ACLJ’s Skip Ash, Jay Sekulow Rise to Counter Mikey Weinstein

The ACLJ has recently begun to more firmly establish itself as one of the most articulate and assertive defenders of military religious freedom, specifically as it pertains to the attacks on religious liberty by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein.

Two weeks ago, Skip Ash (who has already written some lengthy and well-cited rebuttals to Weinstein and his acolyte John Compere) wrote an article detailing how the ACLJ had stood in opposition to Weinstein’s attacks on Bibles in POW/MIA displays. Noting Weinstein’s MRFF had sent yet another letter demanding an investigation (after their first demand was denied), Ash notes the ACLJ also wrote another letter to the DoD, saying

Our purpose, as always, is to educate DOD IG personnel on what the Constitution actually requires and permits vis-à-vis such displays and to refute the broad (though, admittedly, consistent) Constitutional misinterpretations of the MRFF and its supporters. The MRFF and its supporters grossly misunderstand what the Establishment Clause requires, and they too frequently interpret freedom of religion to actually mean freedom from religion.

As has been noted in the past, such correspondence also serves as a gentle reminder that there are two sides to the conversation — and Mikey Weinstein isn’t the only voice in the room. Placating him, as some have been wont to do in the past, would achieve nothing.

But the ACLJ didn’t send the letter as a tit-for-tat with Weinstein. Rather, [emphasis added]

MRFF’s persistence in making such erroneous attacks on our military leaders is troubling on many levels. That is why we sent our letter to the DOD IG…

Military leaders at all levels need to understand what the MRFF’s agenda is and that they need not fear the MRFF’s frequent demands based on faulty understanding of the law, no matter how forcefully such erroneous views are communicated.

One would hope most military leaders were aware of Mikey Weinstein and his disdain for Christian service members by now (guidance on dealing with Weinstein was published by the Air Force nearly a decade ago), yet there remain some who are blissfully ignorant — and who could therefore use some mentorship from their senior leaders. Then, of course, there are those in the military chain of command who support Weinstein’s bigotry; they could use a bit of “focused” leadership attention, as well.

In a prescient move, two weeks ago Ash also said

we encourage personnel at DOD to deal with the MRFF and its attorneys from now on since that would free subordinate commanders in all services from having to respond again and again to the MRFF’s frivolous attacks…

Of course, that’s precisely what happened at FE Warren just a few days ago, and, as noted, it will continue to happen until the DoD puts the issue to rest.

Until then, Mikey Weinstein will continue to milk the issue for publicity and fundraising. When ignorant or sympathetic leaders let him, Weinstein will continue to distract the US military from its mission and undermine the military religious freedom of US troops.

This should end.



  • Welcome back JD. First, I do NOT have any issue what so ever of a bible on POW/MIA displays; I understand its significance to our Military history. I defend my troops/employees right to have a bible on their desk and they are free to read it whenever they want to (well, as long as their job is done).

    I offer an opinion: I was taught and have always believed that freedom of religion, if it is going to apply to everyone, also requires freedom from religion. We do not truly have the freedom to practice our religious beliefs if we are also required to adhere to any of the religious beliefs or rules of other religions. Forcing (by some) people to accept some particular idea or adhere to behavioral standards from someone else’s religion means that their religious freedom is being infringed upon.

    What freedom from religion means to me is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people’s religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of your own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not.

    • @Delta One
      It’s probably important to have a common definition of what “freedom from religion” means. Most average Americans would agree with yours.

      However, there is a segment of society — generally led by the “militant atheist” movement — that asserts freedom “from” religion is freedom from being exposed to it. Therefore, if they happen to see a Bible in public, they are not free “from” that religion. They assert that the public space must be religion-free — which, by the way, is not “neutral.” This is the same movement working to strip memorials of any religious iconography (like crosses).

      The ACLJ’s use of “from religion” in this context is perhaps imprecise to some, but it fits what has become the common meaning — that the public should be protected “from” seeing religious artifacts in the public space. That is not what the Constitution was ever meant to mean, as Justice Scalia was famous for pointing out.

  • Pingback: PEOPLE ON THE RISE TO COUNTER MIKEY WEINSTEIN : This ain't Hell, but you can see it from here