AMERICAN-STATESMAN – Guns and God: Author sees network of hard-line Christians in U.S. military

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • His enemies have called him “Antichrist” and “Jesus-basher.” But to hear Mikey Weinstein tell it, the retired Air Force judge advocate general and his nonprofit group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, are the only things stopping what he worries is the takeover of the U.S. military by extreme Christian fundamentalists.
  • Last month, a Marine fighter squadron in South Carolina changed its name from “Crusaders” to “Werewolves” after Weinstein challenged the name and its associated religious imagery, which included a cross insignia. Weinstein argued that adopting a name associated with a religious war between Christians and Muslims would “fuel the cause of jihad,” according to an MSNBC report. And last year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s complaints helped spur the Air Force to remove Christian-based themes from its nuclear ethics training.
  • The foundation has scored other well-publicized victories, exposing biblical references on rifle scopes issued to troops in Iraq, helping to stop evangelical preachers from participating in Pentagon events, investigating Department of Defense funding for religious promotion and raising alarm over U.S. Marines posing with a Nazi SS flag in Afghanistan.
  • “I’m happy our troops have a place to go since they can’t go up the chain of command or to chaplains. They come to us, and we fight very hard for them, but it comes at a cost. It’s a war. It’s bad enough to have fundamentalist Christians running amok in a police department, school system or even a legislature, but they don’t have laser-guided conventional and nuclear weapons.”

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