Mikey Weinstein Demands “Aggressive Punishment” after LtGen Steven Kwast Mentions God
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently demanded the US Air Force “aggressively punish” LtGen Steven Kwast, Commander and President of the Air Force’s Air University, claiming he violated Air Force regulations by “discuss[ing]” his faith.
While typical and not unlike his rebuffed accusations against LtCol Michael Kersten, this Weinstein complaint is unique in its near-honesty.
First, Weinstein readily admitted he filed the complaint only because LtGen Kwast “openly discussed his (Christian) faith” (parentheses original) and, shockingly, quoted the Bible:
Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast openly discussed his (Christian) faith by, among other faith-based statements, quoting New Testament scripture from Matthew 25:21…
It would be more accurate to say LtGen Kwast mentioned his faith, but it’s pretty close. Note that Weinstein did not accuse LtGen Kwast of coercing anyone, of trying to convert anyone, of favoring religion or promoting Christianity, or of any other actual conduct.
Mikey Weinstein wants LtGen Kwast punished for just mentioning his faith — and Weinstein freely admits that.
How’s that religious freedom thing work again, Mikey?
Here’s the quote, in context, which is found in the final paragraph of a local magazine article:
Throughout his career and the raising of his family whom he spends all of his free time with, faith has continued to play a vital role in Gen. Kwast’s life. His heroes, aside from his own father, were people from the Bible. One of them is King David, a bust of whom he keeps on his desk at work. “He [King David] was an imperfect man,” says Kwast. “But because he loved God, God could use him. I’m imperfect but I love my God and I hope that He can use me.”
It is this thinking that prevents Kwast from making any plans that God might laugh at. When asked if he would ever consider running for President of the United States, something many local leaders have hinted would be a logical career choice for him, he replies “I’m not so arrogant as to think that I can make any plans unless God’s in it. God opens opportunity all over the place. My goal is to be prepared for any opportunity that God puts in front of me. It doesn’t matter if that’s being a ditch digger in California or President of the United States. It’s about being prepared so that someday God can say ‘well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
That benign statement is Mikey Weinstein’s justification for having LtGen Kwast “aggressively punished.”
Second — and very importantly — Weinstein also forthrightly acknowledged he was lodging a “third party complaint” with the Inspector General. The Air Force regulations are explicit about third-party complaints (AFI 90-301; local PDF) [emphasis added]:
18.104.22.168. Third-party complainants are not entitled to a response regarding the substance of alleged wrongs not directly affecting them. Third-party complainants are only entitled to have receipt of their complaint acknowledged.
22.214.171.124. Third-party complainants are not entitled to personal information or other information not releasable to the public under the FOIA/Privacy Act (PA). To release personal information concerning a first-party individual (complainant, subject), a written and signed consent to release private information must be acquired from the affected individual.
All of Weinstein’s public IG complaints to date have been “third party,” but this is the first time he’s outright admitted it.
The important part is Mikey Weinstein’s conversation with the Air Force is done.
The Air Force can — and should — acknowledge the complaint — and then tell Mikey Weinstein absolutely nothing. That is the policy prescribed in Air Force regulations.
As to what the Air Force should actually do with Weinstein’s complaint, that’s simple: Conduct the necessary complaint analysis — a short assessment that will reveal there is no “credible violation of any law, instruction, regulation, or policy” — and then dismiss the complaint as “frivolous.”
It doesn’t even require an investigation. Case closed. Continue with mission.
A correction to the prior statement: Rather than telling Mikey Weinstein nothing, the IG should emulate the 39th Air Base Wing’s response to Weinstein’s essentially identical complaint about LtCol Michael Kersten:
The Air Force places the highest value on the rights of its personnel in matters of religion and facilitates the free exercise of religion by its members. Our Airmen are sworn to protect our rights and liberties as Americans, including the right of all Airmen to practice their religious faith or to practice no faith at all.
Have a nice day.
Mikey Weinstein had declared Kersten’s statements about his faith “violative of Constitutional, judicial and DoD regulatory mandates.” Have you heard how Weinstein followed up after his attacks were rebuffed?
The Air Force ignored him, and Mikey Weinstein went away sulking. End of story. That’s why you haven’t heard word one about that story since. The issue was so compelling — and Weinstein’s case so solid — that the most Weinstein could manage was to stick out his lower lip and stomp away.
Mikey Weinstein is displaying the stripes of a loud-mouthed coward. His bellicose bravado melts away when someone does as little as stand up to him — and his complaint is revealed for the impotent whining that it is.
It seems Kersten’s commanders demonstrated an effective Air Force Tactic, Technique, and Procedure (AFTTP). The Air Force Inspectors General should take heed.