The ACLJ recently posted an appeal for support that listed recent cases of military religious freedom, and they set themselves up as the foil to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF in the process. Speaking of their support for court-martialed US Marine Monifa Sterling [emphasis added]:
Angry atheist Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) also filed a brief asking the court to reject Sterling’s appeal and ignore the violation of her religious freedom. (Remember it is Mikey Weinstein and his extremist group that has repeatedly called Christians in the military “monsters who terrorize.”)
Regarding a recent FOIA lawsuit Weinstein filed against the US Air Force Academy [italics original, emphasis added]: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his acolytes within the MRFF have long claimed that military officers should not be allowed to even introduce themselves as Christians, claiming that if subordinates had the slightest inkling the officers had religious beliefs, they could “coerce” their subordinates into the faith.
The claim is ridiculous on several levels, not the least of which is the MRFF’s contention that all military subordinates are sycophants.
Further, as noted in Christian Fighter Pilot is not an Oxymoron, the lengths to which a superior would have to go to “hide” his religious faith to meet Weinstein’s demands would be extreme: Read more
The ACLJ filed an amicus brief (PDF), joined with 42 members of Congress, urging the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to hear the appeal of discharged US Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling. Sterling received a Bad Conduct Discharge for, among other things, disobeying an order to remove a Bible verse posted on her desk.
From the ACLJ:
The lower court had acknowledged that RFRA extended broad protection to religious liberty, the court adopted a very narrow definition of the statutory term “exercise of religion” and arrived at the startling conclusion that Sterling was not exercising her religion by displaying a Bible verse.
Our brief argues that the lower court’s decision sets military tribunals up as theological experts evaluating the validity of religious beliefs, and clearly violates the First Amendment principle that no court is competent to dissect religious beliefs, or to pass judgment on whether those beliefs are part of a religious belief system.
The lower court’s examination Read more
Last week the ACLJ proclaimed a “major victory” for religious freedom in the US military, citing a belated response finally received from the US Air Force JAG office. More than a month after the National Prayer Breakfast, in which General Craig Olson cited his reliance upon God and Michael “Mikey” Weinstein called for his crucifixion, the Air Force JAG finally responded with a terse, one-paragraph response [emphasis added]:
We have thoroughly reviewed the facts and circumstances involving Maj Gen Olson’s participation in the National Day of Prayer Observance held on May 7, 2015, at the Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC. Maj Gen Olson did not violate Air Force policy by participating in this Congressionally-supported event. His remarks were his own personal opinions and did not represent the views of the United States Air Force.
The letter, dated June 24th, is Read more
Skip Ash of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) penned an article last week taking Michael “Mikey” Weinstein to task for Weinstein’s demand that the Air Force court-martial Major General Craig Olson. In the piece entitled “The Radical Assault on Faith in the Military Must be Stopped,” Ash called Weinstein’s allegations “outlandishly wrong” and “hogwash!” (This comes after Weinstein’s friend, Chaplain Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, described (PDF) Weinstein’s attack as “hysterics” from an “activist with an axe to grind against religion.”)
The ACLJ also revealed that they wrote their own letter (PDF) to Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh with a remarkably clear and simple explanation of the error of Weinstein’s ways (Crews wrote a similar one (PDF)). Referring to Weinstein’s imploring of General Welsh to “take a good, hard look” at the video of General Olson’s speech, the ACLJ said [italics original, emphasis added]: Read more
Despite recent scandals regarding the DoD’s alleged classification of Christians as “extremists” — including an Army-wide standdown in Equal Opportunity training over the controversies — the DoD says it will continue to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “reference” in its Equal Opportunity training.
A DoD spokesman answered that while the agency will remove “hate groups” information provided by the SPLC from the training materials used at its Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), the DoD will continue to use the SPLC’s data in its “non-federal reference material” for DEOMI.
The SPLC — whose work has been specifically cited in recent Army briefings — is one of several “non-Federal” sources the DoD plans to continue using:
“Some of the non-Federal entities used to inform DEOMI’s training,” said Christensen, “include: Anti-Defamation League; Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism; Know Gangs, Political Research Associates, Read more
FoxNews reports that last Friday Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity” once again attacked the Air Force for erecting a Nativity scene on an Air Force Base. Two years ago, it was Travis AFB in California. This year, they targeted Shaw AFB, SC:
The MRFF’s Paul Loebe wrote in a statement that since the display was not erected near a chapel, it was illegal.
“It was very sectarian in nature and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution as well as a blatant violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11,” he said.
Weinstein presumably called the office of LtGen Richard Harding, The JAG of the Air Force, and getting no relief there, called Shaw AFB via their Command Post.
Most civilians who call an Air Force base will probably be directed to Public Affairs, because it is the job of PA to help military commanders interact with the public and ensure the correct message is conveyed. Weinstein was transferred to the Commander’s office, where an “office assistant” reportedly spoke for the Air Force. The assistant told Weinstein the display was erected by “a volunteer group” and it was being taken down. Loebe was free to interpret this as the Air Force agreeing with the MRFF position: Read more
Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s paid research assistant, writes an occasional article for Weinstein’s MRFF. Rodda considers herself a history buff, and her writings reflect that. She is also exceedingly verbose, with many of her articles going on for pages even before she says ‘the reason I’m writing this….’
She recently struck again, in a letter to USAFA Superintendent LtGen Michelle Johnson that was co-signed by Weinstein. The letter was clearly hers, as it lacked the alliterative vitriol or the acidic hyperbole characteristic of Weinstein’s writing. (It also contained no gratuitous ellipses or the pastel colored font Weinstein so favors in his emails.) She wrote it, ostensibly, to rebut a letter written by the ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow and Skip Ash: Read more