“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” Teddy Roosevelt

What is the fundamentalist Christian version of the American Taliban up to in these heady days nearing November’s mid-term elections? The answer is a lot, an awful lot (with an emphasis on the word “awful”).

The lying, deceitful nature of fundamentalist Christian supremacy truly knows no bounds. This constitutionally derelict cabal isn’t even remotely content with having a massive media empire, a monolithic fundraising base, swelling and dominant hegemony within the ranks of the U.S. Armed Forces, and supreme political sway within civilian legislatures across the United States.  These dangerous dominionists have now set themselves towards rewriting American history in a manner that opportunistically advances their anti-Constitutional agenda. For those who’ve been following the advocacy of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), this isn’t necessarily breaking news. It has been the direct mission of MRFF to aggressively fight these fanatical Christian religious zealots and the perverse poison of their theocratic bigotry and prejudice at each and every opportunity provided.

And, my friends, a new one just materialized.

The misleadingly named “Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition (RMRF),” a lie-generating rats’ nest comprised of numerous Christian fundamentalist Taliban-style entities, has sponsored a billboard at the doorstep of the USAFA in Colorado Springs, CO. The billboard ridiculously implies that Air Force cadets are prohibited from practicing their faith at USAF – conveniently ignoring the deep-rooted Christian fundamentalist dominance extant throughout the Academy for many ignominious years (USAFA even has a house “gay cure” guru in their employ). The large-scale signage asks cadets, “Are you free to say so help me God? They did.” Set against the background of a photo of Mount Rushmore, the billboard constructs a wholly false equivalent between the core values of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the Constitutionally-prohibited religious activity within the government and military that they stood steadfastly against.

Obviously, and quite predictably, MRFF has responded to this very latest vile and dishonest attempt at historical revisionism by these fundamentalist Christian supremacist cretins. Our rebuttal has come in the form of our very own billboard posted on the direct FLIP SIDE of the RMRF signboard. Yes, as fortune would have it, the other side of the RMRF billboard just happened to be available. MRFF’s rebuttal billboard speaks for itself and clearly carries the day.

So, once again, what’s all this hue and cry about? Well, under withering MRFF pressure last October, the Academy made the phrase “So Help Me God” an optional component of its previously mandatory cadet honor oath. MRFF currently has 480 cadets, staff and clients at USAFA, 401 of whom self-identify as practicing Christians, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. It goes without saying that we would never abandon our clients when they risked their careers and personal well being to alert MRFF of what basically amounts to a blatantly unconstitutional religious test.

And of course, the cadets of USAFA are completely free to say “so help me God” if they so choose. Our issue is that this important decision should be THEIR clear choice; coercion, bullying, and force shouldn’t play a role in what they choose. But the dominionist Christian American Taliban was never very big on “choice”.

RMRF’s disgracefully repugnant historical fabrication that the Founding Fathers were all merry Christian supremacist theocrats flies in the face of literally all that we know about them, historically. These were genuinely and fiercely secular gentlemen of destiny. In the final analysis, Enlightenment Rationalism profoundly guided them in spite of their personal religious inclinations.

Just as an example: in May of 1778 at Valley Forge, then-General George Washington signed an officer’s oath that clearly made NO reference to “God.” Likewise, even the Continental Congress didn’t add the words “so help me God” to the officer’s oath (last November we also pointed out this irrefutable fact with a billboard). In accordance with the Constitution’s ‘no religious test’ clause (Article 6, Clause 3), neither did the first Congress under the Constitution in 1789. The fact is, innumerable sources show that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln took multiple oaths absolutely without any mention of “God,” or any deity whatsoever.

In short, the nefarious foundational purposes and goals of the fundamentalist Christian American Taliban, disingenuously whining and pitifully moaning about “oppression” and the “restriction” of their so-called “religious liberties”, have nothing in the least to do with legality, history, or even morality… nor can they make common cause with the slightest nuance of human decency and respect. Their false-flag screams of “Christian victimization” are merely borne of an inability to universally bully, harass, and oppress on a basis of searingly sectarian arrogance, prejudice and bigotry.

As long as these Christian fundamentalist oppressors continue their efforts to fully subvert and control the United States military as a force-multiplier for their weaponized, twisted version of Christianity, MRFF will be there to thwart their theocratic oppression. Indeed, MRFF will leave no stone unturned nor any billboard of lies unanswered.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy, and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Defense News named Mikey one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense. He is the author of “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

This guest Op-Ed from dear friend, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) Advisory Board member, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson, comes in light of an unprecedented Christian fundamentalist furor. This disingenuous hue and cry  surrounds our ongoing fight against dominionist hegemony at my alma mater, the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO, long a hotbed of nationalistic Christian supremacist extremism. Sadly, the scandal has reinforced the fact that many of the worst opponents of the U.S. Constitution are our elected representatives themselves… Mikey.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R, CO) has just penned a letter to the Superintendent of the US Air Force Academy, Lieutenant General Michele Johnson.  In the letter, the Congressman lectures the “Supe” in religious freedom and the U.S. Constitution.  It is quite clear from the letter that Congressman Lamborn knows extremely little about the Constitution, religious freedom, or the military.

The most egregious demonstration of abject ignorance of the military and the Constitution is this statement in Lamborn’s letter: “We are asking future officers to perhaps give even their very lives to protect and defend the Constitution and yet denying them rights from that same Constitution.”

Military personnel, particularly officers, surrender several Constitutional rights immediately upon becoming members of the armed forces.  For example, they cannot speak out politically; they cannot criticize publicly their chain of command—to include the President; they cannot vote in uniform and armed (I found that out in Columbus, Georgia—the hard way); they cannot promote religion to their subordinates; they cannot associate their uniform with a commercial enterprise; and so on.  Thus, every hour of the day we deny military members certain of their Constitutional rights.  It is an integral part of the civil-military relationship in America.

Compounding Lamborn’s error is this statement from his letter: “I am deeply concerned and outraged by recent news reports indicating that an Air Force Cadet was forced to remove a Bible verse from the whiteboard posted outside his room.  I was further troubled to learn that the apparent reason the Cadet in question had to remove this verse was due to the fact that he is in a position of  leadership. This suggests that a Cadet in a leadership role may have less religious freedom than Cadets in the rank and file.”

This statement is simply full of ignorance as well as illogic.  The “apparent reason”, as Lamborn terms it, is precisely accurate.  From a position of leadership, no military member may advocate a particular religion or absence thereof.  Moreover, this restriction on a military member is to promote religious freedom, not constrain it.  How can there be freedom of religion if people in power over others are allowed to appear—or actually to do so—to favor one religion over another, or no religion over religion?  The clear answer is, there can’t be.

