According to the Advocate, a homosexual advocacy publication, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on a new crusade: supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Comically, Weinstein, who has been taken to task for his displays of Constitutional ignorance, again displays his lack of knowledge with regard to the ongoing controversy. The Advocate asked him…twice…what power the President had to repeal the policy on homosexuals in the military. Twice, the former White House counsel talked vaguely about executive orders without explaining how an executive order can overturn a law passed by Congress (Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, § 654). (Answer: it can’t.)
When asked about who the MRFF is “fighting,” Weinstein again displayed his tendency to make up his own definitions of religious groups–and then to assign people to them as he saw fit.
We’ve got this fanatical religiosity in fundamental Christianity… Read more
An article at Army.mil explains the unique roles and necessity of the Chaplaincy to the success of the Army mission, something that applies across the services to the US military as a whole. One of the command Chaplains noted the value of the Chaplaincy goes beyond the tangible:
I would hate to think what the Army would be like without the Chaplain Corps. What if all of the positive spiritual emphasis in the world was removed in a moment? What would the world look like? It would be ugly.
Though not often said, there are moral virtues supported by religion and the Chaplaincy that positively contribute to the mission of the US military. Regrettably, those positive contributions are often forgotten, until they are removed and the impact of their loss is felt.
Via the Army Chaplaincy blog.
Just days after noting the potential impact that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal might have on military Chaplains, there are now widespread articles on the decision by an Air Force base Chaplain’s office to rescind the invitation of a speaker who opposed President Obama’s proposed repeal.
The actions were those of an individual Chaplain’s office and were not necessarily indicative of the decisions of higher level leadership. However, the decision itself is a perfect example of the conflict that organizations opposing the repeal intend to highlight.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had been invited in October by the Chaplains’ office to speak at the February 25 National Prayer Luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base (now known as Joint Base Andrews). Perkins is a US Marine veteran and ordained minister. Supposedly, after President Obama used his State of the Union to call for a repeal of DADT, and Perkins and the FRC vocally opposed him, the Chaplain’s office rescinded the invitation. (Notably, the Chaplain’s office is free to invite or disinvite anyone they choose; it is their public reasoning for doing so that makes this case interesting.)
The letter from the Chaplain’s office rescinding the invitation reportedly said: Read more
A few weeks ago the Colorado Springs Gazette published a short email excerpt from the designated pagan leader at the USAF Academy, TSgt Brandon Longcrier. In the quote, the Gazette highlighted Longcrier’s fear for his cadets in the face of what he described as a “hate crime” (the crossed shoe boards at the pagan circle).
Not much later, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to whom the letter was addressed, published a series of letters it had received on the subject. The authors’ names were redacted, but in one the author clearly identified himself as the person who found the cross at the pagan site and took “the picture,” which is known to be Longcrier. In addition, it includes the quotes from the Gazette article attributed to him.
Longcrier’s message reiterates the “hate crime” and criticizes the Air Force Academy for its response. More interesting, however, is his attitude toward the cadets — particularly those of the Christian Read more
As previously noted, Military Religious Freedom Foundation creator Michael Weinstein spoke at last week’s character symposium at the USAF Academy, part of its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium. Initial indications are that his welcome was warmer this time, with press reports indicating he received standing ovations rather than the jeers of a previous visit.
According to reports, he repeated his somewhat inflammatory claims that
his foundation is at war with some fundamentalist Christians in the military who put their faith ahead of their oath to defend the Constitution.
In the past five years, during which he has been in constant litigation with the Department of Defense, Weinstein has never proven that any active duty military member has taken any actions that put anything “ahead of their oath” to the Constitution. While the loaded phrase makes him sound noble, it is a Read more
This incident has been so mis-reported that it was initially just ignored; however, when General Gould published a statement agreeing that this incident has been “sensationalized,” he gave credence to the view that this situation is being grossly mischaracterized, and that people are inappropriately using it for their personal advancement. An analysis thus follows…
Despite the positive hullabaloo over the US Air Force Academy pagan circle, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has now denounced the placement of a cross at the site, an act that occurred before the recent positive press reports. Though the incident took place several weeks ago, the MRFF appeared to time the press release to counter the recent spate of “good news” about religious tolerance at USAFA.
For the record, it should go without saying that Read more
The notoriously blunt-speaking Michael Weinstein recently demonstrated an unusually thin skin when he threatened legal action against a potential critic of his organization. The statement at issue occurred in the original ABC News article on the Trijicon gun sights:
Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions “have always been there” and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is “not Christian.”
Apparently, the MRFF is offended by that characterization, though the MRFF isn’t explicitly named and the quote itself is paraphrased. Weinstein’s organization took the unusual step of releasing its legal correspondence to an internet blogger, who quoted the following paragraph from a legal letter in response to the statement above:
Referring to the Foundation as a group which is “not Christian” is not only inaccurate and shamelessly false, but demonstrably contrary to fact. Approximately 96 percent of the Foundation’s nearly 16,000 active duty military clients and enumerable additional supporters are in fact practicing Christians by faith. To state otherwise not only slanders the Foundation, but also all of its clients. Further, the Foundation’s largest supporter is the California Council of Churches IMPACT, which is comprised of 5,500 Christian congregations, 21 distinct Christian denominations, and, directly and indirectly, millions of individual Christians.
The “legal letter” came from the same law firm that Weinstein is currently employing in Weinstein v Ammerman.
The stern rebuke from Weinstein’s MRFF is laughable. Consider the ramifications Read more
In several articles on this site, the premise has been repeated that true religious freedom is not the suppression of differing ideas, but the encouragement of them. Sometimes this is a cautionary tale to Christians who feel that other religions should not have the same freedoms as Christians. More often, however, it is a rebuttal to those who would silence or restrict Christians in order to avoid offense or exposure to a differing moral stance.
Hugh Hewitt has a similar explanation on his site, in his criticisms of those who criticized CBS for allowing Tim Tebow and his mother to air a “Celebrate Life” ad during the SuperBowl:
Most people of faith are strong proponents of religious liberty because they are very acquainted with the stories of religious persecution in almost every other part of the globe. The answer to religious intolerance Read more