MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org

Fighting for our servicemembers' rights, so they can fight for ours.

Please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation today.


"DRONES FOR CHRIST":
THE HORRIFYING PROSPECTS
OF MERGING CHURCH & STATE
IN THE U.S. MILITARY

Liberty University trains armed
drone pilots for US wars

How Jerry Falwell's Liberty U.—the world's
largest Christian university—became an
evangelist for drone warfare.

First came the "Jesus Rifles," then "Jesus Loves Nukes,"
and now "Drones for Christ": Article starkly
illustrates the immense gravity of MRFF's mission

From July 2013 issue of Sojourners magazine

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • LIBERTY UNIVERSITY in Lynchburg, Va., was founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Its publications carry the slogan “Training Champions for Christ since 1971.” Some of those champions are now being trained to pilot armed drones, and others to pilot more traditional aircraft, in US wars. For Christ!
  • Liberty bills itself as “one of America’s top military-friendly schools.” It trains chaplains for the various branches of the military. And it trains pilots in its School of Aeronautics (SOA)-pilots who go up in planes and drone pilots who sit behind desks wearing pilot suits. The SOA, with more than 600 students, is not seen on campus, as it has recently moved to a building adjacent to Lynchburg Regional Airport.
  • Liberty has been turning out “Christ-centered aviators” for a decade. In fall 2011, Liberty added a concentration in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, aka drones), making it one of the first handful of schools to do this. Now at least 14 universities and colleges in the US have permits from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones, and many institutions, including community colleges, offer drone training.
  • If one chooses to concentrate studies on piloting drones, the load will include half dozen courses on “intelligence.” Liberty students can also pick up a minor in strategic intelligence and take courses in terrorism and counterterrorism. (Liberty’s school of government brags that Newt Gingrich helped develop its course on “American exceptionalism.”)
  • Liberty’s School of Aeronautics has six faculty members, five of whom have spent 15 to 30 years in the military-four in the Air Force, one in the Navy. Dave Young, dean of the SOA, spent 29 years in the Air Force and retired as a brigadier general. Last summer, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Young to serve on the Virginia Aviation Board.

    “[Drones] are going to be a viable part of the aviation industry,” Young said in a Liberty Journal article last summer. “It offers a grand opportunity for employment during a time when college graduates are entering a highly competitive job market.”

    He also acknowledged that the technology could be misused. “Our mission is to produce graduates who are not only skilled, but who are going to go out in the world as strong Christians,” Young said.

    John Marselus, SOA associate dean, concurred. “We want to have graduates serving the Lord in this area of aviation,” he said.

  • Tim Carentz obtained his undergraduate degree from Liberty, works for the Air Force now, and is pursuing a master’s in divinity from Liberty. Carentz told me he could not speak for the Air Force, but as a Liberty student and a pastor he believes “it’s biblical to have a national pride.”

    “I believe authorities are put in place with the approval of God,”
    Carentz assured me. “If he didn’t want them there, he could easily remove them.”

    He also discussed how good members of the military can be and how there are opportunities for evangelism.

    “If there were no Christians in the military, how would they instill love and discipline?” he said. “There are people pulled right from the ghetto who have nothing and who come into the military. And maybe their first supervisor is a Christian, and he takes them to the foot of the cross and leads them to Christianity, and they share that with their family, and you save generations.”

    At Liberty, the military is considered a tool for Christian missionaries. But what, I asked, about killing people with drones?

    “I can understand why some support [them], and I can understand why others don’t support [them]. Our job is to pray,” said Carentz, “and to understand that things will continue to get worse until Christ returns.”

Click to read this article at
Sojourners magazine


Connect with MRFF:
Mikey Weinstein Facebook Page Mikey Weinstein Twitter Mikey Weinstein Youtube Channel

SUPPORT MRFF!

Your Generous Support Allows us to Continue
our Fight in the Courts and in the Media

The media outlets referenced in the links above (if applicable) don't have any affiliation with the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor have expressed endorsement thereof.

While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation remain available for you to access,
we are unable to guarantee that the link above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely.