Mikey Weinstein is fighting what he considers the dangerously excessive influence of Christian extremism in the US military. It’s an ugly fight and the push-back against him and his group has been intense.
Mikey Weinstein and his wife are the creators of a vibrant organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). They confront what he describes in his book No Snowflake in an Avalanche as “a persistent and pervasive pattern of religious intolerance, coercive attempts at conversion and an intolerable abuse of the chain of command with the nation’s armed services.”
And, in this same book, he says that he has “conclusively identified the perpetrators as hardcore fundamentalist Christian elements within every branch of the military, intent on creating nothing less than an army of zombie zealots prepared to fight and die in order to usher in the dispensational reign of Jesus Christ on earth.”
If Weinstein is right, it is disturbing to think of nuclear weapons in the hands of religious fanatics.
Weinstein tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman that “Christianity is everywhere. We see it certainly in the prison system, with our law enforcement organizations, public schools of course, firefighters, sewage workers, legislatures — but at least all of those do not have access to nuclear weapons, laser-guided weapons, drones and other massive weapons of mass destruction that we have.”
Weinstein’s goal is to protect the Constitutional rights of soldiers who he believes are being coerced and indoctrinated into an extreme form of Christianity by higher ups in the chain of command.
He represents over 45,100 people in the military. Some are Muslim-Americans, but around 96% of his clients are Protestants and Catholics who are being oppressed because they are not “Christian enough.”
Weinstein believes the US military has become a Christian organization and that, with patriotism now conflated with this Christianity, the result is a military that is fighting for both the flag and for Jesus.
He sees this trend as equal to the extremism coming from the Middle East, and thinks that, in addition to being a core violation of the Constitution, it also poses a national security threat.
Weinstein and his family have been subjected to harassment, death threats and an extreme level of hate mail almost daily.
Weinstein served as counsel in the Reagan White House, and as general counsel to Ross Perot. He and Davin Seay are the authors of With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military and No Snowflake in an Avalanche.
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Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Mikey Weinstein (Facebook)
Full Text Transcript:
Jeff Schechtman: Welcome to Radio WhoWhatWhy, I’m Jeff Schechtman. Every day we are inundated with discussion of religion in politics, and the role of religion in the public square. What might come as a surprise, however, is the degree to which fundamentalist religion has become a big part of our military, and is preached by its commanders. It’s often quoted that there are no atheists in the foxholes. In fact, research shows that indeed there are. They’re in foxholes and in the military in significant numbers. Enough to create thousands of complaints and incidents of soldiers being coerced, pressured or proselytized about religious beliefs in direct violation of their constitutional rights. Adding to this is the degree to which patriotism itself has been conflated with Christianity in ways that make it seem that the military’s fight is not just for the flag, but for Jesus. Taking on these issues for many years has been my guest Mikey Weinstein.
Weinstein is the founder and the leader of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He is an honor’s graduate of the US Air Force Academy, his family spans three generations of Military Academy graduates. He was Legal Counsel in the Reagan White House, and served as a General Counsel to Ross Perot. It is my pleasure to welcome Mikey Weinstein to Radio WhoWhatWhy.
Mikey, thanks so much for joining us.
Mikey: Thank you for the opportunity, Jeff. It’s great to be here.
Jeff: It’s great to have you here. First of all in looking at all of the work you’ve done, and all the things your organization has done on all of your writing, one can quickly come to the conclusion that the US military has become a religious organization, a Christian organization.
Mikey: Yes. I’m really sad to say, as we sit here on this great program today, the Constitutionally-mandated wall separating church and state, metaphysical, physical, spiritual and temporal in the most technologically lethal organization ever created by our species, the US military is nothing but smoke and debris. It’s become when we refer to the Pentagon as the Pentacostalgon, and this concept of radicalizing what we call Dominion Christianity, which can be Googled, or Fundamentalist Christianity, is pretty much inextricably intertwined into the very DNA of our Department of Defense and it’s very much to be described this way: you were talking about it, it’s just a radicalized religiosity and not, you know, of Wahabi or Salafist Islam but what is known as Dominion or Fundamentalist Christianity mixed in with actual weapons of mass destruction, which we have on the other side [doesn’t yet/not yet?] thank God, mixed in with a total dearth of any restraint, oversight or supervision, mixed in with a vertically encrustated command set, you know, draconian specter of command influence – because that’s the nature of our very tribal adversarial, communal and ritualistic military. And it’s so huge that almost no one can believe, Jeff, that it exists -unless they are complicit. We’ve been fighting this for twelve years, one month, and four days and we see it every day. And it’s about as real as the hand in front of your face.
Jeff: Does this go to the heart of the larger issue of the influence of Christianity within the government itself or is this something that is strongly indigenous to the Penta-gon and the American military?
