August 2009
 

MRFF instantly intervened when Pvt. Michael Handman
was savagely beaten at Fort Benning last September. The following articles regard actions taken by Fort Benning
in response to what occurred:

JTA Logo

U.S. Army base adds kosher food,
Jewish chaplain

Sunday, August 9, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- A major U.S. Army base has added kosher food and a rabbi-chaplain after a Jewish soldier was beaten.

The move at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Ga., comes after 20-year-old Pvt. Michael Handman suffered a concussion when a fellow soldier beat him during basic training last fall, according to an article Friday in Army Times. 

Handman's parents told Army officials that their son had complained to them about religious discrimination even before the beating.

Read More...


Arutz Sheva logo

US Army Turns Tables on Anti-Semitism, Offers Kosher Food, Rabbi

Monday, August 10, 2009
 
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

The U.S. Army has retaliated for an anti-Semitic attack on a Jewish soldier last year and now offers kosher food for Jews, who also have been given access to a rabbi-chaplain at the Fort Benning, Georgia training base.

Col. Scott Davis, head chaplain at the base, said that the improvements in religious observance for Jews is a direct result of the attack, in which 20-year-old Private Michael Handman suffered a concussion following a beating from other trainees. Several days before the attacks, Handman’s parents had complained to the army about religious discrimination against their son.

More Israel news


New Foundation Voice Rick Baker



MRFF Ally Jeff Sharlet on Maddow - Author of Harper's Cover Story
Featuring MRFF Discusses
Theocracy in the Military

Click the "Play"(Left Arrow) button on above video to
watch this 47 second video. If video controls disappear,
move your cursor over the video to display them.

Mikey Weinstein, Chris Rodda, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation have been indispensable allies during the past month as I've worked to bring the story behind the "C Street House" at the heart of this summer's political sex scandals to the public. I knew I'd need help, and I'd need it from people who understand that political fundamentalism -- "weaponized Christianity," in Mikey's words -- is a real threat to everybody's First Amendment freedoms.

Working together, we've uncovered a new front in the fight for open democracy: the convergence of the elite fundamentalism behind the C Street House and the populist fundamentalist activism that's seeking to turn the military into a force for "spiritual war." MRFF understands this better than anyone. Mikey is the constitutional conscience of the military, and his research director, Chris Rodda, brings investigative brilliance to the battle.

Hats off to both of them and all their colleagues in MRFF.

Jeff Sharlet Photo
Jeff Sharlet
The author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, is a contributing editor for Harper’s and Rolling Stone and a visiting research scholar at the New York University Center for Religion and Media.

The Daily Beast Logo
Secrets of C Street

July 26, 2009

By: Jeff Sharlet

The Washington prayer group known as the Family may be in the news after several of its members had affairs, but it has been setting the agenda—and propping up foreign dictators—for years.

In this article, Jeff Sharlet, who has tracked the C Street House since 2002, discloses:
Getty Images
Getty Images (3)

• That the group espouses a religious philosophy that holds God-anointed leaders are necessary for Christ’s second coming.

• A list of American politicians associated with the Family, most of whom are right-wing Republicans but also some Democrats, including, at one time, Hillary Clinton.

Read More...


Salon.com Logo
Sex and power inside
"the C Street House"

Sanford, Ensign, and other regulars receive guidance from the invisible fundamentalist group known as the Family

July 21, 2009

By Jeff Sharlet

I can't say I was impressed when I met Sen. John Ensign at the C Street House, the secretive religious enclave on Capitol Hill thrust into the news by its links to three political sex scandals, those of Gov. Mark Sanford; former Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., who allegedly rendezvoused at the C Street House with his mistress, an executive in the industry for which he then became a lobbyist; and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. Although Sanford declared today that his scandal will actually turn out to be good for the people of South Carolina because he's now more firmly in God's control, the once-favored GOP presidential prospect will finish out his term and fade away. And Ensign's residence at the C Street House during his own extramarital affair now threatens to end a career that he and other Republicans hoped would lead him to the White House.

Read More...


Violation on VideoViolation on Video

One of the regular features in this newsletter is a section containing a "Violation on Video," in which we show a video clip of a military regulation being violated by a service member or at a military event, and "Captured on Camera," a photo of a violation being committed. The video and photo that we planned to feature in this August newsletter are typical -- a video of a Marine officer appearing on a Christian television show in uniform, and a photo of an Army officer giving a briefing while standing in front of a Christian flag. What's not typical about this month's video and photo is how I happened to come across them. So, rather than just presenting this video and photo in our newsletter in the usual format, I decided to write about the bigger story that led me to find them, and include the photo and video in the article below:

The Huffington Post Logo

"C Street" and the Military

Friday, August 7, 2009

By Chris Rodda

About a month ago, as the John Ensign and Mark Sanford sex scandals were introducing America to the Family's "C Street House," Jeff Sharlet, who had infiltrated and extensively researched the Family for his 2008 book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, began to be besieged with media requests as the one person who could explain this shadowy religious cult to a suddenly interested audience. Jeff quickly saw that as more was being revealed about C Street, more new questions were arising, some of which involved military connections. Jeff had just spent well over a year researching religious fundamentalism in the military for his May 2009 Harper's Magazine cover story "Jesus Killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military," and during the process had become extremely well acquainted with MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein, myself, and the work of MRFF. So, Jeff called Mikey and asked if he could "borrow" me for a few days to work on the C Street investigation.

Read More...


Joseph Wilson

The wall separating church and state
in the U.S. military has collapsed.

MRFF desperately needs you to
Help Build The Wall!

WITHOUT YOUR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE
WE WON'T SURVIVE!

