Weinstein Defines Religions, Assigns Followers

According to the Advocate, a homosexual advocacy publication, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on a new crusade: supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Comically, Weinstein, who has been taken to task for his displays of Constitutional ignorance, again displays his lack of knowledge with regard to the ongoing controversy.  The Advocate asked him…twice…what power the President had to repeal the policy on homosexuals in the military.  Twice, the former White House counsel talked vaguely about executive orders without explaining how an executive order can overturn a law passed by Congress (Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, § 654).  (Answer: it can’t.)

When asked about who the MRFF is “fighting,” Weinstein again displayed his tendency to make up his own definitions of religious groups–and then to assign people to them as he saw fit.

We’ve got this fanatical religiosity in fundamental Christianity…It’s called dominionist Christianity…If you [had] your nostrils assaulted with the stench of 10,000 rotting swine, that’s what these people smell like…

They’re virulently homophobic, virulently misogynistic, virulently anti-Semitic and Islamophobic.

They also have a desire to subordinate what they view has flawed man’s law, which is the US Constitution…They are called premillennial, dispensational, reconstructionist, dominionist, evangelical, fundamentalist Christians.

Weinstein uses so many adjectives that there are probably only one or two people in the entire country (if that) who meet the theological requirements of his descriptors.  Weinstein overcomes that stumbling block by deciding for himself who those people are:

They are your Pat Robertsons, Jerry Falwells, Oral Robertess, John Hagees, and Sarah Palins.

When even the Advocate expressed surprise that he would accuse Sarah Palin of being “virulently misogynistic,” he had a rambling and irrelevant justification for his characterization of her religious views:

She is the poster child for this group! Look, sex is a special thing with America. If Sarah Palin looked like Susan Boyle, do you think for a second she would be anywhere? She’s considered to be attractive and is not that smart, which is perfect for America.

How that explanation has anything to do with religion is beyond comprehension, but Weinstein has never done well in explaining his positions; he is far more comfortable delivering a vitriolic monologue filled with his personal semantic creations that he doesn’t actually have to justify.

Weinstein’s involvement in this issue may be more pragmatic than anything else.  With the demise of all three of his religious lawsuits against the military, none of which survived to trial, and the waning public interest in religion and the military, Weinstein may be reaching to find a controversial issue–vaguely related to his “enemy”–that will keep him in the news.  (That may also be why he name-dropped a popular controversial figure–Sarah Palin–without any logical justification for her connection to his cause.)  Thus, the most illuminating answer given was when Weinstein was asked what the MRFF’s relevance was to DADT:

Our job is to be angry.

Weinstein has long said his plan to influence the military is to “litigate and agitate.”  It is not to dialogue nor debate; it is simply to coerce everyone else to accept his demands.  His methods have had an interesting outcome:  He has demonstrated that he can express hatred and vitriol toward those who express a Christian faith, but he can’t answer simple questions about his ideology.  Weinstein has passion, but he cannot frame his positions because he relies purely on emotion.  Instead, such unbridled emotion has made Weinstein guilty of the same intolerance, hatred, and prejudice of which he accuses others.  Thus, his vitriol often gets him attention, but he is no longer able to actually advance a cause.

The Advocate asked what his relevance was.

His answers show that he is, indeed, angry.

And he is also irrelevant.

19 replies to “Weinstein Defines Religions, Assigns Followers

  1. Nameless Cynic

    The Advocate asked him…twice…what power the President had to repeal the policy on homosexuals in the military.

    Funny thing there. DADT is a president’s policy. It was set up by Clinton.

    Now, you linked to the part of Title 10 that talks about homosexuality. You didn’t mention one little part of it.

    under the particular circumstances of the case, the member’s continued presence in the armed forces is consistent with the interests of the armed forces in proper discipline, good order, and morale

    You don’t think that the fact that we kick out almost every Arabic translator is against “the best interests” of the armed forces”?

    The British military repealed their ban on homosexuality, and nothing happened. In fact, in the 25 foreign militaries that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, there’s no problem, as long as they implement the new policy quickly, and with strong leadership. Are you trying to say that our military has weak leadership? Aren’t you a former officer? What are you saying about your time in the military?

