Michael Weinstein, Religious Freedom Critic and Drama Queen
An interview at the Austin American-Statesman, while being largely friendly to Michael Weinstein, makes some interesting observations on his crusade against religious freedom in the US military:
In recent years, the Defense Department has at least tacitly acknowledged that complaints like his may have some validity.
There’s some truth to that observation. When the DoD has acquiesced to Weinstein — even when it didn’t need to — it gave the impression that Weinstein’s complaint was valid. Instead of placating him by making the situation go away, as they likely wanted, the DoD has oftentimes emboldened him. USAFA saw this and eventually took another more productive route in dealing with Weinstein.
The author also notes:
Weinstein is not shy about sharing his successes: He maintains an aggressive public relations operation that sends out frequent alerts to media organizations.
Weinstein’s group is almost exclusively made up of two aims: public relations and the closely-related fundraising it brings. One need look no further than the five lawsuits Weinstein has filed — and lost. That’s right: Not only has Weinstein filed five lawsuits, every single one was dismissed before making it to trial. If a lawyer or advocate actually believed in their cause, an appeal would be the natural course of action.
Weinstein has never appealed any of the dismissals of his lawsuits — despite his repeated false promises to do so.
A failure to appeal may mean one of two things: Weinstein recognizes that he never had a case, and appealing is futile or potentially even frivolous. In other words, knowing he never had a chance he still filed the lawsuit for the publicity (and the ensuing fundraising), not for the plaintiff.
More likely, Weinstein knows he has milked the “shock” of the initial lawsuit as much as he can, and he knows continuing will cost him more money than he’ll see in return. Take, for example, his most recent personal lawsuit against a former Navy Chaplain. The pretrial motions lasted years and were likely costing money, while yielding almost no publicity or support even from his allies.
Weinstein’s plaintiffs are discarded, having outlived their usefulness to his cause. It is likely not an accident that his only named military plaintiffs have been low ranking enlisted troops who may make little more in a year than Weinstein takes as pay from his “donations” in a single month. When Weinstein filed a lawsuit on behalf of officers last year, they were kept “anonymous.”
Weinstein’s primary cause is his self-aggrandizement. He never misses an opportunity to play the martyr or the persecuted soul. A paper once noted Weinstein showed off his hate mail like some grandparents do photos of their grandkids. Such responses aren’t a matter of concern to Weinstein; they’re a matter of pride:
I constantly stay under aliases, everyone in the family has a conceal/carry, and we have attack-trained German shepherds guarding us. Whenever I make an appearance, my bodyguards have to make sure they know my blood type, we need escape routes, we drive home different ways. We’ve had the windows shot out of our house, animals slaughtered and left at the front door, swastikas and crucifixes painted on the house.
He “stay[s] under aliases”? Someone has an inflated view of their self-importance. Weinstein must be off his game, too. Nothing in that monologue is newer than 2008.
Contrary to his apparent beliefs, receiving threats as a result of one’s conduct does not legitimize one’s actions. Choosing to have a bodyguard — paid for by “charitable donations,” no doubt — does not somehow make ludicrous accusations of US military misconduct more valid. The article also says that
His enemies have called him “Antichrist” and “Jesus-basher.”
The author apparently forgot one moniker: Mikey Weinstein is a “drama queen.”