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Who’s really protecting religious freedom
and civil rights in the U.S. military?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Since the repeal of DADT, the stakes in the battle over religious freedom for our men and women in uniform have become much higher, and as the stakes have gotten higher, the lies have gotten bigger.

Now, a newly formed coalition of fundamentalist Christian organizations and lawmakers calling themselves the “Restore Military Religious Freedom” coalition are attempting to change the law to overturn key Constitutional protections for servicemembers.

Click to view this 4 min. 46 sec. video


MRFF Achievements depicted as attacks on "Religious Liberty" in coordinated assault
on United States Constitution,
separation of church and state

Click to read this report

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Learn more about FRC, called an "anti-gay hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, by clicking here


Conservatives say
religious freedom is
‘under attack’ in military

Clear sectarian agenda being advanced by
Christian fundamentalists under the disingenuous
cover of protecting "religious liberty"

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • WASHINGTON (RNS) Republican lawmakers and conservative activists concerned that religious expression in the military is “under attack” are rallying behind a measure to provide greater protection for religious “actions and speech” in the armed forces.

    The amendment, sponsored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La., would specify in the military spending bill that, “Except in cases of military necessity, the Armed Forces shall accommodate the beliefs, actions, and speech of service members.

    Previous spending bills protected the “beliefs” of service members and chaplains, but the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act would expand protections to include religious “actions and speech.”

    That move has already drawn opposition from the White House, which says the change would impact commanders’ ability to address conflicts within the ranks.

    Members of Congress and a coalition led by the Washington-based Family Research Council released a report Tuesday (July 9) that documented a number of “discrete events” that reflect “a larger picture of the threat to religious liberty that now exists in America’s armed forces.”
  • Incidents in the report include the removal of a painting that included a Bible verse from the dining hall of Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, and an Air Force officer who was told to remove a Bible from his desk.
  • “Political correctness has absolutely destroyed the whole concept of being able to live your faith, which is what religious liberty is,” said retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

    Boykin has come under fire for previous statements about Islam, including that the post-9/11 “war on terror” was a spiritual battle between Muslims and “Christian America” and referring to the God of Islam as “an idol.”
  • Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and an outspoken critic of proselytism in the military, called the amendment “egregious” and “vile.” Weinstein said that he would immediately sue if the amendment passes, calling it “completely unconstitutional.”

    “They’re nothing more than theocrats attempting to put into law the right for military members to bully, abuse, oppress, marginalize and dehumanize subordinates who cannot fight back,” Weinstein said, noting that service members face pressure to follow superiors’ orders.

Click to read this article at
Religion News Service


Who's Really Protecting
Religious Freedom for
Military Catholics, the
Catholic League or MRFF?

by Chris Rodda, MRFF Senior Research Director

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • Since the repeal of DADT, the stakes in the battle over religious freedom for our men and women in uniform have become much higher, and as the stakes have gotten higher, the lies have gotten bigger. As has been widely reported, Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), under the guise of "religious liberty," introduced an amendment to the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, in reality, is designed to officially grant permission to anti-gay service members to freely discriminate against and harass LGB service members, despite the fact that DADT has been repealed and DOMA has been overturned. As Huffington Post Deputy Politics Editor Mollie Reilly very succinctly explained, what Fleming's amendment would do is take away the ability of military commanders to stop anti-gay discrimination within their ranks.

  • Not surprisingly, Catholic League president Bill Donohue also supports the the Fleming amendment, putting out a press release yesterday about Fleming's July 9 press conference [...]

  • No, Mr. Donohue, the Catholic League would not know about it. Why? Because you do not represent a majority, or even a significant percent, of Catholics, any more than Tony Perkins, Ron Crews, or the leaders of any of the other fundamentalist organizations in the so-called "Restore Military Religious Freedom" coalition represent a majority of evangelicals or any other Christians. It is MRFF that Catholics come to when they need help to combat the discrimination waged against them by the fundamentalist and dominionist Christians that you support!

  • Oh yeah, and, last but not least, you'll also be receiving a letter from MRFF's legal counsel demanding a retraction of your lies. So, who really supports religious freedom for Catholics in our military? Is it Bill Donohue, who is aligning himself with and supporting the very people who are the source of anti-Catholic bigotry? Or is it Mikey Weinstein and MRFF?