    Since 1994, when DADT was enacted. we’ve kicked out almost 14,000 servicemembers for homosexuality, wasting between $20,000 and $45,000 per person.

    You were an officer. You’re asked to serve honorably. Does lying about who you are sound honorable to you?

    If the law is wrong, why shouldn’t it be changed?

  2. JD

    DADT wasn’t the point of the post, but to address some of your comments:

    Please cite a source that says “almost every Arabic translator” has been kicked out under DADT.

    Though it is an admittedly biased source, one group analyzed the numbers and determined that dismissals under DADT account for 0.37% of all discharges over the same period. The military has “wasted” far more money discharging people for weight standards than being homosexual.

  3. Albatross

    JD, I’m confused. You say that DADT wasn’t the point of the post, but your opening statement was: “According to the Advocate, a homosexual advocacy publication, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on a new crusade: supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.””

    Mikey Weinstein wasn’t asked who the MRFF was fighting when he allegedly replied with:

    ” We’ve got this fanatical religiosity in fundamental Christianity…It’s called dominionist Christianity…If you [had] your nostrils assaulted with the stench of 10,000 rotting swine, that’s what these people smell like…

    They’re virulently homophobic, virulently misogynistic, virulently anti-Semitic and Islamophobic.

    They also have a desire to subordinate what they view has flawed man’s law, which is the US Constitution…They are called premillennial, dispensational, reconstructionist, dominionist, evangelical, fundamentalist Christians.”

    He was asked two different questions, one being, “What is the National Security Threat Internally?” to which he replied,

    “We’ve got this fanatical religiosity in fundamental Christianity. We’re not talking about the Hindus, the Buddhist, or the Jews. It’s called dominionist Christianity. You have this religiosity mixed with weapons of mass destruction. If you throw in a dash of totally misguided patriotism and another dash of the complete abrogation of the sacred oath of the Marine Corps, Army, and the Air Force, you have a national security threat.”

    The use of ellipses in the manner you have used them is disingenuous. You have distorted the context in order to paint your own picture. I gave you more credit than that, JD.

    (Apologies in advance if my html code/blocktext fails.)

  4. Albatross

    THEN when asked, “How do you know the people you are going after or fighting?” he replied:

    “…They’re virulently homophobic, virulently misogynistic, virulently anti-Semitic and Islamophobic. They also have a desire to subordinate what they view has flawed man’s law, which is the U.S. Constitution. They are comprised of about 12.6 percent of the American public. They are called premillennial, dispensational, reconstructionist, dominionist, evangelical, fundamentalist Christians…”

    Do you feel that he was not detailed enough when he named names of people who fit this description? Do you want more, in addition to the Robertsons, Falwells, Hagees, and yes, Palins, too. One or two people that fit the description!! Laughable, JD.

  5. JD

    Albatross,

    I was not attempting to repeat an answer to a question asked by a reporter; I was using Weinstein’s own words to display his penchant for making up his own definitions of religions.

    The first two phrases from the prior question in the interview were directly connected to Weinstein’s terminology in the second question about who he was fighting (“fanatical”/”dominionist Christianity”). Is that your greatest critique of the content of this article?

    He was quite “detailed,” and that’s the point. He chooses to tell other people what their theologies are, something few are given the uncontested liberty to do.

    You may find it “laughable,” but even Ed Brayton–generally a staunch supporter of Weinstein–grudgingly admits the hyperbolic “buzz words” in Weinstein’s description are inconsistent and contradictory.

  6. Albatross

    My greatest critique was in the fact that you opened the article with a lead-in on DADT, and then went off on a tangent. My next critique would be the manner of ellipses use, for the reason I already gave. The way you formatted the quote, with the use of ellipses, when compared to the actual interview questions and responses makes one question whether there is any intentional deception on your part. As I also said – I gave you more credit than that. That would be more of a compliment than a critique.

    My “laughable” was to your comment that only one or two people might fit the description of all the “hyperbolic buzz words”; Chris Rodda did respond that Mikey Weinstein is well-aware of the minor differences, and sometimes overlaps, that exist amongst the sub-groups that comprise the RR, and I trust that this is truth.

