With Thanksgiving behind us…well almost…we had to postpone ours for two days due to weather. Determined to share this day with my new granddaughter we decided to hold off until they could make it “over the hills and through the woods (literally) to grandmother’s house [we] go”. We were buried in snow compounded by below freezing temperatures making it impossible to traverse the 30 – 35 degree incline covered in glare ice that we call our road. Loading the turkey and all the extras into a roller bag and sliding down the mountain to our car stranded at the bottom did occur to me – but then I as I said a moment ago I actually was aiming to spend this Thanksgiving with my new granddaughter and not necessarily from a hospital bed. I have been ‘plaster and suture-free’ now for many months and for those that know me, trust me, that entitles me to bragging rights.
Now I have to turn our attention to a more serious note. I am posting an exchange between a family that has been devastated by the loss of their daughter after she enrolled in the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado and over the course of her time their as a cadet has been swept up into the cult of Christian Dominionism. It is a heartbreaking story. At MRFF (Military Religious Freedom Foundation) we have been in constant contact with the Baas family working to stop this evangelical proselytizing on our military bases. Here is Jean Baas’ email to the USAFA staff who protect the Dominionist cult that indoctrinated their daughter. She includes a letter to the Warrick’s who are the leaders of this movement on the USAFA. Mrs. Baas’ emphasis in her writing is hers and not mine. We can all hear her anger, frustration and loss in this letter…
From: Jean Baas
Date: November 20, 2010 10:19:07 PM CST
Subject: Don and Anna Warrick – Cadets for Christ
As many families write annual holiday letters to update relatives and friends of noteworthy events over the past year, we have chosen to write on behalf of ourselves and countless others that have fallen prey to the fundamentalist Christian religious cult, “Cadets for Christ” at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). We are Peter, Jean, and Emily Baas.
Lauren is 2010 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. To date, USAFA completely denies that unconstitutional proselytizing exists on their campus even though innumerable witness accounts and results of the recent climate survey irrefutably contradict their knowingly false and deliberately misleading public statements. We choose to share this letter with the public to give specific insight that this covert proselytizing operation is very much alive and prospering at the United States Air Force Academy.
Mr. and Mrs. Warrick:
As the holidays are upon us, let us give you an update of the Baas family. Lauren will not be coming home. Her presence will be missed enormously as we celebrate our holidays filled with love and rich in family tradition. Words cannot express the heartache YOU have caused. Do not attempt to trivialize these circumstances with the rationalization that we are merely a family that cannot accept the fact that their daughter has “chosen” to change religions and marry outside the Catholic faith.
YOU KNOW, AS WELL AS WE, THIS STATEMENT IS SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH!!!
You have taken Lauren’s mind and soul and twisted it to your fundamentalist Christian liking. She was brainwashed to believe she was “unenlightened” and an “unsaved fool” in the Catholic faith. She now lives in fear of God and feels “shameful” if she does not continually stand guard against “ungodly people”. You have trained your “soldiers of God” and now cowardly hide behind them.
YOUR DESTRUCTIVE TEACHINGS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE ARE INCOMPREHENSIBLE!!! May God truly have mercy on your soul.
Did you ever have the guts to ask Lauren about her career goals before squelching them? From birth she was a very determined individual. As parents, we taught her to work hard and be persistent in any endeavor she chose to undertake. She completed elementary and high school with great pride and high academic achievement. Her next goal was to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy and become a USAF pilot. Of course, being a female, you made sure that goal was extinguished. In your words, she is the sheep and her career is to follow the male shepherd. HOW DARE YOU PLAY GOD!!!
Did you know that Lauren never experienced the thrill of dating someone? Growing up, she was always quiet, shy and spoke of getting her feet on the ground before entering the dating arena. Of course, you instructed her that God sent a USAFA Cadet over 2 years her junior, to be her lifelong partner. They never had the opportunity to date, as it would interfere with their “Bible study”. Five months into their relationship you were shoving “Biblical” marriage preparation materials down their throats!!! Don’t tell us that you had no part in orchestrating their engagement. YOUR SELFISH GOAL WAS TO PERPETUATE THE FUNDAMENTALIST EVANGELICAL MISSION!!!
