As has been the trend for the past few years, issues of religion and the military seem to have largely fallen from the visibility they once had. This year, as religious liberty sites have compiled their “top tens” for the year, the focus has largely been on DOMA and the challenges to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The left-leaning Baptist Joint Committee included only one military story, saying the “Pentagon debunks rumors of a policy change on religious expression” in reference to the springtime controversy over Michael “Mikey” Weinstein “consulting” with the Air Force (#9 on the list below).
The Top 10 most-read stories on ChristianFighterPilot.com for 2013: Read more
Update: Weinstein responded:
Weinstein is the kind of guy who revels in the dislike of his adversaries.
“How terrified are these little pu***es in Congress that they have to pass an amendment about me?” he shouted in a phone interview from the foundation’s headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M., using a putdown associated with a woman’s genitalia.
In the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, US Rep John Fleming successfully changed the 2013 NDAA wording after the US Air Force appeared to be acting as a part of Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s self-described “war” on Christians.
Weinstein also inspired US Rep Tim Huelskamp (R-Ks) to add an amendment of his own which would require the Department of Defense to report to Congress every time it met with an outside group for the purpose of
writing, revising, issuing, implementing, enforcing, or seeking advice, input, or counsel regarding military policy related to religious liberty.
This was clearly in response to Weinstein’s 23 April meeting with the JAG of the US Air Force, among others, which Weinstein bragged about to his like-minded media arm, Sally Quinn. Rep Huelskamp even called it a “rebuke” of “anti-Christian zealot Michael Weinstein.”
The MRFF has sarcastically embraced this amendment, because it would “force” the DoD to report on its meetings with groups like Chaplain endorsers: Read more
As previously noted, Sally Quinn of the Washington Post has become the latest version of Pam Zubeck, the CSIndy “journalist” who is actually an advocate of Michael Weinstein’s cause. While it has become obvious Quinn is in the tank with Weinstein, it wasn’t clear until this weekend just how far she was willing to go.
In an article on sexual assault in the military — carefully crafted to get visibility because its on a topic of great interest right now — Quinn lays the responsibility for sexual assault in the military at the feet of…religion.
And guess who her source is?
Take the Cadets for Christ, a religious group at the Air Force Academy. According to Mikey Weinstein, Read more
Michael Weinstein has been working hard to recover from his self-inflicted public relations debacle that began with the Sally Quinn article praising his ‘heroic’ and substantial influence over the US Air Force. As part of that effort, Weinstein got a high-ranking supporter to write a letter defending him — anonymously, of course.
…As a retired, multiple-star, senior officer (General or Admiral) you know that I was asked by the Chief of Staff…to be my Service’s direct day-to-day interface with you. During those three years, and specifically because of that relationship, my Service avoided countless…breaches of religious civil rights…
As a direct result of this relationship, we had military Service-wide policies written/documented for our entire Service to follow!!
Once again, though, Weinstein’s ego may have undone his own attempts at obfuscation.
The supportive letter refers to “policies” written for the “entire Service” as a “direct result” of Weinstein. The only service that has done that, which Weinstein has claimed influence over, no less, is the Air Force. Based on the timeline, the Chief of Staff is certainly Read more
In case you were wondering why the Washington Post blog on Michael Weinstein’s visit to the Pentagon made him out to be so “heroic” — and never once raised a critical eye to his cause — it’s because the author, Sally Quinn, supports his cause.
In her recent commentary on the National Day of Prayer, Quinn calls the National Day of Prayer “unconstitutional”, and she spends most of her column lightly mocking Greg Laurie’s call for a national religious revival. Tellingly, she never pauses to acknowledge Laurie’s liberty to make such statements.
Quinn also criticized the US Army at Fort Leonard Wood for Read more
According to Sally Quinn, Defense officials had not only met with Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, but published an entire Air Force manual on religious protocol at his request. Now, either Mikey is lying or the Pentagon is backpedaling, because [the DoD] released another statement claiming to have made “reasonable accommodations” for religious practice and that “service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization).”
Of course, no one should be coerced, but it all hinges on how the DOD defines “unwanted” and “intrusive.” Judging by Weinstein, who views us as “fundamentalist Christian monsters of human degradation,” any mention of religious testimony would be intolerable. Meanwhile, where were those “religious accommodations” when the Air Force disinvited me from a prayer breakfast at Andrews Air Force Base? Or when officers stripped “God” from the Rapid Capabilities motto and purged Bibles from Air Force Inn checklists? Where was the Air Force’s encouragement to “confidently practice your own beliefs” when cadets were ordered to stop promoting charities for needy kids or when it suspended a 20-year-old class on “Just War Theory” because it included a few Bible verses?
Links added to Tony Perkins’ commentary.
ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow — who debated Michael Weinstein at USAFA in 2007 — said Weinstein is a “bigot” in the vein of the Westboro Baptist Church.
[T]he Air Force has been meeting with a bigot every bit as obscene, Read more
According to his own statements reported at a Washington Post blog, Michael Weinstein (of his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation) met at the
Pentagon on April 23 where they discuss[ed] religious issues in a group that included several generals and a military chaplain.
The blog was written by Sally Quinn, who has been friendly to Weinstein’s cause in the past. Weinstein seems inimitably pleased at the invitation, as likely any private citizen in America might be if US Air Force leadership had a personal meeting with them on “religious issues in the military.” It’s unclear what grants Weinstein that legitimacy, beyond a spate of failed lawsuits and a series of self-published op-eds that would put even the most advanced thesaurus to shame (save the one he apparently plagiarized).
It would seem at least one senior leader was there, as the article claims one attendee was LtGen Richard Harding — The Judge Advocate General of the Air Force, who is the senior legal advisor to the Chief of Staff, General Mark Welsh: Read more
Fox News and Commentary indicated retired LtGen William Jerry Boykin withdrew from the February 8th National Prayer Breakfast at West Point — after West Point asked him to withdraw.
The U.S. Military Academy pressured a retired U.S. lieutenant general to withdraw from speaking at a West Point prayer breakfast after Muslims and atheists complained, Fox News & Commentary has learned…
“[Boykin] asked them to rescind the invitation, but they were reluctant to do that so he said he would take them off the hook.”
The article also noted Michael Weinstein jumping the shark Read more