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Friday, February 13th, 2009

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AF Colonel Accused of
Imposing Religion

Monday, February 9, 2009

By Geoff Ziezulewicz

RAF MILDENHALL, England — An Air Force colonel is being criticized for improperly referring airmen under her command to a far-right religious Web site.

Col. Kimberly K. Toney sent a e-mail Jan. 16 to the 501st Combat Support Wing inviting airmen to enjoy a linked video highlighting an inspirational individual on 4marks.com, a Roman Catholic Web site.

The video featured Nick Vujicic, a 25-year-old who was born without arms or legs. According to the video’s introduction, Vujicic finds his "greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those he meets and tell them of his (Jesus’) great desire to get to know them personally by allowing him to become their Lord and Savior."

Air Force Master Sgt. Jeffrey L. Thompson, a member of the 501st, sent a letter to Toney that complained she had inappropriately advanced her faith in an official capacity.

"My own impression of your e-mail was an organizational endorsement of Christian faith, because the e-mail, article and video compelled us to witness an exercise in religious-specific faith that I felt was in conflict with DOD neutrality on religion," Thompson said in his letter.

Read More...


Reader responds:

February 10, 2009

Wow! MSgt Jeffrey L. Thompson is a hero, right up there with Sully. Sully had no choice in whether to handle his challenge. His bravery and skill saved innumerable lives, real lives. MSgt Thompson, however, did have a choice, and at serious personal risk, he stood to protect innumerable others, both their lives and their livelihoods, with verbal, military precision, and the most appropriate guidelines and goals.

Kudos to MSgt Thompson. I thank him for his service. He is 100% Constitutional American Military, through and through. Would that all our military be so patriotic, fair, and legal.

(name withheld)

Albuquerque Journal Logo

Ed Brayton is a journalist, commentator and speaker. He is the co-founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science and co-founder of The Panda's Thumb. He has written for such publications as The Bard, Skeptic and Reports of the National Center for Science Education, spoken in front of many organizations and conferences, and appeared on nationally syndicated radio shows and on C-SPAN. Ed is also a Fellow with the Center for Independent Media and the host of Declaring Independence, a one hour weekly political talk show on WPRR in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Nah, There's No Military
Proselytization Problem

Friday, February 13, 2009

By: Ed Brayton

Here's a story that illustrates the kind of problems the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has to fight against. Check out what this high-ranking officer did:

An Air Force colonel is being criticized for improperly referring airmen under her command to a far-right religious Web site.

Col. Kimberly K. Toney sent a e-mail Jan. 16 to the 501st Combat Support Wing inviting airmen to enjoy a linked video highlighting an inspirational individual on 4marks.com, a Roman Catholic Web site.

The video featured Nick Vujicic, a 25-year-old who was born without arms or legs. According to the video's introduction, Vujicic finds his "greatest joy in this life is to introduce Jesus to those he meets and tell them of his (Jesus') great desire to get to know them personally by allowing him to become their Lord and Savior."

Read More...


The Public Record Logo

Air Force E-Mail Directs
Personnel To Website
Depicting Obama
As Hitler, Antichrist

Thursday, February 5, 2009

By Jason Leopold

An Air Force Colonel is under fire for distributing an e-mail to thousands of Air Force personnel from her official government account directing personnel under her command to visit a far-right, Catholic website where President Barack Obama was compared to Adolf Hitler and the Antichrist.

Col. Kimberly K. Toney’s Jan. 16 e-mail was sent to eight different Air Force installations in the United Kingdom and Norway and included the subject line: “Inspiration of the day - A Giant of a Man - Meet Nick Vujicic,” who was born without limbs.

“Every day, all around us, we meet people who make a difference in our lives,” Col. Toney’s e-mail says. “Please take a few minutes to enjoy the attached video and meet a truly inspirational individual who will provide you with an opportunity to think about life and how we handle challenges in our personal and professional day-to-day lives.

“Keep doing the GREAT things you do and don't ever let the challenges get you down. Live, learn and enjoy! Thank you!”

Read More...


Reader responds:

February 8, 2009

As per Leopold's " .... Obama Depicted as Hitler, Antichrist" and " .......
'Jews As Whiners'" stories, I wonder how far this brand of Christian
evangelism might extend to the upper reaches of AF command, Pentagon, and
corporate branch of the military industrial complex.

If very far, one might take a little pause at the May 18 '05 New York Times
story "Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Weapons Programs"
which details AF programs for the weaponisation of space, under the overall management of a (would you believe it?) General Lance Lord.

Dr Strangelove, I presume? Imagine a General Jack D. Ripper at the control
button of a "Rods From God" (again wybi?) satellite that can hurl a tungsten
projectile with energy equivalent to a small nuke at any place on earth, and
he really considers himself part of a crusade. Don't forget that Bush
characterized the Iraq invasion as a crusade. Imagine General Buck Turgidson
urging him on.

At the least we're looking at another pretty good movie plot here.


MRFF In Box
MRFF's Inbox

February 11, 2009

Mikey and MRFF:

I was in an exercise at (military installation withheld) today and a discussion between some (officer ranks withheld) and (enlisted ranks withheld) started about the recent (newspaper name withheld) article about the offensive actions of the(officer's rank withheld) at (military installation withheld). I was not surprised at the discussion, but I was uneasy about the hostility toward the (MRFF client's rank withheld) who reported the unconstitutional proselytizing to MRFF. (MRFF client's gender withheld) is now labeled and I don't want the same to happen to me here. I want to take my name from the (magazine name withheld) article ASAP so that I don't see similar
retributions here. Things are going well and I do not want to destroy my chances in the military. I am of more value staying under the radar and keeping my eyes and ears open. Thank you for understanding.

