I would like to express my disgust with recent comments made by Mikey Weinstein regarding the internet video posted by MG Umbarger. Here we have a senior Army leader who, for all intensive purposes, is simply trying to help Soldiers. So what do groups like yours do? They litigate, persecute, and seek to crucify men like the general for doing nothing more than caring. Mr. Weinstein’s “opinion” on the general being court martialed is noted. In MY opinion, Mikey should be thrown in jail and have his life ruined. Sounds silly doesn’t it? I would like to ask whether or not Soldiers of the general’s unit were required to watch such a video? Were they forced to practice a specific religion? Although I agree with what your group stands for based off of your website, I do not agree with the comments made or your group’s stand on this matter.
Dear (name withheld),
I’m Rick Baker, DRMVM, (Director of Responding to Misguided and Vindictive Mail) for MRFF.
Kidding aside, Mikey is tied up right now seeing to his wife’s illness, caused, as her doctors say, by fear of her life and her family’s well being as a result of continuing threats by Dominionist Christian individuals and organizations. If the term “Dominion Christian” is unfamiliar to you, just Google it for the sordid definition. I hope you don’t mind me sitting in for him.
Dominion Christianity had become a mainstay of many military training bases and service academies with The US Air Force Academy and West Point among the most affected.
Many high ranking officers, most belonging to the Officer’s Christian Fellowship, began to exercise command centered and coercive Christian proselytizing on lower grade armed forces members which, as you know is prohibited by Supreme Court Ruling “Lemon Vs. Kurzman” (971) wherein the government, including the Armed Forces and Public Education, are forbidden to favor, elevate, prefer, recommend or proselytize one religion over another or religion over non-religion.
Because of this service wide push on the part of certain Christian Dominionists, Mikey, himself an honor graduate of the USAF Academy, a Jew, and in defense of young cadets such as his sons and daughter in law who were mercilessly abused by a number of so-called “Born Again” Christian Cadets, faculty and permanent station officers, founded the
Military Religious Freedom Foundation to guarantee religious freedom for all service members. In the approximately eight years MRFF has been working at this admirable goal we have received many thousands of client case complaints from our young men and women in the military with heart wrenching stories of being coerced into attending Christian services, prayer meetings, bible studies and other violations of constitutional and UCMJ provisions. Today MRFF is still addressing over 29,000 such complaints.
General Umbarger did not achieve his rank and position by violating military and civil law but did break the rules he knew existed because he felt Christianity was stronger and more important than his military mission. In his act of endorsing a particular religion he abrogated his oath to defend and uphold the US Constitution.
This may not seem like a serious breech of good order and discipline to you but I can guarantee that without Mikey’s intercession it would not have been long before Dominionist organizations would have capitalized on that breech and used it to further their unAmerican goals.
I’m sure you can see a bitter piece of that Dominionism in yourself by your unkind remark about wishing Mikey be “thrown in jail and his life ruined.”
Hopefully you can begin to see the big picture and how difficult it has been to assist so many of our our young men and women to extricate themselves from such overt proselytizing and prevent recurring offenses. The purveyors of Dominion Christianity are formidable adversaries with many powerful figures a part of their relentless and intense campaign.
As a former Air Force officer and combat rescue pilot, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam, I learned to follow regulations and I knew why they were there. In that regard Mikey, as a former Air Force Judge Advocate and White House counsel to President Reagan for three years, knows the rules and demands that all those subject to them, follow them.
Mr. Weinstein deserves your support not your disdain.