Mikey Weinstein Apparently Retires From Air Force Amid Jewish, Secular Accusations
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s contact at Newsweek, the routinely fact-challenged Nina Burleigh, wrote up a blog on Weinstein yesterday that did little more than repeat Weinstein’s recent tirades against the US military.
For example, regarding the Thanksgiving Day cake decorated with Psalms written on it:
Before the end of the holiday weekend, service members at Al Udeid and elsewhere had complained to [Weinstein].
We all know that’s not true. It’s evident Mikey Weinstein didn’t even know about the cake until it showed up on this site Monday morning, a full four days after it had been posted by the military (at which point Weinstein proved the point of that article). He complained late that morning, well after the “end of the holiday weekend” and only because the picture was on the internet. There’s no evidence one single person who actually saw the cake complained at the time.
Burleigh never actually says what’s wrong with the cake, nor does she say why anyone complained. By association, Burleigh implies the cake is “unconstitutional Christian iconography,” which appears to be borrowing Weinstein’s language, as he also said:
This is a war by Christians to promote Christmas and it is not even on Christmas.
That’s moronic for several reasons, not the least of which is the verses — which all referenced giving thanks, not Christmas — are found in both the Christian and Jewish Bibles. How is someone promoting Christmas or proselytizing Christianity with thanksgiving Psalms, exactly?
Weinstein then revisited an allegation that a Muslim Soldier was ordered to wear a Santa suit at a Christmas party.
A commander ordered a Muslim recruit [sic, troop]…to don a Santa Claus costume at what he was calling the base Christmas Party.
Plenty of military units have members dress up as Santa during the Christmas season. In fact, some fighter units use it as a fundraising scheme, though not like you’re imagining. Rather, the person with the highest dollar amount to their name gets to wear the suit — so people put money in other people’s names to force them into the humiliation of wearing a Santa suit — or a Mrs. Claus outfit, or even an elf outfit, complete with tights. The only way out is for a person to buy in to someone else’s name.
Yes, it’s stupid, and yes, lots of people dislike it (though it can raise a decent amount of money). Oppose it all you want — you’ll probably have all kinds of supporters. But it has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, despite Mikey Weinstein’s attempt to connect the two. Santa Claus and whether anyone is told to wear his outfit is wholly a secular issue.
Mikey Weinstein is lambasting the US military for ‘fundamentalist Christian proselytizing’ — even calling the Santa suit “Christian blackface” in an attempt to appropriate the racial semantics du jour — when both of the issues (the cake and the holiday suit) are neither Christian nor proselytizing.
For her part, Burleigh continued her role of being little more than an MRFF mouthpiece (as she has for his failed attack against Gen Teichert and the Fort Jackson prayer breakfast), repeating Weinstein’s diatribes without so much as a critical thought — or, apparently, basic fact-checking. To wit, she said:
Mikey Weinstein, a retired Air Force officer…
Mikey Weinstein isn’t a retired Air Force officer. Burleigh has been writing about and for Mikey Weinstein for more than a year. If she can’t even get his military status correct — a simple, dispassionate, and undisputed fact — how can the rest of her reporting be trustworthy?
For his part, Weinstein seems to let the “retired” myth perpetuate, likely because he thinks it sounds better than being a “former” Air Force Captain. (In fact, Weinstein claims he had to threaten to sue the Air Force to even be allowed to leave.) To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with leaving the service as a Captain rather than retiring. There is something wrong with passing yourself off as a retired servicemember when you’re not.
In the end, nothing will change. DFACs and dining halls will still make cakes, even Easter cakes, Christmas cakes, and other cakes with Bible verses on them. Weinstein has done nothing to change that. Military units will still cajole someone to dress up as Santa. Weinstein has done nothing to change that. And Mikey Weinstein will still extol articles that say he’s a retired servicemember.
So what was the point of this exercise in futility? Good question. Apparently, Santa Claus suits and Tanakh cakes are what passes for “defending military religious freedom” in Mikey Weinstein’s world.