Skip to main content

"In 2008, Ammerman implied that four presidential candidates should be "arrested, quickly tried and hanged" for not voting to designate English America's official language, and speculated that Barack Obama would be assassinated as a secret Muslim." - Newsweek, June 20, 2009

Last Friday's June 20, 2009 Newsweek story by journalist Kathryn Joyce, "Christian Soldiers: The growing controversy over military chaplains using the armed forces to spread the Word", explores the role of a highly connected, retired US Colonel and military chaplain endorser at the center of a recently exposed scheme to distribute native-language Bibles in Iraq: chaplain endorsement agency head Jim Ammerman, who claims friends in the US Congress and Senate and states that his agency works with three and four star generals in the Pentagon. As Founder and President of the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches,  Ammerman presides over more than 270 active duty military chaplains, perhaps 7-8 percent of military chaplains.

The Newsweek story also noted that in 2008 Jim Ammerman "implied that four presidential candidates should be "arrested, quickly tried and hanged" though Newsweek  did not reveal the names of those senators or when the newsletter was published.  But a May 20, 2009 story Huffington Post story by Military Religious Freedom Foundation Senior Researcher Chris Rodda does: Dodd, Biden, Clinton, and Obama. The newsletter was published in September, just as the 2008 presidential election was heating up [PDF file of  September 2008 Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches newsletter].

Joyce's story expertly covers the foreign policy dimensions of the story as well as the religious freedom issues defended by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which defends freedom of worship, and fights improper evangelizing, in the United States Military. But the Newsweek story only hints at another aspect, Ammerman's domestic activities:

In in a 1997 speech the retired Colonel accused Bill Clinton of treason and suggested that President Clinton should be executed along with actress Jane Fonda. Ammerman made his call for Bill Clinton's execution while on a national speaking tour, arranged through a Topeka, Kansas ministry called The Prophecy Club, during a January 1997 speech that was recorded, sold as a VHS cassette, and broadcast across America on scores of radio and television stations.

[For 1997 video footage of  Jim Ammerman calling for the execution of then-President Bill Clinton and claiming that Jewish bankers control the American economy, see Scroll down Buzzflash page & look for video with the title "Jim Ammerman/Prophecy"]

From the late 1990's and up into the 2008 presidential election, Retired Colonel Jim Ammerman has engaged in a pattern of anti-government agitation and has promoted overtly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of the type that experts who study the relationship between conspiracy theory and right wing violence, such as Political Research Associates Senior Analyst Chip Berlet, suggest feed a cultural climate that can provoke acts of violence against targeted, demonized groups in society.

Both Jim Ammerman, and one of his top chaplains noted in the Newsweek story, James Linzey, have aggressively incited the American anti-government militia movement by promoting dire conspiracy theories claiming that a United Nations takeover of the United States, with the help of foreign troops hidden in national forests and military bases, is immanent. James F. Linzey's conspiracy theories, which Major Linzey promoted in 2005 during a Prophecy Club speaking tour and through appearances on Christian media venues in 2005 and 2006, had an overtly racialist, anti-immigrant slant. Both Ammerman and Linzey have publicly claimed that Jewish banking concerns, including "The Rothschilds", control the American economy through the Federal Reserve. The Anti-Defamation League identifies that class of conspiracy theory as A Classic Anti-Semitic Myth."

As Joyce's Newsweekstory describes, Jim Ammerman and his chaplain endorsement agency are unabashedly Christian supremacist, and that posture often spills over into domestic politics:

"Department of Defense policy says that chaplain-endorsing agencies should "express willingness" for their chaplains to cooperate with other religious traditions. But Schulcz claims that Ammerman, who is not a paid government official, and his chaplains, who are, are entitled to say whatever they want unless they're advocating insurrection.

On this point, MRFF charges they come close. Ammerman and chaplain Linzey have espoused conspiracy theories about "Satanic forces" at work in the U.S. government facilitating a military takeover by foreign troops; Ammerman even appears in a video favored by militia groups titled The Imminent Military Takeover of the USA."

[note: Ammerman appeared in two videos with similar titles, "Imminent Military Takeover of the United States", filmed during a 1996 speaking tour,  and "Imminent Military Takeover of the United States II",  videotaped during a 1997 speaking tour.]

As Kathryn Joyce frames the foreign policy aspect of her Newsweek story,

Ever since former President George W. Bush referred to the war on terror as a "crusade" in the days after the September 11 attacks, many have charged that the United States was conducting a holy war, pitting a Christian America against the Muslim world...

