According to Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry, which now goes by the name “Cru,” the first responsibility of a member of the military is to “Know God’s Word,” “The purpose of the military is to administer God’s justice,” and “The soldier is to be a minister of God who administers God’s justice.”
In a Campus Crusade video filmed at the Air Force Academy, a representative of the organization proudly proclaimed that by the time cadets left the Academy, they had been turned into “government-paid missionaries.” (See Campus Crusade section starting @ 5:33 in the following video.)
A Cru video titled “God and the Military,” which has been in use for years and continues to be used, declares that “If you are in the military, then you are also in the ministry.”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been fighting the influence of Campus Crusade in the military for well over a dozen years.
Way back in 2007, MRFF put a halt to Campus Crusade’s “God’s Basic Training,” a Bible study being taught to basic trainees in which these newest members of the military were taught that they were “God’s Ministers” and God’s “angels of wrath,” and were posed for photos wielding their two weapons — their rifles and their Bibles.
So, last night when an email came in to MRFF from a Marine Reserve JAG, reporting that 120 Marine Reserve JAGs were to be required to virtually attend a “battle-study” training of Gettysburg tomorrow led by a Jay Lorenzen, the name was very familiar to us at MRFF as a staff member of none other than Campus Crusade for Christ.
One look at the website for Lorenzen’s “High Ground at Gettysburg” training confirmed that the JAGs’ concerns that this was to be a Christian proselytizing event were well founded.
The Marine Reservist who came to MRFF for help was no defenseless basic trainee like those subjected in 2007 to “God’s Basic Training.” He is a JAG — a lawyer — coming to MRFF on behalf of 120 lawyers.
And this JAG was right to come to MRFF.
Within 64 minutes this morning, MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein, a former JAG himself, with a few emails and one phone call, put a stop to the unconstitutional religious “military training” that this group of JAGs were going to be subjected to.
After a quick phone call to Col. Eric Kleis, the number two ranking judge advocate in the Marine Corps, Mikey sent the following email, accompanied by some additional information about Lorenzen and Campus Crusade:
From: Michael L Weinstein
Sent: Friday, July 17, 2020 8:12 AM MDT
To: Kleis Col Eric R
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Clean E-Mail on Jay Lorenzen
….Eric, thx again SO much for engaging with MRFF on this terribly disappointing and shocking matter!!…deeply appreciated, sir!!...…please see the below from our MRFF Research Staff just in…..
…..MRFF is officially making the demand that Jay Lorenzen be immediately removed as an official speaker for the Annual Training for your 120 USMC Reserve JAGs tomorrow…
…..as I said on our phone call, Eric, having a fundamentalist Christian extremist parachurch official associated with Campus Crusade for Christ (“CRU”) as a MANDATORY speaker in this particular MANDATORY USMC TRAINING scenario’s time, place and manner viciously violates the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, Colonel, as well as all associated SCOTUS caselaw and a slew of USMC and DoD Directives, Instructions and Regulations…
...it is just totally illegal….
…..the fact that so many of your USMC Reserve JAG lawyers came to MRFF to beseech us to make this demand is most telling on a plethora of levels….in fairness, as I mentioned to you, we at MRFF now know that you and Major General Lecce did not know about this, but our MRFF USMC Reserve JAG clients did not know about it either until just late yesterday…
.....but NOW you guys DO know…
...plz honor MRFF’s demand on behalf of so many of your USMC Reserve JAGs and stop this unconstitutional disgrace from happening tomorrow morning by scratching CRU Official Jay Lorenzen from this event!!!…
....I am standing by, Eric at 505-250-7727…..many thx, sir…Mikey Weinstein…..Founder and President, MRFF
9 minutes later, the colonel replied:
On Jul 17, 2020, at 8:21 AM, Kleis Col Eric R wrote:
The issue has been resolved.
To which Mikey replied:
From: Michael L Weinstein
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Clean E-Mail on Jay Lorenzen
Date: July 17, 2020 at 8:31:19 AM MDT
To: Kleis Col Eric R
...thank you SO much, Eric!!…and thx for the phone call, Colonel, we just had confirming that Jay Lorenzen will no longer be speaking at the mandatory Annual Training event for your 120 USMC Reserve JAGs tomorrow morning…..you made the just, rational, correct and Constitutional call here, sir!!……profoundly grateful……Semper Fi......Mikey…...
Upon being informed that the problem was solved, the JAG who contacted MRFF for help expressed his gratitude for MRFF’s “lightning fast precision support in terminating a mandatory all day religious ‘Battle Study’“:
From: USMC Reserve JAG’s e-Mail Address Withheld
Date: July 17, 2020 at 8:51:50 AM MDT
To: email@example.com, Michael L Weinstein
Mikey Weinstein & the MRFF
I want to take a moment on behalf of myself and my fellow USMC Reserve JAG’s to thank you for your lightning fast precision support in terminating a mandatory all day religious “Battle Study” of the Gettysburg battle required as part of my USMC Reserve Annual Training.
As you know we contacted you in the early evening of Thursday July 16, 2020 less than 36 hours before the mandatory religious lecture was announced with the “leader” of the battle study, a non-Marine Officer who has spent the last 30 years of his life “crusading” against the American Principles of equality, acceptance, and diversity by being intricately associated with Campus Crusade for Christ and its unconstitutional efforts to convert all military members to its own perverse world view.
The speaker for this event openly opposes those principles that we as Marines have fought for world wide.
The speed, urgency, efficiency and lethality that you and your MRFF team deployed to expeditiously shut down this unethical un-American proselytizing event was awe inspiring.
Simply put you shut it down in under 16 hours, 8 of those hours were non working hours.
Thank you. (USMC Reserve JAG’s name, rank, location and unit all withheld)
Cue the outrage from GOP Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and his cohort of fundamentalist Christian congressional enemies of MRFF and religious liberty, who will surely be writing to the Secretary of Defense about MRFF’s swift victory this morning crying Christian persecution!