This year issues of military religious freedom have boiled to the surface in two primary ways: free exercise and public expression.
For example, in its “top ten” list for 2018, The Baptist Joint Committee, a left-leaning group on religious liberty issues, highlighted the Masterpiece Cakeshop at #8 and the Bladensburg Peace Cross at #7. Similarly, Howard Friedman at the Religion Clause put Masterpiece Cakeshop at #1. The resolution of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which is arguably still ongoing, is directly related to the military: The case will ultimately Read more
Retired US Air Force General Roger Brady made some waves in 2005 when he led an investigation of the US Air Force Academy’s religious climate. Much to some activists’ dismay, the report said there were some issues and perceptions, but there was not a systemic or institutional religious problem at USAFA. (Gen Brady also famously criticized Airmen who contacted their congressmen — an explicitly protected form of communication within the military.)
General Brady was interviewed recently by Christianity Today on faith and the military in a Veterans’ Day article that led off noting the recent “controversy” surrounding Air Force BGen John Teichert — as initiated by “former Air Force Captain and activist attorney Mikey Weinstein“.
The interview was highlighted by the Baptist Joint Committee — a liberal leaning group — as having “both some troubling and some heartening perspectives and insights.” That seems accurate, as Gen Brady says thing both sides of the religious liberty debate will support and oppose. In fact, in just two sentences he managed to hit both sides of the fence [emphasis added]: Read more
Most know by now, but for those who don’t, US Air Force BGen John Teichert has been cleared following Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s 22-page complaint about his religious beliefs.
It turns out the Inspector General didn’t even investigate. It did the required first step — analyze the complaint — and determined Weinstein’s complaint was so frivolous it didn’t even warrant an investigation.
Mikey Weinstein’s reaction was typical: Read more
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
Mikey Weinstein’s good side, taken at the Broadmoor via Pam Zubeck.
For a few minutes, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein managed to stick to his scripted talking points that he was concerned about BGen John Teichert’s alleged ‘abuse of authority’ with regard to religion — not the religion itself.
But that fell apart pretty quickly.
First, Weinstein claimed it was a lack of “disclaimers,” then it was about the fact BGen Teichert’s beliefs were public. Then it was the fact BGen Teichert’s statements were “offensive.”
Weinstein’s moving goalposts were intentional obfuscation — and a bit of scrambling for Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s recent attack on BGen John Teichert over the exercise of his Christian faith have blanketed the media over the past few days. It is has been universally bad for Weinstein — and an apparent unanticipated blessing for the ministry of PLUS.
Even average readers see the amount of mental gymnastics Weinstein has taken to make himself “offended,” as well as his misrepresentation of unattributed commentary as carrying the force of rank and command. (One site even noted PLUS is essentially anonymous, and that Mikey Weinstein basically “doxxed” BGen Teichert, then turned around and accused him of illegal conduct based on connections Weinstein made.) As a result, many people are seeing through to the hate-based motivation driving Weinstein’s complaint.
Multiple sites have covered the complaint, supporting BGen Teichert, and — though you should never read the comments — it has been fascinating to see how many self-avowed Mikey Weinstein acolytes are saying he went too far.
The only people who seem to be defending Weinstein are those already associated with the MRFF, including, oddly, chaplain-endorser David Plummer, who joined in on Todd Starnes Facebook page to seemingly support the attack on military religious freedom.
“Friendly” atheist Hemant Mehta also repeated Mikey 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