Did you know that we speak for many families that have been destroyed by you? We know you are very aware that many parents do not come forward because they fear irreparably severing a now very fragile relationship with their child. You have taught our children to tolerate us so long as we do not question your “teachings”. If we do, we are to be cast aside and treated as if we are Satan himself. You have no regard for the family that has loved and nurtured these USAF Academy cadets into young adulthood. THEY BECOME EASY PREY WHEN THEY ARE RELIGIOUS, TRUSTING, AND FAR AWAY FROM HOME……DON’T THEY?!!!
For the above reason, we have joined forces with the only entity willing to selflessly assist us and the only organization that understands the oppressive evil you perpetrate; the civil rights fighters at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Together with MRFF we will FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OF RELIGION at the United States Air Force Academy.
We are keenly aware that Lauren must now denounce us because your “teachings” are being questioned. You cannot continue to destroy young USAF Academy cadets’ lives and the lives of their families. We have always taught our children to stand up for what is right and we will not let them down now. We will NEVER stop fighting against your vile, calculated and cold efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and teach our precious daughters that they are designated by your twisted version of Jesus to be a second-class citizen “sheep” consigned to doing the will of their assigned male overseers.
Peter, Jean and Emily Baas
Here is an excerpt from Chris Rodda’s article on this story at www.talk2action.org, our Senior Researcher at MRFF:
[...]One of the most serious issues highlighted in MRFF’s letter (an issue that would have been addressed at the Academy’s religious respect conference if MRFF had been invited) is the problem of fundamentalist Christian ministries being given free reign over Academy cadets — particularly a ministry called Cadets for Christ, described by the parents of several cadets recruited by this ministry as a “cult.”
Under the influence of Cadets for Christ, one recent Academy graduate is now completely estranged from her family. Why? because they are Catholic, and therefore unsaved according to Cadets for Christ founders Don and Anna Warrick.
The havoc being wreaked on the families of cadets who fall under the influence of the Warricks can only be adequately expressed by one of the families ripped apart by this “cult.” What follows is a “holiday letter” from the Baas family to the Warricks, with an introduction to Air Force Academy superintendent LTG Mike Gould, to whom this letter was also sent.
I, and everyone else at MRFF, would like to sincerely thank the Baas family for their courage in being willing to go public with their story. ~ Chris Rodda, MRFF
Now you tell me…how can this be viewed by anyone as an appropriate activity on government property? Christian and non-Christians alike are in agreement that this is absolutely illegal, illegitimate and must be stopped on our military bases immediately. We get as many encouraging and supportive communications from Mainline Christians in America who recognize the danger of having a cult set up camp within our military complex as we do from those of all faiths and no faith. The Warrick’s are not unlike the Moon’s, Jim Jones’, David Koreshs’, et al.
They PREY on those that pray. This is a cult. They feast off of their yearning for answers, absolution and ever-lasting life. They harvest the souls of our youth at alarming rates right now, and what better place to target than military bases where young people are finding themselves in an environment that poses more questions for them than answers. You can hear this exact same story from parents and families who have had to hire professionals who specialize in “kidnapping” their own family members from cults and then have to immediately subject them to hours – sometimes days – of deprogramming to bring them back to reality. This is outrageous!
Mikey Weinstein continues his courageous battle to stop this unconstitutional activity, and works tirelessly to help so many like the Baas family. And yes…for all those self-proclaimed ‘Christian Patriots” out there who will now write to me and threaten my life, my daughter’s life and all my descendent’s – I didn’t stutter. This IS u-n-c-o-n-s-t-i-t-u-t-i-o-n-a-l! And I don’t care what tripe Glenn Beck is feeding you…
I apologize for the lengthy absences lately, but my publisher’s book deadline is looming and I do not have enough time in my day to get posts up. Please bear with me. The book will be off to the publisher on January 15th, 2011 – so until then things will be sporadic here, but please read the product of all of Deborah’s hard work from God Discussion that feeds through my site as well. She does amazing work getting all her articles up each day!
As for me? I will continue to look forward to this holiday season as the “wrong kind of Christian” and share the values of those like the Baas family.