Military Atheists, Michael Weinstein Attack Religious Beliefs. Again.

How many data points does it take to prove a trend?

Michael Weinstein has, yet again, shown that his “religious freedom” organization is concerned primarily with encouraging the government to restrict religious freedom based on the content of peoples’ religious beliefs in relation to the US military:

American Atheists Inc., the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, in an Aug. 6 letter to Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, argued the Marine Corps base has denied them equal treatment by first stalling and then denying their requests for access…

“We are disturbed that the government is giving such extensive support, including assets, resources and personnel, to a single sect of Christianity,” the three groups wrote in their letter to Mabus. “Even more troubling is the ‘doomsday’ nature of the CCCM. … The last thing Camp Pendleton needs is a large group of well-armed Marines convinced of an imminent doomsday crisis.”

Notice the groups give lip service to the issue of “governmental preference,” but they focus on the content of the religious beliefs.  Those beliefs aren’t just crazy — because crazy is still permissible — the critics claim the beliefs are dangerous.

That’s been a common theme of Weinstein’s for years — with every criticism of religious (Christian) personnel in the US military including claims that the enemy was emboldened and therefore military lives were at risk.  Weinstein knows if he can frame something as a “national security threat” — and get people to believe him — he’ll get attention.

The primary crime of the “doomsday” church?  Providing support for wounded warriors, Marines, and their families:

“We have men that go down [to Camp Pendleton] and we provide food for the fellows and … parties and picnics for them and their families,” Smith said. “We do spend quite a bit of money helping them.”

While the alliance of the three groups may make it seem they have broad support, it’s pretty much ‘all in the family.’  US Army Sgt Justin Griffith has described himself as a “client” and “member” of the MRFF, and he is also the “military director” for American Atheists.  His second, US Marine Sgt Paul Loebe, is his “assistant” at American Atheists and had been leading the effort to demand a counter-response to the shocking Christian support for US Marines.

So while it may seem to be more than one “group,” it is actually the same few people, making essentially the same complaint: We want to be like the Christians.  Bravo.

Primarily, it seems the groups are manufacturing and sensationalizing yet another incident allowing them to drag the US military through the mud.  Military atheists did the same thing at Fort Bragg, criticizing the US Army at every turn, even as it supported the same event there.

In short, the atheists are claiming the US military is obligated to host them, because they have allowed a Christian church to host events supporting servicemembers.  The ludicrous nature of demanding to be an asterisk on Christianity (“if they…then we…”) seems to escape them.  Allowing a church to sponsor (apparently well-attended) events for troops does not mean the US military is required to open their military facilities to any Tom, Dick, or Harry that demands entrance.

But the persecuted martyr card plays well in the press — as do the accusations of “dooms day” cults.

The goal of the “Freedom From Religion” Foundation is obvious.  It should be obvious by now that Michael Weinstein’s MRFF goals have nothing to do with religious freedom — in fact, they’re quite the opposite — Weinstein supports religious freedom only for the right kind of religious beliefs.  Likewise, American Atheists, as guided by two members of the US military in matters pertaining to their own organization, have made it their explicit goal to so stigmatize religious freedom in the military that the military won’t touch it — even when it comes to the free exercise of its own troops.


  • Where to begin with this one. I happen to think in general that you are correct. I may have some difference of opinion from time to time, but overall, I am in agreement with you on this topic. As a career soldier, within a couple of years, retirement, I am disgusted with certain members of the military (one of whom was stationed on the same base I have been at for 18 years) who feel they need the services of civilian organizations to plead their cause of unjust treatment because of their lack of belief. I am even more disgusted with civilian organizations who make their infamy with the constant barrage of issues that they personally are not facing. Some of these people are former military and every time I read something like this I come to the understanding of why they are former; they did not have the intestinal fortitude to make their service mean something, rather than doing their service as a selfless act, as is one of the tenets of the Army, they use it as a platform for launching their diatribes and mentoring you service members and leaders into doing exactly the opposite of what the good order and discipline of military life requires.

    I have been secular my entire military career and have more recently moved towards the Humanist philosophy. In all my years, from private to senior NCO I have never been in a position in which I have not been able to do the proper research and quote completely and correctly from the proper regulations. I have never been forced into any situation in which religion has been jammed down my throat, if has even come close I use my personal courage and candor, as I was taught, to establish my position. I have never felt the need to establish the “fellowship” of a particular movement, I have the fellowship of my fellow soldiers. It is a relationship built upon respect, for each other and our skills. I am in a brotherhood that consists of many beliefs and/or disbeliefs. I have been in since DADT was brought into law and have been here to see it go away, so I can say personally that I have been through the had times and the good when it comes to command philosophy.

    I look at these young folks who wish to pursue their freedom by being exclusive and I am disgusted. They do not promote their cause to right a wrong done to them, they speak as if they have the authority to share my voice. These civilian organizations are giving them the platform from which to do it. The immaturity they demonstrate is most exemplified by going outside the system to right their perceived wrongs. There is no need to go outside the system to receive equal rights, all they have to do is ask, and do so not as someone who deserves the resource, but as someone who is trying to be a resource. An example of this simple process is that military members of Central North Carolina Atheists and Humanists (CNCAH) have procured the use of a Fort Bragg facility in September to host a speaker from the speaker series. David Niose will be speaking to group members on September 22nd . You know what they had to do? Ask and follow the process for requesting the facility. That simple, no threats of law suit, no need to appeal to their parent organization the AHA, no negative press.

    Our personal belief structure may be different and I may have differences of opinion with some of your content, but I am in agreement with the undisciplined approach that some take to getting what they want. Especially, when those who serve already get what they need, they are just not smart enough or mature enough to actually figure out the means and put in the time to do things the right way. It is a disgusting display of selfish service.

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