FEATURED INBOX POST – MG Umbarger (and MRFF’s Rick Baker responds)

Good morning,

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.

(Name withheld)

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.


Rick Baker

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  1. David Mackett

    Best wishes to Mrs. Weinstein for a quick and happy recovery!

  2. Michael Potvin-Frost

    God bless Mikey Weinstein and his family. Proselytism has no place in any work setting, but most especially not in a government work setting. Whether a person believes he is right in his beliefs or not, it is not the place to pressure others, as is the case when a superior or senior officer proselytizes. This is no different than being pressured into Islam in a Muslim country. Do any of these officers believe that that is right? If they do not then why would they believe that their actions are right? Pressuring anyone into a belief or practice, religious or not, is called coercion and is, in the case of religion in government employment, illegal, and always has been, according to the U.S. Constitution. Just because one thinks one is right does not mean it is, or ever has been, legal in the United States. Government employees have no right to impose their views on anyone who works for them. Period.

  3. tom rogers

    A wonderful and quite satisfactory response by Mr. Baker to this very confused individual. Let’s hope Mrs. Weinstein gets better, and the hate-filled writers that caused her such distress finally find a spot of humanity still left in their hearts and apologize.

  4. tom rogers

    Oh, and I believe the guy meant “intents and purposes”.

  5. Jason

    It is is very clear to me that Mr. Weinstein hates soldiers and there families. MG Umbarger was simply offering an option for improving the lives of soldiers. He did not endorse a particular religion, he endorsed a program. I am in the Indiana National Guard and have never seen the video. It was not manditory for soldiers and airmen to watch this video. Get off the back of a solid, proven leader that is trying to do something positive for the soldiers of Indiana. Go chase an ambulance or something.

  6. Cliff

    Living in the state of Indiana, I saw first hand how many people stood up for what the general did and showed their support for him. Since the story broke of the “so called” rules being broken, Centurian’s Watch continues to be a resourse that all soldiers are welcome to use for the marriages and general Umbarger continues to support the troops of the state, just as he did before. The whole thing was blown up to look like a major violation, when it was much less.

  7. Conrad

    Interestingly Indiana pretty much admits that Umbarger was wrong to record this endorsement in uniform using his title:

    Daniels said Tuesday that if Umbarger’s appearance was a mistake “it’s obviously an innocent one.” He added that picking Umbarger to run the Indiana National Guard was one of the best appointments he’s made.

    Whether Umbarger ultimately stays or goes, thanks to MRFF for applying the heat.

  8. Richard Albright

    Only a nit-picking, mouthy lawyer would claim that the general intended to endorse a religion when only identifying a program he thought would help his troops and their families. What’s wrong with people who get their jollies “applying the heat” to dedicated citizens who have given many years of honorable service to their country? Must make them start to think they are somehow superior.
    Indiana didn’t say he was wrong, The governor probably thought it was a mistake to expose himself to the vindictive rantings of very narrow-minded screwballs.

  9. Tim

    MRFF applied the heat??? I’d say they more or less made themselves look like a bunch of witch hunters and idiots and the general came out looking like the star. He’s apparently got the support of the govenor and of the troops he serves.

  10. Robyn Lauster

    Clearly, not everyone understands what it is like to be pressured by a commanding officer, or even one’s peers, to bow to a religion one doesn’t believe in. Also, not everyone understands that the founders of our nation, intensely aware of the religion-caused horrors of past wars in Europe, decided that religion should be firmly separate from our newly-formed government. Bless Mikey et al. for their dedicated work protecting the constitution and the rights of all. Judging from some of the comments here, I’m not at all surprised that Mrs. W. is ill from the stress of threats. I’m sorry that so many Americans have had poor education and are unable to understand that Mikey Weinstein is protecting the rights of all.

  11. Sage on the Hudson

    “Here we have a senior Army leader who, for all intensive purposes, is simply trying to help Soldiers.”

    For all “intensive” purposes!”

    This is the level of intellectual achievement and education of these tin-plated crusaders.

    Every time they try to force their captive audience — serving military personnel — to embrace their religion, they only manage to drag the religion to which they profess devotion, through the mud. They make it a thing of the gutter.

    For all intents and purposes.

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