Michael Weinstein Loses Fight with USAFA. Again.
It is easy to forget that Michael Weinstein was an Air Force JAG “for 10 years” (if you can figure out how that timeline works, you win the Christmas turkey). In a recent press release conducted through his trusted Colorado Springs Independent, Weinstein claimed USAFA was now obligated to cancel its National Prayer Breakfast observance (the same event over which he sued — and lost — last year). Referring to the Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that said Colorado National Day of Prayer proclamations were unconstitutional,
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says the ruling means that the U.S. Air Force Academy should cancel its Annual Prayer Breakfast and related events to comply with the ruling.
Even the CSIndy can’t justify the logic of that illogical “legal” opinion:
While federal institutions don’t normally need to comply with state laws in this way, Weinstein says the AFA should have to, because the military school already stated that it was following state law when it forbade same-sex couples from marrying on campus…
The article accurately notes it is DoD policy, not USAFA policy, that governs same-sex marriage on US military facilities. Likewise, it was the US military Commander in Chief, President Barack Obama, who proclaimed a National Day of Prayer, not the Governor of Colorado. USAFA did quote its own lawyer, making the obvious-to-everyone-but-Weinstein statement that
“The Academy does not participate or host any Colorado Day of Prayer events,” said Colonel Paul Barzler, the Air Force Academy’s Staff Judge Advocate. “This opinion does not address National Day of Prayer events.”
On the other hand, the CSIndy didn’t bother to interview an actual lawyer to back up the “former AF JAG” Weinstein, but it did qualify the article with the ominous
It’s not clear, however, whether Weinstein’s demands…carry any legal merit.
Actually, it is clear: They don’t, as Col Barzler explained. Also not carrying any merit is Weinstein’s baseless characterization of the prayer events. Weinstein said:
Colorado’s Day of Prayer has been revoked, so let’s stop forcing the cadets at USAFA to take part in this “Annual Prayer Breakfast”.
Weinstein makes a desperate (but typical) bid for attention by attacking a shocking situation that doesn’t exist. Cadets aren’t forced to take part in any annual prayer event, just as active duty Airmen are likewise free to attend or not. Weinstein finds the truth insufficient for shock value and fundraising.
Amazingly, the CSIndy, normally friendly to Weinstein’s cause under Pam Zubeck’s watchful eye, undermines his cause in summarizing Weinstein’s personal vendetta:
[Weinstein] has long fought to eliminate religious-oriented functions at the Academy…
Weinstein fights not for religious freedom, but for the elimination of anything “religious-oriented” in the US military — even if, in so doing, he tramples on religious freedom.
Then again, most people who have observed Weinstein for any length of time already know this. It’s just good to see yet another paper reveal it. Again.