A May article in Harper's by Jeff Sharlet illustrated a military engaged in an internal battle over religious practice. Then came news about former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Scripture-themed briefings to President Bush that paired war scenes with Bible verses... Later in May, Al-Jazeera broadcast clips filmed in 2008 showing stacks of Bibles translated into Pashto and Dari at the U.S. air base in Bagram and featuring the chief of U.S. military chaplains in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Gary Hensley, telling soldiers to "hunt people for Jesus."

At the center of the Bible distribution scheme was Jim Ammerman who, through his military chaplain endorsing agency, The Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, wields power, over the 270-plus chaplains his agency currently endorses, to terminate their jobs by pulling his agency's endorsement. All active duty military chaplains must carry such endorsements as a precondition to their employment.

Buzzflash has some video of Jim Ammerman in action, from a 1997 video. Scroll down Buzzflash page & look for video with the title "Jim Ammerman/Prophecy"

Originally posted to Troutfishing on Sun Jun 21, 2009 at 05:07 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, emptywheel, Deep Dark, Sequoia, Florida Politics, wozzle, stiela, bink, Jeff in CA, Jett, JekyllnHyde, leap, Hunter, Susan S, buffalo soldier, Donna Z, DeminNewJ, vicki, chrississippi, Alma, Terri, keirdubois, Ducktape, LeislerNYC, CJB, Trix, Ray Radlein, Phoenix Woman, taylormattd, jotter, ogre, eleming, Rayne, copymark, SarahLee, mwm341, teacherken, gogol, AaronInSanDiego, tikkun, Geenius at Wrok, Pen, Gooserock, Pandora, Dvd Avins, Joan in Seattle, Unstable Isotope, whataboutbob, maynard, saraswati, BruceK, Dems2004, theboz, Reino, Bob Love, SteinL, tnichlsn, sphealey, Emerson, karlpk, dengre, Shockwave, Fishgrease, MsSpentyouth, billlaurelMD, meg, Jay C, bellatrys, lysias, Stein, celdd, eeff, dsb, RickD, NCrefugee, Pluto1618, xynz, frisco, marjo, sobermom, FyodorFish, Matilda, BenGoshi, object16, grndrush, Joe B, Walt starr, Ahianne, zeroooo, mataliandy, exNYinTX, marge, Radical Faith, redtravelmaster, Birdman, Heart of the Rockies, JLFinch, Eternal Hope, Jean, eyeswideopen, Hose B, Justina, bronte17, Zinman, missLotus, 88kathy, conchita, susans, TracieLynn, EricS, kalihikane, Wee Mama, leveymg, Shadan7, SamSinister, elveta, annrose, understandinglife, rhp, OCD, dvogel001, Baldwiny, awakentech, ask, peace voter, highacidity, miholo, KMc, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, Cool Blue Reason, stevej, themank, cosmic debris, Malixe, pattisigh, buckhorn okie, moiv, luaptifer, farmerhunt, JuliaAnn, javelina, murphsurf, nargel, House, Miss Blue, sngmama, ornerydad, PeteZerria, VA Gal, librarianman, Glinda, ctsteve, Iberian, TheCrank, dmsilev, Cedwyn, antirove, artebella, sidnora, OldYellerDog, SensibleShoes, wader, JimDev, InquisitiveRaven, Ludi, hopesprings, Dube, psnyder, Barbara Morrill, Alizaryn, Moody Loner, Lynwaz, danthrax, sockpuppet, Subversive, weary hobo, Winnie, Dr Colossus, DeadB0y, businessdem, pat bunny, Sycamore, MA Liberal, Not2Me, crackpot, hoolia, praedor, baxxor, cosette, desmoinesdem, laughingriver, Bluedoc, niteskolar, joan reports, Penny Century, defluxion10, nika7k, betson08, snakelass, puffin6092, rlharry, tombstone, Timbuk3, Democratic Hawk, MeToo, inclusiveheart, walkshills, Matt Esler, FlyingToaster, AllisonInSeattle, KateCrashes, ybruti, WV Democrat, side pocket, skywalker, randallt, tomjones, eco, JayDean, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Wife of Bath, SanDiegoDem, Steven D, jcrit, xyz, TexasLefty, Knightrider, homogenius, AaronBa, furi kuri, eztempo, snowbird42, boran2, rmx2630, pat208, bibble, Armand451, BDA in VA, cohe, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Tirge Caps, tami33, skippythebox, davidkc, Big