MAJOR MRFF VICTORY – MSNBC – Marine Werewolves transform into Crusaders, and back again

5/23/12 – Click here to read demand letter by MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

5/23/12 – Click here to read FOIA request by MRFF outside counsel

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • A Marine fighter squadron challenged on its use of the “Crusaders” name and cross-and-shield symbolism as its insignia has been ordered to reverse the decision, and to return to identifying itself as “Werewolves,” the Marine Corps said on Thursday.The news came a month after the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation blasted the use of the Crusaders name and logo — citing constitutional and practical objections — on behalf of dozens of soldiers, including Marines in the affected squadron, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122. (See’s original report here.)
  • The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which advocates complete separation of church and state, welcomed the policy change.”This is a great victory. Lady liberty is smiling today,” said Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of foundation. “We commend the Marine Corps,” he said, but added: “The Marines Corps does not get a gold star for doing the right thing because they shouldn’t have done the wrong thing in the first place.”
  • The squadron, based in Beaufort, S.C., used the Crusaders symbol from 1958 to 2008, when Lt. Col. William Lieblein pointed out that imagery invoking the Christian conquest and colonization of Muslim nations during the Middle Ages was counterproductive to the U.S. presence across the Arab and Islamic world. “The notion of being a crusader in that part of the world doesn’t float,” he said, ordering the change to “Werewolves,” as reported by the Beaufort Gazette at the time.
  • As of May 18, legal counsel for Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos continued to defend the use of the Crusaders name and symbolism in a teleconference with a lawyer for the foundation.
  • The military attorney questioned whether the cross was a religious symbol and argued that the crusades were really military, not religious in nature, according to an account of the meeting verified by Caroline Mitchell, a lawyer from the firm Jones Day, which is representing the foundation.
  • “We still demand that those who made the decision … be fully and aggressively prosecuted so this never happens again,” said Weinstein. “And we want a full accounting of how much money it cost taxpayers to change the name from Werewolves to Crusaders and back to Werewolves.”

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  1. Gary Newton

    Congratulations on the Crusaders vs. Werewolves victory. But why stop there? Why not go after the Navy’s VFC- 13 Saints (reference to the Catholic sainthood tradition), VFC-12 Fighting Omars (Omar? My God! It’s a surefire Jihad in the making), VR-57 Conquistadors (again Catholic church inspired invaders and murders), VFC-111 Sundowners (those Japanese were fighting for religious belief in their Emperor), VP-69 Totems (everyone knows totems are religious symbols)? And I only know about the Navy… God knows the entire US military must be steeped in religious references!

    After we erase the history of these US military units, we can pretend like it never happened; we can pretend that the United States does not have a history steeped in religion. We can even pretend that the US was not created by predominately Christian military men and women! And then we can truly dishonor the servicemembers that fought and died wearing those innocuous symbols of religiously related symbols that believed in the foundations of this country.

    As the final blow to US dignity, I insist that MSFF file suit to replace all of the crosses and Star of David headstones in Arlington cemetery with non-descript grave markers. We can’t let the enemy know what religious persuasion did this to them, lest we fear their reprisal. God knows that we don’t want to offend the terrorist we’re trying to kill! God knows that “we” (the US military) should be afraid of conflict!

    As far as the Crusader symbolism putting military lives in jeopardy… I’m pretty sure that the souls VMFA-122 sends to Allah in a thousand pieces won’t have time to recognize the Crusader symbol on the tail of the F/A-18 Hornet that kills them and be offended in the last seconds of their lives (assuming they see it coming).

    It’s organizations like MSFF that put our servicemembers in peril by publicizing the simple attempt to restore US history and pride to this military unit. Get it? “They, the enemy” would have never known if MSFF hadn’t brought it up in the national news. A mere 122 members are offended out of tens of thousands… Really?

    MSFF… Nice move to make headlines on Memorial Day weekend. I’m sure you’ll fill your coffers the with the support of the inept minority that have identity problems, are overly offended, and afraid of ours country’s enemies.

    An American.

  2. chris

    Nice job, you put the VMFA-122 Werewolves/Crusaders story up on a F-16 background, all well and good, except they don’t fly F-16’s…… Let’s face it, you guys just fight anything religious with no thought or clue for accuracy. Most of you have probably never even been in the military, or you would have an appreciation for attention to detail.

    Like the previous poster pointed out, many squadrons have questionable icons, and have had for years, but thanks for going after USMC. I can imagine LtGen Robling’s eyes rolling as he says “Well, let’s shut em up and change it back”

    I hear the sky might be falling as well, we should tell someone!

