MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org

Fighting for our servicemembers' rights, so they can fight for ours.


PRESS RELEASE

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Contact Bekki Miller | (337) 356 - 8696 [email protected]


MRFF VICTORY!
CHRISTIAN CALENDAR REMOVED AT OHIO's WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB HOSPITAL

MRFF Commends Ohio's Wright-Patterson AFB 88th Medical Group for Their Respectful & Expeditious Response to MRFF's Demand to Remove the Christian Calendar on Display at the Check-In Desk in Medicine Clinic B of Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital

Mikey Weinstein's Statement:

Within 2 and a half hours after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) informed Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital in Ohio that MRFF had received complaints from multiple clients pertaining to a Christian calendar being on display at the check-in desk in Medicine Clinic B, the hospital leadership took MRFF's requested corrective action of removing the Christian-themed calendar.

MRFF was representing 23 clients on this matter of the Christian calendar at Wright-Patterson AFB, comprised of Air Force officers, enlisted, and civilian personnel as well as veterans. 16 are non-Christians (including Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, practitioners) and 7 are Catholic or Protestant.

Due to the base's previous unconstitutional transgressions over the years *(see links below), MRFF's lead client came to MRFF for help in fear of reprisal.

We at MRFF commend the leadership of the 88th Medical Group and staff for their constitutionally-required action in upholding the constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state in the military which MRFF fights to uphold on a daily basis.

**Email from MRFF's lead client bringing the Christian calendar at Wright-Patterson AFB hospital's Medicine Clinic B's check-in desk to MRFF's attention:

From: MRFF lead client
Subject: Christian Calendar on Public Display at WPAFB Base Hospital
Date: November 5, 2016 at 6:42:55 AM MDT
To: Mikey

My dearest, Mikey, greetings! It's been a while since our last communication. I hope this email finds you doing well. [...]

Just this past week, while my wife and I visited a clinic (Medicine Clinic "B") in the base hospital, I came across this rolodex-style calendar at the check-in desk [...]--on full display to the public. I flipped through different dates to confirm that it was indeed a Christian calendar. I discovered many other quotations with references to Jesus and Christianity. Whoever put it there, clearly has the intention to keep it there for the long-term.

Knowing the previous history at this base, I did not raise the issue to the SSgt at the desk, or his leadership; it would only inflame people's passions and cause a public disturbance. As far as I'm concerned, I have no obligation to let the chain of command handle this issue as wing leadership has been instructed on the proper conduct in the very recent past. And, it is apparent that there is/was no leadership follow-through to the subordinates to ensure these kinds of displays aren't sanctioned. I might be able to give them a "hall pass" if this was on someone's office desk. But even my wife, who has no previous affiliation with the military, questioned its existence there. This particular quote is ironic, as it advocates the opposite of separation of church and state.

[...] I know you're extremely busy. However, it seems to me that this new leadership needs a modicum of re-education early enough in their tenure to have a lasting difference...

For the record, I'm a (military affiliation withheld), and current (position withheld) at WPAFB. I fear that bringing this forward myself through official channels would subject me to retaliation.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. [...]

**Non-relevant information in email removed by editor.

 

Email from Master Sergeant xxxx confirming the removal of the Christian calendar after Mikey's phone call demand:

From: "xxxx MSgt USAF AFMC 88 MDG/SGE"
Date: November 7, 2016 at 10:26:33 AM MST
To: Mikey
Subject: RE: AFI 1-1

Good afternoon,

Here at the 88th Medical Group, we do not endorse or disapprove of, or extend preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for enabling us the opportunity to address it. The calendar has been removed from the section, and is out of patient view. Please feel free to address any other concerns or questions you may have. Have a wonderful day.

V/R,

xxxx, MSgt, USAF
Executive Assistant, 88 MDG CC/CD
88th Medical Group/SGE
88 MDG/CCE
Comm: xxx-xxx-xxxx
DSN: xxx-xxxx

 

Email from Mikey commending Master Sergeant xxxx for the 88th Medical Group's prompt action in removing the Christian calender from Wright-Patterson AFB hospital's Medicine Clinic B's check-in desk:

From: Mikey
Subject: Re: AFI 1-1
Date: November 7, 2016 at 10:32:45 AM MST
To: xxxx MSgt USAF AFMC 88 MDG/SGE

Thank you very much for your prompt attention to fixing this matter Master Sergeant xxxx.... Mikey Weinstein

Email From MRFF's Lead Client Thanking MRFF for its Expeditious Action Toward Removing the Christian Calendar From Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital's
Medicine Clinic B's check-in desk:

From: MRFF's lead client
Date: November 7, 2016 at 2:55:04 PM MST
To: Mikey
Subject: Thank You

Dear MRFF:

I wanted to close the loop with you and thank you for your quick involvement in an issue I raised recently, which was of an unconstitutional display of a Christian calendar on full public display at the Wright-Patterson AFB hospital. This calendar was specifically sectarian and had many quotations referencing Jesus and Christianity.

Within 30 minutes of my initial email to him early Saturday morning, Mikey responded and reached out to me. His actions on Monday morning were equally swift. The Medical Group responded and removed the offending calendar by lunch time on the same day.

To young enlisted & officers everywhere, as a (military affiliation withheld), I understand the unique circumstances imposed by the military and the rigid structural adherence to the chain of command. However, you should never feel you are powerless when your basic civil liberties are being trampled on by commanders, leaders, and co-workers at all levels. When the chain of command is impotent to solve a problem (or worse chooses to ignore it), the MRFF are there to protect you. They get results—they are the guardian of your First Amendment rights!

*Links to Wright-Patterson AFB's Past Unconstitutional Transgressions

4/8/16 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB REMOVES BIBLE FROM POW/MIA TABLE

4/17/15 - MIKEY’s OP-ED – Air Force Base Names Homophobic, Anti-Semitic Chaplain as ‘Officer of the Year’

7/18/08 - Religious intolerance at Wright Patt?