Not content to be simply illogical and ignorant, the Congressman goes on to write: “those who pursue leadership positions should not be forced to sacrifice their religious freedom in order to lead.”

Of course such leaders are not sacrificing their religious freedom.  They are able to go to the church, synagogue, or mosque of their choice, or believe in no divine providence whatsoever; they are simply not allowed, by their position of power over others, to try to cause others to adhere to their beliefs or even subtly to influence them to do so.  This policy promotes religious freedom for everyone, it does not constrain it and it most certainly does not sacrifice it for anyone.

Congressman Lamborn then delivers the blow that is at the heart of his apparent angst: “I would also appreciate an explanation of the apparent influence the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has at the Air Force Academy in legal and media issues relating to decisions on Cadets’ religious practices over the past 5 years (sic). The MRFF is an organization that seems to detest religious expression of any faith, and has become so outlandish in its claims that it should simply be ignored.”

Now we detect the real reason for Lamborn’s outburst.  Like the other fundamentalist Christian sects—the so-called “Dominionists” lead the way in this regard—which are so up in arms over the MRFF because it supports religiously (no pun intended) the real and important heart of religious freedom—the separation at all times of church and state—Lamborn worries that MRFF might be too successful.

I hope in that respect he is absolutely correct.  It would be the only thing in his letter that is.

Col. (U.S. Army-retired) Lawrence Wilkerson is a professor of government and public policy at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He served 31 years in the U.S. Army, both in the enlisted and officer ranks.    

Jerry Boykin has a grotesque conception of Jesus Christ. Most (non-fundamentalist) Christians practice their faith in a manner that holds aloft the treasured values of love, peace, and good will towards their fellow humans. Boykin, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and current Executive Vice President of the ultra-right wing, fundamentalist Family Research Council (FRC), will have none of that. Instead, Boykin’s avatar is a ravenously militant and militaristic one — a deity of universal destruction, bloodshed, rabid bigotry and unadulterated hatred.

Speaking to the WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislators Conference last fall, Boykin staked this claim:

“The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ’cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword. And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

…And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.”

Jesus Christ or “Genghis” Christ?

It is absolutely critical to understand and fully internalize that Boykin is far from alone in his nightmarish conception of the Prince of Peace’s (mainstream) redeeming message. Indeed, the retired General’s forces are literally legion with some estimating that the number of adherents totals approximately 38 million people, i.e. about 12 percent of the American public. A multi-denominational grouping known as “dominionists”, these Christian extremists see themselves as a martyred and besieged demographic. They thrill to the imagined drama that they are surrounded on all sides by, among many other constituencies of Satan, 1) sodomites (the LGBT community); 2) hellbound cowards (any non-fundamentalist Christian, non-messianic Jew, or adherents of ANY other faith group or non-faith entity); 3) domestic jihadis (pretty much any breathing Muslim American or fetuses in the wombs of Muslim American women), all of whom advocate “shariah law”; 4) demonic ‘feminazis’ (women who will not merrily submit to male domination in all matters of consequence);  and, 4) godless commies (i.e. anyone who hasn’t manifestly absorbed Fox News’ talking points and/or isn’t  politically to the right of Ted Nugent).

In the tortured minds of these dominionists, it stands to reason that, being conveniently beset by divinely predicted enemies from all sides, they must defend themselves to the death by all means at their disposal, including armed force. But that’s not enough. As late dominionist preacher Earl Paulk stated, “Christ in us must take dominion over the earth… the next move of God cannot occur until Christ in us takes dominion.”

Want more? The über-jingoistic words of the recently deceased dominionist Poster Child, Rev. D. James Kennedy, speak volumes: “As the vice-regents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government… our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors—in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”

You see, my friends, Boykin’s words of wanton war aren’t simply the idle spoutings of some crotchety, eccentric, harmless ex-soldier. They’re a de facto fatwa being issued to “American Taliban” coreligionists to forthwith forge the “Kingdom of God” through bloody sectarian armed struggle, as their twisted, dominionist version of the New Testament demands. How “bloody,” you may inquire? You want the metrics? No one describes Boykin’s dominionist wet dream with more exactitude of revulsion than the “Ragin’ Prophet” Rod Parsley who is the spiritual leader of the enormous (5,200 seat) mega-cathedral in Columbus, Ohio known as the World Harvest Church, which boasts 10,000 weekly congregant attendees. Parsley minces no words when he promises his vast flock of fanatical fundamentalists that there will be a 200 mile long river, 4 and half feet deep, filled with nothing but the human blood of those poor souls whom the weaponized Jesus has slaughtered at the Battle of Armageddon. Parsley will then remind his followers, energetically engorged with this blood orgy promise, to “rejoice, for the worst is yet to come.”

For Boykin and his wretched ilk, Revelation 19 (“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war”) is the mantra that supersedes turning the other cheek, loving thy neighbor, and other sanguine gospel messages à la The Sermon on the Mount. Per Boykin’s instructions, all good Christians need to literally become “warriors for God’s kingdom.” And they need to do it right now!

Sound familiar? Anyone? Well, it’s right out of the infamous playbook of religious supremacy and exceptionalism writ large in the blood of innocents by such villains as al-Qaeda and Anders Behring Breivik.

The Top General in the Dominionist “Army of God”

Boykin was one of the original commanders of the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force unit, which was formed in the late ‘70’s. Boykin, then 29, apparently saw his induction into Delta as a continuation of his walk with God: “God led me into Delta Force, and He said to me, this is where you ought to be.” Boykin must have been referring to the God of “blood in fury” and the “consuming fire,” described in the Book of Ezekiel.

Following September 11, Boykin, at the time the Commanding General of the sprawling Fort Bragg, N.C. military facility, would preach that the United States was engaged in nothing less than an all-out holy war. In paid junkets financed by influential dominionist entities, Boykin would appear onstage in churches and other locations around the nation in his full Army uniform, pointing to posters of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and stating that “Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army… [they] will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus.” It was around this time that then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld successfully nominated Boykin for a third star, placing the dominionist fascist Boykin only one rank/grade below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

From 2002 to 2007, Boykin served on George W. Bush’s team as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in what Bush referred to as “this crusade, this war on terrorism.” It was in this lofty capacity at the highest levels of the Pentagon that Boykin became thoroughly convinced that the opponents of the U.S. were “satanic” and thus less-than-human. He became Rumsfeld’s point-man on the secretive program to restructure the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison along the lines of Guantánamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray, or in other words, to “Gitmoize” it. It was not long before Abu Ghraib became infamously plagued by horrifying reports of systemic human rights abuses. Query the role played there as a result of Boykin’s dehumanizing sectarian rhetoric of weapons-grade, inflammatory Islamophobia? After all, Boykin has made it publicly quite clear that he believes that Muslims in America do not deserve Constitutional First Amendment protections.

