More than a year after he was forced to disown his Chicago pastor, President Obama has begun to attend services led by a Christian chaplain who views Islam as a violent faith.
Mr Obama has been an irregular church attender since becoming President, but has expressed a fondness for Carey Cash, the navy chaplain at the Camp David presidential retreat who has been criticised for proselytising in the military and his mistrust of Islam.
The White House insists that the Rev Cash, the great-nephew of the singer Johnny Cash, has not become Mr Obama’s new pastor, but it appears that the President has heard more sermons by him than any other minister since taking office.
The emergence of Mr Cash, 39, who was profiled on the front page of The Washington Post yesterday, will pose some tough questions for the White House — and for President Obama, whose father was Muslim. In a 2004 book describing his deployment to Iraq the year before, Mr Cash calls Islam violent, a faith that “from its very birth has used the edge of the sword as a means to convert or conquer those with different religious convictions”.
The Times of London: "'Islam is violent' says President Obama's new pastor Carey Cash"
Thursday, October 19, 2009
By Chris Rodda
Back in June, when it was reported on the Time Magazine website that the Obama family had chosen the chapel at Camp David as their home church, I wrote a quick post about Navy chaplain Lt. Carey Cash, the chaplain at Camp David. Although the White House had denied the Time story by the time I finished writing my post, I made no changes to what I had written, with the exception of adding a disclaimer that the White House had denied the Time report that the Camp David chapel had been chosen by the Obamas as their home church. As the Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), my concerns regarding what I had discovered about Lt. Cash, a military chaplain who had said of the efforts to Christianize the U.S. military, "First we get the military, then we get the nation," were the same whether he was the president's official pastor or not.
"First we get the military, then we get the nation..."
--Pastor Lt. Carey Cash (President Obama's potential new pastor)
Reverend Wright is somewhere feasting on his nails. He must be wondering, along with everyone else who consider themselves conscionable, fair, and just, why President Obama, forced last year into denouncing his former 20-year spiritual mentor for views some considered "incendiary," is now pallin' around with a guy who apparently finds Jesus' teachings on inter-faith fellowship immaterial ("... And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.").
To read more coverage on this story,
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT
Is it still free speech if a
Do you know what imprecatory prayer is? It's a prayer calling upon God to harm or hurt another.
A former military lawyer who served in the Reagan White House is suing a Dallas-based religious group for allegedly inciting harm upon him through prayers.
The Dallas Morning News says the suit could test the limits of free speech and prayer.
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he wants former U-S Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt to "stop asking Jesus to plunder my fields ... seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations."
The suit also asks the court to stop the defendants --Klingenschmitt and Jim Ammerman, the founders of the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches-- from "encouraging, soliciting, directing, abetting or attempting to induce others to engage in similar conduct."
NEW YORK (JTA) -- The founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is suing a Dallas-based religious organization for praying for his demise.
Mikey Weinstein, a former military lawyer who is Jewish, is suing the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, The Dallas Morning News reported Monday.
Weinstein is accusing Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former U.S. Navy chaplain endorsed by the chaplaincy group, of “asking Jesus to plunder my fields ... seize my assets, kill me and my family then wipe away our descendants for 10 generations,” the newspaper reported
Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin publicly accused Mikey Weinstein of engaging in a "demonic” agenda against the forces of Jesus Christ at an event held at Fort Bragg in August 2008.
Whether or not Mikey Weinstein is working with Satan, he is the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and is fighting Christian ministers and their military allies who are working to transform the American military into a force for Jesus Christ.
Weinstein wants to preserve freedom of religion in a secular American military.
But this makes Weinstein a demon to some, a pain to others, and a Jew destined to be boiled down into a 200-mile-long river of blood to a disturbing number of wackos.
Friend of MRFF
"Republican Gomorrah" by Max Blumenthal
In his new book "Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party", investigative reporter Max Blumenthal theorizes that a culture of "personal crisis" has transformed the Grand Old Party — and threatened its future.
A documentary filmmaker and blogger, Blumenthal has written for The Nation, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.
“Republican Gomorrah is a powerful study of right-wing extremism, replete with perversions perpetrated on all Americans in the name of the Culture Wars. Blumenthal shines a klieg light on the charlatans whose tactics would make Goebbels proud but must cause mainstream Republicans to hang their heads in shame.”