Very Respectfully,

(name, rank, military assignment and installation withheld)

 

February 8, 2009

Hello Mr. Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation:

I just read the article in the MRFF February Newsletter about the email sent by Col Toney. I served with Col Toney at Aviano AB from 2005 – 2007. Just for the record I don’t remember ever having heard or read anything from her that would be considered proselytizing.

I was very surprised to learn about the things that that website stated about President Obama. However I can’t say that it is surprising that people in the military fall prey to sites like this. I can tell you that for the most part, my friends and co-workers keep their political opinions close to their chest. However I feel that a large number of military members are subscribing to crazy conspiracy theories about our president being a socialist, secret Muslim, baby-killer. I am becoming concerned that this feeling will lead to detrimental behavior within the military.

Just sharing some of my thoughts.

Thanks for all the MRFF newsletters. I really enjoy reading them.

(name withheld)
(rank withheld), USAF
(U.S. military installation in Middle East withheld)

Mikey Weinstein responds:

.......thx for reaching out, (service member's name and rank withheld).......... we, too, here at MRFF are seeing a dramatic spike in these "crazy conspiracy theories"....many of them wrapped in unconstitutionally-delivered, command directed fundamentalist Christian warnings about Obama either being the forerunner of the Antichrist (like what Col. Toney's website says) or that he IS the Antichrist etc......Col. Toney's actions are hideous and almost beyond belief........irrespective of whether she was "good" at a prior assignment at Aviano Air Base...eh?!....all best to you, good sir.....

Mikey Weinstein
President and Founder
MRFF


February 8, 2009

Mikey,

A thought: The article HUFFINGTON POST - U.S. Army Conveniently Loses Records of Embedded Christian-Reality-TV-Show Missionaries includes "missionaries... were actually handing out their Dari language Bibles." This comes right after mentioned how the evangelizing embeds got to Afghanistan in days, and used US Army gear, while a legitimate journalist had to wait weeks and, presumably, follow the law, i.e., provide all his own gear. Therefore, the evangelists had essentially zero preparation time.

And, therefore, the Dari language bibles are proof that American evangelizing in Muslim countries, particularly those in which we are at war, is not an afterthought but a specifically planned action.

This indicates a conspiracy.

There must have been collusion in translating the bibles and then providing them to the evangelists, and corruption in bypassing the laws and military regulations that you and MRFF discovered were ignored. Loss of the records, after only 4 years, is further proof.

After all, the bible does not translate itself, and Dari, unlike Spanish, is not a common language, found in multiple countries. One wonders how long it takes our own federal government to come up with a good Dari translator for modern English, much less one who can translate from the older version found in most bibles. (I will assume the Dari bible translators did not have to be so educated and intellectual as to translate directly from the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.)

If the US government, today, had to find a Dari translator for, say, a single issue of the Sunday Washington Post, how long would it take for the project to be complete, advertisements included? Please include finding a printing source with the correct fonts and ability to apply a professional, hard-bound backing, to put this translation in permanent book form.

(withheld)


January 12, 2009

Posted on MRFF Discussion Forum

Dear Interested Friends,

This [MRFF] site offers nothing more than that of Madeline O'hare with a flag. Just one look at the condition of our nations public schools should shock each citizen to our knees begging God's forgivness for banning Him from our schools. It doesn't matter whether it is a big city school or a small Columbine, CO school. We have not instructed our children in the most important wisdom of all - that is the fear of God.

Your motivation against intolerance is much misdirected...However, I believe much in the truth that you have the right to be WRONG if you want to be wrong. There is one group that is vigilent against both your and my opionion and against liberty and freedom everywhere. Our government has misdirected the battle against terrorism and not against the beliefs that set the terrorist in motion.

It is obvious to me that you don't put much study in history and it's repeating of itself. The enemy to freedom and liberty will be the resurgence of the Holy Roman Empire and the Great Religious Whore read that the Roman Catholic Church. It will gain much by having an arm of terror aligned with the willing paticipation of the Muslim scourge. Heads will roll.

I fear God and not what man can do unto me. You had better be sure that you know God like you claim.

[name withheld]


MRFF's Mikey Weinstein
portrayed in major theater production
at Vineyard Theatre in NYC

February 3rd - March 15th

MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein's Federal lawsuit against the United States Air Force in October 2005 was an igniting spark to uncover the unconstitutional religious infiltration of fundamentalist evangelism in the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. This play features Mikey’s struggle as part of the larger tapestry of events occurring in and around Colorado Springs.

Click here for more information


A mesmerizing, fiercely intelligent portrait of Colorado Springs.

The Civilians, the OBIE-Award winning theatre company from New York City known for their boldly theatrical snapshots of the human psyche, brings its newest project to the Vineyard Theatre.

In this new play with music, they tackle the fervor behind the Evangelical movement, the effect its growth had on its unofficial U.S. capital, Colorado Springs, and the confusion of a community in crisis following the scandalous fall of pastor Ted Haggard.

Created from interviews with actual persons and featuring music by the award-winning composer of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, This Beautiful City is a fiercely intelligent, explosive and ultimately sincere exploration of a uniquely American phenomenon and its passionate followers.

This Beautiful City is a fascinating and timely look at faith and how it affects the American landscape. The Civilians’ work has been called "superb" by the NY Times and "clear evidence of evolution in the world of modern theatre," by Time Out New York.


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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.

So, keep the emails coming, and never think that anything is too insignificant or assume that we might already know about it. You never know -- you might have stumbled into the next bombshell of a story and not even realize it.

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To arrange an interview or press article with Mikey Weinstein,
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