  • MRFF's [video] response to Rep. Fleming's amendment, lies, and press conference

Click to read this article at
Huffington Post


Smearing Evangelicals

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights president William Donohue covers backs of radical fundamentalist Evangelical homophobes, Islamophobes, and misogynists

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yesterday, Tony Perkins and a coalition of allies urged support for Rep. John Fleming’s military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The Catholic League joins with them. But we are doing more than that: I am calling attention today to the way Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has smeared Evangelicals.

In a report released yesterday, FRC detailed some of the irresponsible comments made by Weinstein, the man who has been leading the fight to censor religious speech in the military. Last month, we prepared our own report: to read “Mikey Weinstein’s Inflammatory Rhetoric,” click here.

Weinstein’s crusade against Evangelicals rests on the premise that they are victimizing Catholics. This is bunk. As president of the Catholic League, I would know if Catholics in the military were being badgered by Evangelicals, but not one Catholic in the nation has ever called our office to register a complaint.

In 2005, following complaints by Weinstein, a report was released on religious liberty at the United States Air Force Academy. It found no “overt religious discrimination.” Weinstein was not happy. After reading the report, I noted that if Weinstein were correct, it would logically mean that Catholics, who are 30 percent of the student body, should be feeling the pinch of “heavy-handed proselytizing efforts.” Yet the report did not cite a single Catholic who ever complained.

On June 10, 2013, I sent Weinstein a letter [click here] asking him to provide evidence for his remark that he represents “over 33,000 members of the U.S. military,” and that “96 percent” are Catholics. He has not replied. That’s because it is simply not true. If 96 percent of his “clients” are Catholics, and if they are blasting Evangelicals for discriminatory behavior, the Catholic League would know about it.

Mikey Weinstein is smearing Evangelicals, fabricating a “crisis” in the military, seeking to divide people on the basis of religion, and threatening the religious liberty of men and women in the armed forces and in the military academies.

Click to read this article at Albany Tribune

MRFF's Legal Team Sends Letter to Catholic League president William Donohue Addressing Hideous Distortions
of Mikey and MRFF

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nightline logo
MRFF's Inbox

The following email to William Donohue was written by Jean Baas. Baas' daughter Lauren entered the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs in 2006. During her time there, Lauren was the victim of proselytizing by Cadets for Christ, a ministry which promotes a fundamentalist, evangelical agenda.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mr. Bill Donohue
The Catholic League for Religious Freedom
450 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10123

Dear Mr. Donohue,

We are CATHOLIC, and Mikey Weinstein, president of Military Religious Freedom Foundation, was the ONLY individual who listened to our pleas for help in July 2010. Without his intervention and guidance, our family unit would have never survived the nightmare that had unfolded before us.

Our daughter was "spiritually raped" by an Evangelical Christian group while attending the United States Air Force Academy. Her personal and professional life was being dictated by the leaders of this group. Both the superintendent and head chaplain vehemently denied any proselytizing taking place and allowed this outside "religious" group to operate on campus.

With the help of MRFF, they were no longer permitted to continue their proselytizing efforts on campus. Mr Donohue, if you could feel the pain our family suffered as a result of Evangelicals victimizing Catholics, you would think twice about supporting the military religious freedom amendment. To this day, our family continues to slowly find the daughter and sister we once knew. Religion is a very personal decision and should never be intertwined with the military as history has proven.

Mr. Weinstein is not smearing Evangelicals, or fabricating a "crisis" in the military. He is also not seeking to divide people on the basis of religion, and threatening the religious freedom of men and women in the armed forces or military academies. He is, however, fighting to protect military personnel from the "evils" of proselytizing which we have come to know first hand. I feel his foundation's five time nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize contradicts your theory of dividing people and threatening religious freedom

In closing, we contacted the Dioceses of Denver in September 2010 for assistance in this matter. It was out of their jurisdiction and it was recommended we seek help through neighboring Colorado Springs. I find it peculiar they did not direct us to the Catholic League as a valuable resource in our time of need.

