Mikey Weinstein Lies about Religious Freedom and Blood in the Streets

One of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s favorite refrains is there would be “blood in the streets” if another religion did what Christian “fundamentalists” get away with in the US military. That his dramatic statement is an irrelevant logical fallacy matters not; it appeals to emotion and energizes his acolytes to call for the government to restrict the religious freedom of Christians in the US military, the Constitution notwithstanding.

Recently, in castigating USAF Major Steve Lewis’ display of a Bible, Weinstein verbosely said [capitalization original, emphasis added]:

Can you even IMAGINE the limitless, overflowing blood in the streets which would immediately occur if, say, another USAF official chose to similarly display, just as Major Steve Lewis presently exhibits his open and yellow-highlighted Christian bible in the very center of his official USAF desk, other sectarian, theological texts such as The Satanic Bible, the Islamic Quran, the Hindu Shruti, the Sikh Adi Granth and the Atheist movementʼs leading texts…?

There wouldn’t just be “blood in the streets.” It would be there “immediately,” and it would be “limitless and overflowing.”  All if another religious US troop dared to put out a religious text or symbol.

Weinstein’s fallacious implication reflects the research style of his assistant, Chris Rodda — meaning his argument is unsupported by evidence and it relies on assumptions and convenient omissions.

Why, for example, do you think Mikey Weinstein declined to mention Jewish Torahs, yarmulkes, Islamic beards, or Sikh turbans — all of which the US military has permitted?  By Mikey Weinstein’s standards of offense and fear, is not the image of a US troop adorned in religious garb while in uniform far worse than a book on a table?  Since Christians aren’t permitted similar religious accoutrements, and since these examples indicate non-Christian religious displays are generally permitted within the military, they undo Mikey Weinstein’s position — so he just ignores them.

Chaplain Goldstein wears a yarmulke in uniform.The greatest assumption Mikey Weinstein makes is that no satanist, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or atheist in the US military has ever displayed a text or object of their faith at work, since there hasn’t ever been “blood in the streets” over such an incident in the 200+ years since the US Army was founded.

But Mikey Weinstein is wrong.

There are many people of many faiths within the US military. And they, just like Major Lewis, often decorate their offices with emblems symbolic of their faith.  Contrary to Weinstein’s baseless claims, it is actually not unusual to find religious references in the offices of US troops — and, believe it or not, they’re just as likely, if not more so, to be non-Christian references.

Then why isn’t there a long litany of complaints?  Where is the missing “blood in the streets” that should have “immediately” been “limitless and overflowing?”

It would be easy to say no one cares — but people actually do care. Unlike Mikey Weinstein and his “clients,” however, these troops aren’t terrified by a reference to a religion they do not share, and they acknowledge the right of those people to express their faith.

And you know what? Most of those people “who care” are Christians — the very people Mikey Weinstein claims would be causing “blood in the streets” if they saw such things — which they do.

Because military Christians aren’t perpetually offended, and because they do not seek visceral retribution like Mikey Weinstein, there isn’t much in the way of documented photographic evidence to prove this negative.

But there’s at least one.

The image below is a photo taken in the common foyer directly outside a senior commander’s office [edited to protect identities]:

afshivaThe statue is the Hindu god Shiva. The religious statue was in clear view of every subordinate who trekked to that commander’s office (an Air Force commander, given the copies of Airman Magazine on the table). No one imploded. The Constitution did not spontaneously combust. Airmen walking by did not suddenly convert to Hinduism, nor did they feel “terrified” or the need to pretend to avoid hamburgers to ingratiate themselves to their commander.  While Weinstein claimed he “represented” 33 “very scared families” because of a Bible in an office, hundreds of families were completely unaffected by this statue.

Contrary to Mikey Weinstein’s assertion, there was no “blood in the streets” when a non-Christian religious symbol was displayed in a government office — a senior commander’s office, no less.

Did anyone even complain? According to the anonymous service member who provided the picture, they sort of did. The statue caused some people to mutter that, had it been a Catholic crucifix instead, that anti-Christian agitator Mikey Weinstein would have cried out for “blood in the streets…”