Commanding Officer in the Domestic Hate Lobby

Now retired from military life, Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the FRC, one of the leading anti-gay dominionist organizations in the United States and a designated Hate Group according to the venerable Southern Poverty Law Center. Birds of a bigoted feather flock together. Indeed, the FRC (which I always thought stood for “Fascist Rally Center”) is a truly vicious organization that has supported Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s “Kill the Gays” Bill (now the “Imprison-Gays-for-Life” Bill), as well as the anti-LGBT crackdown in Russia. The FRC also furiously supported Arizona’s defeated SB1062, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which basically would have fully legalized the civil “right” to practice atrocious forms of discrimination and prejudice against gay and lesbian residents.

I head-up a foundation that comprehensively clashes with Boykin on an all too frequent basis. We wage these fights on behalf of our 36,000-plus active duty and veteran clients within the U.S. military, 96% of whom are practicing Christians themselves, who’ve had their Constitutionally-guaranteed, religious rights and protections egregiously violated by unconstitutional mafiosi such as Boykin. As Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), I’ve even been the central subject of a scurrilous recent article entitled “One of the Most Dangerous Men in America,” published in the July/August 2013 edition of Decision Magazine, a flagship publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Ironically, the cover of that magazine featured a prominent photo of a coyly smiling Boykin himself juxtaposed with the incredibly duplicitous, deceitful and dishonest headline of “Religious Freedom Under Attack in our Armed Forces: Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin Warns of Efforts to Trample Liberty in the Military.” And, just so you know, this month’s issue proudly trumpets Russia’s anti-gay legislation and features Vladimir Putin on the cover.

Dominionist Christian Extremism: A Dire Threat

Without the slightest tacit nuance of hyperbole, one can easily assert that the militant, dominionist fanaticism of Christian fundamentalism which Boykin, and his ignominious swarms spew, mirrors the explicit extremism of the Salafi-Jihadist monsters who’ve torn the Middle East asunder. Indeed, the cruel and callous fundamentalist bigotry of Christian dominionists isn’t limited to gays and Muslims. On the contrary, it is aimed at all “blasphemers” in general, especially including other Christians whom Boykin and his fellow travelers disparagingly deem to not be “Christian enough.”

Americans who value their remaining Constitutional religious freedoms should rail against Boykin’s incitements to his vast flock to arm as for war. The dominionist “faith” is a frightening, contorted vision of theocratic tyranny dripping with unbridled hostility towards the bedrock rights and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The damnable dominionists such as Boykin, the FRC and their awful fundamentalist allies are not merely wolves in sheep’s’ clothing. They are wolves in wolves’ clothing.

Our American brothers and sisters must recognize the seething and barbarous danger wrought by this sectarian theocratic cabal before it becomes too late and it engulfs our precious freedoms rendering the rest of us impotent to resist its terrible tyranny.

We cannot merely request them to stop. We must demand it, and remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

The following letter was written by a client of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO:

I am Spartacus.

I am over 100 cadets strong at the USAF Academy.  I am also the seventh Spartacus in succession, covering more than six and a half years since first appearing within the AF Academy Cadet Wing in the summer of 2007.

We, of Spartacus, live a total lie every single day and night to survive here.

In our world here at the Air Force Academy, having the indispensable odor of a practicing, “all in”, committed Christian among our peers and superiors means being accepted as one of the pack.  With that “in” smell, no one bothers us, tries to convert us, questions our honor, our commitment to service, our motives—we are generally left to our own devices, studying, practicing, flying, athletics and marching.

Frequently, though, and to our disgust, we feel forced to embrace the odor; to “roll in it.”  If the odor fades, or we slip outside of the pack for too long and the alphas and betas sense that we are drifting, we are reined back in with a subtle sniff or bark or nip to make sure that we know our place.  If we question or run away or attempt to fight back, then the pack circles and strikes.  We’ve seen this happen to our friends and (mostly) to those outside our pack and it’s just not worth the risk.  The pack howls: “He doesn’t get it.  He can’t be one of our honorable pack.  She can’t be an alpha and lead us.  She can’t excel in THIS pack—not while we rule the pack.  Not while we’re the majority.”

Some cadets decide to fight, but that doesn’t last long.  They’re trouble makers.  They’re not team players.  They don’t have “character” or ethical standards.  They’re deviants.  We’ll remember them and keep them at bay.  “See, he doesn’t bow his head when WE pray.  She’s not one of us.”  Branded as outsiders, those who choose to remain may form a small group that meets in a basement.  They console themselves with stories of persecution, but they will remain outside the circles of power dictated by the larger pack.  They are constantly reminded, too, that they don’t have the right odor and that they can only be “saved” if they give in and clearly surrender to the pack’s standard of what Jesus is supposed to be. And, to the pack members, especially great rewards come to those that bring the errant cadets back to the pack.

We, of Spartacus, don’t fight, though.  Not yet.  We admire those who do, but our dream is to succeed and excel and prepare to serve once we escape the Academy’s South Gate entrance’s gravity permanently.  We deeply fear that word of our not belonging to the great pack (or even suspicion thereof) will follow us after the Thunderbirds roar overhead at our graduation and that friends and leaders of USAFA’s pack will be all too ready to poison our futures, wherever we go. We’ve seen it happen.  Over and over again. We know it will.

So, we choose to take (what some would say is) the coward’s path, rationalizing that the ends (serving our nation honorably) DO justify the means.  We hold our noses and, though we loathe that particular smell, we roll.  We roll with the pack watching us, we go to the prayer breakfasts quietly, but just often enough to quell suspicion, so we can eat and sleep and study and march in peace and unmolested.  We put the “right’ Christian books, DVDs and CDs on our shelves.  We always enthusiastically say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.  We know that MOST of our squadron-mates find the smell of this “only way, truth and life” to be homey and comforting, den-like and warm.  They gain great confidence and (some would claim) a sense of peace from it, but it’s not our personal perfume, it’s not how we’d LIKE to feel, and so it comes at a terrible and frightening cost–to our spirit, our psyche, our self esteem and our personal sense of honor.

