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Published On: Thu, Oct 22nd, 2015

Atheist group targets Dover Air Force Base over Operation Christmas Child

An activist group that frequently sends scathing letters to military commanders has now issued one to a Dover Air Force Base squadron commander that demands that he rescind support for Operation Christmas Child, a program that provides underprivileged children around the world with Christmas gifts in a shoebox.

The objection from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) comes after Lt. Col. Don Tasker’s secretary provided information by e-mail to the 436th Force Support Squadron for those who wish to participate in the program, which is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, an eligible Christian service charity under the Combined Federal Campaign. MRFF also demands that Tasker discipline his secretary for issuing the e-mail.

“…the Military Religious Freedom Foundation demands that YOUR personal command endorsement of OCC be immediately and very publicly rescinded. MRFF further demands that appropriate and aggressive remedial actions of punishment be taken against Ms. Branch as well as any others either directly or indirectly involved (which may very well include you, sir, as her immediate supervisor and Squadron Commander) in this unscrupulous and pernicious coupling of church and state in the United States Air Force that so incontrovertibly constitutes textbook violations of CFR 2635.702, AFI 1-1, DoD 5500.7-R, and DoDI 5410.19,” writes Michael L. Weinstein, the MRFF founder and president.

Photo Brandon Jones

Photo Brandon Jones

Check out the full letter/complaint HERE

The complaint quotes “Ms. Valencia M. Branch (GS-05), who is actually your PERSONAL Command Secretary/chief administrative assistant…:”

“Our goal is to fill 5,000+ shoe boxes to be sent around the world as a way to show children in desperate situations that God loves and values them. Many of these children have never received a gift before. Many have never heard of God’s incredible free Gift of Salvation through His Son. But a simple gift, a shoebox packed and prayed for by you could give a child hope and eternal security. Come, partner with us and CCA, be a ‘missionary’ filling shoebox gifts and praying over them with us”

“You, sir, are her Squadron Commander and IMMEDIATE boss/supervisor and, thus, bear the ultimate responsibility for her illicit, unconstitutional actions. She is YOUR personal Command Secretary/chief administrative assistant, for crying out loud, sir! There is a Constitutionally permissible time, place and manner for any military or civilian member of the United States military to effusively express and proudly and peacefully practice their religious faith (or no faith),” Weinstein writes.

“We should be commending members of the Air Force, not condemning them for wanting to serve orphans,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “The e-mail announcing a volunteer opportunity in no way violates any Air Force policy or regulations, especially since the program involved is a federally approved charity. We sincerely hope that Lt. Col. Tasker will stand behind those under his command who simply make others aware of how they may serve others if they so choose.”

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is an organization of chaplain endorsers, the faith groups that provide chaplains for the U.S. military and other agencies needing chaplains. The endorsers in the Chaplain Alliance speak for more than 2,600 chaplains serving the armed forces.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Charles says:

    tell the atheist group STFU and slither back under the rock they came from.

  2. GLOBAL DISPATCH – Atheist Group Targets Dover Air Force Base Over Operation Christmas Child | MRFF says:

    […] Click to read at Global Dispatch […]

    • Wayne says:

      Just an FYI. The MRFF is not an “Atheist Organization.” However you may feel about them, you owe it to you readers to get the facts straight. Most of their members are Christians–including pastors. Their staff also includes Christians. They do represent Jews, Muslims and atheists as well but again, most of those they represent are Christians.

  3. Atheist group targets Dover Air Force Base over Operation Christmas Child - News Aggregator says:

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