The MRFF, Victory, and Defeat
Last year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complained to the military that former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt was representing himself as a current Chaplain. In the end, Klingenschmitt responded by adding a disclaimer to his publications saying he was a former Chaplain. Rob Boston, one of the lead voices of the AU, subsequently said
But here’s the interesting news: Klingenschmitt’s Web site now contains a disclaimer admitting that he is a former naval chaplain, that his views do not represent those of the Navy and that the photo of him in uniform is not current.
Perhaps Klingenschmitt believes AU and MRFF have a point after all. Otherwise, why all the changes?
Klingenschmitt can lash out at AU and MRFF and call our actions whatever he likes. I have my own term for what we’ve done: “Mission accomplished.”
An atheist website asked whether the addition of the disclaimer “implied his guilt.” They were celebrating an insubstantive change as a victory.
Fair enough. Someone changed their practices because of what they said. “Mission accomplished” works both ways, however.
In February, this site noted Weinstein’s tendency to reprint copyrighted products on his website without apparent permission. Interrogatives to owning organizations resulted in the MRFF pulling down a variety of articles and even a political cartoon. It would appear the MRFF has now taken the prior advice and predominantly links to articles, as is standard practice on the internet, rather than copying them to their own server. MRFF distributions also now include this disclaimer:
The media outlets referenced in the links above have no affiliation with the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor have expressed endorsement thereof.
While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation remain available for you to access, we are unable to guarantee that the links above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely.
(The second paragraph affirms the prior hypothesis for the MRFF practice of copying articles.)
So is the “mission accomplished,” and has the MRFF “implied [their] guilt” as the result of an article on this website? It doesn’t really matter. It was more an exercise in highlighting hypocrisy than anything else.
What has been interesting is seeing how quickly an organization with a half-million dollar donation base was forced to react after a few simple questions were asked; it was also interesting to see their reaction. For those who had any doubt, Weinstein is far less receptive of criticism than he is willing to offer it.