The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) Readies Federal Lawsuit against the Department of Defense for Countless Constitutional Violations
Fighting the Military Religious Complex is not for sissies. Without Michael " Mikey" Weinstein’s fearless effrontery to the rabid religious right, protesters would still be treated like poor cousins camped out on the stoop, ringing the buzzer and being ignored. Singlehandedly, he has elevated the issue’s visibility and expanded the playing field when he discovered, to his military-history chagrin, an unconstitutional infiltration of the entire U.S. armed forces by believers of “dominionist Christianity,” who reserve the right to either convert or destroy anyone, including American soldiers, who don’t believe in a “weaponized Gospel of Jesus Christ” and use all of our tax money to do it.
Held at bay in many other branches of government, Weinstein finds the dominionists are given full sway in the military.
Without any polite varnish, Weinstein warns that self-serving theocrats are trying to banish the Constitution and our invaluable system of checks and balances from the public arena, and that their vile machinations only serve to disable Americans as we all try to confront the enormous problems that threaten our future. Mikey himself endures constant grotesque threats not only to himself, but to his home and family, as well. Distorting through fear and falsehoods, Weinstein counteracts with a stubborn faith that reason and recourse to the laws of the land will ultimately prevail.
Los Angeles,Ca ... The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)* http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org founded by Michael Weinstein intends to file a comprehensively penetrating Federal lawsuit against the Department of Defense for the likely countless Constitutional violations that are being borne out of a travesty of illicit unconstitutional outrages being eagerly perpetrated by the Pentagon leadership.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein states: “The participation of the United States Air Force and United States Army in a blatantly fundamentalist, evangelizing Christian conversion spectacle represents a veritable unparalleled rape of the U.S. Constitution to which all members of the American military swear an oath to protect, preserve, support and defend. The sick irony of the central cause of this intended Federal litigation being the tortured and twisted blending of fundamentalist, dominionist Christianity with the foundational missions of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army as lickspittle supplicants in purported "celebration of Memorial Day" is simply unfathomably heinous! Indeed, the noble legacy of the legions of America's honored military dead, as specifically celebrated on our annual National Memorial Day, is their selfless, ultimate sacrifice in support of the U.S. Constitution and NOT the denigration of its bedrock principles of separation of church and state or “supernatural and natural." This is an absolutely crystal clear example of the most pernicious religious predation by the U.S. military command structure and simply writing letters and making phone calls of protest appear to be as useless as a baseball bat in a football game. Such a tidal wave of unconstitutional activity is why MRFF has now officially renamed The Pentagon as "The Pentacostalgon” as the U.S. Department of Defense has been intentionally transformed into a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian "Faith-based Initiative."
Background of Lawsuit:
U.S. military participation in a three-day evangelical Christian gathering in Georgia violates the U.S. Constitution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In a May 23 letter to Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne and Acting Secretary of the Army Peter Geren, Americans United says the military should not endorse or promote a festival arranged by evangelical Christian groups at Stone Mountain Park.
The event is being hosted by Task Force Patriot USA, as well as LifeWay Christian Stores, the publishing house of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and Holman Bible Outreach International.
According to Task Force Patriot USA’s Web site, the organization exists “for the purpose of sharing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ with all U.S. military, military veterans and families,” and “Christ is our Commander-in-Chief.” The group’s logo is a shield centered with a Christian cross with its sides bracketed by an American flag and Christian flag.
The May 26-28 event at Stone Mountain Park is billed as a “Salute To The Troops, Memorial Day Celebration,” but the program includes a Christian worship service and heavy emphasis on evangelical outreach.
The event will feature hourly flyovers by Air Force Jets, including B-2 stealth bombers, parachute jumps by the U.S. Army’s Silver Wings Parachute Jump Team and speeches from top military and former military officials and evangelical Christian preachers, including the former SBC president, Bobby Welch.
An events schedule from Task Force Patriot USA’s Web site lists as speakers military officials, such as U.S. Air Force Major Brian “Jethro” Neal, a B-2 pilot, who is to give his personal “testimony” during a worship service that is to feature a B-2 flyover.
Additionally, an official publication of the Air Force, from Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, states that “Task Force Patriot USA, LifeWay Christian Resources, GM, Stone Mountain Park, and the United States Air Force have joined together to create a three-day celebration …,” and that the event is “an official U.S. Air Force 60th Anniversary event.”
“There are legitimate ways to celebrate the Air Force’s 60th anniversary and to pay tribute to military personnel who bravely serve the nation, but this three-day religious extravaganza is certainly not one of them,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Instead, this event is a stunning display of the federal government using vast resources to trumpet a religious celebration.
“It is,” Lynn continued, “an over-the-top mixing of government and religion. Shouldn’t the military spend its resources on defending the country, not promoting evangelical Christianity?”
Lynn added, “Military personnel and veterans come from many religious traditions and no religion at all. So it is wholly disingenuous for the organizers of this evangelical Christian gathering to promote it as a salute to all our troops. It is anything but.”
Southern Baptist officials told the BPNews, an SBC publication, that special Bibles for military personnel would be disseminated at the gathering. Interspersed between the displays of military personnel and equipment will be religious speakers and leaders, such as Welch and evangelical Christian ministers Peter Marshall and Ken Hall.
Americans United’s letter urges the military officials to clarify and correct their involvement with the religious celebration.
“The Air Force and the Army have crossed the line here: A reasonable observer, upon examining the promotional materials, the Robins Air Force Base newspaper, and the current program schedule, could not help but believe that the Army and Air Force fully support and endorse the Christian substance of the celebration,” states AU’s letter. “If you allow events to unfold as they are now scheduled, the message of governmental endorsement and in turn, the constitutional violation will be clear.”
A Web site promoting Air Force events claims the Stone Mountain rally is to honor “ALL” military personnel and will include “military equipment displays,” military bands, and nightly color guard presentations. The Web site then describes several Air Force exhibitions at the event, which will include a trailer housing a miniature replica of the Air Force’s “newest fighter aircraft the F/A-22 Raptor,” and a replica of the F/A-22 mini jet. Additionally, the Web site notes that Air Force recruiters will be on hand to teach visitors “about life in the Air Force.”
The official Stone Mountain Park Web site also includes an events schedule for the three-day gathering. The celebration, according to the Web site, will commence early May 26 with a parachute jump by the Army’s Silver Wings Parachute team, which is based at Ft. Benning, Ga. U.S. Air Force Major Rob Light will also help kick off the festivities. The event schedule notes that the U.S. Air Force’s official musical band, called the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, will be on hand to provide repeated performances.
*The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is a recognized (501c-3) non-profit corporation that is dedicated to ensuring that all members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and related Constitutional provisions.
About Michael “Mikey” Weinstein
Michael “ Mikey” Weinstein is founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He is an attorney and businessman who served on active duty in the USAF as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for ten years and also spent three years as a White House counsel for President Ronald Reagan in the Executive Office of the President of the United States and was formerly General Counsel for H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife of thirty years.
Mikey’s family proudly served with three consecutive generations of military academy graduates and he has over 120 years of combined active duty military service in his immediate family which has been involved in every major combat engagement America has been in from World War 1 to the current so-called “ Global War on Terror.” Mikey’s youngest son, who will graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy on May 30th, 2007, is the 6th member of his family, including his eldest son and daughter-in-law, to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mikey, himself, is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the U.S, Air Force Academy and his father is a Distinguished Graduate from The U.S. Naval Academy’s Class of 1953.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is the author of
WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE
One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military
By Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay