Mikey Weinstein Fails to Intimidate Air Force Chaplain (Video)
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein continues his self-declared “war” on Christians in the US military, but he is finding it increasingly difficult to coerce US troops to accept his demands. Much of the military has discovered the best response is simply to stand up to him. Weinstein’s only tool is intimidation, and when it fails, he is toothless.
In an apparent effort to play to the July US Supreme Court decision on homosexuality, Weinstein recently claimed in a blog and subsequent interview that he would “prosecute” chaplains if they preached something that did not pass his muster [formatting original]:
If chaplains believe that they MUST publicly and visibly preach to their troops a message that their LGB comrades are sexual-deviant “sinners” because of their “choice” to be gay, then these views are fatally noxious and totally destructive to unit cohesion, good order, morale, and discipline in the armed forces.
Despite Weinstein’s attempts to restrict the free exercise of US troops, chaplains are free to preach the tenets of their faith — and they have continued to do so.
In fact, just a few days prior to Weinstein’s ultimatum, Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez spoke eloquently and forcefully on the Gospel during a military chapel sermon. Hernandez, as you may recall, was targeted by Weinstein in a May diatribe that sensationally (and wrongly) labeled him “homophobic [and] anti-Semitic.” In July, Hernandez responded publicly, criticizing Weinstein’s “loathing of Christians” while still calling Weinstein to repentance.
During his recent sermon, Chaplain Hernandez encouraged the congregation to be bold and not be ashamed of the Gospel. He concluded with these thoughts:
We are living in some dark times. We see something very similar with what the Apostle Paul taught us in Second Timothy…
This culture is labeling people who mutilate their flesh to become a different sex and calling them heroes. We are living in a culture today where people are calling God’s design “bad,” and calling evil “good.” Do you understand the most unloving thing that you could ever do is not tell people the truth? That is what is really unloving and judgmental. Because the Bible warns you and it tells you in the book of First Corinthians 6, that makes it very clear to you that the sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do not be deceived.
Neither the fornicators, idolaters, the adulterers, nor the homosexuals, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
You have to tell them the truth, because the reality is this: People often say well I don’t want to hear about hell and fire and brimstone. Well, let me ask you a question: Would you rather hear it, or feel it?…
Today, brothers and sisters, my prayer for you all today is to be bold. Be Christ-like. Be loving. And never be ashamed of this Gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to men who believe.
Among other things in the 30 minute sermon, Chaplain Hernandez clearly preached to his (military chapel) congregation that homosexuals and the “sexually immoral” were sinners who would not “inherit the Kingdom of God” — and he called on the congregation to “tell people the truth.”
Just a few days later, Weinstein assertively claimed he would “prosecute” and sue if a chaplain dared to do that very thing.
It isn’t likely. Over the years Weinstein has made seemingly hundreds of threats that he would “immediately” or “aggressively” file some kind of lawsuit against the military or a Christian. He has frequently retorted that someone should prepare to “tell it to the judge.” In reality, however, Weinstein’s blustering has been nothing but empty threats — strong, heated words followed by utter inaction. Weinstein talks a big game… but in the end he’s a paper tiger.
Chaplain Hernandez’s sermon was well-received by the congregation. As has been noted here repeatedly for years, the duty of the military chaplaincy is not to serve itself, but to serve the troops. There are many military Christians who hold similar beliefs to Chaplain Hernandez, and they are encouraged when they hear a military chaplain with the courage to preach truth from the pulpit.
Yet, given the chance, Mikey Weinstein would use the force of the government to deny US troops the ability to sit in a sermon in which the tenets of their faith were preached — simply because he doesn’t like their religion.
This particular saga isn’t over. Weinstein has demonstrated he intends to continue using Chaplain Hernandez as a “poster child” for all that is wrong with Christianity in the military. (In August, Weinstein revived his attack on Chaplain Hernandez, saying he violated the UCMJ while preaching “theological homophobia.”) For his part, Chaplain Hernandez isn’t yielding: Not only has he continued to preach in accordance with the dictates of his faith, he’s also invited Mikey Weinstein to debate him on theology and religious freedom.
A debate could be interesting. Weinstein hasn’t participated in a debate in nearly a decade, preferring the solitary podium at which he repeats verbatim talking points to reliably friendly audiences. It would be fascinating to see him finally articulate his justification for attacking Christian troops, as he’s never before been able to forward a clear, rational position. Further, Weinstein’s last debate was with Jay Sekulow, another lawyer. Could he handle a debate with a pastor?
With engaged handlers and his ego in check (a feat in itself), Weinstein is generally fairly discriminating in “picking fights” he thinks will benefit him while avoiding those he thinks might harm his cause (and pocketbook). Given his poor performance on The Church Boys, it is unlikely Weinstein could — or would be willing to — articulately defend his views. More likely, he’s simply trying to ride the sensationalist headlines to his fundraising goals — even if he must do so on the backs of US troops.
So will Mikey Weinstein have the courage to emerge from behind his keyboard to debate Chaplain Hernandez directly?
We shall see.
View Chaplain Hernandez’s sermon here: