Chris Rodda Caught in Lie over Military Religious Freedom
For a person who practically makes a living calling people “liars,” you’d think Chris Rodda would be more careful not to put herself in the position of being perceived as untruthful. But that’s precisely where she found herself just last week.
In a lackluster article that explained the MRFF’s objection to the “odious” missionary trip of US Air Force SMSgt Larry Gallo (discussed previously), Rodda goes after FoxNews’ Todd Starnes for his statement that George Washington would have been “thrown in the brig” for praying at Valley Forge, were he to do so today. The MRFF wouldn’t have objected to Washington’s prayer, Rodda exclaimed,
just as [the] MRFF would never object to any member of today’s military…privately engaging in any religious activity.
While “never object[ing]” is a bit less enthusiastic than “supporting” or “defending,” it is at least a non-confrontational position that acknowledges the rights of military members.
The problem is, Chris Rodda’s statement isn’t true.
One of the more blatant examples contradicting Rodda happened fairly recently. Remember the viral video of the US Marines singing Days of Elijah? As mentioned at the time, that was a church service — it was not an official military function, briefing, or mandatory formation. It was a voluntary gathering of US troops who wanted to exercise their religious freedom and corporately praise God.
Even the MRFF openly acknowledges this was a chapel service — and Mikey Weinstein still didn’t like it. Contrary to Chris Rodda’s claim, Mikey Weinstein objected to the private religious activity of these US military members, saying “this” — that is, a Christian church service for US troops — “is what we at MRFF are up against.”
Get that? Mikey Weinstein’s “charity” is fighting “against” Christian chapel services in the US military. So much for religious freedom — and so much for Chris Rodda’s claim.
Maybe Rodda didn’t get the memo and assumed Weinstein would uphold religious liberty even for those who hold theological beliefs with which he disagrees. It wouldn’t be the first time Rodda suffered a disconnect between principle and Weinstein’s personal issues with Christians.
But… It turns out Chris Rodda also specifically highlighted the MRFF’s objection to this church service.
Given the apparently menial task of answering MRFF email, Rodda responded to an inquiry over the Days of Elijah video by saying it was “problematic and appalling,” and then said the MRFF wanted to act but couldn’t [emphasis added]:
unfortunately…there’s really nothing we can do about it.
Even Chris Rodda admits the MRFF objected to the Christian chapel service — they just couldn’t figure out a way to do anything about it… “unfortunately.”
It’s long been known Mikey Weinstein has used his awkwardly named “charity” — the Military Religious Freedom Foundation — to attack the religious freedom of US military Christians. It’s long been known that Mikey Weinstein has objected even to private, unofficial religious activity by Christian US troops. As the public is becoming more aware of this, more people are realizing the MRFF is an anti-Christian group, not a religious freedom group.
That’s probably hurt Weinstein’s bottom line — which directly impacts his wallet.
Chris Rodda was placed in the unenviable position of trying to defend the MRFF against insinuations of extremism. To try to defend her boss, she claimed that the MRFF doesn’t “object” to private religious activity — because if they did object to things like private prayer and church services, people would understandably think the MRFF was a group of anti-Christian extremists.
But, as the public knows, Mikey Weinstein, Chris Rodda, and the MRFF do “object to member[s] of today’s military…privately engaging in any religious activity” — at least, when those troops are Christian. To avoid looking “bad” to their donors, however, Rodda deceptively claimed the MRFF wouldn’t do what it very evidently has done — and what the MRFF will almost certainly do again in the future.
Chris Rodda made a statement she knew to be factually incorrect with the intent of deception. Chris Rodda lied.
Who cares? Probably not many. Weinstein will still have his acolytes who will fist bump on Facebook when he denigrates Christians, irrespective of the rights of religious liberty. But Weinstein more than anyone knows his “charity” will live or die on public perceptions. If people see the truth — that Weinstein attacks Christians in the military, even in their private religious activity — he knows it will impact his influence, and his bottom line. It likely already has.
The fact that Rodda had to present a falsehood (and an easily disprovable one) to make the MRFF seem less objectionable may give an indication of how far Weinstein, Rodda, and their MRFF have fallen.
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