Weinstein Goes After Military Christians for Being…Christian
Michael Weinstein recently gave an interview in which he said absolutely nothing new (a surprisingly common occurrence, given that his “war” on religious freedom in the military is several years old). It remains amazing, however, that no one calls Weinstein out on his obvious disdain for Christians — for no other reason than expressing Christian beliefs.
The interviewer asked a simple question: “What kind of complaints do you hear about?”
After his standard vagaries about assaults and ruined careers, he brought up Officers’ Christian Fellowship:
There are over two dozen parachurch organizations that run rampant through the military. One of them is the Officer’s Christian Fellowship. It has about 15,000 officers of many ranks, some of them generals and admirals. Their purpose is to have Christian officers exercising biblical leadership to raise up a godly military. Their three goals are to spiritually transform the U.S. military with ambassadors for Christ in uniform empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Read that again and try to figure out what exactly Weinstein is saying he hears complaints about. It will be a challenge, as it seems Weinstein and his research assistant Chris Rodda share a propensity to assume it is obvious to the casual observer that having Christian beliefs in the military is somehow wrong. Rodda has, as an employee of the MRFF, similarly targeted OCF in the past and said, categorically, it should be illegal for military officers to publicly express religious views. Yes, that’s a “religious freedom” group talking. (As proof of Weinstein’s jaded and repetitive nature, its worth noting OCF hasn’t used what Weinstein calls their “three goals” for years.)
The closest Weinstein gets to an actual complaint is nothing more than an insinuation [emphasis added]:
Their chief Bible study that they push on their helpless subordinates is “we will not allow the opposition, all of which is spearheaded by Satan, to thwart or prevent us from regaining territory for Jesus Christ and the U.S. military.”
If anything was being “push[ed] on…helpless subordinates” it would be actionable — meaning Weinstein would be doing victory dances on obscure allied websites with evidence of this illegal OCF activity if it were true. But Weinstein is…”embellishing,” to put it nicely. He provides no proof this Bible study — or any other one — has been pushed on anyone, much less a “helpless subordinate.”
As this is the only thing in Weinstein’s entire answer that may be an offense, why all the detail about OCF? Like Rodda, his primary effort, it seems, is to take issue with Christian beliefs, not anything Christian officers actually do. Why else, then, is this specific Bible study even relevant to the discussion? The answer is simple: Weinstein thinks those religious beliefs look bad. (The study is one of many offered on the OCF site, though it isn’t a “chief” anything. The study is here (PDF) if you fancy a study on Nehemiah.)
Yet, the self-proclaimed “religious freedom” advocate doesn’t defend those religious beliefs. Instead, he holds them up for derision, or, worse, would have his followers believe they are impermissible. After all, as the MRFF has routinely demonstrated, if you’re not the right kind of Christian — as defined by Weinstein, of course — you’re not entitled to “religious freedom.”
As an aside: Weinstein did make one “new” comment about his self-founded charity:
We’re a very militant and aggressive organization…
Straight from the horse’s mouth.