    Do you need that larger list of names of people who would fit the descriptives? Any Values Voters Summit guest list would do. Or the new Freedom Federation. And Mikey forgot to include James Dobson and Tony Perkins.

  7. Nameless Cynic

    @JD
    Please cite a source that says “almost every Arabic translator” has been kicked out under DADT.

    Well, golly, Mr Wizard, let’s see what we can find.

    Lack of Arabic Translators Hurting U.S.
    (Seven-year-old AP articles aren’t easy to pull up, so here’s a scan of it, just to show that Campus Watch wasn’t just making it up.)

    Now, the military, as of a few years ago, had discharged 58 Arabic translators, leading to the current shortage. The way they’ve gotten around it is to outsource to companies like Titan, who have been hemorrhaging translators for entirely different reasons. (The translator I worked with in Iraq was with Titan, in fact.)

    Reliable numbers are difficult to get, since not all servicemembers disclose the reason for discharge – most of the ones we know about are those who’ve “come out” to the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network. So you are correct that I should not have used the term “almost every” – permit me to modify it to “a significant number of… in a time when we needed every one of them.”

    I appreciate that you recognize that CNS News is a biased source. Reliable stimates on the cost to the military for enforcing DADT range from a conservative $190.5 million over a ten-year period, up to $363 million.

    In February 2005, the GAO said the financial impact could not be completely estimated because the government does not collect financial information specific to each individual’s case.

    Cautioning that the figures may be too low, the GAO said the federal government spent at least $95.4 million to recruit and $95.1 million to train replacements from 1994 through 2003 for the 9,488 troops discharged during that period because of the policy.

    The university study said the GAO erred by emphasizing the expense of replacing those who were discharged because of the policy without taking into account the value the military lost from the departures.

    So, the commission focused on the estimated value the military lost from each person discharged. The report detailed costs of $79.3 million for recruiting enlisted service members, $252.4 million for training them, $17.8 million for training officers and $14.3 million for “separation travel” once a service member is discharged.

    It’s a policy we can’t afford any longer.

  8. Dealer

    Cynic,

    You are advocating that the military cannot afford to enforce the rules that apply to service members. Opinions on DADT aside, what do you think will happen to the military if the leadership evaluates the monetary cost of every potential discharge? Do you think it is good for the military to have individuals protected by the military’s prior investment in them?

    All,

    The Constitution is the legal law of the land and it specifically allows freedom to exercise religion. Likewise it allows the freedom to pursue happiness, not guarantee it. Freedom of religion may offend other people, but that is allowed.

    Specifically for the military, freedoms are allowed provided that it does not go counter to good order and discipline. Congress has set those limits, one of which allows an officer to exercise his faith, one specifies the limits to coercion, and one governs homosexuals. If you don’t like it, go about fixing it the Constitutional way.

  9. Nameless Cynic

    Hmm… interesting point.

    The Constitution is the legal law of the land and it specifically allows freedom to exercise religion. Likewise it allows the freedom to pursue happiness, not guarantee it. Freedom of religion may offend other people, but that is allowed.

    Absolutely right. So I suppose you have no problem with us stopping efforts by Homeland Security to capture terrorists? After all, they’re just trying to exercise their religion.

    And those pesky Christian Scientists whose children keep inconveniently dying? They’re not neglecting the child! They’re just exercising their religion!

    You’re quite free to practice your religion. You just aren’t free to try to impose it on the rest of society. And in the end, this is a government policy, and the government isn’t free to practice your religion, especially not by imposing policies that are prejudicial in nature against a specific class of citizen.

    When other countries have struck down their policies barring homosexuals from the military, they haven’t had this abrupt breakdown of “good order and discipline” that you’re so sphincter-looseningly frightened of. Why do you think that the American military can’t live up to the standards that the British military can? You think that they’re that weak?

    Why do you hate our military, Dealer?

