Violations of IRS regulations prohibiting 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations from endorsing candidates and attempting to influence the political process were rampant in this year's election. These violations, however, are likely to be forgotten now that the election is over, and I, for one, am determined not to let this happen. So, over the next few weeks, I'll be writing about some of the worst offenders, and doing what I can to ensure that these lawbreakers are held accountable for their actions. Topping the list is a ministry that, as Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I've been watching for months -- Revival Fires Ministries.
Each month in our online newsletter, MRFF highlights a "Violation on Video." As the title of this feature suggests, these are videos uncovered by MRFF in which a member of our military is caught violating military regulations. This month's video stars Navy Chaplain LCDR Brian K. Waite, speaking at the 2008 Revival Fires camp meeting in Branson, Missouri. Back in June, in a post titled Christian Ministry Attacks Obama and Lies About Bibles For Our Troops, I wrote about Revival Fires' connection to the Pentagon, the attacks on Barack Obama by the ministry's founder, Cecil Todd, and the lies of Todd's son, Tim Todd, about Bibles for our troops. Since writing that post, I've acquired a video of the Revival Fires camp meeting, clips from which make up the video at the end of this post. It should be clear to anyone viewing this video why MRFF will be demanding that the military take action against Chaplain Waite, and that the Pentagon immediately cease to have any association with Revival Fires.
MRFF's investigation of LCDR Waite began last winter, when one of our volunteers stumbled upon a photo of this officer in uniform, along with his letter endorsing Revival Fires, on the ministry's website, a discovery made in the course of gathering information on the Pentagon's involvement in the large scale shipment to and distribution in Iraq and Afghanistan of Bibles carrying official Department of Defense seals on their covers. Revival Fires, "at the request of the Chief Chaplains of the Pentagon," has been shipping Bibles to Iraq, via military airlift, since 2003, and, according to a ministry press release, this "full Bible is designed and authorized by the Chief Chaplains of the Pentagon."
The investigation of Chaplain Waite turned up that his educational credentials consisted primarily of diploma mill degrees, and that he had written a virulently anti-Muslim book in 2002, which was pulled off the market when it was revealed that much of its content was plagiarized and that Waite had faked two of the endorsements on its back cover. Waite, who, as you will see in the video below, claims to have left his mega-church in Oklahoma to re-enter the military as a result of 9/11, didn't actually decide to do this until the spring of 2002, which was, coincidentally, right after his plagiarism scandal became public.
Back in March, Jason Leopold wrote two articles, "Navy chaplain who called for attack on Islam finds his credentials under scrutiny" and "Navy chaplain fired from teaching job after report exposed his anti-Islamic views", exposing Chaplain Waite's dubious educational credentials, anti-Muslim writings, and plagiarism scandal. This led to the immediate removal of Waite from the civilian institution where he was the director of a doctoral program in military ministry, but no action by the Navy.
Waite has a very close association with Revival Fires and Cecil Todd, who clearly holds the same anti-Muslim views expressed by Waite in his book, and has appeared in uniform at the ministry's camp meetings for the past three years. Waite's photo and endorsement also currently appear on the ministry website of Cecil Todd's son, Tim Todd, right next to the younger Todd's statement:
"We must let the Muslims, the Hare Krishna's, the Hindu's, the Buddhist's and all other cults and false religions know, 'You are welcome to live in America...but this is a Christian nation...this is God's country! If you don't like our emphasis on Christ, prayer and the Holy Bible, you are free to leave anytime!'"
The video below consists of clips of this year's Revival Fires camp meeting, held in June. To show the clear anti-Muslim views of Cecil Todd, and that this event, at which Chaplain Waite appeared in uniform, was not only religious, but political, the first few minutes of the video are from Cecil Todd's sermon. This is followed by clips of Chaplain Waite, which include his not quite true story about re-entering the military right after 9/11, as well as his admission that he had appeared at two prior camp meetings in uniform.