Not-so-anonymous Chaplain Endorser Endorses Mikey Weinstein
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently hailed an email he said he received from [emphasis original]
a senior Chaplain official, a devout evangelical Christian by the way, who has direct control over the official licensure (“Endorsement”) of many active duty U.S. military chaplains sharing his denomination.
A person who controls endorsement is simply a chaplain endorser, so the typically-over-verbose Mikey is really saying he received email from
an evangelical Christian chaplain endorser
Could have just said that the first time.
Despite saying the chaplain had “come out” in support of him, Weinstein left the email anonymous (the opposite of coming out, no?), quoting it as saying
[Weinstein] is a staunch defender of religious freedom in the military and VA. He is a staunch believer in BOTH of the religion clauses of the First Amendment…One doesn’t want to agitate/offend a superior person (who can make one’s life horrible) by ignoring their invitations to prayer breakfasts, retreats, religious services, Bible studies, etc. And these senior military folks may unintentionally — or intentionally — seek to influence their subordinates to do what the superior thinks is spiritually best for them…Mikey Weinstein helps level the field for everyone. [A quick disclaimer: Mikey can seem a bit dramatic/impassioned at times (hey, he’s an attorney!), and I do not agree 100% with everything he says and does.]
BUT, he does have his place in keeping religion and chaplains on the up-and-up in the armed forces and VA. I am glad he is there, doing what he does.
So the chaplain endorser supports Mikey Weinstein. Got it.
Now, a chaplain endorsing Mikey Weinstein isn’t news. Lots of chaplains like Mikey, particularly if they hail from liberal denominations and share his ideological distaste for the religious exercise of more conservative beliefs. (At least one chaplain even publicly endorsed Weinstein, contrary to DoD rules.) But in this case, Weinstein makes a point of saying this chaplain is a “devout evangelical Christian,” as well as an endorser. But that’s not altogether unusual, either.
You see, we already know there’s a chaplain endorser who supports Mikey Weinstein. David Plummer of the “Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches” and his long-running support of the MRFF have been discussed here before. Plummer has even visited this site to put his own comments in. To demonstrate his public loyalty, Plummer has even gone to bat for Weinstein in the comments sections of conservative Facebook pages.
Turns out, if you visit David Plummer’s Facebook page, you’ll find the same “email” to Weinstein, written in the first person, on the same day and only an hour after Weinstein’s time-stamped email. There’s no indication he intended it to be anonymous. In fact, he closes it by saying he’s preparing for hate mail — which you can’t get if you’re anonymous.
To be fair, the term “evangelical” is more political than spiritual anymore, and its definition is probably now ambiguous. That said, while Plummer can call himself anything he wants, Weinstein specifically called him “evangelical” — yet there is little to believe Plummer endorses chaplains who are “evangelical” as the term is understood today.
In point of fact, Plummer endorses anyone who believes that
Jesus Christ is Lord, Savior, and Baptizer in the Holy Spirit today. Both natural and supernatural Spiritual gifts are available to those Christians who believe in them and sincerely seek them…In essence, the Coalition is willing and earnestly desires to represent independent Pentecostal, Renewal, and Charismatic communities of faith.
Notice the discriminating requirement of the “spirit-filled” endorser is spiritual gifts (supernatural, today), and it doesn’t even mention salvation by grace through faith.
Those are the defining traits of the charismatic movement, not the evangelical Christian faith. While theoretically possible, it is highly unlikely someone endorsed by Plummer’s coalition would be what is considered today an “evangelical” Christian.
Plummer, too, has neither said nor done anything to indicate he aligns with what is commonly called the evangelical Christian faith. Given his prior statements, he’d probably demur and say he shares some commonality with evangelicals but would likely not want to be constrained to the definition of “evangelical” because of what it connotes.
Yet Mikey Weinstein wants everyone to think a super-important “senior chaplain official” and evangelical Christian supports him. His ego must have needed some reassurance, and saying “Chaplain David Plummer supports MRFF” apparently wasn’t good enough. Sorry, David.
This behavior is consistent with Weinstein’s historic methodology. First, the ‘fake’ anonymity allows Weinstein to selectively release information or obscure important facts so he can sculpt the narrative to best fit his needed cause. It allows him to prevent having to explain that the chaplain is hardly “evangelical”, or the ‘victims’ the MRFF swooped in to save were already MRFF clients when they complained, making it an “in-house” manufactured scandal (making the MRFF a self-licking ice cream cone). Weinstein has a long — a very long — history of being less than forthright with his anonymous claims, which is why he’s long since lost any credibility when it comes to anonymous complainants. If he won’t release the details of the person complaining, Weinstein probably isn’t being completely truthful.
Second, Weinstein likes to define terms for other people and tell them what they believe. Though he’s toned it down recently, it used to be every other day Mikey Weinstein was accusing someone of being a “dominionist Christian” — while never providing any proof he had any idea what their theological beliefs were, or even if they were Christian at all. Once, Mikey Weinstein saw Christian fundamentalism in a program authored by a self-described agnostic. The MRFF’s accusations are so ludicrous they once claimed Quakers were willing to use force to achieve world domination.
So, having easily pulled back the veil and viewed the inner sanctum of Mikey Weinstein’s anonymous protection program, we now know that a chaplain who always endorsed Mikey Weinstein has endorsed Mikey Weinstein.
Must have been a slow news day at the MRFF home office.