Selected Article Excerpts:
- Bonnie Weinstein is married to Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which brings a special set of challenges to their relationship. The mission of MRFF is “to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.” Some people don’t like that.
- Mikey Weinstein founded MRFF in response to rampant violations of these principles by Evangelicals and other “Great Commission” Christians at the United States Air Force Academy, where their two sons (both Jewish) and future daughter-in-law and son-in law (both Christians) were cadets and, like Mikey, later graduates.Great Commission Christians are those who think it is their responsibility to save souls by converting others to their form of belief. They typically are biblical literalists who believe the Bible is the perfect and complete word of God. Their behavior often stands in contrast to Great Commandment Christians—those who think that the prime directive of the New Testament is not evangelism and right belief, but love. Many of these Christians perceive the Bible as a human document, an imperfect record of God’s relationship to humanity and the ministry of Jesus. Because of U.S. demographics, the vast majority of MRFF’s clients are Christians of this latter type, followed by religious minorities including Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Native American spiritualists, atheists, agnostics and Wiccans. MRFF also represents 861 LGBT armed forces clients.
- From the beginning, the Weinsteins and MRFF staff have received a barrage of hate mail filled with curses, imprecatory prayers, graphic descriptions of bodily harm, death threats, gloating promises of eternal torture and more—all in the name of Jesus and often accompanied by Bible quotations, chapter and verse. Some of the ugliest messages hone in on the fact that Bonnie and Mikey are Jewish, stating, for example that the Holocaust didn’t go far enough; that their children should be turned into skin lamps; that “their kind” are not Americans and can’t be; and that Hell will be worse than the gas chambers.At the suggestion of appalled supporters, Bonnie Weinstein finally compiled a selection of choice missives into a book, To the Far Right Christian Hater: You can be a good speller or a hater, but you can’t be both. I was a conservative Evangelical for many years. Over that time, I imagined saying nasty things to people, and sometimes did. I imagined swearing, and sometimes did. But it never crossed my mind that a believer might combine swearing and denigration with the name of Christ. The kaleidoscope of variations found in Weinstein’s book would have been unfathomable. Even today, if I hadn’t read them myself, I wouldn’t believe it still.