Occasionally, and at great risk, some of us—introduced silently, as roaming eyes, during group prayer, occasionally meet a sympathetic glance—secretly gather away from the pack and vent our rage at the AF Academy system that maintains and feeds the pack.  In our little subpack, we rant that the pack doesn’t just exclude and shun outsiders and those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ, but in particular those who don’t believe in him robustly enough; the “right way.”  There is only one accepted aroma in the pack. It's the unforgiving stench of brutal evangelism, fundamentalism, restriction, and judgment.  We rage that everyone just assumes that all cadets must beseech God to be honorable, that if we don’t add four special words (“So help me God”) to our oaths, at appropriately audible levels. we will be “outed,” judged for being terminally unworthy.  Mostly, we scream about needing to roll in the odor to succeed and how much we hate the dishonorable act of lying to everyone, especially ourselves.  When Spartacus graduates at the end of each academic year, we choose a successor.  I am the seventh.

Occasionally, we get glimmers of hope, though—only to be dashed by those we assume must be the highest pack leaders—long-time members themselves, in good standing since they were cadets.  When a USAFA employee makes a very public proclamation that he will ignore published Air Force policy and try to bring as many in his organization into the pack as he can, try to convince all those around him to roll in the pack’s odor, we hope that this will finally cause the break—but nothing happens.  When it is discovered that one of the high counselors of the pack has a long history of practicing shaman, and universally discredited, psychology at the cost of who-knows-how-many, all in the name of the pack, nothing happens.  We’re told that he doesn’t REALLY interact with the other wolves—he’s just the “chief of counseling wolves”.  Meanwhile, at least nine cadets of Spartacus fear his influence because they know that HE THINKS he can change their “chosen” deviant lesbian, gay and bisexual ways.

And then, just this week, something truly remarkable happens.  One of the pack—we assume he had to be one of the pack—speaks the simplest truths by reading an Air Force Instruction aloud.  (We thought the AFI was just window-dressing to calm the jackals, never really to be enforced or even spoken.)  He tells hundreds under his command that their religion is their personal decision and that they should not “share” it with their students and subordinates because of the effect it might have in the classroom and the office—because of the POWER inherent to the military and educational hierarchy.  That he, and we, should respect the privacy and beliefs of all, and that belief or non-belief should not be a basis for judgment.  He actually recognized exactly how we feel every day and said so publicly.  Some cheered (deep inside themselves), but no one clapped nor even commented beyond muffled whispers because, in the end, he’s just not the Alpha Wolf.

You are, Lt. Gen. Johnson. And only you.

Some of us thought, “Wow, this is great.  Now that this is out in the open, the Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, will be asked about it and she’ll support his words publicly and maybe, just maybe, we can be ourselves and stop the charade.”  But, we haven’t heard a thing from you at all. Deafening silence. Why?

We could assume that you support his statements, but we can’t be sure because we’ve been badly burned by this before.  We’ve been told publicly, at the Academy’s own symposium on character and leadership, by the previous Superintendent’s wife (and others) that our number one priority must be GOD—presumably her idea of God (Jesus-on-steroids) and that without faith — HER faith — we are nothing.  Our leaders still “invite” us to the Prayer Luncheon and the Prayer Breakfast and take mental attendance of the pack members there with heads bowed.  Nothing’s changed in our eyes—yet.

Please speak for us, Lt. Gen. Johnson.  Please, ma’am, reiterate, for all to see and hear, the Dean’s words, expand upon them, and START the process by which we can all stop the lies and live unjudged, unsegregated, and honorably.  We can’t and won’t be open without that step.  We can’t run the risk.  We can’t use the USAFA chain of command we’re taught to trust because we fear that the pack IS the chain.  We want to serve.  But, until the Alpha Wolf tells us otherwise, you leave us no choice but to hold our noses and roll in that odor to stay safe.

We detest that we have no other choices.

I am Spartacus.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

‘Tis the season when goodwill, family unity, fireside warmth, and generosity seemingly reign; the more discerning eye, however, clearly evinces the cold chill of holiday hypocrisy, crass commercialism, and spiritually vacant pseudo-religious posturing. Within the United States Armed Forces, one needn’t wait for the scent of holiday spices and burning yule logs to witness a similarly ugly display.

All year ‘round throughout the U.S. military, we hear of “good order, morale, and discipline” being the ultimate mandate of the day. The sad truth, however, is that instead of the rule of Constitutional law applying equitably across the ranks, we instead see the brutal rule of the jungle – “honor among thieves” – rife with state-sanctioned, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing, corruption, wretchedly obvious glad-handing, and an absolute dearth of accountability. The repercussions for our brave war-fighters and, consequently, the essence of American national security itself, are extraordinarily grave.

Case in point: my alma mater and the alma mater of 4 of my kids, the scandal-drenched United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO. Out of our 35,383 clients across the U.S. military (96% of whom are practicing Christians), the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) currently represents 435 cadet, staff, and faculty clients at USAFA alone. Of that number, 372 are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics. Further, 27 of these clients identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB).

Despite pathetically disingenuous damage control efforts by newly-minted Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the Academy simply can’t shrug off the pungent stench of Keystone Kops negligence and willful malfeasance which it has ignominiously accumulated over its last deplorable decade of serial scandals. Clearly, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agrees. The arresting news broke only a few days ago that the OSI allegedly “recruited” (read: strong-armed) multiple Academy cadet informants into forced participation in “FBI-style” sting operations to allegedly infiltrate those suspected of sexual assault and drug distributors among the ranks of Academy personnel. It is alleged by at least one former cadet, since expelled from USAFA, that the OSI instructed and even encouraged cadet informants to break laws, as well as the venerated Cadet Honor Code, to buttress the likelihood of the accomplishment of their informant “missions”.  They were further apparently promised by the OSI, it is alleged, that there would be no negative consequences for doing so. Suffice it to say that such “promises” by the OSI appear to be a load of crap. Minority cadets appear to have been disproportionately targeted by the OSI both as targets and informants. Having personally witnessed and experienced, as an Academy cadet, utterly outrageous acts of unconstitutional depravity that shocked the conscience from this very same OSI, I cannot say I am even remotely surprised. Stay Tuned.

These disgraceful revelations burst upon the scene contemporaneously with USAFA’s senior leadership’s absurd attempts to paint “happy faces” on their windows in order to obscure a blatantly intolerant and dreadfully oppressive anti-gay atmosphere at the Academy. Last month, the world learned that the Academy is employing Dr. Mike Rosebush, an Academy grad and allegedly “ex-gay” fundamentalist Christian whose entire professional career has been geared toward “curing homosexuality,” fighting “unwanted same-sex attractions” among Christian men “acting upon their homoerotic temptations.” Homophobia, thy name be USAFA.