Mikey: It’s a great question. You know, I give a lot of speeches at civic organizations, at colleges and universities all over the country and this comes up. This is something that is much larger, it’s everywhere. We see it certainly in the prison system, with our law enforcement organizations, public schools of course, firefighters, sewage workers, legislatures, but at least all of those do not have access to nuclear weapons, laser-guided weapons, drones and other massive weapons of mass destruction that we have. And we have to be very careful. There’s something between 34,000 – 41,000 different, distinct denominations of Christianity. For our foundation, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, we were fortunate to have a lot of support. Our largest and longest serving supporting entity is actually the California Council of Churches IMPACT organization which represents over 5500 individual churches in the state of California, I think it’s 24 distinct Protestant denominations, and almost 2 million California Protestants. As I speak to you today we represent over 45,100 active-duty sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen; [designate?] shipmen at West Point and Annapolis Air Force Academy as well as National Guard reservists and veterans and right around 96% of our clients are Protestants and Roman Catholics who are being oppressed horribly because they are not quote “Christian enough”. We also represent 911 LGBT members of the US military. We represented them way before ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ went away. We also represent now a little bit in excess of 15% of all Muslim Americans in the US military. And this is something that exists all over our country but it is of such huge scope, that’s why we created the Military Religious Freedom Foundation years ago to focus with laser-like precision where all the weapons of mass destruction are located. We don’t take the cases when it involves the cops, the firefighters, public schools or legislatures. That’s just not our lane.
Jeff: But you mentioned prison for example, along with the military. Talk about the connection between both of them in terms of command and control and top-down influence and that being the common denominator there.
Mikey: Very good point. I’m sure you remember Charles Colson. Anyone who is listening there old enough from the Watergate situation, when he left the Watergate mess, he started a huge, a kind of assault in the prison system bringing Christ there. You know, when you’re in the prison system, you don’t have the ability in many respects of choice. I mean, you’re a prisoner. The US military superior is not-not-not-not your shift manager at Starbucks. This is not your boss at Costco or KFC or Boeing or Walgreens. There is an entire separate military code, criminal code. I mean, in the military, for instance, it is a felony to have sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse, adultery. I’ve tried to defend in those cases. I spent 10 years in the world of Air Force JAG (Judge Advocate General) including three years of law school in California. And in the military if you’re ordered to go to the base at 16 hours or 4pm and you don’t go, that can also be punished as a felony. That’s why we have a Supreme Court case called Parker versus Levy written by that noted liberal judge William Rehnquist (and I’m winking because he was such a conservative) actually 41 years ago. It made it very clear that when you put on the military uniform of your country many of your first amendment constitutional rights will be severely abridged because they have to be subordinated to the higher goals of ensuring the maximum levels of good order, morale and discipline, discipline for the mission, a military mission accomplishment. So it’s very difficult when a military superior is proselytizing you on their version of the gospel of Jesus Christ you, “excuse me sir, ma’am, get the hell out of my face,” you can’t do that. It would be subordination and you could be tried and convicted of a felony. So it’s extremely difficult because that person again is not your regular boss at a civilian entity.
Jeff: You make the argument that in addition to the restriction of personal freedom, that what you see happening within the confines of the military and the Pentagon, is arguably a national security threat.
Mikey: Yes, I do. When we look like the 10th version of the nine prior crusades which began in the year 1096 and we look exactly like that to the enemies that we are fighting and we need to be, we need to be fighting Fundamentalist Islam. Fundamentalist Islam, let me be very clear about that, on the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula. Obviously the Mojahedin, and certainly Isis. But when we do these things and make us a look exactly like that, because we are that, we do three things. They’re all terrible, they all begin with the letter E. We eviscerate the morale of our own troops, embolden our Islamic enemies and we enrage our Islamic allies. This does nothing more but creates a massive deficit of the [ ?] necessary for our military to protect the full panoply of constitutional rights for the rest of us. And in this country we live in a secular republic. If you don’t like that you can move to Saudi Arabia where there is no separation between mosque and state. You can move to Israel, there’s no separation between synagogue and state. If you want to go to North Korea I’m sure Kim Jong-un will be happy to help you as I understand that religion is not to be nailed to the state there. But in this country we don’t judge the value of the American citizens based on the degree to which they accept a particularly weaponized version of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have over 270 people working with the foundation. Like many civil rights organizations the vast majority are full-time volunteers and well over 80% of our staff are Protestants and Roman Catholics. The same with our board and advisory board. We have some wonderful people. I’m sure your familiar with ambassador Joe Wilson who wrote the great, now the apocryphal op-ed in the New York Times making it clear there was no yellowcake uranium in Niger and there was no pretext that existed for the invasion of Iraq. His wife, my dear friend Valerie Plame, was outed by the Bush White House as a CIA operative after that. Joe is one of my board members. One of the two Navy SEALs killed in the attack in Benghazi, Glen Doherty, a wonderful friend, a long time advisory board member of our foundation when he passed, he was killed in that terrible situation… It took six month to replace him. They’ll never be able to replace him. The former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Larry Wilkerson, came aboard. He teaches at the College of William and Mary. He’s a wonderful bright light. Ours is not a political spectrum left-right fight, Jeff. It’s a constitutional right and wrong fight and it absolutely affects our national security on the most perilous terms.
