Message From MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein
Valued MRFF supporters,
As I write this message, I can overhear the television set in the other room repeating a familiar story: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, ISAF Commander General John R. Allan, and President Barack Obama are apologizing, once again, for U.S. actions in Afghanistan. In this case, damage control efforts are meant to neutralize the effects of the grisly story broken by the Los Angeles Times regarding the paratroopers who posed, beamingly, with the mangled corpses and severed limbs of dead Afghan bombers.
You know me better than to think that it is the apology alone that I take issue with. This is not the case.
Shamefully, the problem has become one of pathetic leadership, with the Pentagon somehow hoping that it is possible to explain away a problem without doing the "dirty work" of decisively exposing and rooting out the wellspring of these outrages emanating from within the ranks of the U.S. military. As we never tire of pointing out, the Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian infiltration of the U.S. military is a major source of the demoralization and indiscipline that has cast its pall on service member culture.
One day videotapes are leaked to the media of U.S. Marines urinating on their defeated enemies, the next day Scout Snipers pose alongside the hated Nazi Waffen-SS flag, and days later charred Qu'rans were rescued from the furnaces of Bagram, leading to weeks of violent manifestations of Afghan outrage...
And now we have the latest news that USMC Fighter Attack Squadron 122 has adopted the name "Crusaders," emblazoning their jets with red crosses on white shields, invoking the historic memory of medieval religious wars. This news broke just as the sadistic murderer Anders Behring Breivik sat in the dock in Oslo, Norway, explaining that as a modern "Templar Knight" it was his duty to lead the "Crusade" against Muslims, as well as religious and cultural pluralism in general. Breivik claims that he is not a Nazi, but he might as well be -- despite the fact that he prefers the red Crusader cross to the Swastika.
The Keystone Kop, blithely self-defeating and self-inflicted pattern of hideous faux pas which we see unfold on a daily basis would be considered laughable if not for the fact that the price for advancing along this delusional trajectory is paid in service members' blood, lives, and limbs.
I encourage you to read the latest in my ongoing "Faith at the Front" series of Op-Eds written for the Washington Post, where I discuss the stark difference between the NFL's standards versus those of the U.S. Military, and the swiftness with which the New Orleans Saints' leadership were subject to disciplinary measures. Perhaps Panetta, Allan, and Obama should look to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for some pointers on how to rein in rogue elements within the U.S. military? Until then, we at MRFF will ceaselessly continue our campaign to expose religious extremism and arrogant exceptionalism within our armed forces.
A crusade involving the arsenals of modern warfare, spearheaded by rogue religious extremists in the U.S. Military -- this is just one of the dangers which MRFF consistently works to prevent. Help us push back against those that would turn our armed forces into a 21st century crusader force! If we're going to continue holding the U.S. military accountable in the courts and in the media, we need your generous donations. Our ability to effectively mobilize the resources drawn from your support is precisely what keeps the fundamentalist extremists in check. Please make your fully tax-deductible donation today.
Your Eternal Ally,
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Founder & President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
WASHINGTON POST: FAITH AT THE FRONT
In Defense of Religious Freedom
by Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Selected Article Excerpts:
The highest echelons of the U.S. military need to learn a valuable lesson, literally, from a guy in charge of a game.
Last month's swift and decisive suspensions of the New Orleans Saints' head coach, general manager and defensive coordinator were the clearest statement NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could make that intentionally injuring others would absolutely not be tolerated by the league.
This is how effective leadership can — and should — respond when it becomes apparent that those in charge are allowing others to run amok.
When a military officer allows those in his or her charge to proselytize, ostracize, and abuse fellow service members because of their chosen faith (or lack thereof), they are permitting the commission of potentially irreparable harm.
We [at MRFF] continually learn of allegations of military command influence being used as a coercive tool upon anyone who is not the "right kind of Christian," these "players" are injuring each other because they believe that they'll receive the "bounty" of eternal salvation. (continued, click below to read Op-Ed)
MRFF FEATURED IN MSNBC COVER STORY
Group blasts Marine Corps for reviving 'Crusaders' name and symbols
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Selected Article Excerpts:
- A recent decision by the Marine Corps to reinstate "Crusaders" as the name of its Fighter Attack Squadron 122 — replacing "Werewolves" — and adopting the red cross of the medieval Knights Templar was blasted as unconstitutional and willfully ignorant by a civil rights group Wednesday.
- "I don't know that the Marine Corps could do anything more to fuel the cause of jihad," said Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates church-state separation. "It will directly end up taking lives and maiming members of our military."
