9/28/13. Lawsuit targets atheist’s influence with Pentagon. Bob Unruh, wnd.com
An anti-Christian activist who has such a close relationship with the Pentagon he had a piece of artwork removed from an Air Force base within 56 minutes of calling is now under scrutiny by a team of legal experts.
The non-profit government-accountability group Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act suit in federal court in Washington seeking all records in the Department of Defense regarding conversations with Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder Mikey Weinstein.
Weinstein is well known for comparing evangelical Christians to al-Qaida and demanding the courts martial of Christian chaplains.
Further, he recently convinced the Air Force to remove a copy of a famous essay from a chaplain’s section of the website for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. It was a copy of the famed World War II essay “No atheists in foxholes: Chaplains gave all in World War II.”
He did, however, taste defeat shortly later when the military re-posted the essay, determining it was within a chaplain’s rights to express his faith.
Weinstein forced the removal of an inspirational piece of artwork at Idaho’s Mountain Home Air Force Base.
Chris Rodda of Weinstein’s organization, MRFF, reported: “Mikey immediately called the Pentagon because, you know, he can do that (to the obvious consternation of the folks at breitbart.com, certain members of Congress, and other modern-day Christian crusaders). Fifty-six minutes after his call to the Pentagon, the image of the crusader, with its odious melding of the crusader flag with the American flag, had been removed from the dining hall.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says the American public needs to know just what is going on between the Department of Defense and Weinstein.
“The American people deserve to know the full truth about just how close the relationship is between anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein and the Obama Department of Defense,” he said. “There is increasing intolerance for the First Amendment rights of traditional Christians in today’s military.”
The legal action requests “all records and communications” between the two sides.
Judicial Watch documented already that on May 23, Weinstein met with a team of top Pentagon officials, including the Air Force judge advocate general, to talk about his worries over religious issues in the military.
The Pentagon at the time claimed it was a one-time meeting, but Breitbart reported that the DoD had been meeting with Weinstein as early as March 1, 2009, at the beginning of President Obama’s first term.
Further, the New York Times said Weinstein met with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwarz on Feb. 24, 2009.
According to Judicial Watch: “Weinstein has a long history of opposing the exercise of religious liberty in the military, including, according to the New York Times, ‘official military retreats at off-base churches, the appearance of uniformed officers at religious events, displays of crucifixes at military chapels in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the practice of ‘dipping’ the American flag at the altar of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., among others.’”
The organization reported that the Huffington Post was claiming: “The Pentagon Most Certainly is Listening to Mikey Weinstein.”
Other organizations also have noted Weinstein’s actions involving the Pentagon.
Litigation Counsel Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom noted when Weinstein was complaining about the World War II poem: “Chaplains have the freedom and obligation to speak about faith and religious values, and this freedom should not be censored or prohibited. The Air Force should be commended for recognizing this and returning Chaplain Reyes’ essay to the ‘Chaplains Corner’ portion of his base’s website.”
Weinstein, meanwhile, has insisted chaplains should be severely restricted.
“Chaplains have no safe harbor. They are military officers, and around 30 to 40 percent of them believe their job is to get soldiers into the kingdom, and they view the military as a mission field,” Weinstein has said.