-Ambassador Joe Wilson
By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
The following is a selected excerpt from this article:
...There are 10,000 to 14,000 Jews in the active military, said Admiral Harold Robinson, a Reform rabbi and director of the Jewish Welfare Board’s Jewish Chaplains Council. Most “just don’t make an issue of their being Jewish,” he said. “You’re living with 120 other people who know everything about you. Being Jewish can be one more source of pressure or conflict. It’s much better than it was 30 or 40 years ago, but we still have all kinds of incidents where young people act out.”
Jewish chaplains say that most conflicts are rooted in ignorance. “Some kid from Alabama says, ‘Jesus loves you; you ought to come to chapel services with us,’” Robinson said. “It’s not commonplace, but is part of the reason that Jews tend to be cautious about their identification. The military is like high school on steroids. Being Jewish doesn’t help you fit in.”
At the Air Force Academy in 2005, Jewish and Christian students said that evangelical Christian officers were aggressively proselytizing them. An academy graduate filed suit against the Air Force, but the suit was dismissed in 2007...
MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
responds to this article:
In my opinion, the sad and shameful statements made by Admiral Harold Robinson(retired), below, are a disgraceful outrage!........how DARE he trivialize anti-semitism in the U.S. military as merely "young people act(ing) out"......and his tortured comparison of the military to "high school on steroids" and that "Being Jewish doesn't help you fit in" are SO wrong and hurtful on many different levels.....
No wonder Robinson was less than absolutely USELESS in assisting MRFF in defending the Constitutional civil rights of former Army Private Michael Handman who was savagely beaten and mercilessly harassed at Fort Benning by his anti-semitic drill instructors and fellow recruits last year............enraging!!
Another Prominent MRFF supporter's response:
I am increasingly sickened by the 'it's just kids" attitude toward ALL hate crimes, but this may be at the top of the list. Our national preoccupation with our own "victimization" (remember how Amy Fisher said she was "abused" by her father because he would not buy her a sports car?) flies head on into REAL victims, REAL oppression. I am a privileged, white, middle class, well-educated woman. I've had my problems with the religious right, but in NO way am I a victim. I trade daily on my WASP privilege. This dismissal of real issues of discrimination by the Admiral are part of that mindlessness that has afflicted privileged Americans which enables them NOT to care about anyone or do anything about the violence and discrimination they see every day. I'm so sorry for his disgusting dismissals and lack of help. It's outrageous behavior and belief.
Director of Public Policy
California Council of Churches/California Church IMPACT
This week's article comes from the September 2009 issue of the Marine Corps' Combat Logistics Battalion-7 "Family Readiness Newsletter." In his article titled "Missing the Point," the battalion's chaplain, LT Steven L. Roberts, explains how it would be a "tragedy" and a "sad thing" not to "accomplish the purpose for one’s existence," a purpose which, of course, is having a relationship with God, something that only those who receive Jesus Christ have been given a "right" to do.
"Well, I don’t want you to miss this important point. Yes, God is so far beyond my comprehension that I cannot understand him but I do know this, 'He loves me and he loves me just as I am.' And here is the good news, he loves you also. He created you for the primary purpose of having a relationship with him and all you have to do to participate in that is to accomplish the work he requires.
"'But Chaplain, what is the work God requires?'
"Well, it is found in the New Testament book of John chapter 6. In verse 29 where Jesus says, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.' (John 6:29)
"'Okay, who did God send?'
"The answer to that one is in John 3 verse 17, 'For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.' (John 3:17)
"'Okay, I’ve got that, but how does this apply to me?'
"Here is the last one. It is found in John 1:12 and says, 'Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.' (John 1:12)
"In conclusion, it would be a very sad thing to live one’s whole life and never accomplish the purpose for one’s existence. It would truly be a tragedy to miss the point. Do you get the point?"