  10. Dealer

    Cynic,

    You are implying many things:
    1. Offending people includes actions that deny a person’s right to life and liberty (note that order). Child sacrifice is a recorded religious event, but I was thinking you would know that said sacrifices are unconstitutional based on infringing on the right to life.
    2. I’m not imposing my religion on the rest of society, although some people have attempted to do the same to me. You have the right to talk about your spiritual beliefs as much as I do. In fact, you probably have more rights: I am limited by good order and discipline when talking to fellow servicemembers.
    3. The government imposes policies that are prejudicial all the time, often over issues that are of no fault to the person being evaluated (height and eyesight requirements). Additionally there are policies against actions the individual chooses, like not working out and becoming physically unfit. Performing a homosexual act and then talking about it is a choice. And don’t give the excuse that those people were born that way. I was born to be aroused by any attractive woman. If that attractive woman is married and I choose to sleep with her, there are consequences, up to and including getting kicked out of the military.
    4. You assume that our military culture is the same as all the European cultures. I don’t think that is true.
    5. You also assume opposing your view of DADT equates to hated of the military. I love my military and consider them the best people I’ve had the honor of working with over the last decade.

    Finally, you didn’t answer my question. If you’re scared of it, then I have another question: have you served in our fine military?

  11. Nameless Cynic

    Well, to answer your points in reverse order, yes. I retired five years ago after 21 years enlisted.

    5. That’s not what I said. It’s not your support of DADT, but your lack of faith in the honor, spirit and mental strength of our military, assuming that they’ll all quit or turn gay if they’re forced to stand in the same room with a homosexual, that I believe is a somewhat ridiculous attitude on your part.

    4. Oddly, the times that I was in joint operations with military from other countries, we all seemed to mesh pretty well together. (OK, admittedly, not so much with the Kuwaiti military…)

    3. “often over issues that are of no fault to the person being evaluated” – but at least over issues that have a reason behind them. Eyesight, height, weight, fitness – all have a bearing on him doing his job. But because he makes you feel icky and you don’t want to catch the cooties from him? That’s YOUR problem, not his.

    2. “I’m not imposing my religion on the rest of society” – but you’re supporting the imposition of your religion on the rest of society. It’s been shown that a non-homophobic military can exist, so that argument is already gone. What reason, other than “my priest tells me that gays are bad” do you have to say that homosexuals can’t serve in the military?

    1. I’m really working hard on figuring out why you think you’ve just made a convincing argument. Religious practices that don’t impinge on someone’s life or liberty should be allowed? Is that your point? How, in the name of all that’s holy, can you use that as an argument to discriminate against gays? They aren’t infringing on your rights, you’re infringing on theirs. The Mormon church only started allowing blacks in during the seventies. The Ku Klux Klan used to say that the color of a black man’s skin was the “Mark of Cain.” By your argument, civil rights should never have been allowed to occur, because it infringed on their rights to discriminate based on skin color. Muslims don’t believe that women should be allowed to walk around uncovered, and we have Muslims in the military – I don’t see anybody telling women to put on a hijab. The fact that a religion has an antiquated argument in favor of discrimination DOES NOT MEAN that the military has to abide by it.

  12. Dealer

    Cynic,

    I never assumed that military members would turn gay or quit – that was your assumption not mine. Also, just because it works doesn’t mean that it’s good.

    The overall difference between our arguments is you think it is a person’s right to serve in the military and have all the choices available that civilians do. I say choices deliberately. A person does not have a choice of gender, race or creed, but they do have a choice over their sexual actions. The military limits everyone’s sexual activities. Additionally the military doesn’t prohibit homosexual acts, just talking about it.

    There is a difference between actions and skin color which you aren’t recognizing. Your comparisons to race or gender based discrimination don’t have validity.

    My argument is that in my opinion, our military (as compared to European cultures which have looser attitudes on sexual matters) is that it would be counter to good order and discipline. By your argument, you could make the logical conclusion that polygamy is also acceptable. Sorry, but I define the core family as a man and a woman, married and in a loving relationship. All else is something less that the best design for us.

    I think public debate on this topic is good, and I honor the survey that is/is going to take place. Once complete I’ll be interested in more discussion, and at that time, don’t make up arguments for me, just ask me questions.

    Speaking of which, should the military care about the dollars cost to uphold its regulations?

  13. Nameless Cynic

    It may surprise you to know that a lot of researchers disagree with your theory (backed, I’ll assume, with nothing but your gut instinct, and, at best, surveys conducted by Liberty University) that homosexuality is a choice.