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Washington Jewish Week Logo

Victim, victimizer or both? Killer claims he was plagued by anti-Semites

August 5, 2009

by Richard Greenberg - Associate Editor

"I am in a terrible situation," says the hand-scrawled letter.

The writer is David Winters, a 20-year-old former U.S. Marine, whose plight is indeed perilous -- largely because he broke the law in one of the most egregious ways possible.

But the story of Winters' recent tumultuous past has another narrative thread that is emerging. A proven victimizer -- a convicted murderer, in fact -- Winters maintains that he himself was brutally victimized prior to the crime simply because he is a Jew.

Read More...


Gordon Klingenschmitt
Invokes yet Another Imprecatory
Prayer Against Mikey Weinstein

Friday, July 31, 2009

Microphone logo
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE
LATEST FUNDAMENTALIST
CHRISTIAN PRAYER AGAINST
MIKEY WEINSTEIN

"MRFF plans to drop “bombshell” on Chaplain Klingenschmitt"

Klingenschmitt"Let us pray. Almighty God, we again pray imprecatory prayers against Mikey Weinstein and his atheist complainers at the anti-Christian “Militant Religion Foes Foundation,” who just announced their secret plans, “we're ready to drop the bomb on Klingenschmitt,” following Mr. Weinsteins threat “I would like to beat the **** out of [Klingenschmitt] in a boxing ring or in an alley behind a Safeway.” God I welcome their beatings and persecution, which honor me as Jesus predicted in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
In Jesus name, Amen.
"

In case you're wondering, the Merriam-Webster
definition for "imprecate" is as follows:

"To invoke evil on; to utter curses"

The "secret plans" referenced in Klingenschmitt's prayer were discussed by MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda in the commentary below this recent Ed Brayton blog entry


Jewish Week Logo

Ex-Chaplain Offered to Sacrifice Jesus Crusade For ‘Adequate Compensation’

Friday, August 7, 2009

By Jason Leopold

KlingenschmittGordon Klingenschmitt is a far-right Christian fundamentalist who claims he sacrificed his 16-year career in the military and a million dollar pension because he was targeted for praying publicly in Jesus’ name while serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.

Klingenschmitt, who now runs a Colorado Spings-based nonprofit, “The Pray in Jesus Name Project,” is also fond of boasting to his right-wing extremist followers that he demanded his own court martial because his superior officers prohibited him from praying in the name of Jesus.

But those claims are flat-out lies.

Read More...


The Daily Beast Logo

AU Blog

No Credence: Carpetbagger
Crank Klingenschmitt Shouldn’t
Get Stuck In Lodi

August 4, 2009

Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain
and all-around blowhard, rushed into Lodi and began
raising a fuss.

Lodi, Calif., is a city of about 62,000 residents between Sacramento and Stockton. I’ve never been there, but Wikipedia tells me the town is known for its wine production – it’s the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” The band Creedence Clearwater Revival once penned a tune called “Stuck in Lodi.”

But lately Lodi has been in the news for another reason: a nasty spat over prayers before city council meetings.

Read More...


The Daily Beast Logo

Prayer showdown

August 4, 2009

Two groups — one for prayer and one against — to hold rallies before Wednesday's City Council meeting

By Maggie Creamer
News-Sentinel Staff Writer

In an all-black outfit, Gordon James Klingenschmitt stood with his Bible in hand and quoted from both religious texts and the U.S. Constitution to prove that Jesus should be allowed in prayer at the Lodi City Council meetings.

Read More..


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You be our researcher

The constitutional violations occurring in our military are so numerous and widespread that we can't possibly find all of them ourselves. MRFF counts on its supporters and volunteers -- the indispensable "eyes and ears" who alert us to everything from the most egregious of constitutional violations to articles we might be interested in.

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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.

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Message From
Mikey Weinstein
MRFF President


Mikey Weinstein

Greetings MRFF supporters!

We are thrilled to feature our latest tour de force victory in Fort Benning! Our efforts, directly attributable to your most generous support, have netted yet another grand slam triumph for the cause of religious freedom. With your continued support, we will never cease in our tireless struggles to rebuild the constitutionally-guaranteed wall separating church and state in the U.S. military.

As you can see, we are proud to welcome our newest MRFF Board member, Richard Baker. Mr. Baker joins the esteemed ranks of MRFF Foundation Voices that recently swelled to include Advisory Board members Sam Fairchild, William B. Wiener, Jr., and Major General (USAF - Ret.) David J. Scott. MRFF is honored to add these distinguished names to our Foundation Voices.

On August 3rd 2009, MRFF filed its comprehensive response to the Department of Defense's Motion to Dismiss. Also on August 3rd, MRFF participated in an Amicus Brief for the U.S. Supreme Court case Salazar v. Buono.

As you read this newsletter, it will be evident that the huge story this month regards the stunning revelations that have come out about the C Street House, and its ties to the shadowy international Fundamentalist Christian organization known as The Family.

MRFF ally and author of the Harper's Magazine May 2009 Cover Story, Jeff Sharlet, has been widely featured in a whirlwind of mass media exposure. MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda has been working tirelessly behind the scenes assisting Jeff to shed further light on this powerful group's activities.

As our costs rise to maintain our presense in the courts and in the media, our struggle to survive grows ever more difficult. Please visit helpbuildthewall.org and lend a helping hand.

Your Eternal Ally,
Mikey


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FRIENDS OF MRFF

"Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History Vol. 1"
by Chris Rodda



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"The Family:
The Secret Fundamentalism at
the Heart of American Power"

by Jeff Sharlet



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"[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
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former religion reporter
for the Washington Post

 

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