  3. Lord Michael Hays

    It is truly amazing that those who are citizens of the nation that fought for Freedom have such weakend DNA after just over 300 years, resulting in a weakened vertibrae and paper thin skin.
    Such a condition should have resulted in a 4F classification and deemed the poor bastards medically unfit to serve active duty.
    My how things have changed.

  4. Robert Johnson

    Why are Christians so unlike Jesus Christ whom they profess to follow?

    They don’t see the ignorance, hate and the double standards they spout.
    I’ve seen unofficial military patches with “Pork Eating Infidel” emblazoned on jackets for all to see. These proud individuals have no idea that “Infidel” is a Christian ecclesiastical term for anyone who doubts or rejects the central tenets of Christianity, i.e. belief in God, and or Jesus Christ. They also eschew the Old Testament dietary laws, but retain in it what fits their dogma.

    The activists who protest the building of an Islamic Center in New York, have no idea that there was a mosque on the 17th floor of the North Tower of the WTC.
    No Christian chapel, no Christian Science reading room, on any of the WTC properties.

    Has the vocal population of the USA turned into uneducated savages, with no compassion or humanity?
    The socioeconomic schisms that are removing the middle class , in the USA has encouraged this us vs. them, me vs. you, every man for themselves attitude.
    “Our American way of life” is used to encourage oppression and greed.

    These NeoChristian patriots should read “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain and “War Is a Racket ” by retired United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler, to hopefully reel in their hate and jingoism.

  5. Ron Velez

    I am a lifetime member of the 187th Assault helicopter co.( Also know as the Crusaders, we flew missions in Vietnam and Cambodia. I will give up the name Crusaders when I Die.

  6. Basil Smith

    I am neither an American citizen nor a resident of the USA but recognize that what happens in the US has, to a greater or lesser degree, world-wide consequences – – US foreign policy, funding, Fanny Mae etc.
    So what about religion and the US Constitution and the MRFF?
    In spite of your great Constitution which you the MRFF are seeking to uphold, you cannot claim to hold the either the moral or Constitutional high ground in such affairs. You are seeking to deny others their freedom of expression by restricting that of others.
    You cannot claim to be right and that those whose beliefs differ from the MRFF’s, No man, no society, no people, no nation is wholly right in human affairs; and none is wholly wrong. A fundamental principle of the operation of human society is to live and let live.

    In your case sadly you seek, in the guise of Constitutional freedom, to impose your particular belief-system upon others.
    Your military pedigree is impeccable and laudable yet, you learn not this one (greater) lesson; the key to peace and peaceful co-existence of human-kind is to be only in the principles of true religion. Not in the US flag,not in your Constitution, Not in American patriotism and certainly not in the MRFF.
    It would be ideal if every member of the USDF were not only issued with a Bible but were directed to read it and to honestly practice its principles by proclaiming peace and not war.
    Idealistic and unrealistic? Sure,only insofar as humankind has become corrupted by greed and self-serving interests. Oh how you and the greatest military force on this planet desperately needs to know and practice what the Bible preaches; Love of God and love of one’s fellow man. Can you not see how your rejection of these biblical truths has resulted in your armed forces and your nation become hated and despised by the world?
    MRFF, see the bigger picture and stop pursuing petty constitutional spats. Fiddling while Washington burns?

  7. Andy

    Basil Smith commented: “In spite of your great Constitution which you the MRFF are seeking to uphold, you cannot claim to hold the either the moral or Constitutional high ground in such affairs. You are seeking to deny others their freedom of expression by restricting that of others.
    … In your case sadly you seek, in the guise of Constitutional freedom, to impose your particular belief-system upon others.”

    I strongly disagree with you, Basil Smith. The squadron is not individuals putting religious symbols on their own personal belongings, and no one is preventing these Marines from displaying their religion on their personal belongings. It is a military entity proposing to paint religious symbols on weapons of war. As a christian, I find that offensive as a complete misrepresentation of my religion. And I can see how it would be offensive to people of different religions, or with none at all. It would also offend me as an American to see such blatant disregard for the separation of church and state.

    If the squadron were to re-instate themselves as the Crusaders, it would also be pointless and misrepresent the squadron – most of their combat missions were flown as the werewolves, before they ever became the Crusaders. They changed the name of the squadron to the Crusaders when they started flying the plane of the same name. However, they didn’t fly any combat missions in that aircraft.

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