    Sadly, when you leave your carefully constructed web of denial, you’ll find that actual scientists don’t always agree with you. For example, there are distinct structural differences between the brains of the hetero- and homosexual male, making the brain of the gay man more similar to that of a female. Indicating (I know this will be hard for you, so hold on to something) that sexual behavior is more likely to be biological than learned. Meaning that maybe, unlike what you’d like to believe, a gay man has no more choice in the matter than he does over the color of his skin.

    Your argument is that you have this gut feeling that allowing gays to serve openly would be counter to good order and discipline. And it’s an opinion that you are going to cling stubbornly to, despite the fact that all evidence shows that you’re wrong. Think about that for a minute. When all the evidence says that you’re wrong, what does it say about you that you still insist that you’re right?

    Let’s go further. “the military doesn’t prohibit homosexual acts, just talking about it.” Not quite. Getting caught in flagrante delicto would also be an offense.

    Now, if a person is wired biologically (and remember, the science is on this side of the argument) to be gay – or, really, even if a person merely has feelings, learned, bred, or forced on him by Satan, that make him want to be with another man, and he is in the military, he is not allowed to talk about it. Or to act on it. He must, in fact, lie about it, when push comes to shove.

    So, where does that put the “Code of Honor” for a cadet?

    You say that military service is not a right. Fine. If there is a reason that a person cannot perform the duties required, or that put him at (for example) high risk of taking up drug use again, you’re right. But why would his or her sexual orientation prevent a person from being all that they can be? Other than your opinion, that is? Because other military members would feel uncomfortable around them? Who cares? When they started racially-integrating the units, I absolutely guarantee that there were white soldiers who felt equally uncomforable. I believe it was Strom Thurmond who said:

    “there’s not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Negro [or 'nigra'] race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”

    He said that publicly and openly, without shame. Sixty years down the line, any intelligent person would be ashamed of sayng something like that.

    So there you stand, arm in arm with Strom Thurmond. You’re a bigot.

    And yes, the military should care about dollars being wasted to uphold an unjust regulation.

  14. JD

    Cynic,

    You are continually arguing with a person that isn’t here, as when you attribute statements to Dealer that he didn’t say (as you have just done again). It’s almost as if you’ve hit “play” on your standard talking points. If you actually engaged in the conversation, you might learn something.

    For one who is quick to call names, you are quite intolerant of an opinion in disagreement with your own; so much so, in fact, that you are reading things into this conversation that have not been said.

    When you say something is “unjust” or “wrong,” you are making a moral judgment–something to which you say your opposition is not entitled. When you oppose the imposition of a moral standard, by what standard do you say that this rule is “unjust?”

    Just because someone’s position makes you “uncomfortable” doesn’t mean it is not permissible.

  15. Dealer

    Cynic,

    JD and I are both calling you out on assigning an argument to me that I didn’t make. For the record, I did not make a statement about homosexual desires, just homosexual acts. Actions are always a choice, although I welcome honest debate on the fairness of such choices. Also, using money as a reason to repeal a reg is a weak reason. If the reg is truly ‘unjust’ then the money is immaterial.

    Your argument that a service members must lie about committing homosexuals act is unfounded. That’s where ‘don’t ask’ comes into play. Question: “Did you do it?” Answer: “You’re not allowed to ask that.” The Academy honor code teaches such answers rather than lying about things.

    In a practical sense, I have a scenario for you. Presume that I’m deployed, or in the field, or some place where I must shower naked in a group setting with other men. Let’s further assume that one of those men is openly gay. Should the military assume that the homosexual man will be able to act appropriately? If your argument is yes, the individual is at his honor to behave, then why are men and women currently in the military showering separately?

    I’d like to know what European militaries have as their solution to this.

  16. Nameless Cynic

    I’ll be happy to hear where it is you think I’ve confused the two of you.

    I think you’re trying to walk that fine line where you assume that a homosexual man should be a monk and not act on his desires. Repress them. Lie, if only to himself. (Yeah, that won’t lead to psychological problems down the line.) And then you want to use that distinction to say “I didn’t say that.”

    I don’t assume that about heterosexuals, and I won’t about gays, either.

    JD – yes, I’m happy to make a moral judgement in this case. Discrimination against gays is wrong. Period.