Rosebush’s position at USAFA? Well, according to the Air Force’s own Global Address List, Rosebush is “Chief, Coaching Development” at the Academy’s much vaunted and revered “Center for Character and Leadership Development.” Meaning that Rosebush’s “work” – and the mind clearly boggles here – sets the standard for what constitutes leaders within the Air Force Academy, specifically, and the United States Air Force, generally.

USAFA attempted to ridiculously counter this shocking news about Rosebush by essentially exhorting the public not to fear the possibility of any harm here.  The Academy vociferously vouchsafed that Rosebush was absolutely NOT having ANY impact upon the “character and leadership development” of any cadets whatsoever. Indeed, perish the thought. And who could argue? After all, Rosebush is a senior official at the Academy’s “Center for Character and Leadership Development.” Thus, it would be simply ludicrous and counter intuitive in the extremis to presume that he would have ANY effect on the “character and leadership development” of Academy cadets, right? Um, wait? Hey, I told you the mind boggles.

USAFA’s public (mis)information office sprang into full gear, parading openly LGBQ cadets before the microphones and cameras in a carefully stage-managed “Potemkin Village” production meant to create the utopian illusion of the Air Force Academy’s pristine inclusion and sexual preference diversity. A MRFF cadet client at USAFA (whose identity is being kept confidential for justified fear of reprisal) publicly condemned these “self-serving” claims of providing a welcoming atmosphere for LGBQ cadets, staff, and faculty as a “crock” and a brutal affront to the human dignity of LGBQ personnel at USAFA. This Academy-staged spectacle of shame reminded me of the horrific tragedy of the infamous “orchestra” made up of concentration camp victims at Auschwitz.

Many of the worst marks of disgrace on the collective body of the Academy are the self-inflicted result of its Constitutionally derelict leaders violating the religious liberties of cadets, faculty, and staff. This affliction of the most basic civil rights of Air Force Academy personnel is wrought by means of aggressive fundamentalist Christian preaching and proselytizing while in uniform – a wholesale violation of the very same United States Constitution which these leaders have sworn to support and defend with their very lives.

Indeed, earlier this semester, 7 Academy cadets came to MRFF for guidance and assistance as new clients begging for help when their USAFA professor wrote the following “equation” on the blackboard whilst concomitantly declaring to his/her class that this mathematical formula was the “only one you will need to pass this class”; to wit, “1 Cross plus 3 Nails Equals 4given”. This professor is an Academy grad him/herself, is on active duty and was in uniform at the time. Yes, we have a picture of the blackboard “equation”. But our cadet clients are terrified to come forward. And they should be. A loving father of one of these cadets wrote me an e-mail explaining exactly why.

And, just last month, in my capacity as Founder and President of MRFF, I received a “hate” email that addressed the litanies of egregious, fundamentalist Christian supremacy religious violations that have earned weapons-grade infamy for the Academy. The email read, in part: “God will always be a part of the US Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face… I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with.”

Who wrote this wonderful email? None other than Allen Willoughby, head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director at USAFA’s prep school. Predictably, USAFA issued a statement universally defending and exonerating Willoughby, stating that the hate mail was sent “in his personal capacity,” and that “no action is being taken against the individual.” Of course, in today’s military, “good leaders” cover up for one another, right? George Marshall spins in his grave. Hmm? I wonder what USAFA “leadership” would have done had Willoughby stated, instead, that he would “talk about male superiority over females and the virtues of sexual assault to everyone that I work with?”

Speaking of stinking, sexist misogyny and command-directed female exploitation, further south in Texas, a prostitution ring was discovered at Fort Hood. And who was the pimp? None other than Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, a man employed by the U.S. military’s sexual assault and harassment program who is said to have “tried to recruit [a young private] to have sex with high-ranking soldiers and sexually assaulted her during what she termed an ‘interview.’” All signs so far indicate that this is merely the tip of an iceberg that lies extant across the military.

Meanwhile, our civil rights foundation perpetually receives a sadly steady torrent of anguished testimonials from myriad sailors, soldiers, marines, airmen, cadets, midshipmen, national guardsmen, reservists and veterans regarding their own profound suffering at the hands of corrupt-to-the-bone so-called “leaders.” These plaintive pleas for help have included forced attendance at military Holiday Balls with clear, Christian sectarian religious themes, the coerced swearing of religious oaths, mandatory “spiritual fitness” testing and a veritable plethora of other “spiritual rape” grievances large and small across the entirety of the United States armed forces home and abroad. Taken as a whole, this sea of unconstitutional oppression represents a vast, systemic and chronic internal war of attrition against the good order, morale, and discipline which is supposed to comprise the sterling sine qua non of the foundational essence of what our American military represents and fights for.

As the old Russian proverb goes, “a fish rots from the head down.” The U.S. Military is the most technologically sophisticated and lethal organization ever devised by humankind, yet it often finds itself helplessly inert due to its own byzantine bureaucracy and those who resort to any and all means to jealously and zealously guard their personal privileges and those of their partners-in-crime. We at MRFF see the endless grievances of painful denigration and bigotry experienced by MRFF’s armed forces clientele who are, in fact, our nation’s bravest war fighters across the spectrum of the 4 DoD service branches. This despicable religious/fascistic tyranny incontrovertibly illustrates that the careless and bullying use of martial hierarchy and misapplied physical force are a clear and present national security danger to the health and well-being of both military individuals and their respective organizations alike.

Presently, a new tactic is being employed and deployed by this twisted Christian version of the Taliban. We are seeing a cowardly swarm of smarmy, fundamentalist Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and Officers’ Christian Fellowship, endlessly whining and screaming that it is now THEY who are the “real” victims of “Obama’s anti-Christian Defense Department.” Those among the Pentagon’s top brass and civilian legislatures who take these fraudulent, contrived and mendacious affirmations of victimhood seriously would do well to consider the real “Clear and Present Danger” to good order, morale, and discipline in America’s mighty military:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

The following is a letter from myself, in my capacity as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Founder and President, and MRFF Director for LGBT Affairs/Advisory Board Member Edith Disler. It is addressed to the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Eric Fanning:

Eric Fanning
Acting Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670

Dear Acting Secretary Fanning,

         With great shock and an enormous sense of disgust, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been informed of the notorious anti-gay bigot Dr. Mike Rosebush’s employment at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Needless to say, the employment of a fundamentalist Christian, "gay conversion therapy" advocate comes as a grave insult and palpable threat to USAFA’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) cadets, staffers, and faculty members, including MRFF’s 27 LGB clients at the Academy. Accordingly, MRFF demands that USAFA immediately terminate the employment of the notorious homophobe Rosebush.

