Message From MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein
Greetings, valued supporters,
As many of you are no doubt aware, on September 11 a tragedy befell our nation. The U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was subject to an unprecedented, withering assault that claimed the lives of four Americans. This news came as a horrible shock to us all, especially when details emerged of the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. In the hours that ensued, however, we soon realized that this incident quite literally struck us in our very core. One of the four victims was our dearest brother and most valued Advisory Board member, Glen Doherty. As you will learn in the articles below, Glen was a close friend and pivotal member of our central MRFF leadership. Since learning of his passing, our foundation has been completely enshrouded in a period of deep mourning and reflection; Glen's absence leaves a void that will forever be impossible to fill. It came as no surprise to us that Glen died just as he lived: a fighter, passionately devoted to carrying out his duties, whose every last ounce of strength was expended towards the protection of the remaining ambassadorial staff in Benghazi.
It's become abundantly clear that the attacks were the result of meticulous planning by Al Qaeda's Libyan affiliates, fanatical Salafi-Jihadists from Ansar al-Sharia ("Partisans of Sharia"). However, even they were likely surprised by the fact that their murderous assault coincided with worldwide protests against a 14-minute trailer for a "film" dubbed "Innocence of Muslims." This amateurish piece of garbage was a stupefyingly obnoxious, unspeakably heinous, and wretchedly perverse
libel against the faith of Islam and the dignity of 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide. Such a film would have provoked a visceral reaction from Glen, just as it should disgust all honest proponents of religious liberty. The film neatly fits into the ongoing efforts of both the Christian and Muslim fundamentalist extremists, each of whom are hell-bent on using all means available to advance their "war of civilizations" rather than a dialogue based on mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding.
Such a corrupted approach is clearly what motivates troops to continue bearing implements of death inscribed with New Testament biblical "codes" such as John 8:12, which reads: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life". According to one MRFF client, a Muslim-American who served in Afghanistan, senior officers instructed servicemembers that the citations transformed their rifles into "'spiritually transformed... Fire Arm[s] of Jesus Christ' [meant[ to kill every 'haji' we could find with it.'' The failure to follow-through on the removal of these New Testament biblical codes is an absolute outrage on the part of the Pentagon that is indicative of an overall seditious attitude vis-a-vis its relations with the broader Muslim world and this nation's governing document; the United States Constitution.
The misuse of our rights and privileges toward the purposes of oppressing and grievously offending others goes against the very spirit of our United States Constitution. September marks the 225th anniversary of this living document, the supreme law of our land. Such an auspicious occasion calls for the redoubling of efforts to defend the remaining safeguards of our liberties contained therein. Chiefly among these liberties is the freedom from top-down, state-sanctioned religious coercion. The continued separation of church and state is the thin red line preventing our republic from devolving into a superstitious theocracy obsessed with fulfilling prophetic "End Times" eschatology. In this spirit, please consider joining the Constitution Society, our brave league of stalwarts whose monthly recurring donations allow us to continue fighting to defend our democratic freedoms.
You can make a difference in this fight as a supporter of our cause and our four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominated organization. Glen Doherty may have left us, but the foundation that he helped to build will continue to live on and wage the struggles that Glen personally undertook when he challenged the pervasive evangelical fundamentalist cancer spreading rapidly within the U.S. Military. As the great Martin Luther King, Jr. famously wrote from his prison cell in racist, 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, "the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be." We have chosen an "extremism," no doubt, but our extremism is comprised of a militant defense of our civil and constitutional rights, an extremist devotion to interfaith/nonfaith harmony. It's an arduous task, no doubt, but a noble one requiring constant sacrifices both large and small. Our ongoing leadership in this important cause is simply not possible without your support. Waging this war with a minimal staff, our commitment to this struggle means that we never turn away those who need our help.
As long as MRFF exists, the bible-thumping bigots will face an unceasing and persistent exposure of their obscene anti-constitutional efforts. Please make your fully tax-deductible donation today!
Your Eternal Ally,
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Founder & President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Glen Doherty, Dedicated MRFF Advisory Board Member
and former Navy SEAL, Killed in Libya Consulate Attack
Thursday, September 13, 2012
With enormous sadness, it is our regrettable duty to report the loss of active MRFF Advisory Board Member Glen Doherty, a victim of the terrible September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The attack also claimed the life of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. As a highly decorated former Navy SEAL and veteran of innumerable fierce battles, Glen’s love of life was only outscaled by his fearlessness, his indomitable willpower, and his unbending sense of duty. For Glen Doherty, combating the unconstitutional religious proselytizing within the U.S. military was simply a matter of fulfilling his sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In his capacity as one of the longest-serving core contributors to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Glen initiated and fulfilled his tasks with enormous verve and unflagging enthusiasm. With great interest and a near-clairvoyant ability to forecast threats, challenges, and trends, Glen helped steer the foundation towards some of its most sterling triumphs.
