, and I’m just thankful for the service they give,” he says.
The 10-minute video is on the group’s Web site, Christianembassy.com. The organization was founded nearly 30 years ago by the late Bill Bright, who also founded Campus Crusade for Christ. The Christian Embassy Web site says the group holds prayer breakfasts each Wednesday in the Pentagon’s executive dining room and organizes small groups to help military leaders “bridge the gap between faith and work.”
Army Brig. Gen. Bob Casen refers in the video to the Christian Embassy’s special efforts to reach admirals and generals through Flag Fellowship groups. Whenever he sees another fellowship member, he says, “I immediately feel like I am being held accountable, because we are the aroma of Jesus Christ.”
Maybe it’s because I grew up during the Cold War and remember all to well movies like Seven Days in May and Fail-Safe, but the idea of a bunch of God-smacked officers who might have visions of the Rapture and the apocalypse and Jesus returning dancing in their heads sets off my who’s-minding-the -payload alarm.