Magazine article The Christian Century

Generals Erred by Taking Part in Christian Video

Magazine article The Christian Century

Generals Erred by Taking Part in Christian Video

Article excerpt

High-ranking U.S. Army and Air Force personnel violated military regulations when they participated in a promotional video for a private evangelical organization, according to a report by the Pentagon's Office of Inspector General.

A Pentagon spokesperson said August 6 that it would be up to the army and air force whether to discipline the military brass involved, but said no action is expected against top civilian employees.

The 47-page report, released on July 27, found that three air force officers--Major General Jack Carton, Major General Peter Sutton and a colonel whose name was not disclosed--and three army officers-Brigadier General Bob Caslen, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks and a lieutenant colonel, also not identified-were wrong to take part in a fund-raising video for the Christian Embassy, based in Arlington, Virginia.

The Christian Embassy is part of the conservative Campus Crusade for Christ International and sponsors prayer breakfasts and other religious activities for high-ranking federal employees and elected officials.

The dispute over the video surfaced last December against a backdrop of complaints that military officials frequently turn a blind eye to improper proselytizing and show preferential treatment toward evangelicals.

"The officers were filmed during the duty day, in uniform with rank clearly displayed, in official and often identifiable Pentagon locations," the report said. "Their remarks conferred approval of and support to Christian Embassy, and the remarks of some officers implied that they spoke for a group of senior military leaders rather than just for themselves."

At one point during the 10-minute video, which was filmed inside the Pentagon in 2005, Caslen refers to the Christian Embassy's special efforts for high-ranking officers through Flag Fellowship groups. …

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