Mikey Weinstein Attacks Army for Obeying Mikey Weinstein

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently attacked a chaplain at TARDEC (a US Army facility in Michigan) for doing exactly what Mikey Weinstein demanded.

In his press release — the only public source of this information — Weinstein said a command chaplain sent an email to everyone at TARDEC:

The email from the TARDEC Command Chaplain’s Office promoted an event entitled ‘The Passion and the Glory’…

This email was sent to all TARDEC personnel (around 8,000) with no opt-out or reply options for recipients.

It was, by Weinstein’s own admission, an email of upcoming religious services (the week preceding Easter) — an informative email wholly in keeping with the purpose of US military communications. In addition, it was handled in a way Mikey Weinstein once claimed was appropriate.

Remember, just a few years ago Weinstein was on record attacking military commanders who allowed announcements of religious issues to go out through “command” channels. Weinstein claimed doing so was coercive — even if the announcement of a religious event was transmitted in the same way, manner, and form as other non-religious events. He demanded unique — read, discriminatory — treatment only when religion was involved.

While the military has occasionally told Weinstein where he could put his complaints, it has also infrequently aquiesced, moving religious issues to chaplains’ channels rather than command channels.

And, in 2015, Mikey said chaplain channels were ok:

“There’s no problem with this [campaign] if it’s done through the chaplain’s office,” Weinstein said.

Then, of course, Mikey started complaining about their messages, as he has here. (Only Christian ones, however; Weinstein abstained from complaining about nearly identical emails about other religions.) Weinstein has claimed it is illegal for commanders to send out messages about religious events and resources; now he says chaplains can’t send them out either.  Pretty soon, Weinstein will claim not even Public Affairs can send out religious messages.

Kind of makes you wonder what Weinstein’s goal was to begin with — because it clearly had nothing to do with supporting religious freedom.

In this instance, you can also see the hallmarks of Mikey Weinstein’s cowardice — which has become more evident over the past year. Note he pushed out a press release weeks after the incident allegedly occurred — indicative of his (justified) fear that, had people found out about it at the time, religious liberty advocates would have come to the defense of those he targeted.

Also note the vague and somewhat untruthful content within the message itself:

Mikey immediately contacted the TARDEC Commander’s Office…

That’s interesting — because there is no such thing. TARDEC is run by a civilian “director”, not a uniformed military commander. (The current director is Dr. Paul Rogers.) It would seem Weinstein thought he’d sound more important if he implied Dr. Rogers was a military commander.

Further, Weinstein said the basis of his demand (and his characterization that the chaplain’s email was “illicit and blatantly unconstitutional”) was that:

…regulations prohibit this type of sectarian religious messaging to all installation email recipients…

Apparently, this was black-and-white, explicitly against the rules — which must be why Weinstein didn’t cite a single regulation.

Contrary to Weinstein’s passionate claims, it does not appear any Army or DoD regulation prevents a command chaplain from sending an email announcement out to his unit. In the past, Weinstein would at least make an effort to cite a regulation he (wrongly) said supported his position. For example, he made a similar complaint directed at the Air Force last year, and had to quote an Air Force regulation out of context to support his demand.  (In that example, the Air Force seems to have ignored Weinstein, again.) This time, Weinstein didn’t even bother with the charade — likely because there isn’t any regulation remotely close to what he claims.

In fact, one could argue the Army is required to allow chaplains to send out such announcements — both because of the basic need to support constitutional rights of free exercise, and because the Army can’t discriminate over religious content. It can’t prevent religious messages while promoting non-religious ones.

Mikey Weinstein was disingenuous on one point — and he appears to have outright lied on another.

It seems, though, he was “victorious”, as Dr. Rogers’ office apparently told Weinstein they’d try to be more careful with email distribution in the future. Of course, TARDEC’s leaders and its chaplains may have a chance to get some input from people who actually believe in supporting the Constitution and protecting religious liberty. So, despite Weinstein’s “discreet” attack on religious liberty, freedom may yet prevail.

Again, remember Mikey Weinstein started out with what some people said was a reasonable request: Move religious messages to chaplains’ channels. But that wasn’t good enough — Weinstein is now trying to restrict such content (even to the point of demanding the military identify the religious beliefs of the message’s recipients). It seems very much like the initial request was just the camel trying to get his nose under the tent.

Or, to borrow another refrain: You know how to eat an elephant, right? It seems Mikey Weinstein is smart enough to know he can’t get Christians heads on pikes immediately (yes, read what he actually said) — so he’s trying to take out their military religious freedom one bite at a time.

Mikey Weinstein has long said he believes Christians are out to take over the military, slaughter Jews, and institute Armageddon. He’s largely refrained from such grandiose language recently, but the wild-eyed conspiratorial bigotry that motivates it seems to live on, one small step at a time.

First, Mikey Weinstein came for the Christian officer…