MRFF Intervention Ends Blatant Sectarian Religious Proselytizing of Patients at U.S. Military Medical Facility

November 8, 2019

Wilford Hall located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is the U.S. Air Force’s flagship medical facility for outpatient care. Serving more than 55,000 patients, it is the Department of Defense’s largest outpatient ambulatory surgical center. The building features four wings, on four floors, housing more than 25 outpatient clinics and clinical services.  11 clients of this major U.S. Military Medical Facility contacted MRFF for assistance when their objections to televisions in the facility waiting areas being continuously tuned to the TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) were ignored.  Emblazoned on the home page (https://www.tbn.org/) for the Trinity Broadcasting Network is the following mission statement:

JOIN TBN’S MISSION OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL

Help TBN spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we continue to expand our reach across the globe and make the Name of Jesus famous around the world.

One of MRFF’s clients in this matter described their experience while seeking medical assistance at Wilford Hall:

I am a retired military member who recently had an appointment at a clinic at Lackland AFB. Hospital (Wilford Hall). For a medical procedure, after reporting in at the Clinic, I was directed to wait in a small cubicle waiting area with a T.V. The Television station playing was the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

Within just the first 5 mins I was read prayers, told to pray, and asked for donations. I went to the medical facility for medical care. Not to be ministered to and proselytized to as a captive audience member in a DOD medical facility.

This client, along with 10 other veterans and active duty personnel Wilford Hall patients, contacted MRFF Founder/President Mikey Weinstein for assistance after their complaints to facility administrators were ignored.  Within a couple of hours of being contacted by MRFF via phone calls and emails, the chain-of-command for Wilford Hall announced that TBN would no longer be broadcast on the TVs there.

The tremendous importance of Mikey and MRFF’s assistance to clients in this matter was clearly described by a practicing military medicine physician:

Thank you for your effective and timely intervention on behalf of active duty military members and veterans in regard to exposing patients at the storied Wilford Hall medical facility at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas,  one of the largest “crown jewels of Military Medicine” in the US, to flagrant Christian fundamentalist proselytizing through TV programming in a waiting room area .  I write to you as a physician who both practices in Military Medicine and who has studied this unique global healthcare system over many years.

Unfortunately MRFF had the need to responded [sic] to complaints from clients at the Wilford hall medical facility who were exposed to the Christian Evangelical TBN network while they were patiently waiting for medical services – hence “trapped”. Some of these patients may have been ill, in pain or otherwise suffering hence rendering them vulnerable to any messaging. Yet, not being helpless, they courageously reached out to you at MRFF for assistance. They knew of the very fine reputation of you, Mr. Weinstein, and your team at MRFF has as [sic] it relates to “being there” for them after they have exhausted all other options and remedies. They are aware of your accessibility, your effectiveness, efficiency and, perhaps most of all, your courage in in improving the quality of lives in the Military or in Military retirement as Veterans by protecting their legal rights under Military Regulations and the United States Constitution. I am certain that they and many others are exceedingly grateful to you for your work.

Mr. Weinstein -Religious proselyting is bad enough on its face but is especially egregious when done in a Military medical facility which is both cruel medically and constitutionally illegal.  You and MRFF responded effectively and efficient to shut this inappropriate TV programing down. Thank you for your very swift and decisive action!

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