Mikey Weinstein Quietly Apologizes to Christian Fighter Pilot
On August 11th, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein railed at US Air Force Major Christina “Thumper” Hopper, claiming she violated Air Force regulations in the course of her “1st-degree religious zealotry unbecoming of a military leader” and “vile missionary-crusader propagandizing.”
The next day, LtCol Aaron Hopper, Christina’s husband, took to Weinstein’s Facebook page… to invite him to dinner. Weinstein “Liked” the post, but nothing else was said.
Nearly a month later, on September 18th, an ally of Weinstein wrote a blog revealing that Weinstein had, indeed, visited the Hoppers in Enid, at what became an event hosted by the Hopper’s pastor, Wade Burleson (who had publicly defended Hopper against Weinstein). In a step quite out of character for Weinstein, he is said to have apologized, sort of:
Mikey acknowledged that Maj Hopper was definitely not the demon others may think she is after reading his blog post.
Quite in character, this is a revelation to which Weinstein has not admitted. He did publicize the link to the otherwise obscure blog post. Still, the column that Weinstein originally wrote, which he now seems to acknowledge wrongly demonizes Hopper, remains published in several places, including his own website.
While on the surface it seems Mikey Weinstein may have traveled out of a spirit of reconciliation, the visit seems to have played out largely like any other melodramatic Weinstein ‘speaking engagement.’ Weinstein not only went, but he also invited members of his extended family and random people he didn’t even know — but upon whom he could rely for crowd support. One attendee was the author of the blog cited above, Bob Lawrence (a self-described “gay, progressive [UCC] minister”), who admits Weinstein called him to try to get “about a dozen” of “Mikey’s Tulsa-based supporters” to fill in the chairs at the 50-seat event.
For his part, Lawrence advertised the visit as an event “featuring Mikey Weinstein…presenting the argument in favor of the separation of church and state in the military.” So much for a conciliatory visit, or even the Hopper’s invitation to dinner.
Similarly, as with other Weinstein travails, Lawrence made a point of repeating Weinstein’s claims of “credible security threats” before the event, despite the fact it was practically a secret, was attended by Weinstein’s allies and homeschooled teenagers, and was an invitation-only event. Weinstein’s feelings of self-importance know few bounds, it seems.
To this point, there seems to be little nobility in Weinstein traveling to Enid. Boiled down to its core, Mikey Weinstein cursed Hopper in public, and then apologized to her only in secret. Weinstein appears to have admitted to a fault in private, which is notable. But until he acknowledges that fault in public — with the same fervor as the wrong he committed in public — the implication is that either the initial bigotry or subsequent apology were nothing more than a self-serving façade.
There’s still time yet. Now that one person has publicly acknowledged the Hopper visit, Weinstein can, too. Maybe he can lay aside his ego for a moment and attribute the diatribe to what his own supporters (even his own wife) have said is his tendency to “go overboard” sometimes. Maybe he did just get a little too excited, and maybe even he regrets saying Hopper acted in a manner “unbecoming of a military leader.”
Perhaps. But until we hear Mikey Weinstein publicly acknowledge his error, all we have are his present vitriolic and hateful words to go on.
If he can apologize, he will be a better man for it. If not, has anything really changed?