Click above to listen to this 15 minute, 37 second interview
Commentary from Tony Arnold, PR Director of Tri-State Freethinkers (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana)
I would like to personally thank Mr. Mikey Weinstein, and offer encouragement to The Military Religious Freedom Foundation for the important work that it does with regard to separation of Church and Government issues within such a closed, secretive and controlling environment. I first heard Mr. Weinstein speak in Ohio with my now Son- in-law who is currently in the Army Reserves, and a non-believer. As a Church/State separation activist myself, the information Mikey gave and the constraints with which your organization must work within are on a whole different level.
That must never be ignored when speaking about your work.
As PR Director for the Tri-State Freethinkers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, I frequently set up interviews on a large market radio station 700wlw. I wanted to give Mikey and the MRFF an opportunity to reach this large market…and Mr. Weinstein agreed.
The interview started well with exchanges of information. Soon tension built as the host, Mr. Mike McConnell, continually deferred to his “majority rules over individual civil rights” mentality. I think Mr. McConnell had forgotten the closed environment of military life that so magnifies the indignation of these situations. Smaller, but in no sense lesser, cases were discussed. Ignored was the fact that Mikey and his family are under constant heavy security due to the large cases against ranking officers, and the Military push back. Many death threats have been placed upon the Weinstein family.
Mikey’s wife Bonnie just released a book on their harassment ordeals, and it is on my soon to read list. Mr. McConnell finally arrogantly stated that Mikey was “the wrong messenger” for this cause, without full knowledge of “the cause” or its repercussions. This comment struck an obvious and understandable nerve, and after a verbal clashing of personalities Mike McConnell rudely hung up on Mr. Weinstein.
I should apologize to Mr. Weinstein for subjecting him to this interview, but I doubt it is needed, or would be accepted. As is so often the case when I set these interviews up. The information exchanged is not necessary meant to sway the host, or the self-centered majority. It is meant to give those within hearing distance, those who believe as we belief in the sanctity of these hard fought for rights…validation.
Validation so that they may know that they are not alone. That someone is fighting for them.
Mr. Weinstein, Employees and Volunteers with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation…
A difficult message never chooses its messenger. It is those who would be brave enough to carry those responsibilities that deliver this message.
Those brave enough to affect change.
I and the Tri-State Freethinkers
thank you all!
– Tony Arnold