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Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CHRISTIAN NATIONALIST MILITARISM: Prior to removal, Tobyhanna Army Depot POW/MIA memorial proudly displayed New Testament Bible emblazoned with base's name & defense radar system

Statement by Mikey Weinstein, MRFF Founder and President

The latest confirmed removal of an illicit sectarian Christian bible display from the Tobyhanna Army Depot POW/MIA memorial comes as simply the latest in 5 consecutive Constitutional wins initiated by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) for the purpose of ensuring religious (and non-religious) liberty and inclusion within our armed forces as well as the good order, morale, unit cohesion and discipline of our brave warfighters and uniformed servicemembers.

However, the fact that the latest removed Christian Bible bore the official name and motto ("Excellence in Electronics") of the Tobyhanna Army Depot, as well as imagery depicting a military radar defense system, indicates that the scourge of undue Christian fundamentalist, theocratic-militaristic fervor still remains a devastatingly serious national security issue of the highest order throughout all service branches. Illustrating the gravity of this failure to comply with Constitutional and DoD directives, at Tobyhanna alone no less than 115 servicemember clients (86 of whom are Christian) sounded the alarm to MRFF requesting that we intervene to stand up and address their grievances.

While we are somewhat encouraged by the swift moves on the part of Colonel Gregory D. Peterson, the Commander of Tobyhanna Army Depot, and the rest of the senior Tobyhanna Army Depot leadership to remedy this crisis in constitutional compliance, we are confused that it took so long on their part to notice a display so clearly and prominently violative of established rules, regulations, and norms governing the role of religion in the military. The elaborate and unconvincing apologias claiming that a third-party, private organization -- the Veterans Council -- was responsible for this conspicuous offense indicates, at the very least, the glaring Constitutional blind-spots of base leaders towards these exhibitionist displays of sectarian Christian supremacy which constitute violations of service members' basic civil rights. However, we also have a right to wonder if this case of purportedly Christian conceit is now, within the pressure-cooker of widespread public scrutiny, transforming into a case of Christian deceit.

We vigilantly call on the Department of Defense to immediately condemn, investigate, and root out those DoD and private entities who time and time again willfully conspire to erode and undermine the foundational, Constitutional barrier separating church and state within the U.S. military.

Now, as before, the purpose of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is clear: to put an end to a calamitously unconstitutional environment within the United States Armed Forces whereby the legally-bankrupt "exception" evidently turns out to be the Christian fundamentalist "rule."

Description: mikey_signature
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
[email protected]

Background on Bible Removals:

Demand letter to remove Bible from
Tobyhanna, PA VA POW/MIA Table

Bible Removed from Akron, OH VA POW/MIA Table

Bible Removed from Youngstown, OH VA POW/MIA Table

Bible Removed from Wright Patterson, OH POW/MIA Table

Bible Removed from Houston, TX VA POW/MIA Table


Bible pulled from depot display ... but how'd it get there?

"...115 people at the base did reach out regarding the book to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, according to Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and the group’s founder."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Officials at Tobyhanna Army Depot removed a Bible with the depot’s name on its cover from a prisoner-of-war memorial display in the installation’s administration building about 24 hours after receiving a complaint Monday from a religious freedom advocacy group.

One catch: According to the depot and the private veterans group in charge of the POW/MIA "missing man" table, the Bible in question – boasting a camouflage cover design and a depot logo from the 1980s featuring a satellite dish – wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.

Read more


Tobyhanna Army Depot's Public Affairs Office concedes to MRFF demands

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Letter from Ed Mickley, Public Affairs Officer, Tobyhanna Army Depot

From: "Mickley, Edwin J (Ed) CIV USARMY TYAD (US)"
Date: April 19, 2016 at 12:17:59 PM MDT

Subject: RTQ: MRFF inquiry about Tobyhanna Army Depot MIA/POW Display (UNCLASSIFIED)


In Response to the query: about Tobyhanna Army Depot MIA/POW Display

The Veterans' Council, a private organization authorized to operate at
Tobyhanna, has managed the Tobyhanna POW/MIA 'Missing Man' table display for
more than 10 years.