(Jean Baas, MRFF Client) 

Click here to learn more about Jean Baas' ordeal

The following email to William Donohue is from Col. Dick Klass, a retired USAF colonel. He is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy and the National War College and has two graduate degrees from Oxford University where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a White House Fellow in the Nixon Administration and in the Pentagon in the Carter Administration where he dealt with strategic arms control issues. He is a veteran of over 200 combat missions as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam His decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit and Purple Heart.

A response to Catholic League president
William Donohue from ret. USAF Col. Dick Klass

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dear Mr. Donohue,

I find your support for the Family Research Council's ill-informed and unprincipled attack on the work of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation appalling. And your personal attacks on the MRFF founder, Mikey Weinstein are,... well. unchristian.

I was raised Catholic and have attended Mass in the highest cathedrals of Europe and America and under a tent in the red mud of Khe Sanh, Vietnam. I have served my nation through 200 air combat missions for which I now wear the Silver Star and Purple Heart. I earned two graduate degrees from Oxford University, England that I attended as a Rhodes Scholar where the Catholic Chaplain had been awarded the Victoria Cross for combat in North Africa.

I understand real war and recognize phony political wars used to bilk the innocent out of hard-earned funds. And that is what the FRC and your effort is all about. As a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and one of the earliest supporters of MRFF, I can attest to the extremely serious threat unconstitutional proselytizing presents in today's military. By contrast, any anti-Catholic bias is trivial., and it is not coming from MRFF.

I support MRFF and its efforts to defend the constitutional rights of our servicemen. If you think their efforts impinge on anyone's constitutional rights, I suggest you think again.

Richard L. Klass
Colonel, USAF (retired)


Fleming and Perkins claim religious threats in military

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. John Fleming and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins joined others Tuesday in releasing “A Clear and Present Danger” report on the “threat to religious liberty in the military.”

    The coalition is pushing language by Fleming, R-Minden, that already has been approved in the U.S. House in the National Defense Authorization Act. It would protect the religious “actions and speech” of members of the military.

    Critics, including the Obama administration, contend the language is unnecessary and that Christians are not being punished for their beliefs. They argue the Fleming language could lead to negative impacts on military discipline and morale, in part, by potentially giving members of the military the ability to discriminate against others for their beliefs.

  • The non-partisan, fact-checking website deemed the concerns “mostly false.”

    Defense Department spokesman Nate Christensen stated, “Service members can share their faith (evangelize), but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs (proselytization) ... If a service member harasses another member on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, then the commander takes action based on the gravity of the occurrence.”

    As Politifact summarized, “Conservative religious groups argue this means ‘sharing the gospel’ would become a crime. But no policy we saw suggests that the Pentagon would court-martial soldiers ‘who hold Christian faith.’ Quite the opposite — much of the language from the Defense Department reinforces the right of military members to practice their religion, as long as it’s in a way that respects others’ belief systems. Chaplains already follow such rules.

    “Still, there’s a sliver of truth — if you believe your Christian faith compels you to try to convert others in a way people find harassing, it’s possible you could face court-martial, though such a thing has yet to happen.”

  • Blake Page addressed the issue in a recent column that discussed a meeting at the Pentagon with Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein, who had previously sued the U.S. Air Force for alleged instances of non-Christians being discriminated against. Page is Weinstein’s assistant.

    “The rumor of ‘anti-Christian’ regulations began after the Pentagon held a meeting with MRFF President Mikey Weinstein about the problems experienced by our clients,” Page wrote. “These problems include religious harassment that gets swept under the rug, routine prayer ceremonies that service members are forced to attend, and mandatory ‘spiritual fitness’ training which assess the resiliency of service members based, in part, on their degree of faith to name the most common. That is what we are against. Not free exercise of religion, but a politically active forceful abuse of authority for religious purposes.”

Click to read this article at
The Advocate


Military Chaplains Launching Campaign to Protect Religious Freedoms - for Christians

Fundamentalist Christian coalition of
organizations, lawmakers attacks Constitutional
freedom of servicemembers to be free of
religious bullying and proselytizing

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • A group of military chaplains is launching a campaign to protect religious freedom in the U.S. Armed Forces – but only for service members of the Christian faith.