    Dealer – well, here, let me quote you directly so you won’t try to use some niggling point against me, since the two of you are determined to be barracks lawyers.

    Your argument that a service members must lie about committing homosexuals act is unfounded. That’s where ‘don’t ask’ comes into play. Question: “Did you do it?” Answer: “You’re not allowed to ask that.” The Academy honor code teaches such answers rather than lying about things.

    So, you’re saying that our hypothetical gay man (HGM) can have the desires, but can’t act on them. Repress. Force down. We’re back to “lying to himself” again.

    So, HGM’s roommate walks in on HGM in bed with another person. If it’s a woman, that’s OK. But if it’s another man, what happens then?

    If a man is in a healthy, open relationship with another person, why should it matter to anyone not in that relationship, about whether the other person is a man or a woman? Why do you insist that gays can be in the military, as long as they continue to lie by omission? How can you possibly try argue that such a situation is healthy?

    And incidentally, I have no idea how other militaries handle the shower situation. Possibly by not being so hung up on things that don’t matter. (“He looked at me, and now I feel dirty!”)

    some place where I must shower naked in a group setting with other men. Let’s further assume that one of those men is openly gay. Should the military assume that the homosexual man will be able to act appropriately?

    Yours is a fascinating world, Dealer, where homosexuals find themselves so overcome with emotion as the sight of your bare butt that they lose all control and rush across the tent to molest you. (It also shows that you have a pretty high opinion of yourself. “Sin of Pride,” anyone? Trust me, he’s not that into you.)

    I suppose you also subscribe to the theory that the following is a valid defense: “She was raped because she was asking for it! Look at the clothes she was wearing!”

  17. JD

    A man with homosexual urges who does not have sex with another man is no more “lying” to himself than is a man who has desires for a woman and yet does not have sex with her.

    How do you think Tiger Woods would have been received if his public “apology” had been that he had to sleep with other women to maintain his personal integrity and be true to himself? Even average America realizes that line of logic is a farce.

    The desire to do something, no matter how sincere, “innate,” or even strong, is not the standard by which something is judged.

    If a man is in a healthy, open relationship with another person, why should it matter to anyone not in that relationship, about whether the other person is a man or a woman?

    It matters to the military a great deal not only what the person’s gender is, but who they are and what their relationship is. As a 21-year enlisted retiree, I’m sure you’ve seen the stories of the Chief now charged with multiple (hetero)sexual criminal charges, including adultery–something that by your logic should not be a crime.

    I noticed you included qualifiers, which means there are times when even you think that people “not in that relationship” have a right to become involved. That means you have a moral line; your line is simply different than other people’s. Still, you make moral judgments that you do not allow others. That’s hypocritical.

    The military is one organization that still realizes (for now) that “simple” conduct has impact beyond the initial obvious. A male military member who can’t keep his pants zipped is still liable for his conduct, even though by your logic no one else has a right to care.

    I’m aware of your presence on other sites, and I know that none of this will ever persuade you. I also tire from your failure to respond to what is written; instead you ascribe the most extreme position as a straw man to attack, which you have done in virtually every response. As interesting as it might be for some, there are other things besides this going on in life. Feel free to continue to comment; I ask only that you remain respectful. For me, this conversation is finished.

  18. Dealer

    Cynic,

    You say that other militaries have a successful time with integration, yet you do not know how they implemented the policies. That is fascinating.

    I do not think that I am so hot that all homosexual guys would want me. As your daughter, granddaughter, niece, little sister, any woman that you care about and see if they wouldn’t have similar feelings if they would be in a naked shower or rooming situation with a heterosexual (even if well behaved) man.

    Finally, I’m not saying that a HGM (your term) would have to lie to himself any more or different that a hetero-man would. Again, I may have the desire to sleep with all the women in my unit but I still wouldn’t be able to. Judge actions, not impluses.

    Like JD, I don’t like discussing things with someone who doesn’t respond to what I’m actually saying. Reply if you like, but if you don’t respond to what I’m saying, then I’ll be finished with the conversation too.

  19. W.D. Noble

    This is just one of many articles here on your site attacking Michael Weinstein.

    There’s no real reason to spend this much time and bandwidth on one person.

    Unless, of course, he happens to be right.

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