The ACLJ is once again standing as the voice of reason against attacks on military religious freedom by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s MRFF. Last week the ACLJ wrote to Secretary of Defense James Mattis — the same recipient of the MRFF’s letter — defending BGen John Teichert. The letter began with what is probably the most astute and clear statement on dealing with accusations from the MRFF:
We must admit it is difficult to know exactly where to start to refute the many false allegations and legal misstatements contained in Mr. Rehkopf’s letter. As we will show below, Mr. Rehkopf imputes impure motives to General Teichert and alleges harm based on his and MRFF’s hypersensitivity to religious expression by persons in uniform.
When Mr. Rehkopf encounters a religious view expressed Read more
Update: Covered by Todd Starnes, who apparently received a visit from Gen Teichert while Starnes was in the hospital.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s latest target in his war against Christians in the US military — despite his repeated assurances he is not attacking Christians — is US Air Force BGen E. John Teichert.
Until last month, BGen Teichert was the commander of the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews in the Washington, DC, area — home to the presidential fleet of aircraft, among other things. He recently took command of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, CA.
Though it is difficult to tell exactly, it seems Mikey Weinstein is trying to accuse BGen Teichert of using his rank and position to convert people to Christianity, though it took a tortured, cynical, and twisted series of steps to come to that conclusion.
The difficulty is poorly laid out in the 22-page letter [PDF] written by Read more
A few years ago, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein begged his supporters to search for awards that his “charity” could win, even saying they’d provide the supporting text for the submission — meaning, of course, the MRFF was essentially trying to get itself “awarded”. And Weinstein wasn’t even shy about the motivation for such self-promotion, clearly stating on his own website at the time [emphasis added]: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and those who work with his “charity,” the contradictorily named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, seem to have a innate problem with telling the truth. (Weinstein lackey Chris Rodda is the most famous, as she’s frequently made easily disprovable false statements in an apparent effort to defend the MRFF’s reputation.)
The most recent example of this lack of integrity came from Donald Rehkopf, the most recent legal face of Weinstein’s MRFF. (Despite being a lawyer — and the only paid member of the MRFF — Weinstein defers to others rather than act for his own organization.)
In a supreme twist of hypocrisy, Rehkopf was trying to accuse someone of lying — while not being so forthright himself.
Apparently set back on their heels by Tommy Vallejos’ defense of Sonny Hernandez, Donald Rehkopf declined to make a calm, reasoned, and rational rebuttal. Rather, the MRFF advocate submitted a response claiming Vallejos was lying. Said Rehkopf:
It is ironic to have to remind the Rev. Tommy Vallejos of one of the Ten Commandments — not to lie.
Yet, in his Opinion letter, “Don’t persecute chaplain for practicing his faith”…he makes at least two false statements.
Rehkopf then makes his first accusation: Read more
by Sonny Hernandez
Via the MRFF
On Monday, April, 27, 2017, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which is actually a “freedom from religion” foundation that harasses Christians, issued a communiqué titled, “MRFF files official Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD/IG) complaint against USAF Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny Hernandez.” In this complaint, the MRFF’s attorney sent a letter to the Deputy Inspector General for Administrative Investigations that alleged:
USAF Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny L. Hernandez’s blog post on “Christian Fighter Pilot”…can reasonably be considered as violating Numerous Punitive Articles [sic] defined in The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) [sic].
To explain what caused this accusation ad-nauseam, Christianfightpilot.com (CFP) posted a Read more
The case of former US Marine LCpl Monifa Sterling, who made national news when her court-martial included charges related to posting a Bible verse on her desk, has been appealed to the US Supreme Court.
Sterling was a substandard Marine, but the straw that broke the camel’s back to get her court-martialed was posting, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17…
Religious liberty lawyers at First Liberty Institute agreed that Sterling’s posting Bible verses is protected by law…[and] recruit[ed] one of the greatest Supreme Court litigators in recent decades, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, to lead their team…
Sterling’s case has become a fascinating discriminator for Read more
UPDATE: While Weinstein’s original complaint was almost completely ignored, a wide variety of sites has picked up on USAFA’s decision to ignore Weinstein. One site pointed out Weinstein was violating his own organization’s mission statement — leading one to wonder if his Board of Directors should sanction him.
For his part, Mikey Weinstein is now awkwardly spinning this incident to claim it is an MRFF “victory,” despite the fact he previously called the USAFA response “bulls–t” when it didn’t bow — and still hasn’t bowed — to his demands. It would seem not doing what Weinstein wants is also an MRFF “victory,” meaning Weinstein can never lose…
As discussed last week, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein demanded an investigation of Air Force tight ends football coach Steed Lobotzke because he “tweeted” Bible verses.
The Air Force responded with a collective yawn [emphasis added]:
All athletic coaches’ social media accounts are personal and not maintained by the Air Force Academy Athletic Department. The views and comments within these accounts are personal and not the views of the Air Force Academy or Air Force. However, we appreciate that the accounts could appear official and have advised that an appropriate disclaimer be included to avoid confusion in this regard.
The Academy remains Read more
Apparently believing US Air Force Chief of Chaplains Gen Dondi Costin’s head needs to go on a pole, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein has continued to demand the US military punish the men and women who appeared in uniform at a chaplains’ event in July.
Weinstein recently received a statement (PDF) from the DoD Inspector General in response to his initial complaint [emphasis added]:
The Air Force IG found no prima facie evidence that Maj Gen Costin endorsed CARL [the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty] by appearing in uniform and performing the benediction, thereby implying Air Force sponsorship of CARL or sanction of a particular cause, or discrediting the Armed Forces…
We [the DoD IG] also concluded Maj Gen Costin’s attendance and benediction did not violate Department of Defense or Air Force standards on endorsement of or participation with a non-federal entity, uniform wear, public speaking, or free exercise of religion.
That covered all the bases, DoD and Air Force, uniform wear to religion — even the US Constitution. Pretty thorough, right?
Since Chaplain Costin wasn’t punished, it still wasn’t good enough for Weinstein, of course, whose Read more