    The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said Monday it planned to reach out to Christian members of the military in coming months to inform them of their "constitutionally guaranteed religious liberties." The alliance will connect with those soldiers through its 2,400 member chaplains – which represent nearly half of the total number of chaplains in the military.
  • All 2400 members of the Chaplain Alliance come from evangelical or orthodox Christian backgrounds, according to Crews, despite chaplains representing a range of religious beliefs across the military.
  • In recent months, Christian conservatives have increasingly sounded the alarm over what they say is discrimination against Christians in the military who share their faith with others.

    On Monday, several members of Congress echoed those concerns, including Rep. John Fleming, R-La., who introduced a military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in June. Fleming's amendment would require the Armed Forces to not only accommodate the religious beliefs of service members, which it currently does, but also any actions and speech related to religious beliefs.

    The Obama administration has said it "strongly objects" to the amendment because it would have an "adverse effect" on soldiers. Critics say the amendment could also allow for Christian proselytizing in the military.
  • The chaplains were also joined Monday by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, which released a report detailing alleged instances of persecution of Christians in the military since 2005.
  • Mikey Weinstein, a controversial activist who heads the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and has pushed for greater separation between church and state in the military for years [was critical]. The Family Research Council report named Weinstein as the chief culprit in pushing the military to tamp down religious freedoms.

    "What they're asking for is a license to bully and oppress," said Weinstein of the press conference, "and a license for anyone to go to someone of lesser rank and proselytize a subordinate mercilessly."

Click to read this article at
U.S. News and World Report

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MRFF's Inbox

We receive an enormous amount of emails at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, both from our
supporters and detractors. "MRFF's Inbox" allows us
to share this correspondence with you:

Email to U.S. News reporter Re: Military Chaplains campaign (from the proud mom of a soldier KIA)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I just read your article about Military Chaplains Launching the campaign to protect religious freedoms.

Why do you refer to Mikey Weinstein as a "controversial" activist? Is activist not enough? Why not advocate? Perhaps you do not truly understand the effect of Christian proselytizing in the military.

Perhaps you do not understand the relevance and pressure of the "chain of command" in the military? Mr Weinstein has been a faithful advocate of the separation of Church & State to prevent such activities which has a very strong and often negative impact on our military and their families.

A journalist is supposed to be balanced in their writing- your article was anything but balanced.

(name withheld) -
Proud mom of (name withheld)- KIA (date withheld)

(follow-up email)

Happy to support the cause any way I can.

My son faced Christian proselytizing when he was enlisted- not so much when he became an officer.

Here is the writer's response to me.

Thanks for your email. Mikey is a controversial figure - I think it's be hard for anyone to dispute that. I did not refer to Mikey as anti-Christian or any of the other descriptions he often gets that are less than objective. Have you done work with him before? Best,

Keep on doing what you do, Mikey!

warm regards,

(name withheld) -
Proud mom of (name withheld)- KIA (date withheld)

Mikey I just cannot wait

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

mikey cannot wait until your made dead and punted to hell by The Lamb where youll burn forever for foursaking Jesus' love for you and for keeping our army under youre spell of your father satan. very soon now. oh and we pray your whole famly and the mfrr is made dead by The prince of Peace and also burn with you naked in hell for time imemorial.

No comments allowed? RE: U.S. News and World
Report article, MRFF and Religious Liberty

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear Ms. Flock,

I just attempted to comment on your article about religion in the military and found the comment system not working. Why would that be? For the record, here is the comment I wished to post:

"Darn that "controversial" Mikey Weinstein! How DARE he stand up for the civil rights of the vast majority in our military who don't want to be preached at, testified to, proselytized or evangelized! And how dare those brave military members in that majority stomp all over the religious rights of the few who must, according to their special version of Christianity, force their religious views on anyone and everyone?"

There's nothing controversial about the Constitution making it illegal to give any one religion privilege, backed by the full influence and force of United States government, over any and all other religions and no religion at all. When the DoD allows equal evangelizing to all religions, there won't be a DoD, just a giant organization factioned by religion and incapable of good order and discipline.

Each and every military member, her/his family members, and all civilians working in/with the military should be shown the respect of privacy, regarding his/her religion, at least when on the job, in uniform, during the duty day, on the taxpayer's dime. Anything else is not controversial. It is simply unAmerican.

(name withheld)
former Maj, USAF

Connect with MRFF:
Mikey Weinstein Facebook Page Mikey Weinstein Twitter Mikey Weinstein Youtube Channel


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