         Rosebush has devoted his entire professional career to the bullying and harassment of the LGBTQ community, carried out under the highly dubious guise of "curing homosexuality," a sexual orientation that he likens to "addiction" and disease. Rosebush is a former vice president of the rabidly fundamentalist Christian, Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, one of the foremost anti-gay organizations in the country. Additionally, Rosebush has also been a clinical member of NARTH (the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality). According to the promotional materials for his book "Sanctification Coaching," Rosebush is an "expert" on fighting "unwanted same-sex attractions" among Christian men "acting upon their homoerotic temptations."  The man has gained fame and notoriety by taking insipid quack science to ever-lower depths of absurdity. Indeed, the American Psychological Association (APA), in its "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts," has taken great pains to underscore such "therapy" as merely the expression of prejudice and discrimination, with a basis in ignorance and the distortion or active disdain of scientific data. Even Exodus International, the organization for which Rosebush served as Professional Counselors’ Network director, has publicly apologized for the harm caused by the espousal of the patently false notion that homosexuals can be "cured."

         Implausibly, Rosebush now finds his employment at the United States Air Force Academy. Reporter Pam Zubeck, writing for the Colorado Springs Independent on a story about Rosebush, interviewed MRFF just a few days ago. In that interview, Ms. Zubeck informed MRFF that Rosebush was hired at the Academy in 2009 to work in the Academy's "plans and programs directorate," which develops institutional policy, plans, and assessment strategies for commanders. That same year, the APA comprehensively debunked Rosebush’s conversion or "reparative" therapy/quackery. Zubeck further advised MRFF that, in 2011, Rosebush transferred to the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development where he develops programs for a team of USAFA counselors. The mind literally boggles at the wretched thought of Rosebush being employed at USAFA anywhere, but especially at a place described as the Academy's "Center for Character and Leadership Development"!

         Mike Rosebush has absolutely no place in the hallowed halls of our military service academies. Such casehardened proponents of old-school horrific bigotry and putrescent prejudice, if employed by the United States Air Force Academy, will no doubt use their positions to erode and denigrate the precious civil rights of airmen, cadets, faculty and staff. We call on the leadership of the United States Air Force to expeditiously and comprehensively root out this menace to good order, morale, and discipline at USAFA.

        The Military Religious Freedom Foundation demands that USAFA exercises its responsibility towards the civil rights and protections of cadets, staff, and faculty, and immediately terminate the employment of "ex-gay" fraudster Dr. Mike Rosebush.

Sincerely,


Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Edith A. Disler, PhD, MBA, Lt. Col. (USAF) Ret.
MRFF Director for LGBT Affairs,
Advisory Board Member,
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

CC:
            General Mark A. Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force
            Lieutenant General Michelle D. Johnson, Superintendent of USAFA

 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the "Iran-Contra" Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of "With God On Our Side" (2006, St. Martin's Press) and "No Snowflake in an Avalanche" (2012, Vireo).

 

MIKEY’S NOTE: Once again the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on the frontlines of the fight to assure religious liberty at my alma mater, the United States Air Force Academy. In terms of hearing out the grievances of our clients, the recently-appointed superintendent of the academy, Lt. Gen. Michele D. Johnson, has been one of the worst out of the four Academy Superintendents MRFF has worked with since our organization was founded, hence the billboard. Without further ado, here is our press statement regarding the posting of our billboard. As always, you can learn more at http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org :

(COLORADO SPRINGS) On Wednesday, November 6, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) made a bold gesture in its fight to keep church and state separate in the United States military. Protesting the continued usage of unconstitutional religious tests at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), MRFF posted a billboard at the northwest corner of North Nevada Ave. and Garden of the Gods Road (facing east), one of the busiest thoroughfares in Colorado Springs, CO.

MRFF’s latest salvo comes less than a month after USAFA admitted that its honor oath has contained the phrase “So help me God” since 1984. Under fierce MRFF pressure last month, the Academy finally relented and made the unconstitutional religious phrase “optional.” MRFF currently has 435 cadets, staff and clients at USAFA, 372 of whom self-identify as practicing Christians, both Protestant and Roman Catholic.

Former White House counsel to the Reagan administration, USAFA Honor Graduate, and MRFF Founder and President Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein disagrees with the change. Weinstein maintains that those cadets who opt out of swearing the oath would “stick out like a tarantula on a wedding cake” if the offending words remain intact in the Honor Oath, as is presently the case. Neither West Point nor Annapolis (both USAFA's sister service academies), use those words in their respective Honor Codes or Oaths.

MRFF’s billboard, which reads “This oath was good enough for George Washington – Why not the Air Force Academy?” contains a photograph of an oath signed in 1778 at Valley Forge by President (then-General) George Washington, which makes no religious reference whatsoever.

The foundation has clashed with the USAFA administration numerous times in the past decade due to the strong presence of, and unbridled support for, fundamentalist evangelical Christianity at the Academy.

A long series of previous religious liberty violations at USAFA, also exposed by MRFF, have led to a several specious investigations by the U.S. Air Force and continued efforts of dubious intentions to establish a so-called "religious sensitivity training" regimen. As recently as mid-October, 2013, Mr. Weinstein met personally with Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson to inform her of several very recent, egregious, unconstitutional religious civil rights violations affecting cadets, staff and faculty at USAFA.

After being initially notified by investigative reporter Pam Zubeck of the Colorado Springs Independent of a photograph containing the Honor Oath wording, Weinstein contacted the vice superintendent at USAFA. A mere 68 minutes later, Johnson herself contacted Weinstein, pledging to swiftly address this serious issue and notifying him that a framed poster of the Honor Oath with the objectionable words "So help me God" had been immediately taken down.

According to Chris Rodda, MRFF Senior Research Director, the civil rights foundation posted the billboard “as a reminder of the true history of military oaths.” This history thoroughly debunks the revisionist history espoused by Christian fundamentalist organizations and individuals who erroneously claim that the phrase “So Help Me God” was commonly used by America’s Founding Fathers.

Weinstein is currently caucusing with MRFF legal counsel and potential USAFA plaintiffs about a follow-on Federal lawsuit against the Academy if the four words, "So help me God," are not removed from the oath.

Speaking from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Weinstein explained, "We have absolutely NO objection if anyone ever wished to say those words after reciting the USAFA Honor Oath, and we encourage them to do so if they are so inspired. Our sole objection is that those words remain an integral part of the Honor Oath, therefore making it all too clear to those taking the Oath what the ‘approved USAFA solution’ is to completing the Oath.” 