- Weinstein says that members of the military who contacted his group — mostly moderate Protestants and Catholics — felt that the decision was blatantly religious. "They're being told, 'the enemy gets to have Allah in their fight. We need to get our Lord and Savior back into our fight'," said Weinstein."
- Through the law firm Jones Day, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on Wednesday sent a letter calling on top Navy and Marine Corps brass to reverse the decision, arguing that the use of Crusaders and the accompanying symbolism violate the Constitution's separation of church and state, and threatening legal action if it is not changed.
- The name change comes just as world media focuses on the trial of Anders Breivik, a Norwegian who admits to killing 77 people in a holy crusade against Islam and multiculturalism. Breivik brandished the Knights Templar symbols in his "manifesto" and YouTube video posted shortly before his bloody rampage.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
U.S. Marine Fighter Squadron Switches to Same "Crusader" Logo
Used by Norwegian Terrorist Anders Breivik
"Crusader" Mentality Shared by U.S. Military, Norwegian Extremist
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – Does the U.S. Military think it's engaged in a holy war? The constitutionalist watchdogs at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are asking this question following the recent decision to rename Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122) the "Crusaders" and adopt the red cross of the medieval Knights Templar.
As the dust in Afghanistan settles following weeks of violence resulting from the burning of the Qu'ran at Bagram Air Base, resulting in 30 dead and the death of six Americans, the decision to rechristen the jet fighter squadron as Crusaders threatens to reignite passions across the Muslim world. Meanwhile, the same red cross was heavily utilized in the video "manifesto" of Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who claims to have carried out his gruesome attacks for the sake of advancing a "crusade" against multiculturalism and European Muslims. Breivik, who is currently standing trial for his gruesome attacks that claimed the lives of 77 people, claims allegiance to a network called the "Knights Templar" and has stated that he aspires to a "crusader" mentality. The Knights Templar was a Christian military order that participated in bloody campaigns across the Middle East, wearing white uniforms emblazoned with a red cross.
This same red cross has now been re-adopted as the logo for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122. Confidential MRFF sources have confirmed that VMFA-122 F/A-18 Hornet jets have been repainted to reflect last month's name change. Base commanders have confirmed that the new artwork is identical to that shown in images from 2004 which have been uncovered online, which depict designs on the tails of the Hornets displaying a white teardrop-shaped medieval "kite shield" bearing the red Knights Templar cross against an Old Glory Blue backdrop. (continued below...)
Int'l Law Firm Jones Day Sends Removal Demand on MRFF's Behalf
Click to read demand letter
MRFF FEATURED BY HUFFINGTON POST
Marines Return to Being "Crusaders"
By Chris Rodda, MRFF Senior Research Director
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Click to read this article
MRFF BLASTS NRA DECISION TO FEATURE
ISLAMOPHOBIC LT. GEN. (RET.) WILLIAM BOYKIN
Second Amendment vs. First Amendment?
BOYKIN: "We need to realize that Islam itself is not just a
it is a totalitarian way of life… It should not be protected
under the First Amendment…"
MRFF Calls on Nat'l Rifle Association to Show Constitutional Consistency, Distance Itself From Dangerous Bigots Such as Boykin
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Selected Statement Excerpts:
- The NRA's decision to appoint Boykin as the keynote speaker for their annual convention's prayer breakfast on April 15th in St. Louis, MO is deeply troubling. Just this past January, MRFF and allies joined forces, applying firm pressure against Boykin's scheduled appearance at a similar event hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point. Then, as now, the scandalous invitation to such a notorious bigot touched off widespread public outrage. MRFF pressure eventually compelled the retired General to unceremoniously retreat from West Point.
- Boykin has a sad and sordid track-record of inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, attracting broad condemnation by military, faith, and elected leaders across the nation. In 2003, he drew instant criticism (including from then-President George W. Bush) for suggesting that the United States was waging a "spiritual battle" in the Middle East against "a guy called Satan" who "wants to destroy us as a Christian army."
- It strikes MRFF as paradoxical, if not outright hypocritical, that the NRA — an organization ostensibly devoted to protecting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — would endorse Boykin, who has on numerous occasions shown his outright hostility to the cherished rights to religious freedom assured by the same document. The retired Lt. General represents the lunatic fringe of fascistic, theocratic Christian-militarism (commonly referred to as fundamentalist or Dominionist Christianity), which sadly can be found within the ranks of the U.S. armed forces. Boykin is infamous for past statements proclaiming that while "every Muslim should be allowed to worship freely," "Islam itself is not just a religion – it is a totalitarian way of life," which he said "should not be protected under the First Amendment."