Indeed, Glen was a brother, a dear family friend, and a trusted colleague of inestimable worth. All who knew him were positively affected by his larger-than-life charisma and dynamism. His tragic absence is already being sorely felt, but the radiance he exuded will ensure that our memory of his deeds will never dim. Indeed, Glen’s indelible contributions to our shared cause will long outlive his tragically shortened life.
MRFF FEATURED BY NBC NEWS
No fix for ‘Jesus rifles’ deploying to Afghanistan
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Selected Article Excerpts:
- When the so-called "Jesus rifle" came to light in Jan. 2010, it sparked constitutional and security concerns, and a maelstrom of media coverage. The Pentagon ordered the removal of the secret code referring to Bible passages that the manufacturer had inscribed on the scopes of the standard issue rifles carried by U.S. soldiers into battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Nearly three years later, however, the code remains on many rifles deploying to Afghanistan, which some soldiers argue is endangering their lives by reinforcing suspicions that the United States is waging a crusade against Muslims.
- "I honestly believe that this is a dangerous situation. It literally could be a matter of life and death for a soldier if he fell into the wrong hands," said an Army officer who spoke to NBC News from Fort Hood, Texas. "The fact that combatant commanders are not following (rules set by Department of Defense) commanders is very disturbing to me."
- The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit group that aggressively pursues the separation of church and state in defense institutions, first flagged the issue in late 2009 after receiving scores of complaints from active duty military members.
- "It’s constitutionally noxious," said foundation president Mikey Weinstein. "It’s an embarrassment and makes us look exactly like the tenth incarnation of the crusades which launches 8 million new jihadist recruiting videos."
- Contacted by NBC News, scope-maker Trijicon directed calls to the head of sales and marketing Tom Munson, who relayed the message through his secretary that "he had no interest" in discussing the Jesus rifle.
BACKGROUND ON "JESUS RIFLES" SCANDAL
"Nothing in my first 2 deployments prepared me for what happened with the Trijicon ACOG gun sights during my 3rd deployment to Afghanistan... . A very senior NCO was yelling at us which is not that unusual. He asked a private what it was that he (the private) was holding in his hand and the private said it was his 'weapon' several times to which the senior NCO replied 'and what ELSE is it'? FInally, the senior NCO said that the private's rifle was also something else; that because of the biblical quote on the ACOG gunsight it had been 'spiritually transformed into the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ' and that we would be expected to kill every 'haji' we could find with it....." - MRFF Client, name/rank withheld
MRFF FEATURED BY FOX NEWS
Mikey Weinstein discusses Glen Doherty on "Justice with Judge Jeanine"
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Mikey discusses dear friend and MRFF Advisory Board member who was killed in Libyan armed assault amidst protests of the mysterious Islamophobic film, "Innocence of Muslims."
MAJOR MRFF VICTORY GETS TOP BRASS NOD,
AIR FORCE TIMES FEATURE
Passion for religion is great, but preaching at work is against rules
Monday, August 27, 2012
by Robert F. Dorr, esteemed author and retired diplomat
"…as officials confirmed for me — it was mostly because of Weinstein’s in-your-face activism that Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11, came into existence…"
RELIGION DISPATCHES FEATURES PROFILE OF MRFF
Not God’s Army: The Front Lines of the Fight
Proselytizing in the U.S. Military
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Selected Article Excerpts:
- Weinstein, whose work with the MRFF was nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize, has been fighting for religious freedom within the military since 2005, when his son Curtis, an Air Force Academy cadet, confided to his father that he’d been struggling. [...] Weinstein knew the anguish of his son firsthand, having been threatened and harassed himself over his religion back in 1973 while he himself was a cadet at the Academy.
- He founded the MRFF to defend the religious liberty of every service member, fighting not only against anti-Semitism, but to protect who have felt pressured to accept a radical form of Christianity—and to find justice for those who have been assaulted or marginalized within the ranks for resisting the proselytizing.
- Frederick Douglass once said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand." We at MRFF are the demanders of the commanders. We are the voice of the members of the military who are not allowed to speak.
- We’ve had people beaten, denigrated, families and careers ruined. Our clients are being told they are not Christian enough. It’s a porridge of horrors. When you’re told you have the wrong religious faith—the military is very tribal and ritualistic. It’s a different environment.
