Scott AFB Changes Prayer Breakfast Invite at Mikey Weinstein’s Request
Last week, Scott Air Force Base tweaked the wording of its invitation to it annual National Prayer Breakfast after Michael “Mikey” Weinstein complained. The breakfast is scheduled for the 25th of February.
The original e-vite — which was not sent to anyone but was only available if you clicked through to the Air Force’s official RSVP site — followed standard Air Force protocol. The guest of honor is the Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Second Air Force; the “host” was the Wing Commander, Col J. Scot Heathman.
Weinstein loudly complained that by having the Wing Commander’s name on the invite, random subordinates felt “coerced” to attend. The fact that the POC on the invite was the chaplains’ office, not the commander, apparently escaped him.
(Remember that this is the same person whose lawsuit about coercion over a USAFA national prayer breakfast fell apart when the judge ruled they hadn’t remotely demonstrated any actual potential of retribution if they did not attend.)
Scott AFB was apparently moved and fairly quickly modified the invitation to remove the Colonel’s name.
Weinstein called this a “win,” since now the chaplains — not the commander — were presumably responsible for the event:
Although a small change, Weinstein marked it as a “win.” Weinstein sent out an email to supporters after the St. Louis Dispatch article was published, stating, “We just won!”
At one base, Weinstein has “won” when the military did what he said was a violation of the Constitution at another base.
How does that lack of integrity escape the media? Surprisingly, a few outlets reported on both accusations simultaneously, without highlighting the contradiction in demands.
Weinstein’s woeful inconsistency and unprincipled accusations would make it impossible for anyone to actually meet his expectations, even if they wanted to — which is probably what Weinstein wants. Mikey Weinstein isn’t interested in religious freedom; he wants publicity, and through that, money. Over the years, Weinstein has developed a practiced knack for sensationalist press releases which manage to get that publicity, and it seems to have generated him a tidy financial windfall. Incidentally, many of the accusations Weinstein publicizes are virtually ignored by the military, meaning Weinstein’s wailing and gnashing of teeth are generally impotent — yet even “bad” publicity finds him supporters and sycophants among like-minded hate groups.
The positive is that Weinstein’s reach is increasingly niche; the negative is that he drives the US military through the mud and engenders hatred toward US troops merely because of the faith they hold.
Scott AFB’s decision to alter the e-invitation is ultimately a neutral act, but giving the appearance of following Mikey Weinstein’s “suggestion” risks legitimizing his attacks on religious freedom in the US military, and it runs counter to the Air Force’s own published guidance on how to handle Weinstein.
Air Force leadership would do well to remind its commanders that supporting — or appearing to support — Mikey Weinstein’s efforts against free exercise in the US military is not conducive to the environment of respect, tolerance, inclusion, and diversity the Air Force publicly claims to value.