Jeff: What impact does it have on unit cohesion and morale within the military? You mentioned some 40,000 clients that your organization has. Obviously that has an impact in terms of morale and in terms of allowing the military to operate in the most logical and orderly way.
Mikey: Absolutely. When you tell a member of the military that they lack integrity, courage, trustworthiness, honor, honorability, and every other thing that is positive because of their chosen religious faith or lack thereof why, Jeff, there is absolutely no difference between that and telling someone that they are stupid because of the color of their skin or because they were born a female, there is no difference. You are striking at the very soul of someone being born with a port wine stain. That isn’t your fault at all, that’s not anyone’s fault at all, that’s pigmentation. And when you tell somebody that they are less than whole, they are not part of the team, remember, I mentioned before how those four words, adversarial, communal, ritualistic and tribal, the military is, when you tell someone that we use the term spiritual rape you… Look, we’re very, very… Our organization is very resolute about what we do. We make it very clear that we have to be aggressive. And when you aim it at, I think Machiavelli said, when you aim at the prince you better kill the prince. From our perspective… If any of your listeners have dogs or cats or care about their pets we know that every little town in America has a humane society. They’re wonderful, they take wonderful care of animals. They do bake sales, cookie sales, they’re very gentle. That’s on the far left of the spectrum. On the far right of the spectrum you have [PENA/PEDA?]. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation we are [PENA/PEDA?]. I want to come to protection of civil rights, religious freedom, and the separation of church and state in the US military. And that is our job and that it cannot be done in a way that is like sipping tea with your little finger out. You have to be very much in people’s faces. One of my great heroes was Frederick Douglass the great abolitionist and he made the statement “power concedes nothing without a demand”, and here at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation our job is to be the demanders of the commanders because if any lower-ranking person tries to do it – and we have clients among our 45,000 plus, who at all levels of the enlisted also rank, they often turn themselves into a tarantula on a wedding cake. And we all know how long tarantulas on wedding cakes last. And it’s a very, very difficult decision to try to stand up and speak truth to power even if you’re a high school student, a grade school student, if you’re in the civilian world. But in the military, you know, you never, when the Bill of Rights was passed oftentimes not for the convenience of the majority but to protect the minority from the expected charity of the majority. When you’re in the military you try to stand up to a superior proselytizing you or watching a superior proselytize an Iraqi and Afghan or Pakistani, you know it’s, it’s very much like … I guess you see a quick metamorphosis from the tyranny of majority into the tantrum of the majority and when you are a lower ranking individual you have nothing to fight back with. So that’s what we do. Our job is to be militant about what we do and aggressive but in support of these constitutional rights. They’re not privileges. Everyone gets one even if they’re assholes. It is not a privilege. These are rights guaranteed to us and that’s why we have to fight so hard for them.
Jeff: What is the number one complaint among the tens of thousands of clients that you’ve dealt with over the years?
Mickey: Oh, there are so many. A lot of them are a military superior invoking the need to be allowed to go to their chosen church of worship, to go to a Bible study. Your listeners don’t know this. Two-and a-half to three dozen church organizations that ran rampant to the US military – this includes The Officers Christian Fellowship which until just a few years ago we were lambasting in the press – they had to change, at least ornamentally, their mission and goals. Their mission was “we want to keep Christian officers’ biblical leadership to raise up a godly military. We want to see a currently transformed US military with ambassadors for Christ in uniform empowered by the Holy Spirit. Imagine if you change these words and put in its places words that supported the Islamic proselytizing efforts. “We want to see Islamic officers exercising Koranic leadership to raise up the mighty army of Allah.” Jeff, there’d be blood in the streets. When these organizations include the navigators for Campus Crusaders for Christ Military Ministries – I could go on and on – and many times they’re given a military address, they’re given offices on these military installations, they’re given phone numbers, email addresses. Their job is to missionize everyone and bring them into the kingdom of their version of Jesus. So it is whether it is ‘Hey, drop by, the commander is having some burgers and have some coke and we’re going to have a bounty for the kids, just come by for the Bible study this weekend.’ In the military your career can be destroyed with the slightest tacit nuance on your performance valuation that a civilian would otherwise think you could walk on water with. It can be as serious … The examples are all over our website. I’ve written two books, my wife had a book out last year. The hate mail we got! We’ve had the windows shot out of our house twice. We’ve had crucifixes painted on our house. We’ve had animals disemboweled and beheaded, left on the front of our house. We’ve had tires slashed, beer bottles and feces thrown at the house. And that’s here in mellow Albuquerque. It’s just unbelievable and it’s the kind of thing where a person in complete and total power over you like Jerry Sandusky at Penn State in the shower with a nine-year-old except a million times worse if you’re in a war zone and you’re told to undertake a precariously difficult mission unless you accept Christ the right way. It’s just literally unbootable and most of our clients 9.6 out of 10 are already practitioners of the Christian faith. They’re just not considered to be Christian enough.
