Wade Burleson pastors Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma, which is the home of Vance Air Force Base — where Christina “Thumper” Hopper serves as a Reserve Air Force instructor pilot. After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein blasted Christina online for her public profession of faith in God, Burleson took to his own blog to defend his congregant [formatting original]:
It seems Mr. Mikey was offended when he read an article last week from the Vance Air Force Base Public Affairs magazine that highlighted Christina and her recent accomplishments as a triathlete…Here are the reporter’s words about Christina, comparing her triathlete training to life:
“The triathlon courses are designed by others, but Christina’s life’s trail is directed by faith. Faith in God, faith in those she is close to and faith in the belief that life’s spoils, whether they be triathlon finishes, flying or family, are blessings.”
Faith in God.
These are three words that caused Mr. Weinstein offense. It seems Read more
LtCol Aaron Hopper is the husband of US Air Force Reserve Major Christina “Thumper” Hopper, the target of Mikey Weinstein’s attack this week claiming she was violating military regulations when she identified faith in God as her life motivation.
He personally responded to Mikey Weinstein on Wednesday…and invited him to dinner.
It remains to be seen whether Weinstein has the courage to meet the Hoppers in person after denigrating Christina from behind the keyboard. If nothing else, Aaron’s admirable response and noble offer may help some of Weinstein’s acolytes realize Weinstein’s targets are real human beings — not the faceless, one-dimensional criminals Weinstein generally makes them out to be.
The Hoppers invite Mikey Weinstein to dinner:
Mikey Weinstein, you have written that my wife could be accused of, “1st degree religious zealotry unbecoming of a military leader,” following a feature article written about her last week. Yet Christina has never pressured anyone in the ranks to listen, agree with, or accept any of her beliefs. She Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently slammed Christian Air Force officers for the high crime of…being Christian.
His first target was US Air Force Reserve Major Christina “Thumper” Hopper. Hopper’s callsign recalls a few Air Force traditions, playing off both her name and her character. (Thumper was the name of the rabbit in Bambi (get it?), and she was also known for her faith — making her a “Bible thumper.”)
In an innocuous Air Force article about her participation in a triathlon, Thumper talked about how she “measure[d] herself”:
The overarching thing that defines all of my life is my relationship with God. It’s what drives me and makes me passionate about life. The reason and the purpose behind everything I do is to glorify God and to make his name known. If that was removed from my life, I would feel that I have no purpose.
Weinstein — who once said he would give his last drop of blood to defend others’ rights to their faiths, even if they were offensive — berated Thumper and belittled her beliefs: Read more