MRFF Sues USAFA over McClary Invitation
Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has reportedly sued the US Air Force Academy over its decision to invite a Christian to a Prayer Luncheon. In an increasingly common scene, even the Air Force Times was able to accurately summarize the self-contradictory nature of the “religious freedom” group’s actions:
Five Air Force Academy instructors and an advocacy group are suing to stop the school from holding a religious event. (emphasis added)
One Academy faculty member, David Mullin of the Economics Department, is listed by name; four others are listed as “John Doe.” Counsel appears to be David Lane, of Killmer, Lane & Newman in Denver. Lane appears to have previously represented Ward Churchill, the “Balloon Boy” parents, and a student suing her school over a canceled William Ayers speech.
Contrary to his prior demands, the complaint indicates Weinstein no longer simply wants US Marine Corps (Ret) Lt Clebe McClary disinvited. He wants the entire event canceled.
It is contended in this law suit [sic] that for the command structure of the AFA to undertake a purely religious activity such as this is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs who are all faculty or staff members, both civilian and military, at the AFA seek injunctive relief in order to stop this from occurring…
In sponsoring, organizing, advertising and generally adopting the Prayer Luncheon, the Defendant Commander of the AFA has used his governmental authority and promoted, elevated, endorsed and favored religion over irreligion.
So it appears the lawsuit was always going to happen (no matter what the Academy did); simply un-inviting McClary would not have achieved the desired results of Weinstein’s lawsuit.
The 10-page lawsuit is often vague and at times seemingly self-contradicting. More importantly, the premise behind the suit could be applied to the entire military system of religious support — that is, the military Chaplaincy. The outcome would presumably affect not only all organized prayer events (including the one recently addressed by the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, MajGen Cecil Richardson), but could also impact military chapel services as well.
As such, it is exceedingly unlikely the lawsuit will see much success, as has been the case with every single lawsuit Weinstein has filed against the US military to date.
But when your objective is publicity and attention, rather than principled resolution for those whom you represent, a ‘shocking’ lawsuit supported by conspiratorial undertones is all that really matters.
The MRFF apparently believes McClary is some kind of secret agent working with Academy Superintendent General Gould to take over the world:
Our…goal is to stop the hijacking of all branches of the military by Domionist [sic] Christians who believe that all wars are “Holy Wars” and they must cleanse the earth of all non-Christians to usher in the second coming of Jesus to reign for 1,000 years…
The USAFA has a long history of proselytizing their form of Domionist [sic] Christianity. Those that are mainline Christians, non-Christians and atheists are being harassed, beaten, overlooked for promotions, given bad reviews, forced out of the Air Force and called unpatriotic. The AF wants only “Warriors for Christ” who answer to a higher power (God) over our Commander-in-Chief…
Pastor Joan – Assemblies of God
MRFF – Advisory Board
Of course, the MRFF provides absolutely no evidence of this “long history” of “harassed, beaten,” and otherwise run-out-of-the-service members of the military, nor any evidence the Air Force “wants only ‘Warriors for Christ’” – despite claims of the ongoing “hijacking” of the military. For something Weinstein claims is so ubiquitous, they seem to have a hard time providing facts to support their wild accusations.
Then again, they’ve never provided any proof of their allegation that James Dobson and Dick Cheney are running the US in a shadow government, either. A good conspiracy is, by nature, impossible to prove — and that’s what the MRFF is all about: wild and unsupported conspiracy theories.