MRFF, a foundation that has been the voice of the voiceless in regards to religious civil liberty violations within the U.S. Military, has a growing client base of over 35,000 servicemembers, veterans, National Guard, reservist, and civilian armed forces personnel throughout the major service branches. The foundation was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, a feat accomplished for the sixth time over the course of five consecutive years. In December 2012, Mikey Weinstein was named “one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense” by Defense News, a Gannett publication that represents “the world’s biggest military newsroom.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the "Iran-Contra" Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of "With God On Our Side" (2006, St. Martin's Press) and "No Snowflake in an Avalanche" (2012, Vireo).

Dear readers: I’m sharing the following press release from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to alert you to the invaluable work that our fighting civil rights organization is doing on a daily basis. We will continue to ceaselessly fight back against the attempts by these arrogant fundamentalist Christians to erode our sacrosanct Constitutional protections against their "Weaponized Gospel of Christ," no matter the cost. - Mikey Weinstein

(ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO) In a recent press release, ultra-conservative partisan organization "Judicial Watch" stated that on September 10, 2013 they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Pentagon for "all communications" between the Defense Department (DoD) and Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).

As recently as September 12, 2013, blatantly anti-Constitutional, partisan, and fundamentalist Christian representatives of organizations that have been characterized as anti-gay hate groups have met with DoD officials to lobby for the ability of certain officers and servicemembers to aggressively proselytize their subordinates and fellow uniformed personnel. In some cases, this proselytizing (in their words, "evangelizing") has taken the form of anti-gay discrimination, bullying, and harassment of the worst kind. On the civilian front, these organizations have aggressively fought for the passage of Constitutionally disastrous Amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2014.

While the Judicial Watch press release feeds into the deliberately false notion that Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF have some "seat at the table" of the Obama White House and Administration and a shared mission to eliminate every expression of the Christian faith by servicemembers, the truth testifies to an altogether different reality. MRFF has fought tirelessly in the courts and in the media to expose and rectify only those instances, albeit legion in number, of so-called "religious expression" that have grievously infringed upon the Constitutional rights of our armed servicemembers. Our armed forces members are entitled to these precious rights by virtue of the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the "no religious test" prohibition of Clause 3, Article VI.

MRFF has long observed a continued cozy and incestuous relationship between an activist segment of the highest echelons of the Pentagon and these noxious fundamentalist Christian organizations. Thus, on September 23, 2013, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation submitted a FOIA request demanding:

  1. All correspondence, emails, or other records related to the September 12, 2013 meeting at the Pentagon between representatives of the "Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition" and any Air Force or other Department of Defense personnel, including but not limited to those present at the meeting.
  2. All other correspondence, emails, or other records on any subject between representatives of the "Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition" and/or its constituent member organizations (including but not limited to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, and the Family Research Council) and any Air Force or other Department of Defense personnel.

Speaking from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mr. Weinstein stated, "This 'big lie' fantasy that there is some 'war on Christians' within the military is a complete perversion of the truth. The fundamentalist Christian religious extremists who are spreading these absolutely blatant falsehoods are using dog-whistle politics to hoodwink Americans into allowing for the handing of a 'blank check,' a real license to kill, to the monstrous opponents of secular governance, religious pluralism, and democracy itself."

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated civil rights organization with a client base of almost 35,000 servicemembers, Department of Defense (DoD) civilian personnel, and armed services veterans – 96% of whom are practicing Christians (both Roman Catholic and Protestant). Since its inception in 2005, MRFF has been battling a growing crisis of unbridled religious extremism within the armed forces. This grave and growing national security threat has led to the relentless stripping-away of the very freedoms that these brave men and women have pledged to defend and secure at all costs.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

 Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the "Iran-Contra" Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of "With God On Our Side" (2006, St. Martin's Press) and "No Snowflake in an Avalanche" (2012, Vireo).

Dear readers: I’m sharing the following press release from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to alert you to the invaluable work that our fighting civil rights organization is doing on a daily basis. We will continue to ceaselessly fight back against the attempts by these arrogant fundamentalist Christians to erode our sacrosanct Constitutional protections against their "Weaponized Gospel of Christ," no matter the cost. - Mikey Weinstein

(ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO) In a recent press release, ultra-conservative partisan organization "Judicial Watch" stated that on September 10, 2013 they filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Pentagon for "all communications" between the Defense Department (DoD) and Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).

As recently as September 12, 2013, blatantly anti-Constitutional, partisan, and fundamentalist Christian representatives of organizations that have been characterized as anti-gay hate groups have met with DoD officials to lobby for the ability of certain officers and servicemembers to aggressively proselytize their subordinates and fellow uniformed personnel. In some cases, this proselytizing (in their words, "evangelizing") has taken the form of anti-gay discrimination, bullying, and harassment of the worst kind. On the civilian front, these organizations have aggressively fought for the passage of Constitutionally disastrous Amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2014.

While the Judicial Watch press release feeds into the deliberately false notion that Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF have some "seat at the table" of the Obama White House and Administration and a shared mission to eliminate every expression of the Christian faith by servicemembers, the truth testifies to an altogether different reality. MRFF has fought tirelessly in the courts and in the media to expose and rectify only those instances, albeit legion in number, of so-called "religious expression" that have grievously infringed upon the Constitutional rights of our armed servicemembers. Our armed forces members are entitled to these precious rights by virtue of the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the "no religious test" prohibition of Clause 3, Article VI.

MRFF has long observed a continued cozy and incestuous relationship between an activist segment of the highest echelons of the Pentagon and these noxious fundamentalist Christian organizations. Thus, on September 23, 2013, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation submitted a FOIA request demanding:

  1. All correspondence, emails, or other records related to the September 12, 2013 meeting at the Pentagon between representatives of the "Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition" and any Air Force or other Department of Defense personnel, including but not limited to those present at the meeting.
  2. All other correspondence, emails, or other records on any subject between representatives of the "Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition" and/or its constituent member organizations (including but not limited to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, and the Family Research Council) and any Air Force or other Department of Defense personnel.

Speaking from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mr. Weinstein stated, "This 'big lie' fantasy that there is some 'war on Christians' within the military is a complete perversion of the truth. The fundamentalist Christian religious extremists who are spreading these absolutely blatant falsehoods are using dog-whistle politics to hoodwink Americans into allowing for the handing of a 'blank check,' a real license to kill, to the monstrous opponents of secular governance, religious pluralism, and democracy itself."

