MRFF Seeks Cause to Litigate, Agitate…and Ice Cream
Since the demise of its last lawsuit seeking an end to public religious expression in the military, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has been searching for a cause. (Michael Weinstein promised to file an appeal, though it appears he has not done so.) After the Trijicon scandal was quickly defused, Weinstein made a furtive effort to revive it a few months later–with little public reaction. He also tried to attach his organization to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” media frenzy without much success. Weinstein is struggling for relevancy even among his own supporters; a recent fundraiser garnered few contributors.
In his latest bid for publicity, Weinstein demanded the Pentagon revoke a National Day of Prayer invitation given to Franklin Graham because of Graham’s prior statements on Islam. Weinstein’s desire for exposure is so great that the self-described “religious freedom” advocate undermines religious freedom by essentially proposing a “religious test” prohibiting military members from hearing from those who are outspoken about their faith.
Weinstein’s self-serving selective outrage is a demonstrable feat of hypocrisy. Weinstein said Graham should be disinvited because his former statements were
heinously hurtful [and] bigoted…against…Islam
Weinstein omits mention of his own silence when the military hosted a speaker who said “heinously hurtful [and] bigoted” things about Christianity; in fact, Weinstein has been party to those incidents that included a speaker who had not only previously denigrated Christianity, but also did so at the event to which he was invited by the military. Weinstein’s decision to support this cause appears to be an attempt to generate publicity similar to that surrounding Tony Perkins’ dis-invitation to a February prayer luncheon over his views, as well as to capitalize on publicity surrounding the recent court case over the National Day of Prayer.
Another desperate gasp by the MRFF is so contrived it seems like satire. The specific cause célèbre is in a letter to Weinstein, posted on the organization’s site, that complains of US military support for “a bulwark of the ‘America as a Christian Nation’ crowd.” The offending party?
Apparently the writer thinks Sacred Power (a Native American spirituality-themed energy company), ExtenZe, and Budweiser are in some conspiracy to take over America for Christians. As a result, US military flybys of NASCAR events and military team sponsorships are ‘offensive.’
Ignoring the ludicrous accusation, an even more interesting detail is that the complaint is written as a public letter, but it originated from within the MRFF. (This is not altogether uncommon for the MRFF; it has previously cited receiving complaints from servicemembers or others who were actually already associated with the MRFF.) The writer of this letter is David Miller, who has described himself elsewhere as a volunteer for the MRFF as its “Director of Veterans Affairs.”
In its desperate attempts to gain publicity and relevancy, Michael Weinstein’s MRFF has become a self-licking ice cream cone.