Mikey Weinstein Calls US Marine a Coward after Demands Rejected
The US Marine Corps in Hawaii has said a sign saying “God bless our military” erected just after September 11, 2001, will remain as it is — despite the complaint and threats of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.
Not only did the Marines reject Mikey Weinstein’s demands, the commander, Col Sean C. Killeen, very effectively shut Weinstein down [emphasis added] (PDF):
This sign will remain in its present location and not be altered in any way…
Our legal team has conducted exhaustive research on this issue…This sign has the secular purpose of conveying a message of support, does not advance or inhibit religion or any particular faith, nor does it foster excessive government entanglement with religion…
We will continue to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of this country, our freedoms, and our way of life.
As noted before, it is a statement itself that Mikey Weinstein has palpitations over a benign sign that says little more than “God bless.”
The nearly aggressive tone of Col Killeen’s response is a stark contrast to some other replies Weinstein has received from the military in the past, which sometimes seemed apologetic or reverential to the former Air Force Captain.
Retired Army Chaplain (Col) Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty supported Col Killeen, saying
It was a great letter. I thought he was right on the mark. And I appreciate the Marine commander doing what I had trusted he would do right from the beginning. I commend him for maintaining that sign.
That said, it is still notable that Col Killeen’s staff took a significant amount of effort to answer Weinstein’s demands — effort that detracted from their primary duty, which is to accomplish their military mission. So while it is admirable that Col Killeen so firmly rebuked Weinstein’s complaint, it remains regrettable that a civilian agitator can so easily distract the military from its duties of defending the nation.
Obviously, Weinstein isn’t happy. Though his “special assistant” (and erstwhile West Point cadet) Blake Page wrote the first letter, Weinstein himself wrote the adjective-filled response:
the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) completely rejects both your comprehensively wrong decision and your extremely faulty legal analysis in the matter below
Weinstein has also been trying to bait Col Killeen into explicitly denying the placement of more signs representing “other” religious viewpoints — which Weinstein believes would provide grounds for a lawsuit.
Blind to his use of the classic pot-kettle device, Weinstein called Col Killeen’s response “bigoted.”
Blind to his own career as a peacetime military lawyer, Weinstein had the audacity to call the combat-tested Marine Col Killeen a coward, saying Killeen lacked “the courage” to answer him. BizPac Review noted
Others would probably say that standing up to a bully shows courage in spades.
To this point, Col Killeen appears to be wisely ignoring Weinstein, and he will hopefully continue to do so — in perpetuity. Col Killeen has a military mission that is slightly more important than corresponding with a civilian agitator with a bruised ego.
Weinstein is reportedly “considering” a lawsuit.
“We are in discussion with civil rights litigators in Honolulu,” Weinstein said in a phone interview. “It is just a matter of whether any of our military men want to come forward.”
Given his history, Weinstein will do little more than talk — and try to raise money from like-minded critics of religion and religious freedom.
Col Killeen and his staff should be commended. While ignoring Weinstein is generally the best course, slamming the door on him can be just as effective.
The Marine Corps has effectively defended religious freedom and supported a culture of liberty and tolerance — though, from some perspectives, they may have just been using common sense in response to asinine accusations.
Also at The Star Advertiser, Christianity Today, Marine Corps Times, TheBlaze, Federal News Radio, Washington Post, CBN News, the Daily Caller, the NY Daily News, the Washington Times, Huffington Post, One News Now, and Military.com.