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MRFF Newsletter

Special Breaking News Edition

November 2011


US Air Force Academy Apologizes For Unconstitutional Email Promoting
Extremist Fundamentalist Charity
Headed by Infamous Islamophobe
Franklin Graham

Click here to read more


"Three years ago, a Colorado Springs School District 11 school dropped a project to support Operation Christmas Child after administrators learned of its evangelical goals."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Air Force Academy Commanders endorse
Christian fundamentalist extremist
preacher Franklin Graham's religious
crusade disguised as "toy drive"

(scroll down for more information on Graham's "charity")

MRFF Featured by Colorado Springs Gazette

Christmas toy drive sparks religious
flap at AFA

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • The Air Force Academy came under fire again Thursday for alleged religious intolerance, this time with a program designed to spread Christmas cheer.

  • Academy critic Mikey Weinstein says commanders have crossed the line by promoting “Operation Christmas Child” a program backed by an evangelical Christian group that sends toys and toiletries in shoe boxes to needy kids around the globe. The group send a Christian message with the gifts.
  • The academy doesn’t deny the religious overtones of the charity, but says there is nothing wrong with the school’s involvement. The cadets provide toys and other items for the needy, and won’t play a role in the religious message that comes with the gifts when they’re delivered, academy spokesman John Van Winkle said.

  • The academy has faced repeated allegations, including some earlier this year, that the school allows proselytizing on the government dime.

    Commanders have put a program of religious tolerance training in place. In September, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz issued a memo to commanders that told them to avoid mixing religion with their military roles.

    “They must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion,” Schwartz wrote [see full memo here].

  • Three years ago, a Colorado Springs School District 11 school dropped a project to support Operation Christmas Child after administrators learned of its evangelical goals.

Click to read this article at

"Operation Christmas Child" and the wizard behind the curtain, fundamentalist Christian extremist Franklin Graham

Click here for a list of articles on the MRFF
website pertaining to Franklin Graham

"Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ."

"The organization serves the Church worldwide
to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

- Mission Statement of Samaritan's Purse, the
organization behind "Operation Christmas Child"

"[Islam] is a very evil and wicked religion"

"I believe it is my responsibility to speak out against the terrible deeds that are committed as a result of Islamic teaching..."

"...the president's problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name."

"The Muslim Brotherhood... [has] infiltrated
every level of our government."

- Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham



November 1, 2008

From the archives of the Colorado Springs Gazette

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • A classroom project aimed at helping less fortunate children turned into a bigger lesson this week at Stratton Elementary School when the teacher and principal realized the charity selected was part of an evangelical Christian organization.
  • The flier that went home to parents described it as a humanitarian project...

    What Helfer and teacher George Hoepfner didn't realize, Helfer said, was that a children's Gospel booklet translated into the appropriate language would be sent with the boxes.
  • Lesson learned, Helfer said Wednesday.

    "We needed to do a little more research," he said.

    The lesson was shared Wednesday with Hoepfner's students.

    "We'll talk to the kids and tell them we have new information about this organization," Helfer said. "We don't want to be forcing any particular views on the people we help. It's always a little touchy when you're talking about religion."

  • Operation Christmas Child is part of Samaritan's Purse, a worldwide evangelical Christian organization. The program mission as stated on the organization's Web site: "The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ."

  • Helfer said the students will be encouraged to look for another charity that can use the items they're collecting without promoting any particular religion or cause.

Click to read this article
by the Colorado Springs Gazette

Nightline logo
MRFF's Inbox

We receive an enormous amount of emails at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, both from our supporters and detractors. We also receive all-too-frequent pleas
for help by means of "MRFF's Inbox", as is the case
in the following email:

USAF Academy’s Operation Christmas Child!


New wing community service project that I thought you would like to see. I honestly didn’t think much about it when I heard it at lunch and it took awhile for it to sink in. I got this email and it was then I realized why operation Christmas child was so familiar. I thought about it for awhile and realized where I knew it from, I grew up doing this for my church. My church, not my school or with my friends..but my church. Now I’m seeing it through my military school? This is exactly what happens here with the religion problem. No one thinks anything of it, even I didn’t think anything of it at first. But this just shows our military supporting one religion, which is of course Christianity. Makes me sick to my stomach...

Continued - read full email here

AF Leaders Speak on Diversity

I want to see you and celebrate your award.
Was told I called too late.

Click here to read many more emails MRFF
has received in the "MRFF's Inbox" archive


To learn more, click here

Major Achievements in Upholding Church-State
Separation Recognized by AU; First-Ever Recipient of
Prestigious Award to be Founder and President of Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Monday, November 7, 2011
Washington, DC


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