In 2012 Tobyhanna Army Depot conducted an audit of all private organizations
to include the Veterans' Council at Tobyhanna Army Depot to ensure
compliance with all federal regulations. At that time the bible, which had
been a part of the display was removed to ensure adherence to Federal

In the fall of 2015 the display was moved to the main lobby of the depot's
administration building from another area at the installation due to a
renovation project and, at that time, did not include a bible.

It is unknown who placed a bible on the table or when this occurred, but it
was not sanctioned or approved by the depot's Chain of Command or the
Veterans' Council. Once brought to light, the bible was immediately removed
in compliance with the 1997 Federal Guidelines on Religious Exercise and
Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace. The Veterans' Council
instituted a procedure to ensure that a bible is not placed on the display

"We've investigated the POW/MIA bible situation," said Ed Mickley, Public
Affairs Officer. "According to members of the Veterans' Council, the bible
was removed after the 2012 audit in accordance with the Federal guidelines."

Depot leadership adheres to the 1997 Federal Guidelines on Religious
Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace, which separates
religious expression into four categories: expression in private work areas,
expression among fellow employees, expression directed at fellow employees,
and expression in areas accessible to the public.

According to the Veterans' Council, the bible on the table, printed in 1984,
was given to the council by a former depot chaplain. The logo on this
particular bible is outdated and hasn't been authorized for or in print in a
number of years.

Prior to receiving notification on April 18, 2016, no one has complained
about a bible to the Depot leadership, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Office, the Legal Office, the Inspector General, the Veterans' Council or
any other staff office. There are 3855 DoD employees across the installation
along with 93 military (Army).


Ed Mickley, Public Affairs Officer
Tobyhanna Army Depot
11 Hap Arnold Blvd
Tobyhanna, PA 18466-5076
p. 570-615-6552
c. 570-804-3454
[email protected]



Religious Liberties Group Demands Army Depot Expunge Bible From POW/MIA Display

UPDATE:  Weinstein late Tuesday morning told the Washington Gadfly that the Bible, which contained the Depot’s official logo, was just removed from the display table. He commended Colonel Peterson for doing the right thing, albeit under "duress."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Yet another POW/MIA Bible display was just hurled over the wall between church and state, if you believe the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

MRFF president Mikey Weinstein, who just convinced three VA clinics and one military base medical center to remove the good book from their own tables for fallen and missing soldiers, demanded Monday that the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania follow suit.

Read more


Army depot's POW/MIA display is latest target by advocacy group

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Bible bearing the name of an Army installation on its cover is the latest target of a religious-freedom advocacy group seeking to remove the religious text from displays on government property that honor prisoners of war and troops missing in action.

Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, demanded Col. Gregory Peterson, commander of Pennsylvania’s Tobyhanna Army Depot, remove the book from a POW/MIA "missing man" table in the lobby of the depot’s administration building.

Read more


Mr Weinstein, ("Mikey"),

Thank you for sharing the response to your MRFF from the Tobyhanna Army Depot on the matter of the alleged re-appearance of the Christian Bible on their POW/MIA table in apparent full view of all employees, active duty and all visitors to the Depot.

Nevertheless the Depot's response is a series of poor excuses for the re-appearance of the Bible on an important display in what appears to be a very important location - namely the lobby of this Depot's main administration building.

Because of the importance of scrupulous attention that should be paid by Depot Command toward complying with constitutionally driven Federal Regulations on this very important issue the need for more periodic scheduled inspections of potential areas of infraction certainly seem warranted.

I believe that this Depot and for that matter all DoD and VA federal facilities need to institute a thorough review of these and other displays to ensure that Federal regulations that exist are not broken. I personally view this to be a matter of utmost importance.

To that end I believe and recommend that relevant leaders in the DoD and VA issue a frequent enough inspection protocol and robust schedule to ensure that the recommendations of the MRFF and federal regulations are being met.

Thank you again for your incredible courage and your extremely important work on behalf of all Americans but especially those active duty, civilians and veterans who have served or continue to serve in the United States Military.



MRFF media coverage leads to avalanche of disgustingly vile messages against our cause: view these messages from our detractors, with strong responses from MRFF allies

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