- There are over two dozen parachurch organizations that run rampant through the military. One of them is the Officer’s Christian Fellowship. It has about 15,000 officers of many ranks, some of them generals and admirals. Their purpose is to have Christian officers exercising biblical leadership to raise up a godly military. Their three goals are to spiritually transform the U.S. military with ambassadors for Christ in uniform empowered by the Holy Spirit. Their chief Bible study that they push on their helpless subordinates is "we will not allow the opposition, all of which is spearheaded by Satan, to thwart or prevent us from regaining territory for Jesus Christ and the U.S. military."
- Father Mulcahey from MASH is dead and buried. For most of the chaplaincy, their role in the military is a mission field where they are going out for low hanging fruit that’s fertile for conversion to their version of Christianity. The military environment, particularly at the academy, is adversarial, communal, ritualistic and very tribal. If you don’t conform to the way everybody else is, that will get you killed.
MRFF FEATURED BY
THE DAILY BEAST
Right Wing Islam Obsession at the Values Voter Summit
Saturday, September 15, 2012
by Michelle Goldberg, The Daily Beast
Selected Article Excerpts:
- Kamal Saleem, one of the most enthusiastically received speakers at the Values Voter Summit, claims that before finding Jesus Christ he was a jihadist who worked for Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi, among others.
- Saleem is a fairly preposterous figure whose claims have been discredited numerous times. Writing in Christianity Today’s Books & Culture magazine, Douglas Howard, a professor of Middle Eastern history at the evangelical Calvin College, concluded that he’s a fraud and his book’s distortions are "bizarre." (In response, Saleem told me that Howard is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.)
- There is a grotesque irony in the way speakers at the Values Voter Summit kept invoking the deaths of the four American officials in Libya to argue that the United States needs to adopt a more belligerent stance toward Muslims… From these speeches, one would never know that at least two of the dead were deeply devoted to fighting the sort of politics that the Values Voter Summit represents.
- Former Navy Seal Glen Doherty, meanwhile, was on the advisory board to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that fights Christian fundamentalism in the armed forces.
- "If he knew that his name and his death was being used this way, he would find it beyond his ability to show contempt," says Mikey Weinstein, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s founder and a close friend of Doherty. Doherty, who served in Iraq and worked as a security contractor in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, was under no illusions about the danger of radical Islam, but he hated the way right-wing Christians, particularly those in the military, promoted Islamophobia. Weinstein never knew how Doherty voted, but he recalls him saying, "Mikey, all I can tell you is this type of religious supremacy has no place in the profession of arms."
MIKEY WEINSTEIN COLUMN FEATURED BY ALTERNET & TRUTHOUT
"Values" Voter Summit: Of Train Wrecks and Frankenstein’s Monsters
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
by Mikey Weinstein, MRFF Founder and President
Editors’ Note (Truthout): MRFF Founder and Truthout Advisory Board member Mikey Weinstein learned Wednesday night [after submitting the article for publication -- MRFF] that one of the American embassy staffers killed in Libya Tuesday, September 11, 2012, along with U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was active MRFF Advisory Board Member Glen Doherty. Glen was a former highly decorated Navy SEAL and close friend of the Weinsteins and the entire MRFF Family.
Selected Article Excerpt:
- …Boykin rounds out the Family Research Council’s relentless Islamophobic witch-hunt with his own John Rambo-esque war against domestic Muslims, whom he feels are intent to "destroy us as a Christian Army." It’s no exaggeration to say that an evangelical fundamentalist Christian zeal that mirrors Al Qaeda’s Salafist-Jihadi fanaticism quite positively possesses Boykin….
- The sickness wrought by the Islamophobia espoused by Boykin, Saleem, and that viper’s nest of high-octane bigotry known as the Family Research Council has manifested itself in hideous incidents such as March’s brutal murder in Southern California of Iraqi mother of five Shaima Alawadi, and August’s mass-shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.
