After a United States Air Force commander allegedly sent out an email encouraging participation in a Christmas toy drive for disadvantaged children, he soon fell under attack by an atheist military group because of the message’s religious affiliation. Lt. Col. Donald C. Tasker was targeted by Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) President Mikey Weinstein because he reportedly had his secretary send out an email to his entire squadron urging them to help fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child — a Christian toy drive organized by Samaritan’s Purse, an offshoot of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Weinstein alleged that the Tasker’s email constituted an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because the gift boxes to be filled with Christmas toys also carry a Gospel message to children around the world. “[Tasker’s email constitutes] an absolutely unambiguous endorsement of [Operation Christmas Child],” Weinstein initially said about the email forwarded by the USAF commander’s administrative assistant, Valencia Branch, from his Dover Air Force Base office in Dover, Delaware. FULL REPORT