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated civil rights organization with a client base of almost 35,000 servicemembers, Department of Defense (DoD) civilian personnel, and armed services veterans – 96% of whom are practicing Christians (both Roman Catholic and Protestant). Since its inception in 2005, MRFF has been battling a growing crisis of unbridled religious extremism within the armed forces. This grave and growing national security threat has led to the relentless stripping-away of the very freedoms that these brave men and women have pledged to defend and secure at all costs.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at helpbuildthewall.org.

 Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the "Iran-Contra" Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of "With God On Our Side" (2006, St. Martin's Press) and "No Snowflake in an Avalanche" (2012, Vireo).

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”  – Winston Churchill

Last week, a coterie of proud, prejudiced, Christian fundamentalists met with officials of the Department of Defense, specifically the U.S. Air Force, at the Pentagon.

The undignified and truly ignoble goal of this meeting? The sowing of confusion within the ranks of our military leadership and the subversion of the United States Constitution.

This gang of lying zealots came to huff and puff over a “war on Christians” supposedly taking place within the U.S. military. SPOILER ALERT: absolutely NO such war exists, period!

Cheered on by the conjured voices protesting this phony “war,” this gang of fundamentalist Christian religious predators came loaded for bear with two petitions carrying a total of 220,000 signatures. The true purpose of these inveterate religious extremists was to lobby the top brass to officially give free rein to the Christian fundamentalist vultures within our United States armed forces to coercively preach and proselytize to their otherwise helpless subordinates within the American military.

Oh, and did I mention that they also want to offset the historic gains of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) by granting homophobes the full right – enshrined and protected by law – to bully and dehumanize these very same defenseless subordinates or fellow servicemembers for their gender identity and/or sexual orientation?

Section 529 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 will do precisely that. Oh, but don’t take my word for it. According to Bishop James Magness, Bishop Suffragan of the Federal Ministries of the Episcopal Church in Washington D.C.:

“…this proposal will in effect trounce the actual religious liberties of those who rightly should have access to freedom from an established religion in the public square. Those military members present at a military ceremony are often required by duty to be present and therefore may not have the ability to get up and leave. These military members will have to listen to the chaplains offend them — and they will have no recourse.”

The real kicker, my friends, is that this campaign of fundamentalist Christian extremism, fueled by hatred and fear, is being carried out under the flagrantly false flag of “religious liberty.”

What these fraudulent whiners are bellowing about is the loss of their prior existing fundamentalist Christian privilege in the face of withering Constitutional civil rights activism that has demanded the end of these hideous and illicit offenses within the ranks of our military. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the organization of which I’m Founder and President, has spearheaded this campaign, hence the sour grapes. It is precisely this that led Decision magazine, a publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, to decry me in their July/August 2013 cover story as not only “perhaps the nation’s most fervent anti-witnessing activist,” but no, get this: they also ran a full sidebar feature on me entitled “ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS MEN IN AMERICA”. This was all featured under the dramatic heading, “THE WAR ON GOD’S WORD.”

In a brazenly bizarre and transparent homage to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the vanguard of this push to legalize fundamentalist Christian proselytizing predation and tyranny have assembled under the perverse umbrella of the “Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition” (RMRF). Indeed, most of the so-called “offenses” against their inverted and distorted conception of “religious freedom” consist of those all-too-frequent episodes whereby we’ve managed to successfully beat back their cowardly attempts to destroy and dangerously delimit our actual liberties (not to be confused with “license to kill”-style “liberties” tailor-made for “Modern-day Torquemadas”).

Helming this delegation of so-called “Christian leaders” was Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (ret.), Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council (FRC). Mister “No Mosques in America” Boykin exemplifies precisely the type of “religious liberty” RMRF stands for. After all, this is a quintessential and unapologetic racist, a man who’s been virtually canonized by his vast fundamentalist/dominionist constituency for his blood-soaked incitements to “holy war” against all Muslims everywhere, the likes of which haven’t been witnessed since the equally blood-drenched medieval Crusades. Dark Ages thy pathetic avatar be Boykin the Bigot.

Tailing Lt. Gen. Boykin was another renowned bigot, Col. Ron Crews (ret.), the head of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty (CARL). Crews is an overgrown poster-child of the “homophobia industry “and a “prize Chicken Little” from among the retired chaplaincy. Following the landmark repeals of DADT and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Henny Penny Crews raised a deafening din of “the Sky is falling” squawking to the effect that there would be a vast exodus of servicemembers from the various branches as a result of the Obama administration turning the U.S. military into a “social experiment” (read: “Big Gay Boot Camp”). Of course absolutely no such “exodus” occurred, with chaplains instead giving a “common, positive verdict about repeal.”

Conservative radio host Sandy Rios also attended the meeting. Rios, a frequent Fox News contributor and member of the hate-engorged American Family Association (AFA), recently linked LGBT love to the monstrous Ariel Castro’s decade-long spree of torment afflicted upon three helpless young women in Ohio held in torturous captivity. Rios also ludicrously compared the teaching of respect for sex and gender minorities to the espousal of using crack-cocaine, and fingered gay-inclusive school curricula for a decline in student performance. When she’s not espousing her base, evil, and vile hatred of gays, she’s advocating anti-Muslim extremism of the most pernicious kind.

True heroes of “liberty” and constitutional “rights,” indeed. Recall, however, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has characterized the FRC and AFA as not only domestic hate groups, but the “chief purveyors of lies about LGBT people” that result in trauma, hate crimes, and a tragic epidemic of teen suicides. Click here to read the hideous declamations of these organizations in their own words.

Yet now these well-funded exemplars of monstrous duplicity are disingenuously posing as champions of religious pluralism, tolerance, and civil liberties? Unlimited and galling hypocrisy at best – enormous national security threat at worst.

The enemies of our (remaining) constitutional protections and civil liberties thrive on lies, misinformation, and outright disinformation to advance their anti-democratic and fundamentalist Christian, religious extremist agendas. Such has certainly been our experience here at MRFF. By salting the “information battlefield” with false innuendoes, red herrings, and blatant untruths designed to appeal to diehard and disgusting prejudices, these professional religious bigots have managed to hoodwink all-too-many Americans into believing that President Obama’s Defense Department is waging some tooth-and-nail battle against all good Christians, especially those who faithfully serve in our U.S. military.

Søren Kierkegaard once opined, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Is there REALLY any persecution of Christians in the U.S. military? Such cartoonish and cretinesque fantasy couldn’t be farther from the truth.

However, the fact that some docile and supine Americans are buying into this universally false fairy tale should be of significant alarm to those of us who don’t want to see the adoption of a militarist Christian dominionist gospel as our nation’s official state religion.

If and when that day ever comes, it will be the last day of freedom for our American democratic republic.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at  helpbuildthewall.org.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated  Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of  “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and  “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).