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Legal Group Wants to Throw Air Force Commander 'Behind Prison Bars' for His Christian Faith

08-16-2018

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent a formal complaint this week to Defense Secretary James Mattis calling for an investigation of Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert, a Christian and the newly installed commander of the 412 Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.  

The group is furious at Teichert for posting links to articles, a Christmas video, and scriptures on his personal website called Prayer at Lunchtime for the United States. The website also has a list of prayer requests.

The MRFF says the website is in violation of Air Force and Defense Department rules about religious proselytizing.

A brief "About John" biography on the site reads:

"John is an active duty Brigadier General who has served in the United States Air Force since 1994, and who was saved by grace through faith in Christ in 2004.  He has commanded at the wing, group and squadron levels, and is currently serving as Air Force commander. The Lord has blessed his career while burdening his heart with the need for our nation to return to its Christian foundation.  He serves alongside his amazing wife of 20 years and their three incredible children.  It is their desire to fully invest their lives to maximize their impact on people and on our nation for the Lord."

In a press release sent to media outlets Monday, the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based anti-evangelical MRFF said Teichert "should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a wing wearing general's stars." The MRFF also branded the brigadier general as "a fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator," claiming they had received 41 client complaints against Teichert during his time at Edwards AFB.

The military personnel who have complained, according to the press release, include Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists.

According to Teichert's biography posted on the Edwards Air Force Base website, the brigadier general is a highly decorated and experienced commander.  Teichert recently "commanded the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews, responsible for the security, personnel, contracting, finance, medical and infrastructure support for five wings, three headquarters, and over 80 tenant organizations, as well as 60,000 Airmen and families in the National Capital Region and around the world."

His many decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Aerial Achievement Medal with six oak leaf clusters.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) as an atheist organization. That description was not technically accurate, so the word "atheist" has been removed.

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