Mikey Weinstein Thinks US Marines are Stupid, Cowards

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein once declared that US Marines were “national security threats,” and now he apparently thinks they’re both stupid and cowards.

On Wednesday, Weinstein published an email from an alleged US Marine at the Marine Corps University at Quantico, Virginia, who apparently had a case of the vapors over the National Day of Prayer [emphasis added]:

This morning the Commanding General’s Staff Secretary sent an email to the entire [MCU] with an invitation to a…MCU Prayer Breakfast…I feel threatened and my promotion potential on the line if I do not attend this religious event…When the Commanding General sends out an invitation to a religious event I feel compelled to attend…

The Marine can’t seem to get his story straight, saying that both a secretary and the Commanding General sent out the email. It turns out the email was actually written by the MCU Command Chaplain, US Navy Chaplain (Cdr) Maurice Buford, and subsequently re-distributed by the secretary — not unlike other announcements similarly distributed.  As published by Weinstein, the offending email simply said [emphasis added]:

Ladies and Gentleman,

5 May 2016 will mark the National Day of Prayer. This is a historical time when Americans across the land collectively ascribe to the sentiments of President Abraham Lincoln when he wrote, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” To this end, I would like to invite you to attend MCU’s Prayer Breakfast panel at the Gray Research Center from 0630 – 0730.  The topic of discussion will be, “Prayerful  Leadership.”  Our featured panelist will include:

Col Scott Erdelatz, COS MCU
Col Jason Bohm, Director EWS
Col Richard Hall, Wargaming
Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Dean MCWAR.

Come out and learn how leaders use prayer to make hard decisions. Understand how spirituality can help to establish good order & discipline as well as contribute to organizational success. Additionally, this panel will explain how proven leaders inspire others.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP with me at (email address withheld) at the soonest. Thank you in advance for your positive consideration.


Maurice A. Buford, PhD., D.Min.
Marine Corps University, Command Chaplain

It is a benign announcement of an upcoming event, nothing more.  Thousands of US troops will find out about National Day of Prayer events in their units through similar means.  Those who are interested may respond; those who aren’t will simply delete the email.  There is no controversy.

In a response to the Marine Corps Times, the Marines said simply that it was a voluntary event and debunked the offended Marine’s complaint [emphasis added]:

“The Marine Corps University Prayer Breakfast Panel…is voluntary and open to all service members and civilians from within the command,” Maj. Tony Semelroth said…“No attendance rosters are kept and participation, or lack of participation, has no influence on an individual’s performance evaluation or potential for promotion.”

This Marine, though, wavered between being “fearful” on one hand and being offended on the other [emphasis added]:

The panel includes the leadership of the University and the school Directors and Dean with the message that Marine Corps University is a religious institution. This is a clear violation of the Constitution and must be stopped.

Contrary to the machinations of Mikey Weinstein — who may have even had a hand in this Marine’s public cry for help — most US Marines aren’t stupid. They know that when the secretary sends out announcements, that’s what they are: announcements. They’re also not cowards:  They don’t quake in their boots because a Colonel is going to talk about prayer at a meeting they’re not even required to attend.

In fact, this Marine probably isn’t stupid or a coward, either — but he knows (or has been coached) on how to make a scene.

Mikey Weinstein learned long ago to have his “clients” emphatically state they were “scared” to go to their leadership, thus attempting to end-run critics who would respond that these complainants should use internal grievance processes. That’s why so many of these “spontaneous” emails to Weinstein sound similar — and so much like Leia’s message: “Help me Obi Wan Kanobi Mikey, you’re my only hope…” In an attempt to avoid nuance, he also has his clients act as if they feel the offending message came from God on high — even if they know perfectly well it came from a civilian admin assistant. In the end, Weinstein tries to have them paint the most dire picture — all for effect.

Ultimately, this Marine didn’t like the idea that the MCU was going to have an event for the National Day of Prayer, and he was especially offended that senior officers would be involved. That he publicized his message as a quivering simpleton was simply a way to gain attention and pity.

Doubt it? Check out the Marine’s demands [emphasis added]:

I believe the Chaplain should be instructed on what is appropriate and not appropriate with respect to religion and the Constitution

The Commanding General [should be] ordered to cancel the event and to direct anyone interested to the base chapel for any further religious events.


USN Chaplain (Cdr) Buford

The Marine never even mentioned the Chaplain in the complaint, so why now demand he be “instructed” as part of the resolution? Maybe the Marine has a problem with AME pastors — or maybe that part of the “complaint” got lost in the editing process. And why “order” the event to be canceled, given there are a variety of other ways his aggrieved feelings could be addressed?

Because that’s the desired endstate — everything else is just window dressing.

In some respects, it seems this has become a game to Mikey Weinstein. Say certain words, pull on certain threads, get the right press release — its all part of a dance he does to find the most effective way to attack religious liberty. Weinstein has had a burr in his saddle about the National Day of Prayer for years, even pejoratively calling NDoP chair Shirley Dobson a “dominionist” and her husband, James Dobson a “religious terrorist.” This complaint is just the latest vehicle to achieve his ends.

In the end, there’s nothing wrong with a secretary forwarding an email from the chaplain announcing an event — that’s how events are announced.  The fact that this one is faith-based does not disqualify it from equal treatment.  There’s also nothing wrong with Marine officers and civilians participating in faith-based events.  After all, the US military asserts that it protects the rights of its troops to have and practice their faiths, and that’s exactly what these Marines are doing.

Rather than complaining about other Marines and trying to prohibit their free exercise, this Marine needs to get off his duff and exercise his own faith.  He could also use a dose of tolerance for practices he disagrees with and, if the email is genuine rather than coached, perhaps he could grow a spine while he’s at it.

Importantly, while this Marine may have been offended, there are likely many others who were encouraged.  (And those are the troops Mikey Weinstein hates the most.)  They have every right to find out about this event and to celebrate and exercise their faith — and not have that right impeded by a wilting flower of a Marine who is scared of a secretary’s email.

Mikey Weinstein will use any method he can to attack military religious freedom and increase the donations to his personal “charity” that pays his salary, even if he has to make US Marines look as though they’re stupid or cowards to do so.

Also at Military.com.