Is the message clear yet? Is there anybody that Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, the Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), has not incensed regarding the invited “Lord’s Army” speaker, Clebe McClary and his proselytizing of Academy personnel at the prayer breakfast. February 10, 2011?
From Ambassador (ret.) Joseph Wilson:
Lt. General Gould,My name is Joe Wilson and I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). I am also a retired Ambassador, former senior director at the National Security Council and a former political adviser to CINCEUR, working for several years with Jim Jamerson who was the DCINC at the time. I have lectured at the USAF Academy twice, once when your predecessor, Lt. Gen. Regni invited a troika of falsely self-proclaimed “former Islamic terrorists” to speak at the Academy. It was known at the time of their invitation that the three were not “former Islamic terrorists” at all but rather were fundamentalist Christian proselytizers. I write to you today to reiterate MRFFs insistence that the Academy immediately rescind its invitation to yet another invitee, former USMC Lt. Clebe McClary, another Christian fundamentalist proselytizer. McClary is set to serve as the featured speaker at the USAF Academy’s National Prayer Luncheon scheduled for Feb. 10, 2011.
I have traveled the world extensively for decades, and served in several Muslim nations in my career, as a diplomat, businessman and lecturer. I just returned from Yemen this past weekend for example. I can tell you without any reservation or hesitation that the unadulterated, fundamentalist brand of Christianity which Mr. McClary intertwines with his well documented speech presentations:
1) is inflammatory and undermines our Muslim allies;
2) emboldens those who would seek to harm us from the Islamic world; and,
3) is dangerously divisive and demoralizing to our American armed forces members, many of whom are practicing Christians themselves.
Irrespective of his exemplary war record, Mr. McLary espouses a zealous and militant brand of fundamentalist Christian supremacy that is not spiritual in nature but rather incites hatred of those whose religious views are different from his. Under the guise of “motivational” presentations to gullible military audiences, he undermines American national security efforts to shape the battlefield and stem the growth of religiously motivated enemies inflaming passions rather than by engaging in a peaceful way those whose spiritual views may not mirror those of the fundamentalist Christian right. The United States fights for the Constitution and for our own defense, not for some individual’s interpretation of the Judeo-Christian bible.
It is time, Lt. Gen. Gould, that the Air Force confront the subversive brand of Christian evangelical proselytizing that has become pervasive at the Academy. You should not be aiding and abetting a movement that is profoundly subversive of everything our constitutional republic holds dear. You should be fighting back in defense of the country that you have served. I urge you to disinvite McClary and replace him with anyone else from a field that must number in the literal hundreds of thousands of willing others who would not be the agents of divisiveness, disillusionment, discouragement and fundamentalist religious hatred that is extant with this professional fundamentalist Christian proselytizer. Surely you can do better. The nation depends on it.
Ambassador (ret.) Joseph Wilson