Tex, Karma for All, nehark, Dirk McQuigley, G2geek, Los Diablo, Slgalt, Recovering Southern Baptist, ExStr8, tovan, mediaprisoner, historys mysteries, Tarindel, marina, radarlady, PAbluestater, pattyp, supak, case, DianeNYS, Ckntfld, UFOH1, blueyedace2, m16eib, Five of Diamonds, Kestrel228, lilypew, Captain Slack, David R, baccaruda, subtropolis, Alice Marshall, irate, PBen, Paul Goodman, corvo, KnotIookin, Alice Venturi, BCO gal, ccasas, elkhunter, panicbean, clammyc, ajsuited, Robin7459, Valtin, basquebob, RequestedUsername, TN yellow dog, ChemBob, stitchmd, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, kartski, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, ratzo, eru, Jules Beaujolais, Mz Kleen, owlbear1, GUGA, majcmb1, SaraBeth, truebeliever, Sun Tzu, jorndorff, jimstaro, jimreyn, eastvan, cspivey, cassidy3, Overseas, Wufacta, Skid, nwsound, gerardbellavita, most peculiar mama, blue jersey mom, SheriffBart, illyia, lasky57, jane123, Sandino, kaliope, Isara, PinHole, western star, newtonsthird, janew2, SBandini, laviolet, Shotput8, Big Nit Attack, Ginny in CO, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, FightTheFuture, neroden, wiscmass, serrano, zinger99, kerplunk, Shaking the Tree, churchlady, dsteffen, Rogneid, The Fat Lady Sings, Hannibal, bookwoman, Ekaterin, ohcanada, empathy, Indiana Bob, Arsenic, jct, Alan Arizona, Land of Enchantment, noweasels, xaxnar, Jim P, begone, Mehitabel9, skywriter, Philpm, SoulCatcher, martini, third Party please, Nance, snazzzybird, BachFan, Orinoco, tarheelblue, tommymet, Stephan Kuttner, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Keone Michaels, myboo, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, cybersaur, 417els, Clytemnestra, testvet6778, ferallike, sambar, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, dharmafarmer, Kimball Cross, Ellicatt, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, seefleur, mooshter, koNko, kestrel9000, RoyT, buhdydharma, KenBee, cliffradz, Albatross, arlene, carolita, Son of a Cat, srvaughn, greenearth, hideinplainsight, triv33, TalkieToaster, tecampbell, birdbrain64, clemens, global citizen, StrayCat, Tanya, 4Freedom, nonnie9999, Glorfindel, merryberry, agnostic, thomaswilliam, gatorcog, Bush Bites, vickie feminist, SadieSue, imabluemerkin, real world chick, FireCrow, FatPath, JVolvo, happy camper, armadillo, bleeding heart, Preston S, el cid, MarciaJ720, Zwoof, ER Doc, Andy30tx, doinaheckuvanutjob, Pilgrim X, llbear, Turbonerd, SingerInTheChoir, BlueMississippi, Dyana, Cenobyte, BlueSue, rage, Unknown Quantity, DemocraticLuntz, CA Nana, TeddySanFran, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, FiddleDeeDee, fiddlingnero, means are the ends, RantNRaven, airmarc, PhilW, ForFreedom, kurious, Bernie68, chococat, bstotts, CharlieHipHop, Temmoku, Land of Lincoln Dem, christomento, blueintheface, mariachi mama, markthshark, Eryk, bmcphail, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, janetsal, NonnyO, DBunn, tegrat, pale cold, bigchin, old wobbly, tourist305, artist1776, FoundingFatherDAR, marykk, YoyogiBear, lightfoot, A Mad Mad World, asilomar, anotherdemocrat, meowmissy, Ann Galloway, Loudoun County Dem, SpecialKinFlag, dmh44, moodyinsavannah, godislove, army193, gloriana, Positronicus, Stwriley, DvCM, rgjdmls, Duccio, la urracca, chigh, Cofcos, noofsh, blackeyedsusan, Jimdotz, terabytes, mommyof3, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, DWG, sfbob, joyful, bnasley, Kyle the Mainer, mouser68, Seneca Doane, HCKAD, jayden, GMFORD, jedennis, ubertar, vbdietz, mauro7inf, jamesia, Uberbah, Oreo, mudslide, jnhobbs, millwood, Jack the R, MadAsHellMaddie, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, idahojim, M Sullivan, JML9999, Zydekos, A Person, eyesoars, Prof Haley, cacamp, Mulkum, willb48, B12love, Terra Mystica, on the cusp, mall teacher, Empower