Tag Archives: chris rodda

MRFF Falsely Claims US Navy “Banned” Bibles on POW/MIA Table

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

Coast Guard Planned to Discourage Religious Vaccination Exemptions

Leaked documents from the US Coast Guard made available to the press indicate a draft plan to coax, cajole, and ultimately coerce Coast Guard members into taking the vaccine, even over their potential religious objections. As part of the exemption request process, the Coast Guard members are required to meet with a chaplain. That chaplain is directed to record the meeting in a memorandum:

Note any comments made by the member that make it appear they are using the religious exemption as a ruse to avoid the vaccine…

Have the member describe how they consistently keep the tenets of their faith and demonstrate those in their daily life. Ask them to be as specific as possible. Put the specifics acts (or lack thereof) in the memo.

Note that when a member of the government seeks a religious exemption from a policy, the government is not allowed to pass judgment on the member’s religion, ascertain how ‘well’ they follow the tenets of their faith, or explain to that member what their religion really says. The government is not allowed to try to use the member’s faith to try to convince them to take or oppose any action.

Yet that is precisely what the Coast Guard document tells its chaplains to do: Read more

MRFF Rails Against USAFA, While Admitting There’s Nothing USAFA Can Do

According to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, a US Air Force Academy cadet recently sent him an email to let him know one of his academic instructors had asked him if he had accepted Jesus as his Savior. The next day, the instructor (perhaps jokingly) asked the cadet not to run to Mikey Weinstein.

With that information – and only that information – Weinstein employed former USAFA department head Marty France (who had previously been Mikey’s inside man in the USAFA leadership) to engage the Air Force Academy and demand…nothing. Said Marty to USAFA:

I’m not sure you can do anything about this particular case–the cadet won’t provide enough information to identify the instructor and we won’t divulge any information about the cadet without their permission, of course.

So, to recap, the MRFF is contacting USAFA so they can do…nothing.

Despite the MRFF’s own admission that they didn’t have enough information to do anything, Weinstein’s public response was typical of “Mikey’s Mad Libs” (a name given to his alliterative and Read more

USAF Christian Pilot Objects to COVID Mask, Vaccine

Though it doesn’t seem to have broken into the mainstream press, a US Air Force instructor pilot at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, has been fighting for months to have the military honor his religious objection to wearing a mask. Two of the pilot’s superiors approved the request, despite some misgivings. However, a third superior overturned that approval. As discussed in July:

The unnamed airman, identified as Capt. John Doe by the nonprofit First Amendment litigation firm Liberty Counsel, argues his “Christian beliefs do not permit him to wear a mask,” said the firm, which specializes in religious freedom cases. He was suspended from duty on May 17 and from flying on June 8…

As hills to die on go, this wouldn’t be an ideal choice… but he does have a point.

In the Air Force policy requiring masks published last February, the very first exception was for religious beliefs:

Effective immediately all individuals on Department property…will wear masks… The DAF-wide exceptions are as follows:

(1) when necessary to reasonably accommodate a religious belief…

Capt “Doe” notes that two chaplains verified Read more

Mikey Weinstein Falsely Accuses Army Chaplain of Lying

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and his research assistant Christine “Chris” Rodda have been railing against US Army 1LT Alex Stovall for the past couple of months. Stovall is a member of the Army Reserve, and he’s also a candidate for Arizona’s ninth congressional district.

Stovall’s political comments – made as a candidate in the vein of Donald Trump – have drawn much of the MRFF’s ire, as has the fact he’s shown up in campaign ads and interviews while in uniform.

Making political comments while a civilian – that is, a Reservist not on orders – is a non-event. There are quite a few US military members in Congress on both sides of the aisle (according to the CRS, 14 in both houses), and they’ve certainly all made political comments about their political adversaries and the Nation’s leadership. When not on military orders, they are civilians and can speak as such — which is why Army Capt Alan Kennedy sued his chain of command over the punishments he received while participating in BLM “protests” while not on orders.

Even as a failed lawyer and JAG who was apparently relegated to administrative law while in the Air Force, Mikey Weinstein should still know this, but the accusation makes for “good” press for him. It attracts the attention of those who don’t know any better – even if it’s not entirely true.

Wearing the uniform while engaged in political activity is certainly an issue (and it has been an issue for others in the past), but it has nothing to do with religion or religious liberty in the US military, which makes you wonder why Weinstein is trying to become the uniform police for the military. The nexus for Weinstein’s cabal comes in the fact that Stovall is a Reserve chaplain candidate – and this is where Weinstein and Rodda go off the rails, recently Read more

General Declines to Punish Chaplain Calvert over Transgender Comments

The Army has decided not to punish US Army Chaplain (Maj) Andrew Calvert with a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, creating the path for his record to be cleared.

In January, Calvert commented on an Army Times Facebook post that discussed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s support for allowing transgenders to serve in the US military. Calvert’s comments – which questioned the mental fitness of transgenders for military service and noted the similarity with believing the earth to be flat in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary – drew criticisms and a formal investigation.

The Army’s 15-6 investigation declared that Chaplain Calvert had committed unlawful discrimination and improper political activity – points that didn’t seem to be supported by the facts. Further, since Chaplain Calvert was clearly expressing his personal and religious views – and not any official view of the Army – it was the Army, not Calvert, that was treading close to violating the law and military policies. As First Liberty Institute stated in an appeal letter published in May: Read more

Chaplain Calvert Appeals Punishment for Transgender Comments

US Army Chaplain (Maj) Andrew Calvert made a Facebook comment in January that attracted the attention of critics – and eventually his chain of command. It has now been revealed that Chaplain Calvert received a “General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand” (also called a “GOMOR”) from III Corps commander LtGen Robert “Pat” White. This reprimand from a General Officer (rather than a lower level supervisor or commander) is a potentially career-ending punishment, and it accuses Calvert of “violating military equal opportunity policy and violating Department of Defense policy on political activities.”

With the help of First Liberty, Chaplain Calvert is appealing that punishment.

Chaplain Calvert was the subject of a 15-6 Investigation, so Read more

Mikey Weinstein Says Chaplain’s Christianity is Antisemitic

[Update: The WHS has pulled the article down.]

In a raging letter to senior DoD officials yesterday, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein launched a withering attack on an Easter message written by US Navy Chaplain (LT) Aristotle Rivera, claiming his mainstream Christian message is “anti-Semitic.”

Chaplain Rivera — a West Point grad who spent six years in the Army before another six years in the Air Force and is now in the Navy — wrote an article for the Washington Headquarters Services of the DoD, which is essentially the part of the DoD that encompasses the DC area. The article asked, “What did the people talk about at the first Easter?” The short article describes events about two months after Jesus died: Read more

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