WASHINGTON TIMES – Military under attack: Fight to show faith impacting ‘readiness’

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“I think the Air Force is more problematic now, at least in terms of reported incidents,” Mr. Boykin said. That’s due in large part to the aggressiveness of 1977 U.S. Air Force Academy honor graduate, Mikey Weinstein, and the group he founded, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to fight back at certain shows of faith in the services, he said.

“Mikey’s group in 2005 began filing a series of lawsuits against the Air Force,” Mr. Boykin said.

The FRC details some of these suits in its report. But Mr. Weinstein said he’s only trying to uphold the ability of all service members to exercise their First Amendment rights – including the right to abstain from religion. And he said that the tens of thousands of military members who belong to his group appreciate his efforts, and thank him for saving them from religious coercion coming from the hands of higher ranks.

“We want everyone in the military to celebrate their faith,” Mr. Weinstein said. We just want those of faith to “follow [Department of Defense] regulations and directives … and our biggest concern is if you’re being even gently evangelized by your commander.”

Mr. Weinstein also holds a dim view of FRC, as well as other like-minded organizations that he says promote fundamentalist beliefs at the expense of secular law.

“FRC, Focus on the Family, American Family Association … pretty much anything with the word ‘family’ in it … they live in a different space,” he said. “Their view is there is no time or place they can be restricted from [evangelizing]. We view them as outlaws. They’re no better than the Taliban.”

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