November 17, 2008

Hon. Dr. Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Secretary Gates,

Earlier this year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org, discovered that a Navy chaplain, LCDR Brian K. Waite, has, for several years, been publicly endorsing a religious organization called Revival Fires Ministries. A photo of LCDR Waite in uniform, along with his letter of endorsement, appear on the websites of both Revival Fires Ministries, run by Dr. Cecil Todd, and Revival Fires International, the ministry of Cecil Todd's son, Tim Todd. LCDR Waite has also appeared, in uniform, as a featured speaker at the annual Revival Fires Ministries campmeetings in 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as being pictured, again in uniform, on advertising materials for these events.

Click here to read more and view the actual
3-page letter sent to the Secretary of Defense
(PDF)


 

Beating of Jewish Soldier at
Fort Benning Turns Allies Into Foes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

By: Chris Rodda

Just over a year ago, Sgt. Brian Kresge of the website Jews in Green had nothing but praise for Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Kresge even made a point of noting, in the introduction to an interview he had done with Weinstein, "He speaks in the easy manner of a seasoned grunt, and it's not affectation, it's genuine affection for
the service members he seeks to serve now" and "If his statements come across as vituperative or pugilistic, one only has to look at what is at stake to
understand why."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


 

The Public Record Logo

ADL's Handling of Fort Benning
Anti-Semitism Case Under Fire

Saturday, November 15, 2008

By Jason Leopold

The parents of a Fort Benning Army soldier who was brutally beaten by other soldiers two months ago in what appeared to be a case of anti-Semitism are upset that criminal charges were not leveled against the individuals responsible for the attack.

Moreover, Randi and Jonathan Handman criticized the director of the southeast chapter of the Anti-Defamation League for entering into secret discussions with Fort Benning officials earlier this month to apparently negotiate closure of the matter without including them or the head of the military watchdog organization that first exposed the attack and had been working closely with the family on a more severe course of action.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


 

MRFF Receives Interim Letter of Response from U.S. Army
Chief of Chaplains

November 10, 2008

Major General Douglas L. Carver, U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains, has sent an interim response on behalf of Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. This is a response to the October 16th letter from MRFF.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, sent a formal letter to the Secretary of Defense asking that two lay Jewish leaders in the U.S. Army be immediately fired for making excuses for the attackers of a Jewish soldier after the brutal beating left him hospitalized with serious injuries.

In the response, Major General Carver states that "any evidence produced by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and statements by Mr. Block and Mr. Grifenhagen" will be considered "prior to making a decision about what action, if any, is required."

As previously included in the original letter sent to the Secretary of State: "The United States Army simply must not tolerate such a hateful screed from one of its own [Neil Block] acting under color of "co-Jewish lay leader" authority or any other authority. Indeed, there can be no safe harbor for bigotry and prejudice of any magnitude in the United States armed forces.

"--- MRFF now officially demands that the United States Army immediately remove these two individuals from their voluntary, unpaid positions as co-Jewish lay leaders at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia."

Click here to read the original letter sent from MRFF to the Secretary of State (PDF)

Click here to read the interim letter of response from the
U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains
(PDF)


 

CLICK HERE TO SEE PRESS RELEASE FOR THIS EVENT

Mikey Weinstein Honored

Jews For Racial & Economic Justice
12th Annual Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer
Risk-Taker Awards

Thursday, November 20th, 6-9pm

Where and When:

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun
257 West 88th Street
New York City

This year JFREJ will be honoring Ann Cook, Deborah Meier,
Mikey Weinstein & Families for Freedom

Past Risk-Taker honorees have included Allen Ginsberg, Michael Ratner, Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein, Rev. James Forbes, Art Speigelman, Grace Paley, Debbie Almontaser, the Brennan Center for Justice, and Domestic Workers United, to name a few.

Nov 20th Event Photo

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS TO THIS EVENT


  Beyone the Pale Microphone ImageClick icon to
listen to radio interview
15 min 21 sec

 

Faith in uniform: Should the military be more open
to nonbelievers?

By Jonathan Herzog

Monday, November 17, 2008

Photo 1
'The Four Chaplians' stained glass window located in the Army War College Chapel, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. (Photo/army.mil)

So there are atheists in foxholes after all.

Last week, on the eve of Veterans Day, the Secular Coalition for America and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers held a news conference in Washington to present an open letter to President-elect Barack Obama. Citing a report that found 21 percent of those in the armed forces identifying themselves as atheists or having “no religion,” the groups called on the new administration to pursue a military policy more open to nonbelievers.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


Response from David Antoon
MRFF Board Member

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mr Herzog,

You need to do some more homework. In 1997, Air Force Secretary Widnall issued the AF Little Blue Book on Core Values. In the same section with the prohibition of sexual predation were strict guidelines also prohibiting religious predation: "Military professionals must remember that religious choice is a matter of individual conscience. Professionals, and especially commanders, must not take it upon themselves to change or coercively influence the religious views of subordinates." In 2005, AF Secretary Mike Wynne, in response to the "strident evangelical themes" (Yale Divinity School Report) at the AF Academy and egregious Constitutional violations by AF Academy Commandant John Weida and staff, issued a code of ethics which allowed proselytizing -- without mention of the Core Values
which were being violated ... and continue to be violated. Furthermore, evangelical leaders Ted Haggard and Jim Dobson were "in bed" with George W. Bush. These Constitutional violations were not "decried" by George W Bush, but encouraged by George W Bush. We can only hope that these egregious Constitutional violations of separation of church and state will not continue with the change of administration.

David Antoon,
Military Religious Freedom Foundation


 

Dustin Chalker: Speech

U.S. Army Specialist and MRFF
Co-plantiff in Federal Lawsuit
Against Defense Department

Speech given at Kansas City venue, in the court district where lawsuit is filed.
Click here to read original press release and court filing

  Beyone the Pale Microphone ImageClick icon to
listen to his speech
9 min 34 sec

 

Admirals, generals:
Let gays serve openly

More than 100 call for repeal of
military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

By: Brian Witte AP Press Writer

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays so they can serve openly, according to a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

The move by the military veterans confronts the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama with a thorny political and cultural issue that dogged former President Bill Clinton early in his administration.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE



Reader responds to AP Article

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mikey, Good morning,


The MSN Hotmail frontpage had a news item that brought MRFF to mind: "Admirals, generals: Let gays serve openly" That article touches upon the touchiness of religious populations, regarding politcal consequences for candidates and presidents. Does MRFF at this time stand in favor of openly same-sex relators serving in the military?

I am not gay myself but I have met several during my life and those were perfectly capable of high-level function in any aspect of society.

MRFF should be able to gain support from people who identify as gay (or other term for same-sex relating), so it might be a helpful thing for MRFF to support that change that is discussed in the article.

Keep up the great work. Our nation continues to be in need of change. I deeply appreciate what I see you have done already. You and your son as USAFA graduates are important and brilliant "bright spots" in the overall tableau of our nation's historical growth and development.

Regards from Washington DC

[name withheld]


Mikey Weinstein and his family are featured
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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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