MAJOR MRFF VICTORY: One Day After MRFF Demand, Air Force Removes "Spiritual Responsibility" Content from Squadron Officer School Curriculum
Air Force Squadron Officer School's Required Curriculum Decreed Officers' "Spiritual Responsibility" to Attend Chapel
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
AIR FORCE TIMES - AF yanks document linking faith to leadership
MILITARY.COM – AF Pulls Religious Reading Requirement From Officer School
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Air Force Responds to MRFF Demands
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
MILITARY.COM - Watchdog Group Fights AF Policy Promoting Chapel Attendance
AIR FORCE TIMES - Capt.: Squadron coursework has chapel reference
MRFF, Via International Law Firm Jones Day, Demands Immediate Removal of Unconstitutional Content from SOS Document, Immediate Review of All Other SOS Materials
MRFF FEATURED BY RHODES REVIEW
Review: No Snowflake in an Avalanche – Mikey Weinstein
Click here to learn more about NO SNOWFLAKE IN AN AVALANCHE
"If you are concerned about the religious freedoms you have or don't have being taken away. If you are concerned with living under a theocratic government, or just want to see some of the darker acts going on within our military and government, then pick up this book, read it, and get involved. Our freedoms need to be protected, or we lose them, and no one wants to live in the world shown possible in this book.
4/19/12 RHODES REVIEW – Interview with Mikey Weinstein
4/16/12 WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL – In the Spirit: The dark side of 'Beautiful City'
4/13/12 REUTERS – Memorial crosses at California Marine Corps base ignite debate
4/12/12 SANTA FE RADIO CAFE – Mikey Weinstein with host Mary-Charlotte
4/11/12 COLORADO SPRINGS WEEKLY – Cracks in the code
4/6/12 RELIGION NEWS SERVICE – Praying for God to hurt someone is not illegal, judge rules
4/5/12 JEWISH HERALD-VOICE – Fighting for military religious freedom
4/2/12 ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL – Fighting a holy war in U.S. military
3/30/12 GOD DISCUSSION – After lengthy battle, military personnel and the public will Rock Beyond Belief at Fort Bragg this weekend
3/26/12 ST. LOUIS DISPATCH – Church-state issue once again to the fore
3/20/12 THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE – Mikey Weinstein on Fairness Radio with Chuck and Patrick
You can see the above stories, as well as
much more, at MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org
We at MRFF receive an enormous amount of email both from our supporters and our detractors. "MRFF's Inbox" allows us to share these emails with you. The following is a small sampling of the sometimes vibrant, sometimes vile correspondence which we've received within the past month:
FEATURED INBOX ENTRY
"Mikey, Having kept a close relationship with your family for years, I’ve also been a supporter of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) since its inception. As you know, I am a 200X USAF Academy grad and an F-XX fighter pilot, having served X combat tours in XXXXXX. During my X years as a commissioned officer in the AF, I have witnessed the egregious and flagrant disrespect of our Constitution and the essence of military service by officers/leaders of all ranks. However, I can say that most of my encounters with religious intolerance and unlawful proselytizing have been as a spectator. And while I am not coming to you as a client with a specific injustice forced upon me, I would like to share a recent (and likely ongoing) experience. I am currently TDY to Squadron Officers School (SOS) at Maxwell AFB, AL. The academic environment of the school allows for free exchange of ideas between students and instructors in a non-retributional setting..." (click here to read more)
Jeremy Hall case
Nail You Next Time weinshit
Would Have Been Better if You Were Never Born (and responses)
Heartfelt thanks to the MRFF community
"This Beautiful City"
A Soldiers Story
Seeking Help From The MRFF
NORTH CAROLINA PRAYER IN THE NAME OF JESUS
Click here to read the many more emails which MRFF
has received in the MRFF Inbox!
MRFF Needs Your Constant Vigilance to Uncover
Unconstitutional Religious Incursions in the Military
The constitutional violations occurring in our military are so numerous and widespread
that we can't possibly find all of them ourselves. MRFF counts on its supporters and volunteers --
the indispensable "eyes and ears" who alert us to everything from the most egregious of constitutional
violations to articles we might be interested in.
So, keep the emails coming, and never think that anything is too insignificant or assume
that we might already know about it. You never know -- you might have stumbled into the
of a story and not even realize it.
Please report anything that may be of concern to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Generous Support Allows us to Continue our Fight in the Courts and in the Media
The media outlets referenced in the links above have no affiliation with the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor have expressed endorsement thereof.
While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation
remain available for you to access,
we are unable to guarantee that the articles linked
above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely