Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s lawyers once claimed ChristianFighterPilot.com was “obsessive” about Weinstein and his MRFF. Naturally, ChristianFighterPilot.com is about military religious freedom — and it is surely relevant when Mikey Weinstein, a public figure, makes a living by publicly attacking religious liberty, as he so frequently does.
Instead, it is Mikey Weinstein who is “obsessive” with a few individual US troops, veterans, and even a couple of civilians — most of whom are private citizens unknown to any outside their circle of friends. The actions by Weinstein and those associated with his MRFF have attacked and threatened them, their employers, their families — sometimes even their children — in ongoing campaigns of harassment that have sometimes spanned years.
This series will document Mikey Weinstein’s history of harassment — in his own words, with his own formatting, filled with his own invective.
Harassed by Mikey Weinstein, Part 1: Quoting the Bible
In early 2014 a post entitled “There is but One Way” went up at ChristianFighterPilot.com saying one simple thing: John 14:6.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:6
Duly offended that a Bible verse would appear on the internet, Mikey Read more
…and the US military appears to officially endorse “mixed genitalia” showers.
Daniel Briggs, director of military affairs for the Alliance Defending Freedom, is a former Air Force JAG. Writing at The Daily Signal, he noted the DoD’s new policy initiative on people who are transgendered fails to even mention religious freedom, despite its importance — particularly with respect to the medical professionals who have a large role in the change [emphasis added]:
Neither the instruction nor the memo acknowledges the religious freedom, freedom of conscience, or professional discretion of military medical providers…
What about the medical providers who do not provide the diagnosis or treatment a service member seeks? Perhaps their religious beliefs confirm their medical understanding of gender being inextricably linked to biological sex, leading them to conclude that this service member needs help (counseling, therapy) but not affirmation.
Briggs is essentially saying the transgender transition (in policy), which was not subject Read more
Last month, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein claimed he had made an “important achievement” in “rebuilding the shattered wall separating church and state!” because, according to him, the Commanding Officer of the Air Force Recruiting Service promised to remove a chaplain recruiting video Weinstein found “inappropriate.” According to Weinstein, MajGen Garrett Harencak
responded within a few hours that all Chaplain [sic] videos are being removed pursuant to an overhaul of ‘AirForce.com’ and that he would see to it that the removal of this particular video is accelerated.
A month later, not only is the video still up at AirForce.com — but, in unusually blunt words, the Air Force is actually defending it [emphasis added]:
Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon told Military.com it does not see a problem with [the video]…
“Chaplains being available to airmen for spiritual support, and sharing these experiences in their official capacity, does not violate the establishment clause or Air Force regulations.”
There are three important issues here: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein relies heavily on his credentials as a “former Air Force JAG.” Presumably, people outside the military ascribe to a JAG a particular expertise on military regulations and the law, and Weinstein seeks to benefit from that connotation.
When Weinstein recently demanded that the US Air Force Academy prohibit cadets from praying, it was notable that not one but two former JAGs spoke up in defense of the military religious freedom Weinstein’s “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” sought to ban.
The Alliance Defending Freedom’s Daniel Briggs wrote a letter (PDF) that became the “opposing viewpoint” that required USAFA to be “prudent and deliberate” in its review of Weinstein’s complaint. Briggs said [emphasis added]
Cadet-led prayer does not violate any purported ‘separation of church and state.’ Courts have long recognized that this term is a misrepresented and tiresome platitude found nowhere Read more
USAF LtCol Linell Letendre has been named as a new permanent professor to “lead the law department” for the US Air Force Academy:
“Lt. Col. Letendre’s selection for permanent professor indicates the trust placed in her by those who lead our nation,” said Brig. Gen. Andrew Armacost, the Academy’s dean of the faculty. “Her impeccable record of service and dedication to education will strengthen the Academy and nation as we strive to develop leaders of character.”
Ordinarily such a staffing decision hardly rates notice, much less an official press release, but the status of permanent professor at a military academy requires Senate approval and bestows a permanent rank of Colonel, making it somewhat notable.
Potentially more notable, however, are LtCol Letendre’s unique qualifications. Far from being an unknown JAG, Letendre has become a veritable “go to” legal officer in cases involving religion or homosexuality (or both).
In 2007, she and retired US Army Major David Fitzkee (also a USAFA law professor) co-authored a paper in the Air Force Law Review entitled “Religion in the Military: Navigating the Channel Between the Religion Clauses“. This paper was called a “definitive work” on the subject. As noted previously, Fitzkee wrote an abridged and updated version of this same article in 2012, and both works contained strong positive and strong negative statements on regarding military religious freedom.
Their paper was subsequently published again in Attitudes Aren’t Free, a collection put together by then-LtCol James Parco (an avowed supporter of Michael “Mikey” Weinstein and frequent critic of Christians in the US Air Force).
Letendre was also the legal advisor to US Army General Carter Ham while he was co-chair of the controversial Comprehensive Review Working Group tasked to assess the impact of repealing the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Letendre’s advice Read more
On Friday it was noted here that no media outlet had covered the Air Force response to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s complaint about an article on a Christian Airman. On Sunday, Stephen Losey of the Air Force Times finally picked up the story (which led on their website), writing that the Air Force had found nothing wrong with the article and let it stand:
AFRC spokesman Philip Rhodes said the review was finished earlier [last] week, and the release will not be taken down. “We vetted the question about the story through Air Force legal and chaplain corps, and all agreed that the story is appropriate as it is displayed,” Rhodes said.
This statement, which was apparently Read more
Homosexual activists recently emphasized the fact the US Senate just confirmed a “gay attorney” as the new General Counsel of the US Air Force. Mr. Gordon Tanner has taken on the civilian role akin to the uniformed JAG of the Air Force. Tanner also retired as a Reserve JAG; interestingly, he may have worked on courts-martial or discharges enforcing the ban on homosexuals even as he continued to serve. Still, those activists missed the more newsworthy expression of Tanner’s view on religious expression and homosexuality in the military:
May a member of the armed forces who has a sincerely held belief in opposition to same-sex marriage be subject to adverse personnel action or similar other adverse action, if he or she shares those personal views on the subject in a personal capacity?
Tanner: No. A member of the armed forces Read more
Since when is the standard of what’s constitutional based on what offends someone else?
– Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, addressing USAFA’s statement that a Bible verse was removed because it made someone feel “uncomfortable.”
Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) asked Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James if she would provide an official explanation of the USAFA Bible verse incident:
Would you be willing to submit a detailed explanation within the next 10 days…of the event that occurred…, what the Air Force Academy policy is, and…how that policy was applied in this situation?
Secretary James agreed to do so. The Air Force has already said its policy is found in AFI 1-1, which says Read more