6/23/17 – Powerful Compilation of MRFF Support in the Face of Adversity

Moving email to Mikey Weinstein from MRFF supporter about visiting Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz:

From: (name withheld)
Date: June 11, 2017 at 10:14:17 AM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Auschwitz

M,

We visited Auschwitz today. The most evil place I’ve ever been to. There was an exhibit of seized Jewish luggage and one had “Weinstein” written on the side in big bold letters. I thought of you and your family and knew that Auschwitz is what happens when hate is glorified, institutionalized and merges with state power.

Keep fighting hate my friend!

(name withheld)

Response to the above Auschwitz email from USAFA Grad, MRFF Client and F-15 Pilot:

That last sentiment is the most powerful to me – when hate merges with state power. That, in a nutshell is what you and MRFF are fighting – and it is the most noble fight. Thanks for sharing.

Forever supporting you,

(name withheld)


The residue of Hitler’s regime is still manifesting today, evident in this vile voicemail Mikey Weinstein received:


Powerful response to above voicemail from Former United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) and MRFF Client:

From: Former United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) and MRFF Client
To: Mikey Weinstein
Date: June 23, 2017 at 11:27AM MDT
Subject: Voicemail

I’m sorry Mikey, I saw your e-mail on my phone and completely missed the attachment. 

I don’t even know what to say. I’m horrified, sad, and furious all at the same time. I can’t believe there are people out in this world that would make light of, and use as an emotional weapon, the horrendous murder of 6,000,000 innocent people. 

We as citizens of the world have the duty to ensure nothing so horrific as the Holocaust ever happens again. People like this show that the will still exists in our country for it to happen, as horrible of a thought as that is.

When I first heard you speak at that JAG conference in San Antonio in 2007 (10 years ago??? wow), your message resonated with me because my whole life I had been approached by people that saw it as their personal mission to make me Christian. Without exception, these people were well meaning, but I thought the world would be a better place without their blatant proselytizing, especially in the military.

This voicemail makes very clear that there is a lot more at stake than just protecting our constitutional ideals. It’s completely despicable that there are people out there like this that are involved with those that seek to pervert and crush the First Amendment. It tells me that our opponents have at least an element that condones the annihilation of those that do not embrace their religious views. This is a serious threat that must be confronted head on. Silence in the face of this kind of evil resulted in the Holocaust and many other atrocities. Voices like the MRFF are the sentinels that ensure that we will never experience anything so horrific in these United States. We can, and we will, make sure that our voices are heard, that our country stays faithful to the Constitution, and that people everywhere in this nation are free to practice any religion of their choosing without harassment or violence. 

I’m sorry you had to listen to this awful message. There’s a special place in hell for people like this. 

Thank you again for all you do.

With my greatest respect,

(Former United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) and MRFF Client name withheld)


“Jesus is NOT our Wingman” — United States Air Force Airman and MRFF Supporter commends MRFF’s work at his Air Force Base:

From: USAF Airman’s E-Mail Address Withheld
Date: June 20, 2017 at 6:10:52 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Jesus is NOT our Wingman

To Military Religious Freedom Foundation of New Mexico,

I am sorry for taking too much time to write in thanks for what you all did for us to fix a bad problem with what our (unit name withheld) Commander said to us all at our (annual training event name withheld) in (month withheld) of 2017 at (installation name withheld) AFB in (city and state withheld).

He was explaining what it meant to be a great Wingman for our fellow airman and then went on a freaking rant about how we ‘should all be like the greatest wingman ever in the world’s history Jesus Christ.’ He said stuff like to be a good wingman is to be a good Christian and vive versa. So many of us were pissed at all of this. We’re not idiots and making all of the Jesus comparing to USAF Wingman standards was stupid even tho some airmen liked it.

Me and many other members of the (unit name withheld) saw this as super messed up. I tried to tell this wrongness to our (unit name withheld) (subordinate military supervisor’s title withheld) but all he said was that we were dead wrong and was being a very disloyal wingmen to even object to what our (unit name withheld) Commander had spoken about Jesus at (annual training event name withheld). And by the way I am not Christian but my wife is and most of those who joined me in asking for the MRFFs help are Christians.

Our First Shirt (name and rank withheld) gave us Mr. Weinstein’s name and phone number from when he needed the MRFF back in the day of 2011 on National prayer breakfast at (installation name and state withheld). He said none of our names would ever get out to anyone especially AF OSI for asking for the MRFFs help.

We called Mr. Weinstein at late night and he talks to us for almost an hour. Can’t say what or how it was done but only 2 days later (name and rank withheld) who is the (higher unit name withheld) Commander spoke to us at (previously scheduled unit training event name withheld) to tell us that comparing a good Wingman to Jesus was wrong and out of line. Broke regs too. Best part was when our (unit name withheld) commander spoke to us next and also apologized. We were all like “F— YES”!!

For me and my fellow airmen who asked for their help we thank the MRFF for making it all good again. The MRFF is our Wingman now!

v/r

(USAF Airman’s name, rank, AFSC, unit and installation name all withheld)


Worried USAF Cadet’s Mother’s Email to Mikey expressing concern over proselytization at the United States Air Force Academy:

From: New USAF Academy Cadet’s Mother’s E-Mail Address Withheld
To: Mikey Weinstein
Date: June 23, 2017 at 3:54:59 PM MDT
Subject: 
Please Help Us About the AF Academy

Good afternoon Mr. Weinstein,

My name is (name withheld) and I am the mother of (name withheld) a new AF Academy cadet about to enter next week into the Academy’s summer basic training with the new Class of 2021.

