By every known and available account, Air Force Major General Craig Olson is a bona fide American hero. A 1982 graduate of the Air Force Academy, he is a master navigator with more than 2,000 flying hours and has so much of “the right stuff” his left chest is covered with the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal and so many more tributes you wonder why he doesn’t tilt.
While he was at the Air Force Academy, a couple of guys invited him into a quiet room to share in a Bible study and two weeks ago, speaking before a packed Prayer Breakfast in Washington, he unashamedly stood ram-rod straight and identified himself as “a redeemed Believer in Christ.”
Gen. Olson is a brilliant guy. He is currently program executive officer for C3I and Networks at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., where he has 2,200 under his command but he takes absolutely no credit for his success. During a stirring 23-minute talk, he talked about “flying complex aircraft; doing complex nuclear missions — I have no ability to do that. God enabled me to do that."
"He put me in charge of failing programs worth billions of dollars. I have no ability to do that, no training to do that. God did that. He sent me to Iraq to negotiate foreign military sales deals through an Arabic interpreter. I have no ability to do that. I was not trained to do that. God did all of that," reported the Air Force Times.
At the end of his message, the Air Force hero asked his audience, with many prominent types at the gathering, “to pray for Defense Department leaders, who need to humbly depend on Christ," and to also pray for America’s troops preparing to deploy so they can "bear through that by depending on Christ."
He got a standing ovation and a lot of hearts were lifted by what he said. But then along came the devil. Mickey Weinstein, a trouble-maker who hides under the guise of the somewhat shadowy Military Religious Freedom Foundation, wrote a letter to General Mark Welsh, the Chief of Staff for the Air Force, and his first few paragraphs says it all.
“General Mark A. Welsh III,
“This demand letter is sent to you on behalf of countless members of the United States Air Force who are utterly disgusted and shocked by the brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing recently perpetrated, on international television (“GOD TV”), and streaming all over the internet and in full military uniform, by USAF Major General Craig S. Olson on Thursday, May 7, 2015 during a VERY public speech for a private Christian organization (The “National Day of Prayer Task Force”: NDPTF) headed up by Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson’s, wife Shirley Dobson.
“Olson’s highly publicized, sectarian speech is nothing less than a brutal disgrace to the very uniform he was wearing and the solemn oath he took to support and defend the United States Constitution. This public address was his, and the USAF’s, “contribution” to this scathingly sectarian 2015 version of the NDPTF’s annual shame spectacle and display of Christian supremacy and exceptionalism held in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm EDT on that date.
“As you well know, Major General Olson is the “Program Executive Officer for C3I and Networks” at Hanscom AFB, Mass. where, as that installation’s highest ranking officer, he commands 2,200 subordinate Air Force personnel and is in charge of nearly $11,000,000,000.00 of American taxpayer funds.
“General Welsh, as the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Thus, please take a good, hard look at this link below and tell me that you’re just not sick to damn death seeing an active duty Air Force General Officer boastfully proselytizing and freely witnessing his personal brand of his own fundamentalist flavor of his evangelical Christian faith to literally a worldwide television audience and, concomitantly, streaming over the World Wide Web on “GOD TV.”
His letter continued before the last paragraph demanded:
“Consequently, on behalf of itself and its over 41,000 active duty and veteran armed forces clients, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) hereby demands that Major General Craig S. Olson be immediately, aggressively and very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes and transgressions via trial by General Courts Martial and that any and all others who assisted him with his NDPTF speech of fundamentalist Christian supremacy be likewise investigated and punished to the full extent of military law.”
Our boy Mikey is a dilly. As his letter was circulated, fighting men the world around silently and sadly nodded their heads, knowing that men like Maj. Gen. Craig Olson are directly responsible for the freedom that lets people like Weinstein breathe United States air.
Weinstein, in no way, is about Military Religious Freedom. He’s about calling attention to himself so that other twisted souls will send money to his “tax deductible” scam and, for $14.95, can get a book written by Bonnie Weinstein entitled “You Can Be A Good Speller Or A Hater But You Can’t Be Both.”
Bonnie’s book promises “A shocking insight into the sick minds of the fundamentalist Christian ‘American Taliban,’ featuring original artwork and previously-unreleased material.” Hey, and every book is personally signed at no charge. Sounds just like what you’d expect from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, huh? And speaking of signing, Mikey himself will sign a box of 10 cigars with the MRFF stickers for $150. That’s just $15 per “stick” from the foundation.
This is so bad, so bogus, the American people need to apologize to Maj. Gen. Olson that freedom means enduring the likes of Mikey and Bonne Weinstein. What will happen when the “demand” is considered by Chief of Staff Gen. Welsh? Nobody quite knows but another high-ranking Air Force official has a pretty good idea.
In a subsequent email to the Air Force Times, Lt. Col. Allen Herritage wrote, “I can tell you the Air Force places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religion or to observe no religion at all. The Air Force is dedicated to maintaining an environment in which people can realize their highest potential.”
Carry on, Maj. Gen. Olson. Sir!