Chaplain Becomes CGO of the Year, Mikey Weinstein Target
US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez was recently selected as the AFLCMC IMA CGO of the year.
Two days after the announcement, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein slammed the chaplain as “homophobic [and] anti-Semitic.”
Why Weinstein was monitoring the AFLCMC CGO ranking is a mystery. It’s possible he knew of Chaplain Hernandez from the chaplain’s time at USAFA, which was his last assignment until November of last year. Weinstein also has family in the Wright-Patterson area, which is where the 445th Airlift Wing is based and where the announcement would have been made.
Finally, Weinstein came to his conclusions about Chaplain Hernandez from viewing the publicly available sermons he gave to his home church. (As an IMA Reservist, the Chaplain’s primary job is civilian.)
Weinstein slams the chaplain for “putrid, bigoted oration” during sermons as an Elder at his Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.
Think about that for a second: A man who claims he supports military religious freedom is attacking a military chaplain because of the content of his sermons — civilian sermons, no less.
There’s no religious coercion. There’s no preferential treatment, endorsement, or violation of any law, regulation, or policy. These are voluntarily-attended religious meetings of like-minded (civilian) faith adherents.
Mikey Weinstein simply doesn’t like this Christian’s beliefs, so he believes the chaplain is unworthy of religious freedom — or the ability to even be in the US military.
On top of that, Weinstein attempts to paint the chaplain with egregious labels — accusing him of blood libel and calling him anti-Semitic.
Weinstein — who calls himself a “Jewish agnostic who prays” — either doesn’t know what “blood libel” is or is intentionally misusing it for shock value. From the Anti-Defamation League:
The “blood libel” refers to a centuries-old false allegation that Jews murder Christians – especially Christian children – to use their blood for ritual purposes, such as an ingredient in the baking of Passover matzah (unleavened bread).
Chaplain Hernandez made no such statement or claim, nor did anything he said remotely approach it — yet Weinstein claimed he did.
Weinstein called Chaplain Hernandez anti-Semitic because the Chaplain said Pilate handed Jesus over to satisfy “the Jews,” while the quoted verse in Mark actually says “the crowd.” Given that the Bible makes clear the crowd was “the Jews” (see the same story in the Gospel of John, for example), Weinstein’s accusation doesn’t even rise to the level of being pedantic — it’s just plain wrong.
More to the point, the ADL says “anti-Semitism” is:
The belief or behavior hostile toward Jews just because they are Jewish. It may take the form of religious teachings that proclaim the inferiority of Jews, for instance, or political efforts to isolate, oppress, or otherwise injure them. It may also include prejudiced or stereotyped views about Jews.
That has nothing to do with Chaplain Hernandez’s recounting of the crucifixion verse, and it bears no reflection on the Chaplain’s belief or behaviors toward Jews. (As an interesting aside:
While at the Air Force Academy, Hernandez was the on-call chaplain support to the active-duty Rabbi chaplain, allowing the cadets Jewish religious rites.)
Weinstein may have been using these inappropriate and highly inflammatory — and wrong — terms as a dog whistle, hoping the story of an “anti-Semitic, blood libel” US military chaplain would be so sensational it might “go viral” and assuage his bruised ego. Happily, that was not to be (yet).
Mikey Weinstein will say that he doesn’t hate Christians, because, of course, he has Christian friends. Further, he may even be OK with some Christians in the US military — if they’re the right kind of Christian, meaning their beliefs pass his test for acceptability.
Ultimately, the takeaway is Mikey Weinstein loathes Christians, and his bigotry knows almost no bounds.
The outlier on this particularly attack by Weinstein on military religious freedom is what isn’t said. Weinstein didn’t call for the Chaplain’s court-martial or the ouster of his commander. In fact, Weinstein doesn’t mention interacting with the Air Force at all, despite the years of claims that he had unfettered access to and overwhelming influence over commanders in the US military.
Given that history — and the outsize nature of Weinstein’s ego — it’s entirely likely he did try to demand the commander do something, just as he recently did at Seymour-Johnson AFB. If he was slapped down again, though, the bruising loss of access is likely not a story he’d be willing to repeat.
As to Chaplain Hernandez: Congrats on being CGO of the year. Thanks for the work you do in protecting the religious freedom of all our troops. Hopefully, your congregation recognizes the sacrifice that entails.