Ink, my homeo, pidge not midge, New Frontier, kafkananda, GANJA, gundyj, revm3up, mconvente, gzodik, Scioto, gimmeshelter, condorcet, ShadowSD, Port City Moon, RickMassimo, Shahryar, greenalley, weegeeone, TheFatLadySings, caseymarc4, ScottyUrb, karin x, BlueTape, Tchrldy, dave1042, RandySF, gtnoah, Wes Opinion, skohayes, nlight, CDH in Brooklyn, Pragmaticus, Sharon Wraight, wonderful world, Akonitum, redding888, Its any one guess, jakebob, beltane, pkohan, Chris Rodda, Calamity Jean, Lujane, rssrai, royce, mayim, pamelabrown, Missys Brother, DanK Is Back, MsWings, Quicksilver2723, Jeff Y, rubine, catly, NogodsnomastersMary, Thought Crime, mofembot, temptxan, xango715, bakenjuddy, costello7, Abra Crabcakeya, valsagem, luckylizard, rich1107, BlueStateRedhead, Parthenia, mary13L, BYw, Athenocles, rodentrancher, Mayfly, blueinsight, billybam, cactusflinthead, watercarrier4diogenes, GrannyOPhilly, shortgirl, prodigalkat, statsone, maxcat06, oldliberal, Old Woman, maggiejean, SciMathGuy, Pris from LA, smellybeast, DontTaseMeBro, arendt, Neon Vincent, bushondrugs, two roads, emboyo, litoralis, snackdoodle, deMemedeMedia, The Dead Man, Pariah Dog, juca, socalmonk, holger smed, An Affirming Flame, WereBear, Boudicia Dark, cantelow, Hope08, bsmechanic, zephyr108, CanyonWren, RustyCannon, hharmon, Don Enrique, Nebraskablue, Jdories, RandomActsOfReason, weltshmertz, Partisan Progressive, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, velvet blasphemy, indres, Patch Adam, VoteAqui, mkor7, Mro, JesseCW, Meng Bomin, lollydee, followyourbliss, manucpa, anim8sit, CaliSista, obiterdictum, Calfacon, borndem, ZilV, sanglug, kevinpdx, Shelley99, The BBQ Chicken Madness, Keith Pickering, Munchkn, IreGyre, dalfireplug, notksanymore, mdmslle, 57andFemale, ArthurPoet, spyguy999, Nonconformist, FundaMental Transformation, spicecakes69, oldoregonlib, joehoevah, Leftcandid, SweetMartha, LookingUp, isabvella, Words In Action, Amber6541, Just Bob, Lazar, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, sulthernao, ladygreenslippers, dalys, parse this, mudmanor, Phaseshift360, angelesmartian, possodent, marabout40, pyegar, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, Obamican08, ch ch ch ch changes, Commoditize This, 1000 Points of Fright, amk for obama, PurpleMyst, cindiloohoo, Hamsun, mamak, kjoftherock, SeattleTammy, fidellio, biggiefries, chrome327, taiping1, Crabby Abbey, newlymintedjerseygirl, Ronald Singleterry, rrouda, freeport beach PA, lostmypassword, dagnome, BonnieSchlitz, Eddie L, muryan, Klaus, slyle, ilves, cordgrass, tb mare, elginblt, ItsSimpleSimon, SlackwareGrrl, Benintn, paradise50, Puddytat, dlemex, tellinya, DrFitz, sharonsz, Jaimas, abrauer, rja, jdacal, swansong50, alethea, gereiztkind, Misterpuff, DrTerwilliker, Otteray Scribe, djabanete, Floande, Rnedewa, alexa100, stevenaxelrod, Actbriniel, jeanma, slice, weathertom, Diamond Fox, tgrshark13, Rockpopple, mechboots, watershed, Colorado is the Shiznit, Pizzapotamus, kerflooey, RepTracker, Bike Crash, I love OCD, ozsea1, spiraldancer8, truesteam, Oldowan, StateofEuphoria, Fletcher Christensen, mateohussein, stone clearing, wahine, anyname, Amayi, poorbuster, Moe Gamble, island in alabama, Mistral Wind, near mrs, Blue VA, Nicci August, tresgatos, sharpsticktag, feeny, Victory of Renegades, PedalingPete, marleycat, PorridgeGun, majii, Cinnamon Rollover, awsdirector, dle2GA, muddy boots, elusive muse, bamabikeguy, RfrancisR, JWK, JJ Bogans, merrily1000, tardis10, LSmith, lizard people, MRA NY, jgnyc, enhydra lutris, gnbhull, Edgewater, emilysdad, lizzie blue, whaddaya, Merry Light, Andrew F Cockburn, stevie avebury, beforedawn, waiting for lefty, southriver, Nef, Dbug, lincoln deschain, Brimi, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Broken, thejoshuablog, vito619, Regina in a Sears Kit House

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site