My husband (name withheld) and I have a very serious concern about our (son or daughter) which we’d like to ask you about. Please do not release our names, Mr. Weinstein.

A few years ago MRFF placed a “Parental Advisory” on the Air Force Academy due to Christian-based religious evangelizing and proselytizing. We only found out about this fact a week or so ago when the parents of another newly entering cadet in the Class of 2021 called us about it. When I tried to contact the Academy no-one there would give me the time of day about this troubling fact. You could tell they know all about the MRFF but it was like they all had muzzles on and could not or would not answer any of our ??s. We tried many times all to no avail. Same “no response” when the other parents tried as well. The AF Academy’s refusal to address our concerns has made this all the more worse. We are losing sleep over it all now.

Next, my husband and I went on to various Air Force Academy internet forums and chat rooms from “Parents Associations” to those with other names. Boy did we ever get responses. Very bad ones.

Last evening was a real doozy. When we asked about MRFF’s Parental Advisory the hatred just poured out. The mean things that were said about you and your children who graduated were hurtful and we were not prepared for any of this. Why would we have been? Much of it was just aimed at your Jewish faith and was very personal about you and your family in a shocking way. But the derogatory insults hurled at you, your wife, your sons and daughter-in-law and some others apparently connected to or with or part of your family was just appalling. We finally deleted it as it was not helping to read it over again. We have not told our (son or daughter) about this and don’t plan to yet. We did not want (him or her) to accidentally read it either.

We’re (Protestant denomination withheld) and live in (city and state withheld). I am a public school teacher and teach (education level withheld) and my husband is a physician (medical specialty withheld) and we don’t have much military in our family. We have (number withheld) other children but (name withheld) is our eldest and the first to go off to college. We’re pretty lost right now and, frankly, scared for our (son or daughter). We need some help please, sir.

Please don’t release any of our personal name or town identification information as we don’t want to hurt our (son or daughter) before he/she even starts basic training at the AF Academy next week. But we have no restrictions about our concerns otherwise being shown.

My husband and I would like to be listed right away with the MRFF as needing its help immediately. How do we sign up and is there a cost?  In an effort to try to find answers, we have finished your book “No Snowflake In An Avalanche” and have ordered your wife’s book too but it’s not here yet. We have been all over your website too.

Could you please call us at (phone number withheld) before too long, sir?

Thank you for the consideration, Mr. Weinstein and thank you for having the MRFF available for us as we are in strange and frightening territory here. And the AF Academy’s “loud” silence is not helping the matter at all.

Sincerely,

(name, address, city, state and phone numbers all withheld)

Response from Senior USAF Officer and USAF Academy Graduate:

From: Senior USAF Officer and USAF Academy Graduate’s E-Mail Address Withheld
Date: June 23, 2017 at 5:00:59 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Re: Please Help Us About the AF Academy

Dear Class of 2021 Parents,

First, congrats to you and you appointee for earning a spot in the Class of 2021–well done on all of your parts!  I am a senior Air Force officer and USAFA graduate who has spent his entire career (it seems, sometimes) navigating my way through an Air Force that condones and even encourages blatant proselytization and religious bias/bigotry.  Two other members of my immediate family are graduates of USAFA, too, and both have similar experiences.  I’ve seen letters like yours from far too many parents over the years (forwarded to me by Mikey and the MRFF) to believe that the problem is going away.  I will say, though, that today there are more legitimate, effective ways to address these problems than in the past.  This isn’t necessarily because USAFA leadership has been all that proactive about the problem, but rather more from the cry of so many–mostly through the MRFF and Mikey’s support–that have been negatively affected.

Let me be honest with you.  Your appointee WILL face unwanted judgment and proselytization at USAFA from other cadets (primarily if they are anything but the most strident fundamentalist evangelical Protestant).  I can’t stop that.  On SOME (but not most) levels, that’s allowable if it’s a peer-to-peer conversation.  Where the problem arises is when these bullies use the military hierarchy to achieve their goals, overtly or sometimes in more nuanced ways (e.g., forced prayers and inclusion of very evangelical perspectives into “training” situations, pressure to attend certain services and events).  If that happens, then your cadet has recourse through a variety of channels.  There is a Cadet Freethinker Club for non-religious and other cadets that also acts as a support mechanism for cadets bullied by the evangelicals.  There are also a significant number of officers who are available to help stationed at USAFA or who are local to the area but in close contact with the Academy.  I’m one of them.  I’ve answered letters like this for years.  Here’s my advice:  don’t give in.  Your cadet’s beliefs are their own and they’re private.  They can and will succeed regardless of if they “fit in” with the vocal evangelicals or not, even if they do face some challenges. I am nearby.  Mikey always knows how to reach me.  I can reach out to cadets and staff I trust that can help more directly, too.  You can contact me anonymously.  Whatever works.  We faced this with one of our children, too.

Even with these challenges, USAFA is still worth it–I assure you.  Despite my concerns and reservations, I remain a passionate advocate for USAFA and what it should be.  Moreover, we’re not going to make it better, more accepting, and more effective at producing great officers to serve this nation unless you and we continue to stand up where and when we can.  Air Force Policy is on our side (ref:  AF Instruction 1-1) even if it is often ignored in practice.  More importantly, the CONSTITUTION is on our side.  More than once I’ve told folks here that they need to realize that no religious perspective or belief is a necessary or sufficient condition for honorable service in our military.  That’s the most succinct way I can put it.

Your cadet is strong enough to get into USAFA.  He or she will be strong enough to overcome these bullies–be better for it, and make the Air Force better in turn.  And remember, I’m a phone call or e-mail away. And Mikey and the MRFF are available literally around-the clock. 

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