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Friday, October 7, 2016

MRFF Demands Public Admonishment of Lt. Col. Michael Kersten due to his Official
Sectarian Christian Statements
at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

A Blatant Violation of
Air Force Instruction (AFI) 1-1 and U.S. Constitution


Secularists demand Air Force
punish colonel who expressed Christian beliefs

Friday, October 7, 2016

In a “Meet your leadership” question-and-answer session with the 39th Air Base Wing’s public affairs office, Lt. Col. Michael Kersten answers a question about his greatest influences by talking about Jesus Christ.

“As a Christian, my example is to be like Christ,” Col. Kersten says in the Sept. 15 interview. “He is my guide and affects all of my decisions. He teaches to do all things as unto the Lord and I believe this is synonymous with integrity first and excellence in all we do.”

The interview quickly drew the ire of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which sent a demand letter Thursday to Col. John C. Walker, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey.

The missive demands the Air Force apologize for the expression of faith, rebuke the statement, punish Col. Kersten and take measures to ensure an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity is upheld on the base.

Mikey Weinstein, who heads the MRFF, said his group represents more than 100 Incirlik Air Base personnel and a number of Turkish soldiers who took issue with the declaration of Christian faith. [...]

Click to read more on Washington Times



US Commander in Turkey Criticized for Religious Statements

Friday, October 7, 2016

The head of watchdog group is petitioning the Air Force to reprimand a squadron commander at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, after he said Jesus Christ guides all his decisions.

While Lt. Col. Michael Kersten, 39th Medical Support Squadron commander, is within his personal rights to believe in whomever or whatever he chooses, his decisions should "be based upon his oath of office and allegiance to the United States Constitution to which he has sworn to protect and defend," according to Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that promotes civil rights.

"By unequivocally stating to the world that ALL of his decisions are based upon his Christian faith, he has broadcast to his otherwise helpless subordinates, and the multitudes of other military and civilian members which the Air Force Squadron he now commands directly and indirectly serves, that he will, in a professional setting, place decision-making primacy on his personal version of his Christian religious faith over his official military duty," Weinstein said in a letter. [...]

Click to


Demand Letter from MRFF's Mikey Weinstein to Colonel John C. Walker 39th Air Base Wing Commander, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

Sent Thursday, October 6, 2016

Click to read entire demand letter


Comments From MRFF Website Users Deliberating Over Mikey's
Demand Letter!

Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:11 PM
Once more the Fundamentalist crowd will use this letter to show you as some sort of an Atheist and anti-Christian. For some reasons many of the extreme Christians think their belief gives them the right to ignore the law and the Constitution of the United States.

Posted October 6, 2016 at 10:17 PM
People need to understand that the military is a unique environment. I wouldn’t want to put MY life on the line serving under someone with so much power over his subordinates who lets his strong belief that when you’re saved, being dead is awesome, “affect all of his decisions.

A personal savior who CAME BACK when HE died is about a little more than integrity and excellence, isn’t it? That’s his own business, but *I* want leadership with a WALL between risking lives to protect the Church and risking lives to protect the State.

Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:30 AM
The specific words used by Lt. Col Kersten are Domionist code for I’m a Christian first and American second. This prioritization is in direct conflict with the oath taken when entering the military. And when MRFF gets justice, the fact upper leadership had to be prodded means to me this issue may cause waves to be dealt with down the road.

It is very telling the Lt Col left out service above self. I know there is tons of snarky things I could say about a Domionist Christian supremacist not following the practice of their holy person but why???

There is a hurricane ready to slam the US. A conservative entertainer is tweeting the storm isn’t as bad as it is because ‘conspiracy’!!!!! This is real and people will die.

How are the two linked? Here is a rare look into Connie logic (trademark refused everywhere).

The Lt Col represents all of the USA. The words used tell our allies we don’t respect them, we believe ‘our’ ways are the only ways.
I understand the Lt Col clearly as I view the “I’m a Christian first” as fighting words – especially in the military. If the conversation was in dog the Lt Col just came into the dog park and pissed in everyone’s face.

The conservative entertainer says the national weather service (who is charged with the task of keeping people informed about storms like this) has a political motive. In dog he just took a large dump on the kitchen table. Total disrespect.

Both the conservative entertainer and the Domionist Lt Col lack empathy; they can’t see outside their own bubble. They embody If it’s not a problem for me it doesn’t exist for thee. And because both people are in positions of power, people – other people, not “their” people -but people will die. It’s historical.

Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:33 AM
Most of you who are not Christian do not understand how important it is for us to put Jesus first in our daily lives. We are supposed to spread the gospel to the world. We seek the Lord’s blessing on all people, atheists, Muslims, Hindus. We turn to the Lord in prayer for help in specific situations. It doesn’t mean that Ltd. Col.Kersten is going to publicly admonish non believers and not follow policy and procedures in his work. He simply asks the Lord for guidance and protection in different and difficult situations. Didn’t Jesus eat with the “sinners “? Didnt He heal the sick and raise the dead? Didn’t He forgive the thief on the cross next to Him? Don’t punish him for letting his fellow airforce comrades know he’s Christian. By putting God first, he’s letting them know that he’s going to do his very best in all situations to get his days work accomplished. I would rather be in the care of a true Christian than anyone else. If he is reprimanded for his simple statement of faith, as a Christian, he will be the first to forgive you whether you are deserving or not. Most people would hold a grudge for a long time. That’s what being a Christian is about.

Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:58 AM
Coastieswife: thanks for one of the best “Freudian Typo-Slips” I’ve ever read (Ltd Col). He clearly is a Limited Colonel.
I get your point about your (and his) belief in a Christian duty. That’s fine–both of you can fulfill your duty BUT NOT IN UNIFORM DIRECTED AT YOUR SUBORDINATES. If the Limited Colonel wants to put on civilian clothes and go door-to-door on his off-duty time and proselytize, I’m cool with that–so long as he doesn’t visit the house of anyone who works for him. YOU would rather be “in the care of a true Christian than anyone else.” That’s fine, too. But that’s YOU, not ME, and the Limited Colonel has no right to impose that desire on anyone who works for him.
“Didn’t Jesus eat with the “sinners “? Didnt He heal the sick and raise the dead? Didn’t He forgive the thief on the cross next to Him?” No, I don’t think he did, and BILLIONS of others don’t think so either. BILLIONS. I haven’t even seen convincing evidence that “he” lived or (if he did) was anything more than a street-preacher with a great marketing agency and publicist.

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