Cadets For Christ: Women, Evangelicals, and the Air Force Academy
This is the most recent development in an outrageous story that has been developing over the better part of this year, so, for those who need to be brought up to speed, here’s what’s going on in as small of a nutshell as I can put it:
There’s a fundamentalist ministry operating at the Air Force Academy called Cadets For Christ. This ministry is part of the “shepherding” movement, using cult-like tactics by which the cadets recruited by ministry leaders Don and Anna Warrick are separated from their families and anything else that might interfere with their brainwashing. In the shepherding movement, the female is the “sheep” and the male is the “shepherd,” and a woman’s sole purpose in life is to be a good wife and mother, subordinating herself to her male shepherd.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been contacted by a number of parents of Academy cadets who have fallen prey to the Warricks’ ministry, and one of these families has been brave enough to go public with their story.
Peter and Jean Baas, the parents of 2010 Academy graduate Lauren Baas, are now completely estranged from their daughter. Why? Because the Baas family is Catholic, and therefore, according to the Warricks, unsaved. While at the Academy, Lauren Baas, who entered the Academy with dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot, was prepared for what can only be described as an arranged marriage by the Warricks, and is now engaged to her shepherd. A woman, of course, is destined by God to be a good wife and mother and serve her shepherd, not be an Air Force pilot and serve her country.
Lest anyone think that the “sheep and shepherd” terminology might be an exaggeration, just take a look at Lauren Baas’s “Baa Baa Sisterhood” cookbook.