Jesus Wouldn't Have Approved
of What You Did Last Night
October 13, 2009
From: e-mail address withheld
Date: October 13, 2009 3:20:14 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Request for Help From MRFF
Mr. Mikey Weinstein and MRFF,
My name is (name withheld) and I am a former member of the US Air Force Academy class of 20(USAFA class year withheld). As a child in a predominantly military family, I dreamt of service to my country and the honor that comes with valiant patriotism. From my first flight in Grandpa's private airplane, I knew I would be a pilot. When my kindergarten teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up the class was filled with future lawyers, doctors, a few presidents and a pilot. The encouragement I received offered that good grades and a good attitude will make my dream a reality. And while many of my kindergarten classmates were abandoning their childhood dreams in favor of more moderate careers, I refused to recognize the significance of the obstacles I had set before me. While I was overwhelmingly thrilled to receive an appointment to the US Air Force Academy, I almost expected it...I had done my part. I worked hard, received high merit in school, lead the pack in all of my extra curriculars and kept my focus on the prize. While I was raised in a typical Catholic home (we attended mass on Easter and Christmas, feeling guilty that we didn't attend more often) and with a strong set of values, my life would be set upon a significantly altered route by the religious pressure forced upon me as an Air Force Academy Cadet.
From the first day as a Basic Cadet the approved priorities were drilled into memory..."God, Mother, Country". That is and will be the rack and stack of feelings I am allowed to possess and those are the priorities I will respect and obey. But as a naive Basic, I had no idea how seriously the Academy's leadership took that maxim.
It is widely understood throughout the Long Blue Line of Air Force Academy graduates that fundamentalist Christian proselytizing is just a part of the military culture and environment. But a blind eye by the powers that be is turned to the effects these words have on the malleable cadets who's sole duty is to be molded with characteristics of the Air Force's elite officer core.
The Academy prides itself in its teachings of tolerance and moral value; yet holds its own in contempt when alternative views stray from the traditional Christian image.
October 15, 2009
Dear MRFF and Mikey,
Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I was no stranger to religion. My parents were not particularly religious, but believed in what Christianity had to offer, and through various people, events and holidays I was provided a robust Christian education. By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was an active member of the church, assisted with Sunday School and Vacation Bible School on a regular basis, and was an active member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was known as a “good Christian girl” and was considered by the community to be a good role model in behavior, in attitude and in faith.
What the community didn’t know was the battle that I had been fighting within myself for sometime. Something didn’t seem right. Something was off. I talked to my pastor about it, prayed about it, talked to friends and family and all told me that this was normal. “That’s faith,” they said, “You’ll get through it.” By the middle of my junior year, I became comfortable with the idea that I was an agnostic. I still wasn’t sure what the right answer was, but I knew that the path I’d been following wasn’t right for me.
People in my hometown did not NOT believe in God and believing was something that people expected from me, so I kept my agnosticism to myself and continued playing the role I’d assumed so many years before. When I arrived at the United States Air Force Academy, I decided that I was finished pretending. I identified myself as an agnostic and felt that a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I still kept this a secret from my friends and family back home, but at the Academy I was free to be me.
As I entered into basic training, I was surprised by the omnipresent religious overtones that littered the military environment. I had learned about separation of church and state and had expected the U.S. Air Force Academy, of ALL places, to be neutral territory for believers and non-believers alike. Formal formations and ceremonies began with an invocation thanking God for all he had done and continues to do for our country, asking him to bless all of the cadets and their families, and ended in the same manner with a benediction. As a basic cadet, I did not ask any questions about this practice, but later learned that Chaplains were allowed to deliver nondenominational prayers at official functions. This "nondenominational" rule was not always followed, however, as we were more often than not praying quite specifically “in Jesus’ name”.
October 16, 2009Aloha Mikey,
Today with this news, I think of all your and your families sacrifices.
I think of the horrific burdens of ridicule, isolation, loss personal revenues and psychic pain that you have borne as an American dissenter and military whistleblower for nearly a decade.
To me, your work reflects a true American patriotic tradition of lonely dissent.
You organized and lead a constructive fight for the historical record and on behalf of our beloved nation's tradition of equality, democracy and freedom.
Using the law, you fought our own Government's dark, unjust and shameful policies and worked for institutional reform while under personal threat and against overwhelming odds.
Under duress and pain of personal loss, upheld your oath to our shared Constitution. During a dark and shameful period of our nations' history and you inspired others to rebel against wrongful and unjust use of national power and personal power.
You used your education, knowledge and military training on behalf of all the American People to demand American national honour be restored.
You gave those junior military members with no voice enough hope to go forward and fight against the injustice they found in their organizations; thus you helped to re-balance the scales of justice.
With this nomination, you have been formally recognized as a resistor of injustice and as one who worked to restore American's historical leadership for human rights.
Your contribution to WORLD philosophical thought, to strategic world peace and our national honour has been recognized...
