The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, created and run by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, falsely claimed yesterday that the US Navy had “banned” a Christian Bible. The context was the presence of a “missing man” or POW/MIA table at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Alameda, California. (A NOSC isn’t a Navy base, but a small facility that helps Navy Reservists maintain their readiness.) The MRFF routinely complains about Bibles being included in the displays, and this time also took issue with the specific Bible on the table. Weinstein’s sometime-research assistant Christine “Chris” Rodda put it this way [emphasis added]:
A POW/MIA table in the facility’s break room not only contains a Christian Bible, but the particular Bible displayed is the Holman “Sailor’s Bible,” one of the Holman military Bibles with the official branch emblem that MRFF got banned by the military back in 2012!
Someone must have had an old edition of this Bible…and decided to add it to the display, not only turning the table, which should honor ALL POWs and MIAs, into a divisive display of Christian privilege but doing so with a Bible that has been banned by the Navy for nearly a decade.
Later, Mikey – who never met an adjective he didn’t like – claimed the Bible had been “explicitly banned.”
One would think that a branch of the US military “banning” a Bible would be big news, but for some reason it’s never come up.
Probably because Chris Rodda isn’t telling the truth (again).
In 2004, B&H Publishing Group received Read more
Early in June, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s so-called “religious freedom” group ensured the sanctity of religious liberty in the US military by forcing the leaders of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to pull down a banner advertising Vacation Bible School at the chapel:
An advocacy group that says it fights “church/state violations and noxious abuse” in the military said Friday it forced the removal of a banner advertising a Vacation Bible School program from the main gate at the Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation…said the banner’s slogan, “Jesus [Power] Pulls Us Through,” was objectionable when displayed at the base entrance.
Here’s the thing: VBS has been extremely popular at military bases throughout Read more
Hill Air Force Base in Utah held its National Day of Prayer on May 6th with the theme of
Lord, pour out your love, life and liberty, from 2 Corinthians 3:17.
The group heard “interfaith prayers” from a Catholic priest, a Protestant chaplain, a Jewish Airman, a local Mormon, and…a heathen. SrA Mark Udy is a beard-wearing “priest” serving the “heathen, Asatru, and Norse pagan community” at Hill AFB.
Interestingly, Udy spent most of his allotted time explaining to the group who and what he was, which is probably understandable given that it’s unlikely there were many people in the audience from his “faith groups” or those who recognized them. He did, however, cite a few recognizable names: Odin and Thor.
In a pluralistic government institution, it’s bound to happen. In some ways, what Read more
The US Senate confirmed Biden appointee — and former Obama Chief of Staff — Denis McDonough as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on Monday.
A relatively unnoticed office for most of the US public, the VA Secretary has, like so many positions, become increasingly political and controversial. Robert Wilkie, the previous VA Secretary under President Trump, made waves when the VA decided to put the VA motto on plaques at 142 VA cemeteries last summer. This wouldn’t seem like a big deal, except the VA motto is a quote from a speech made by President Abraham Lincoln: Read more
With politics, COVID-19, and racial tensions enrapturing the US public these past few months, there’s been little to discuss in the realm of military religious freedom. There has been little public movement in the case of the Manchester VA and the POW Bible. The decision to censor US Army chaplains, while significant, has quickly fallen out of the public view. (The conversation continues at higher levels, where there may yet be a coming resolution.)
As a result, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein – with a self-described “laser like” focus on religion in the US military – has had to find something else to talk about.
It started with a Weinstein complaint about headstones in a VA cemetery in San Antonio, TX, where German POWs from World War II are buried. It seems many Read more
A chaplain in Korea and an Army officer in Germany are the latest to bear the wrath of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s vendetta against Christians in the US military.
In South Korea, Chaplain (Colonel) Moon Kim is the Garrison Chaplain for Camp Humphreys. According to Weinstein, Chaplain Kim sent his subordinate chaplains a digital copy of John Piper’s “Coronavirus and Christ,” which, according to Weinstein, is “gross malfeasance” worthy of punishment:
MRFF demands that Army Chaplain (Colonel) Kim be officially, swiftly, aggressively, and visibly investigated and disciplined in punishment for his deplorable actions described above.
Weinstein has explicitly demanded Chaplain Kim be court-martialed, though for what “crime” he does not say.
Weinstein told CP outright that he is calling for Kim to be subject to general court-martial
Most of Weinstein missive, which drips with disdain for the Christian faith, takes issue with Christian theology he doesn’t like — though at times he (or his researcher, Chris Rodda) didn’t seem to know what Read more
Last July, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF complained to the US military that Shields of Strength was combining US military trademarks with Bible verses on novelty dog tags. SoS did have authorization to use the military trademarks, but the Army told SoS to stop to prevent the “negative press.” A few weeks ago, the Marines did the same thing. First Liberty has come to their defense.
In an op-ed published at the Military Times earlier this week, First Liberty’s Mike Berry told the story:
Kenny Vaughan started Shields of Strength (“SoS”). SoS is a small, faith-based company from Texas that produces military-themed items inscribed with encouraging Bible verses. For more than two decades, Kenny has been making these inspirational replica dog tags for service members and first responders. To date, SoS has donated hundreds of thousands of its replica dog tags to military units…
Over the years, SoS replica dog tags became so popular and so nearly ubiquitous that, according to author and historian Stephen Mansfield, “aside from the official insignias they wear, [the SoS dog tag] is the emblem most often carried by members of the military in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Berry and First Liberty sent Read more
Yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Gen John “Jay” Raymond as the first Chief of Staff of the Space Force. As covered at SpaceNews, the event was notable because the United States has never had a Space Force before; in fact, the US hasn’t had a major Service added to the force since the Air Force became an independent Service in 1947. It was a historic event.
NPR, though, noted the other highlight of the event in a parenthetical aside [emphasis added]:
With one hand placed on a Bible whose “official” blessing on Sunday sparked sharp criticism, Raymond was sworn in by Vice President Pence at the vice president’s ceremonial office.
Clearly, the government was moved by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint about the Bible yesterday — probably because it was “full-throated” — and completely ignored him.
Contrary to Weinstein’s all-caps claim that military officers are “NOT ever ‘sworn-in’ to their positions”, the narrator of the ceremony noted the oath was required under Article VI of the Constitution (as an “executive officer” of the United States) and is prescribed in Title V of the US Code: Read more