June 2008


TJ Image

Thomas Jefferson Award Recipients

Click on photos for recipient bio's

Pam Zubeck Jeson Leopold
Pam Zubeck
Jason Leopold
Gene Nichol Larry Buck
Gene Nichol
Larry Buck

Thomas Jefferson Luncheon Highlights

Luncheon Video
CLICK VIDEO to see Luncheon presentation

The 3rd Annual Thomas Jefferson Award Luncheon held in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 6th was a huge success. Over 130 people attended the luncheon, including prominent political representation from both major parties. Key staff from both Congressman Steve Pearce and Congressman Tom Udall's offices attended, as well as the mayor of Albuquerque and former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson.


Rapture-Ready Evangelicals
Impersonate Army Officers --
Bush Administration Gives
Organization Members Award

Thursday June 12, 2008

By Chris Rodda
MRFF Senior Research Director

A few days ago, a tip was sent to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) research department to check out an organization called Marshall Minute Military Ministries. MRFF has investigated a seemingly endless stream of evangelical ministries and para-church organizations operating within the military, from small Mom and Pop church groups to large scale, military-wide operations like Campus Crusade for Christ's Military Ministry, who are well on their way to accomplishing their goal of turning our military into a force of "government-paid missionaries for Christ." Marshall Minute, however, had escaped our attention -- until now.

The Huffington Post Logo

The "Great Commission" and Iraq

Wednesday June 4, 2008

By Chris Rodda
MRFF Senior Research Director

On May 28, McClatchy's Washington Bureau reported that a Marine in Fallujah had outraged the city's residents by passing out coins that read, in Arabic, "Where will you spend eternity?" on one side, and "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16" on the other.

The military immediately began trying to pass this off as an "isolated incident." On May 30, two days after the McClatchy story broke, the Associated Press reported that, "Lt. Col. Chris Hughes, a spokesman for U.S. forces in western Iraq, said it didn't appear to be a widespread problem, stressing that the military forbids 'proselytizing any religion, faith or practices.'" and quoted the following from an e-mailed statement from Hughes: "Indications are this was an isolated incident -- an individual Marine acting on his own accord passing out coins." Stars and Stripes similarly reported on May 31 that Capt. John Caldwell, a spokesman for the Multi-National Forces - West, said that "Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the commander of U.S. troops in western Iraq, has discussed the matter with local sheiks, who said they understand it is an isolated incident."


Associated Press

Associated Press

Death of Muslim Soldier's Son
Issue for Lawsuit

Friday May 30, 2008

Associated Press Writer

TOPEKA, Kan. --
Mackenzie Agee believes her infant son was the victim of prejudice in the Army against Muslims like her and her soldier-husband. The baby's death is an issue for a group accusing the military of religious intolerance in a federal lawsuit in Kansas.

Eight-month-old Lachlan Agee died at Fort Bragg, where his father, Pfc. Eli Agee, is stationed, and officials there suspect sudden infant death syndrome as the cause. Mackenzie Agee said she tried and failed repeatedly to get routine medical appointments for the baby, even though he was born premature.



MRFF New Video "Then and Now"

Military brass who torment subordinates and break federal regulations
face serious consequences, or do they? Take a look:

Then & Now


Jewish Daily Logo

Jewish General To Pilot
Evangelical-Friendly Air Force

Thursday June 12, 2008
By Marc Perlman

General Schwartz
SCHWARTZ: The new top gun.

When he was a cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in the early 1970s, Norton Schwartz did not hide his religion under his blue-and-white uniform.

A member of the academy’s Jewish choir before graduating in 1973, according to one of his classmates, Schwartz has since risen up the ranks and on June 9 was appointed Air Force chief by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


This story is republished from the pages of Religion Dispatches,
an independent online magazine

Onward Christian Soldiers

Monday June 9, 2008

By Jane Hunter and Haim Beliak

Photo courtesy Comandante Agi.

In a lawsuit filed against the Department of Defense and his commanding officer, Army Specialist Jeremy Hall alleges that Maj. Freddy J. Welborn broke up an atheists’ meeting organized in Iraq, exclaiming: “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” In an interview with RD last week, Hall said that he and another Army specialist attending the meeting were forced to stand at attention before Welborn and submit to his authority, saying: “‘Yes sir, I see where you’re coming from, yes sir I see what you mean, this that and the other.” The encounter with Welborn, Hall continued, forced him “to totally lie. My integrity was taken from me. My pride. Everything was stripped from me when I had to say, ‘Yes sir,’ and shake his hand.”


Call to Action

Our fight is against those with passion. We need yours.

In our fight in the media and the courts, your assistance is vital to the success of our mission. We have had offers of assistance from many excellent attorneys nationwide, but we are continuously looking for others in all areas of the country.

If you'd like to offer your legal services to MRFF, please contact us at [email protected].

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Studio Theater Logo

MRFF and Mikey Weinstein are featured in the new play This Beautiful City, which looks at the Evangelical movement in Colorado Springs and the various political conflicts surrounding that story. One of the stories in the show looks at Evangelical influence at the Air Force Academy. There has been tremendous feedback from audiences about the Air Force scene with people expressing great dismay that religion was playing such a divisive role in the armed forces. Audiences have been equally shocked that this story has not received greater coverage in our national media.

The show premiered this past winter at the prestigious Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. And the New York Times singled out the show as one of the stand out works. Article here: http://www.thecivilians.org/news_080401_nytimes.html.

It was also featured in The Washington Post this past Sunday: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/05/AR2008060501142.html

The play titled THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY opens on June 11th and runs until June 29th, although it may extend until mid-July.

More details on their website: http://www.studiotheatre.org.



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Message From
Mikey Weinstein
MRFF President

Mikey Weinstein

Greetings MRFF supporters!

As usual, there is too much going on here to cram into a newsletter, but we'll give it a try! Be sure to check out the video from our 3rd annual Jefferson Awards Luncheon. Over 130 attendees, including prominent political representation from both major parties, came out to make this a hugely successful event for us.

We received our first major endorsement for our Federal law suit, from Veterans for Common Sense. Other major national organizations have indicated a strong interest in doing the same.

I just got finished filming a piece for Anderson Cooper 360, due to air in the coming days. Also, another MRFF related story is near-term in The New York Times and on Tuesday June 17th, the re-broadcast of Dan Rather Reports on HDNet.

Indeed, MRFF has truly become a force to be reckoned with. We work around the clock because our honorable soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen deserve the guarantee of their Constitutional rights while serving our great county.



Just released:
"The Family:
The Secret Fundamentalism at
the Heart of American Power"
by Jeff Sharlet


"[Sharlet] has managed to infiltrate the most influential and secretive fundamentalist network in America, and ground his reporting in the most astute and original explanation of fundamentalism I’ve
ever read. . . . Indispensable."
- Hanna Rosin,
former religion reporter
for the Washington Post


Just released:
"In Justice: Inside the Scandal
That Rocked the Bush Administration"
by David Iglesias




(click here for more info)

Mikey Weinstein and his family
are featured in Oren Jacoby's
newest documentary.


As we continue to fight in the courts, the media, and in the minds and hearts of our fellow citizens, we need your ongoing support.

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Military Religious
Freedom Foundation

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