Members of the US military aren’t permitted to engage in partisan politics in uniform, nor are they supposed to permit others use them for that purpose. They are also not permitted to “use contemptuous words” against the Commander-in-Chief — in or out of uniform.*
Unless, of course, they’re LGBTQ.
For years the American Military Partner Association blatantly paraded uniformed military members around in support of its political agenda, and it did so even while engaging in outright political lobbying. Its successor, the oddly named “Modern Military Association of America” (apparently “modern” now means non-heterosexual), now Read more
One of the MRFF’s ill-defined “clients,” former Airman Sandra Bell, has joined the lawsuit against the VA over the POW/MIA display in the foyer of the Manchester, NH, VA Medical Center. The reason, it seems, for adding Bell was to make sure one of the plaintiffs was a non-Christian (Bell says she’s an atheist) to alleviate the Judge’s qualms over a Christian being offended over a Bible.
While the MRFF publicly treats Bell as “new,” she’s been around the MRFF for a few months. She penned a self-described “op-ed” earlier in the year about the POW/MIA Bible. (She’s been a fairly prolific volunteer writer for them since.) Bell took particular issue with the fact it was a “Catholic” Bible, and essentially went on to equate Catholic Christianity and rape. (Bell has said she specifically wanted to point out it was a Catholic Bible because “the devil is in the details“.) Bell says when she enters the VA she “rushes past” the Bible, Read more
Yesterday, the Federal District Court in New Hampshire allowed the lawsuit against the VA Medical Center POW/MIA display to proceed, and it also permitted the Northwest POW/MIA Network, which erected the display, to intervene. (The POW/MIA Network is represented by First Liberty.) In one of the more interesting arguments, the presiding judge questioned whether the plaintiff had standing because he’s a Christian. Judge Paul Barbadoro [emphasis added]
acknowledged no shortage of case law and legal precedent regarding religious symbols on public property…
But Barrington resident James Chamberlain, the plaintiff in the challenge, is a Christian who attends a Congregational church, and therein lies the rub, according to the judge.
Barbadoro said he knows of no prior case stemming from a Christian challenging a symbol of Christianity.
“If he were an atheist, he would have standing and that would be clear,” the judge said.
There are certainly legal reasons to require “standing” in a judicial proceeding — but Read more
Christine “Chris” Rodda is Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant for his “charity,” the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. She wrote a blog late last Friday and posted it on Daily Kos and Medium, attacking ChristianFighterPilot.com by claiming retired Air Force Captain Cole “Twitch” Holloway was “maligned” in an article posted here on Thursday.
It’s odd that Weinstein and Rodda chose to go after that article. It’s a short piece, and its tone is benign. There are many more articles here of more direct impact to the MRFF — say, those noting Weinstein is a charity millionaire or that Rodda’s outrage is quite selective — yet they chose to go after one that didn’t even mention them. Presumably, Rodda thought they could get emotional value out of the topic — so long as people didn’t bother to read the original article, and instead only saw her “interpretation” of it.
(Why not engage over an article that actually discusses the MRFF and religious freedom? For all his bluster and bloviating, Mikey Weinstein is scared. But that’s a topic for another time.)
As is typical, Rodda struggled with the truth. She titled her blog “The “Christian Fighter Pilot” Sinks to New Low — Maligns Pilot with ALS for Not Being Christian”. Despite the fact she intentionally didn’t link to the article, many are aware of it, and even some of Rodda’s own readers were unable to find where anyone had been “maligned” within it. In her defense, Rodda did Read more
Air Force Captain Cole “Twitch” Holloway was a US Air Force F-15 fighter pilot last year, flying out of Okinawa, Japan. At some point he started noticing “something weird” was going on with his body — symptoms like unexplained muscle weakness. That led to a diagnosis of ALS last October. (Left unsaid is whether the symptoms of the undiagnosed disease were the source of his callsign, “Twitch”.)
ALS has a post-diagnosis life expectancy of two to five years. There is no cure.
Since then (the Air Force article on Holloway was written last year but only recently published), Holloway has been medically retired from the Air Force and he’s living his life knowing it won’t last:
The couple plans to travel, experience life and Read more
It would seem US Army Chaplain (Maj) George Tyger looks to play a continuing role in the intersection of sexuality, politics, and religious freedom in the US military. In 2014 he derided religious accommodations for beliefs he disliked as “separate but equal.” While demanding tolerance, he demonstrated none, an interestingly common trait among some Unitarian Universalists.
In 2016 he put an LGBT “safe zone” sign on his office — which clearly communicated his opposition to mainstream Christian beliefs regarding sexuality and marriage, making his office an “unsafe zone” for other troops he served.
Now, it seems, Tyger is leading a minor insurgency. On the Facebook page for the Modern Military Association of America — a group formed from a merger of multiple homosexual advocacy groups — Chaplain Tyger spoke up to announce he moderates a “secret” Facebook group of Read more
Though there’s nothing “charitable” about Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charity” — the awkwardly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation — it is categorized as 501(c)3, which requires that he publicly file his organization’s tax form each year. Notably, in part due to deadlines and amended returns, he manages to be almost two years behind. Weinstein has finally released the report for 2017 indicating his MRFF brought in $723,000, which is a bit higher than previous years but not his most ever.
That number represents his total donations, much of which appear to be grants and “donations” from other charities. A few years ago Weinstein was looking to hire a grants specialist, and it appears his efforts to professionalize his fundraising has been profitable, literally.
Mikey Weinstein may not do much, but he Read more
An Ohio magistrate has recommended that Dr. Nicholas Meriwether’s lawsuit against Shawnee State University (previously discussed) be dismissed. Meriwether had sued when it punished him after he refused to address a biologically male student with a female title — though he did agree to use only a last name.
“Speech by a government employee is protected under the First Amendment only if the speech was made ‘as a citizen’ while addressing ‘a matter of public concern,’” Litkovitz’s recommendation filing reads. “A government employee’s speech is made ‘as a citizen’ and is protected under the First Amendment only when the speech is not ‘pursuant to [the employee’s] duties.’”
That’s an awkward justification, because Meriwether was not punished for making what he claimed was protected speech. Instead, he was being required by the government to have certain content in his speech — content that conveyed a particular ideological view.
The ADF lawyers helping Meriwether said they’ll object on that basis: Read more