MRFF Allies Within USAFA Continue PR Push
As previously noted, Michael Weinstein’s MRFF seems to boast “insiders” at the US Air Force Academy.
The most recent is Barry Fagin, who writes a column at the Colorado Springs Gazette — and also serves on the faculty at the US Air Force Academy. Fagin is a member of the Rocky Mountain “Skeptics” and a recipient of the Michael Weinstein’s 2009 MRFF Thomas Jefferson “award.” He recently wrote an article defending Michael Weinstein from public criticisms over his lawsuit against the US Air Force Academy’s upcoming National Prayer Luncheon. (Weinstein described the article as “perfect.”) Fagin described Weinstein as “not anti-Christian,” and said
The vast majority of people who illegally cross the border separating church and state are Christians. So they are the majority of those caught and punished by the courts.
Of course, he failed to cite any factual cases of military Christians “caught and punished” by any court. Still, it appears he would like to see Christians court-martialed for expressing beliefs consistent with mainstream Christianity. In replying to the comments on his article, he said
[Nidal Malik Hasan] should have been court martialed for insubordination, forced out of the Army, or simply have had the courage of his convictions to leave. Exactly the same thing that should happen to Christians who claim their Commission from God is greater than their Commission from the US Government.
Evidently, Fagin shares Weinstein’s fears:
Certain offshoots of Protestant fundamentalism are very interested in strengthening the connection between Christianity and government. They would, I believe, establish Christianity as the national religion of America.
Last fall Fagin wrote an article entitled “Belief in obvious nonsense is not a harmless indulgence.” As a “skeptic,” he included demons, angels, and prayer in “nonsense.” (He previously said hell can’t exist because our “innate moral sense” finds it “repugnant.”)
He might also have included conspiracy theories about government takeovers by secret societies as “obvious nonsense,” but then he would have been not only self-contradicting, but he would have indicted Weinstein, as well. The MRFF’s claims that Christians are trying to take over the world and institute a second Holocaust are certainly “obvious nonsense,” and they are by no means a “harmless indulgence.” For his part, Fagin specifially said he “agree[s] with the cause that MRFF is fighting for, so [he] support[s] them.”
The MRFF’s cause? To
battle the far-right militant radical evangelical religious fundamentalists.
Supporting religious freedom might be a more noble goal.
According to his biography, Fagin has been a civilian member of the Academy’s Department of Computer Science for 17 years. Weinstein repeatedly asserts USAFA is overrun by Evangelicals; yet while Fagin makes, at a minimum, the fifth current or former USAFA faculty member to publicly align with Weinstein, how many have publicly opposed him? Where are all the faculty he claims are advancing some conspiratorial Evangelical agenda?
Despite the lack of opposition, Weinstein seems to have his own personal cabal in the USAFA faculty who are publicly supporting an organization maligning their own Academy.
It is unlikely it will stop. Barry Fagin, an MRFF ally who supports their cause, indicated he plans to attend the luncheon, despite his apparent opposition to the event. He is the second MRFF affiliated faculty member to announce his intent.
Think there will be complaints afterward?