- NOTE: As this Op-Ed goes to press, the world has been shaken by news that on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed in Benghazi along with three American staffers in a Salafist-led attack on the U.S. Embassy. Salafist demonstrators also attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, whereupon the U.S. flag was torn down, burned, and replaced by the black Al Qaeda flag. While details on the motivations behind the attack are still emerging, it appears that a horrendous hate-speech film allegedly launched by Israeli-American Sam Bacile and promoted by Qu’ran-burning fundamentalist Pastor Terry Jones sparked the attacks. The film is a mocking and inciting depiction of the life of the Prophet Mohammad that torturously, deceptively, and ignominiously attempts to tie the origins of Islam to themes of homosexuality and pedophilia, and a call to arms for Christian-Zionist proponents of an apocalyptic "Clash of Civilizations." Some have even suggested that the film was produced by a shady circle of exclusively evangelical Christians, hell-bent on intentionally feeding the flames of sectarian madness in the region.We at MRFF absolutely condemn this provocation by Bacile and Jones, and have in the past directly confronted the hate-mongering Pastor by communicating with the Afghan National Army (ANA) and offering to donate a new Qu’ran to replace every copy of the Muslim holy book that Jones burned . The repellant film and ensuing mayhem in North Africa make absolutely clear the fact that, in the words of retired ambassador Chas W. Freeman, "It turns out that all that is required to be hated is to do hateful things. Ironically, as we ‘search abroad for monsters to destroy,’ we are creating them – transforming our foreign detractors into terrorists, multiplying their numbers, intensifying their militancy, and fortifying their hatred of us." All Americans should condemn the fully-fledged national security threat that this vile strain of Islamophobic stupidity represents. Radical, fundamentalist Islam is a clear and present danger that must be fought and defeated in the name of basic human rights. However, its adherents are a distinct minority within the broader mosaic that constitutes Islam. It is of the utmost importance that we assiduously look inward and examine our nation’s own actions vis-a-vis the venerable Muslim faith and its nearly 2 billion followers as a means to ensure that we are not purposefully or inadvertently creating and amplifying the Frankenstein’s monsters who are assailing us.
Click to read article at Truthout
Click to read article at Alternet
VOICES UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
75 concerts in 69 cities, 50 states, and the District of Columbia,
with more to be announced soon!
Monday, August 27, 2012
Music can be a powerful driver of social change and a way to rally like-minded people to an important cause.
This production will help raise funds for Americans United, a uniquely valuable and effective organization. It is essential for AU to keep doing what it does best: represent in court persons who are targets of religious oppression by government officials, stand up for individual freedom in Congress and the state legislatures and speak out in the media and other public forums.
9/27/12 ASIA TIMES ONLINE - Boykinism: Joe McCarthy would understand
9/27/12 TALK2ACTION – U.S. Military Still Using "Jesus rifles" in Afghanistan
9/21/12 VIDEO – NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS (PBS) FEATURES MRFF – Mikey Weinstein discusses Glen Doherty
9/19/12 COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT - AFA survey attracts few (4th story down)
9/18/12 BACKGROUND BRIEFING WITH IAN MASTERS (KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles) – Mikey Weinstein, Friend and Colleague,
Remembers Slain SEAL Glen Doherty
9/16/12 DALLAS MORNING NEWS – ‘Curse prayer’ battle between lawyer, chaplain begins new chapter
9/15/12 THE DAILY BEAST – Right Wing Islam Obsession at the Values Voter Summit
9/14/12 VIDEO – KOB 4 EYEWITNESS NEWS – Consulate attack victim has ties to New Mexico
8/30/12 VOICE OF RUSSIA – Discussion with Mikey Weinstein: Implications of Corpse Urination and Quran Burning Punishments
8/24/12 MRFF PRESS RELEASE - Religion test administered at U.S. Military Academy at West Point a Clear Constitutional Violation
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 ENTRIES
pray the Psalm 109 to our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus to mightily shorten the days of life for the evil children and the wicked wife of the demon mickey wienstien. Who worships mulsims and homos, abortions and satan and money. But pray that Jesus keeps the demon mickey living for many years. so that he brutaly suffers the loss of his brood and spawn all the days of his life. as he makes the saved children of the Lord Jesus suffer. By taking Christianity and The Word away from our army and our nation of Christians. Pray the Psalm 109. (name withheld)
I would like to express my disgust with recent comments made by Mikey Weinstein regarding the internet video posted by MG Umbarger. Here we have a senior Army leader who, for all intensive purposes, is simply trying to help Soldiers. So what do groups like yours do? They litigate, persecute, and seek to crucify men like the general for doing nothing more than caring. Mr. Weinstein’s "opinion" on the general being court martialed is noted. In MY opinion, Mikey should be thrown in jail and have his life ruined... (continued, click here to read)
Dear (name withheld),
I’m Rick Baker, DRMVM, (Director of Responding to Misguided and Vindictive Mail) for MRFF. Kidding aside, Mikey is tied up right now seeing to his wife’s illness, caused, as her doctors say, by fear of her life and her family’s well being as a result of continuing threats by Dominionist Christian individuals and organizations. If the term "Dominion Christian" is unfamiliar to you, just Google it for the sordid definition. I hope you don’t mind me sitting in for him. Dominion Christianity had become a mainstay of many military training bases and service academies with The US Air Force Academy and West Point among the most affected... (continued, click here to read)
Attn: Mikey Weinstein
grief at the loss of Glen Doherty
worth the time
Air Force Times article
Keep it up everyone!
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
NO SNOWFLAKE IN AN AVALANCHE: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, its Battle to Defend the Constitution, and One Family's Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places (Vireo, 2012)
By Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein and Davin Seay
Click here to learn more
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
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