Casey Weinstein Runs for Office, Embarrassed by the MRFF

Casey Weinstein, son of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, is running for the state legislature in Ohio. He’s apparently a Democrat — which fits the family profile of the elder Weinstein, who makes a point of saying he’s a “registered Republican” but has only publicly supported Democrats for years. Casey has previously been a local councilman for Hudson City and now seems to be aiming a little higher.

Casey’s specific political aspirations aren’t particularly relevant — except that the Republican party, supporting incumbent Kristina Roegner, recently sent out a mailer highlighting the Weinsteins’ 2005 lawsuit against the US Air Force Academy.  It seems Casey Weinstein has been campaigning on his military credentials (even wearing an Air Force shirt going door-to-door), so he’s engendered interest in his somewhat tense relationship with the military.

In a short article clearly promoted by Weinstein (he even provided the mailer), the “reporter” essentially debunks the political mailer and lauds Casey’s credentials: 

The lawsuit claimed that Air Force leadership illegally proselytized Christianity, by — among other things — forcing attendance at religious services, conducting prayers at official events, and promoting and screening Mel Gibson’s Biblical epic “The Passion of the Christ.”

…a federal judge ultimately tossed the suit after Casey and his co-plaintiffs graduated, holding they no longer had standing to sue since they weren’t students anymore. But an internal Air Force investigation substantiated almost all of their specific allegations, leading top brass to issue new religious tolerance guidelines.

That paragraph is clearly Weinsteinian. For example:

  • It fails to note the judge dismissed the Weinstein lawsuit against the US Air Force with prejudice because it “failed to state a legally cognizable claim against the USAF.”
  • It fails to note Casey “lacked standing” according to the court because he never “alleged a personal link” to any of the ‘crimes’ he accused the Air Force of committing.
  • It incorrectly says Casey “no longer had standing” after he graduated.  The lawsuit was filed in 2005 — after Casey had already graduated in 2004.  The lawsuit wasn’t suddenly undermined by a chronological technicality; by that standard, Casey never had standing.

It is not remotely accurate to say the Air Force investigation “substantiated almost all” of their allegations.  The “reporter,” apparently being fed information from the Weinsteins, simply copied that quote from a Washington Post article — a fluff piece written to make Mikey Weinstein look part George Washington, part Clint Eastwood.  The WaPo article didn’t even mention the lawsuit when it expressed its opinion that the Air Force had “substantiated” something.

The mailer about the State House race also inspired a “spontaneous” letter to the editor from an out-of-state ally of Weinstein, fellow 2004 USAFA graduate Oliver Caruso.  Caruso inadvertently made the situation worse by mischaracterizing an incident in his attempt to defend Casey, saying:

The Yale Divinity School was brought to the Academy for an assessment and confirmed pervasive issues in the cadet wing, finding, for example, that an officer told cadets that those not ‘born again’ would ‘burn in the fires of hell’.

It’s true the MRFF has been associated with that Yale “complaint” — but the Yale report came out before any Weinstein filed a complaint, so they couldn’t have “confirmed” anything.

More importantly, that “officer” was a chaplain, and he was delivering a sermon in a church service to willing cadets who were having their religious needs met, at their request.  The MRFF — supported by both Weinsteins — would have the government restrict the content of religious sermons, and that wasn’t the last time they’d make that demand.

An ally implying Casey Weinstein supports governmental interference with church services?  Probably not the kind of “support” he was looking for.

Casey Weinstein clearly joined with his father Mikey to attack religious freedom in the US military. It wasn’t a unique event in 2005, either, as Casey has continued to speak out against Christians and religious freedom, as he did in 2008 while in Ohio.

Casey Weinstein said of the political mailer:

I feel it’s an attack on my patriotism…It kind of rocked me to my core.

If Casey Weinstein feels those statements reflect negatively upon him, he probably needs to exercise some introspection — particularly given what his own history shows.

Military religious freedom has actually been a specific issue even in national politics this year, with GOP candidate Donald Trump actually appearing at specifically-organized events on the topic.  It doesn’t appear that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton similarly has, at least this year; the most recent political connection on that topic came when MRFF board member Joe Wilson demonstrated his access to Clinton by emailing her about the “Christian Dominionists” trying to turn the US military into a tool of “religious zealotry [and] an army for Christ.”

The revelation that Casey Weinstein whimsically sued the US Air Force Academy in an attack on its religious freedom may not even affect the election, as many Democrats probably don’t care, and many Republicans weren’t going to vote for him anyway. (Roegner is reportedly a popular incumbent who won with 58% of the vote in the last election.)

Either way, his animosity toward liberty and military religious freedom is a path Casey Weinstein chose and appears to have continued supporting over the years.

A cliché about chickens and roosting comes to mind.