Fort Campbell Reviews Allegations between Chaplains, Jewish Lay Leader

Various news sites are reporting that Fort Campbell is looking into a complaint by a volunteer Jewish lay leader over being “fired” by the Fort’s chaplains. The Army Times provocatively implied the chaplains were accused of “dismantling on-post programs for Jewish soldiers“:

Jeanette Mize, her husband, Curt, and son, Lawrence, served as lay leaders for Jewish worship on the installation for nearly two decades. On Feb. 28, the three were allegedly fired without cause under the direction of the division chaplain, Col. John Murphy, and his deputy chaplain, Lt. Col. Sean Wead.

Some of the article contain a bit of sensationalism in what may be an effort to “explain” their roles. After all, you can’t fire or “terminate” a volunteer.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein vaunted his access to a redacted name at Fort Campbell to whom he referred as a “VERY senior Army official”, who in fact was just Fort Campbell’s Chief of Staff, Col Brett Sylvia. Col Sylvia was deployed — trying to fight a war, you know — so he had already passed Weinstein’s concerns on back to Fort Campbell.

That said, if the underlying accusation is true — that Fort Campbell chaplains ended Jewish support for troops out of anti-Semitism — then significant action is certainly called for. That just doesn’t seem entirely likely.

For one thing, Mize accuses not one but four chaplains — including the senior command chaplain — of complete complicity in her “dismissal,” while she cites none that support her. In fact, Mize even admitted she has been trying to get one of the chaplains fired for the past year.

Even accounting for the fact Mize is the only source of information, it seems quite likely the issue is far more personality-based than prejudice-based. It seems as if there was an ongoing feud between herself (notably, she is the presented as the representative of the Jewish ministry) and the chaplaincy as a whole at Fort Campbell.

An investigation does appear to be warranted, though it need not be characterized as an “outrage”, “persecution,” or “complete violation of the United States Constitution,” as Mikey Weinstein has. (Greg Petrequin, a retired USAF Colonel and an apparently unstable Mikey disciple, already decided the outcome when he said the chaplains need to be “court-martialed, dismissed from the service and sent to prison.”)

It seems likely there’s more to it than that, and it also seems likely Mize has a role in it, as well.

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3 comments

  • Nothing says Christian values like smearing the name of someone volunteering their services with innuendo and outright baseless speculation. Fun fact: You CAN fire a volunteer. Just because you’re not paid for performing a role doesn’t mean you’re not performing the role. The Army Times article, in fact, presents evidence that there was a real hostility to Jewish services being offered.

  • Retired Army Chaplain here. Admittedly the Army Times article has a number of holes in it. For instance, did the Jewish lay leaders go through the process for gaining whatever approvals they needed in a timely enough manner to have a place on March 30th? I don’t know, and Passover is not something one just decides to do. It requires considerable planning. However, if it is only true they fired the Jewish lay leaders without cause and if the only reason they canned Passover was due to Good Friday or the weekend then they have trouble coming their way, and that trouble will have been earned. Who are their endorsers?

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