Kenneth Copeland Speaks at Prayer Breakfast over Mikey Weinstein Protests

Yesterday, Kenneth Copeland spoke at the Fort Jackson Prayer Breakfast — despite Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s vehement demands that he be disinvited.

In noting Weinstein’s failure, the Christian Post highlighted the fact Weinstein had made an 11th-hour reattack, saying [emphasis added]:

In the second letter, sent Wednesday, Weinstein…included comments…denouncing Copeland’s remarks and his overall prosperity gospel worldview, with one figure stating that “Jesus Christwould NOT recognize Kenneth Copeland as a disciple.”

Mikey Weinstein demanded the US military take action against someone because he didn’t agree with the content of their religious faith: Because “Jesus Christ…would NOT recognize Kenneth Copeland,” Mikey Weinstein and his group believe Copeland should have been banned.

He wasn’t even trying to hide his disdain for Copeland’s religion; he wasn’t even pretending to support “religious freedom.” Weinstein explicitly used his personal prejudice as the basis for demanding the government take action against someone for their beliefs — simply because Mikey didn’t like it.

The US Constitution protects religious exercise from government interference. The beliefs in need of protection are the ones that aren’t popular. (If everybody is ok with them, from what do they need protected?) Kenneth Copeland has a twisted idea of Christian theology — but in America, it is his right to exercise it, without the government taking action against him because of what he’s chosen to believe.

Mikey Weinstein doesn’t support religious freedom. He thinks he gets to decide who is the “right kind” of Christian or who holds acceptable religious tenets.  Mikey Weinstein thinks he is the one who gets to decide whom Jesus would “recognize,” and is therefore permitted to publicly express their faith in a military setting. Weinstein believes he’s the arbiter of the beliefs that should be permitted the freedom to be exercised and expressed in American society.

Sure, Copeland has a heretical theology, which is probably why few people spoke up in his defense.  But Copeland has the same protections as more mainstream Christians and mainstream Christian beliefs — like, say, Jerry Boykin or Franklin Graham, or the theology of marriage. Weinstein should have lost here.  And he should lose when he attacks others’ religious freedom as well.

And think how society would have reacted if the religion targeted here was Judaism instead of the “prosperity gospel”.  Weinstein would have been roundly denounced as an anti-Semitic bigot.

The fact that Copeland claims a Christian faith makes Mikey Weinstein no less anti-Christian, and no less a bigot.

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