I am very, very proud of you, my association with you and with your Foundation and
I embrace you and your continued good work!
Pamela de Liz
October 16, 2009
So the jew is too good to die for this country. Certainly superior to Christian white trash. It's good you dont hide from your true self, your true nature, which is admirable in your eyes but loathsome and repulsive to the white man. Congratulations. And thanks for being yourself. Dont hold back. We're counting on you. (name withheld)
October 15, 2009
To: Mikey Weinstein and MRFF
Jews dont serve in numbers proportional to their percentage of the population. Hardly any jewish chaplains in the military cuz there's hardly any jews in the military, clown. Read the article by one of your own. How do you account for it? Not like the poor southern white Christian trash who go out and die for the zionist cause, I guess.
Do you think the Zionist interlopers will try to take out the Iranian bomb threat?That will be sweet, as Russia has vowed to defend Iran. Will US jewry stand up to Obama? Will the rest of the country stand up to US jewry? It's all going to fall apart and your stupid MRFF will be even more meaningless than it already is, if that's possible.
October 7, 2009
My name is [name withheld]. I'm a SSG in the Army's Infantry, and I'm also an atheist. I truly appreciate what you and your husband do for soldiers like me, that's all I really had to say, I know you guys spend so much of your time and efforts helping fight for our rights and I just wanted to let you know that it is so very, very much appreciated.
October 7, 2009
To The Military Religious Freedom Foundation:
I like Christians. I am a devout and faithful Christian for more than 30 years now. I am also a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. But something about being around military officer Christians scares me. I saw it at Fort Leavenworth, and now I am stationed at the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, PA. Our family, like most other families, is here for one year. We were warmly greeted, until we were asked where we were going to attend church. Since sports consume our Saturdays, Sundays have become our “Sabbath” day of rest and family time.
Because we do not attend church on post, though, I feel like we are treated differently. We live on a street on post. Of the nine homes on our street, we are the only ones who do not attend the post chapel. When I see our neighbors, it isn’t “How are you”?, but “When are you coming to church?” The other families on our street get together and have cook-outs, but they are coordinated at church. Also, our house is the only one that does not have a cross prominently displayed on our doorway.
We sponsor two of the students from the Middle East, and both are Muslim. Therefore, I did not think it would be welcoming to them if I hung a cross on our doorway. I know I am a deeply faithful Christian, and do not need to go out and buy a large cross and put it on the front door of my base house to prove it. That is what it seems, anyway, that to be a Christian here in the military that you have to display a cross somewhere on your home and attend chapel on post.
Now, I could handle all of this, but the main reason I write—I was in the Base Commissary the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. There were not many people there, but there were many teenagers there to bag the groceries. All were wearing a white T-shirt with a bright yellow cross on it. A military officer in uniform, whom I took to be the officer in charge of the youth group, was sitting on the bench with about seven youth group members around him, and talking poorly about President Obama, saying that he was not a man of faith like the previous president.
First, why is a youth group allowed to wear shirts with crosses on them inside a government non-religious facility? Second, since when is it acceptable for someone in uniform to openly disrespect the President? Third, what kind of impression is this officer having on these impressionable teenagers?
I know I should have talked to one of the chaplains about the incident I witnessed at the Commissary, for I hope that the group was sponsored by the on-post chapel. However, I did not want to cause a stir and possibly further isolate my neighbors.
I understand that Christianity is the primary faith of military members. However, here at Carlisle the predominance of Christian fundamentalists amidst the officers and retirees reveals how predominate this type of theology is among senior leaders of the Army. If I am judged because I do not attend church on Sunday, and our President is judged as not having faith, then how are people in Iraq and Afghanistan judged for their faith?
(name, rank and unit withheld)
October 7, 2009
Having served at Carlisle Barracks for the last six years of my career, I have a good idea about what this officer is experiencing. It was there that I decided that I could no longer support prayer breakfasts because they were anything but nondenominational. It was also there that the Spouses Club degenerated into what I perceived as an extension of the Protestant Women of the Chapel. In short, the author of the e-mail makes some astute observations that are consistent with my experiences. I admit that it is helpful to know that I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Did I make a big deal of it? If did not. Perhaps I should have.
I have a dear friend who is at Carlisle Barracks. I would like to send him the below note for his thoughts if it is permitted.
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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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