Chris Rodda Denigrates Beliefs of Chaplain Endorser
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant Chris Rodda has taken the MRFF attacks on military Christians to a new level. Weinstein and company have previously railed against Christians who expressed their religious beliefs, even if they did so in a church service. They’ve also blasted Christians for nothing more than having certain beliefs.
Now, Chris Rodda has gone a step further, holding up for derision not expressed beliefs or even the beliefs of any particular service member. Instead, Rodda attacked cherry-picked (and misrepresented) policy statements from a chaplain’s endorsing agency, as if that implicated either a service member or religious freedom in general. Rodda’s characteristically rambling article at the Huffington Post is entitled “Ranger Chaplain’s Endorsing Agency: Women in Combat ‘Contrary to Nature,’ ‘Biblical Duty of Man to Defend Woman’.”
It’s worth noting that Rodda’s headline isn’t even true. Her quotes on nature and the duty of man came from the assemblies of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) in 2001 and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in 2002. The OPC and PCA are two of seven member denominations of the endorsing agency known as the Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel. Those assemblies are not any chaplain’s endorsing agency. Rodda appears to have chosen sensationalism over integrity, which is ironic for someone who focuses so much on debunking “liars.”
Regardless, Rodda writes as the representative of a group that claims to protect “religious freedom” — yet she is doing nothing more than holding up religious beliefs for derision. Her blog says little more than “look at this,” as if it is obvious to her followers that there is something wrong with the existence of religious beliefs. The beliefs themselves were not the subject of any complaint, word, or action. They simply “are,” and that’s enough for Rodda to attack, in the name of “religious freedom.”
The chaplain in question was US Army Chaplain (Maj) Mark Winton, who gave the invocation at the recent Army Ranger graduation ceremony — which was publicized (video here) for being the first to include female Rangers. Mikey Weinstein previously slammed Chaplain Winton for praying in Jesus’ Name, calling the invocation “shameful” and “bigoted.” The Christian Examiner noted Weinstein conveniently ignored Army regulations that made Chaplain Winton’s prayer perfectly acceptable. Again, Weinstein took issue with the content of the Chaplain’s beliefs, nothing more.
Most Americans likely realize, even if it escapes Weinstein and Rodda, that true religious liberty doesn’t mean defending only beliefs with which you agree. The sincerity of your claim to liberty is demonstrated in your reaction to those with which you don’t agree.
Chris Rodda, Mikey Weinstein, and their awkwardly-named MRFF have done little more than attack religious beliefs they don’t like — and the religious beliefs they’ve attacked have been exclusively Christian. (Has the MRFF ever ridiculed the beliefs of Islamic military chaplains with respect to women?) There are many words to describe that prejudice and bigotry, and “liberty” isn’t one of them. There are also examples in history where extremists of the MRFF ilk have been successful in convincing the government to attack certain religious faiths. The US military paid a bloody price to overcome that evil.
Of course, Weinstein and Rodda will tell you they are defending Christians — you just have to be the right kind of Christian. Apparently, Mikey Weinstein and Chris Rodda will only defend your religious liberty if they agree with your MRFF-ApprovedTM religious beliefs.
Until then, the MRFF will attack, mock, and try to get the government to restrict your religious beliefs.
Because that’s what Mikey Weinstein and Chris Rodda call “religious freedom.”