Jeff: In your view, how far up the military chain of command does this go and to what extent is the civilian leadership at the Pentagon part of this?
Mikey: If you guys will Google Christian Embassy you will see that back in 2006 we exposed a video, very, very expensive video made by a group called the Christian Embassy that included both civilian and high-ranking military members of the Pentagon and other parts of the US government during the workday in uniform or in their workspace I think it was, from civilians pushing the agenda which they stated was they want to bring everybody into an intentional relationship with Jesus Christ. And so it’s literally everywhere. Like I said, it’s in the very air conditioning. We know oftentimes who these folks are. There’s about 15,000 to 18,000 members of the Officers of Christian Fellowship by themselves. But remember in the military if you’re the lowest ranking officer, a lieutenant in the Army or equal in the Air Force, an ensign in the Navy, you already that very first day outrank about 90% of the military because you’re an officer and the lowest officer outranks the highest ranking enlisted officer and it, you know, it’s pretty terrifying. It goes all the way up the chain of command. We have had clients that have been four-star admirals with four-star generals along with clients just going through basic training for their of what they’re called level E 1 all the way up to O 10 which is the highest-ranking general, admiral. We offer our clients AARP and not the one that you’re thinking about, you know, not the American Association for Retired Persons, but Anonymity Action Results of Protection. We are proud of the fact that we’ve had seven Nobel Peace Prize nominations in the last six years and this is all wonderful but ultimately, what it comes down to, is that in our US we can never have any particular religious faith. But the one that we fight all the time is this Dominion Christianity become latched at the hip with the incredible financial help, power and prestige of our federal government, the particular department and the biggest budget that carries the biggest wallet of this planet which is our Department of Defense.
Jeff: To what extent in your view is this phenomenon growing or is this something that’s plateaued at this point?
Mikey: We hoped with Obama coming into office, knowing that he was a constitutional lawyer, that we would see this abate. Unfortunately it’s not. Particularly with the histrionics and incredible things happening in this current run-up to the election in November is terrifying people and so I would say now that we are known as an enemy that fights back therefore the usual enemies on the other side of the far right, The Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, the American Family Association, anything with the words Families in it, the American Center for Law and Justice, we’re their bête noire, we’re the big monster and this again has consequences. We have to live with guns, bodyguards and protection talk. That’s what you have to do if you’re going to fight this, it’s not something… this is bloodsport, [full contact] for 24/7 366 and in leap years like 2016 and it’s something that you can’t ask someone nice ‘will you please stop doing this?’ It is very easy to look at my last name which is a Jewish surname Weinstein, and my profession as an attorney and conflate those two and you’re Mikey Weinstein is the antichrist, Mickey Weinstein is the devil, he is another example of the Pharisees modern day. There’s a very famous now-deceased Christian leader that referred to me to a field general as a Satan and yet these things you have to shuck off because we have a much higher calling which is to realize the beauty of our Constitution and again the fact, I guess what I would say is when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 this was not the harbinger of the loss of white major league baseball player privilege, it was white major league baseball player equalization, not victimization. With the Civil Rights Movement, it was not white American victimization, it was white American equalization. With the rise of the feminist movement in the 70s it wasn’t male victimization, it was male equalization. What we are pushing hard with MRFF is not fundamentalist Christian victimization but fundamentalist Christian equalization. Now they must share their toys with everyone else and they don’t like it, they don’t like change. That’s too bad. We’re not going to stop doing what we’re doing.
Jeff: Are there high-ranking members, generals etcetera in the military who agree with your position who have been fighting this in the military and how are they dealing with it?
Mikey: Yes, we have a number of them. Very, very, very few are public and those who are I’m not going to say on this program because I don’t want any harm to come to them, to their careers. We have very high recommended military that come to us to do their dirty work for them so that they are not to be scarred, tarred and feathered as being someone who supports us. Because it’s very, very dangerous work to tell somebody that you do not have … There are time, place, and manner limit put on by our Constitution. It’s concerning federal state case law and department defense directives, instructions, and regulations. And so when you can deploy the great commission Mark 1615 Matthew 2819 one of the last thing Jesus says to his disciples “Go and make disciples of all nations”. You know you can’t scream Jesus in a crowded theater. We do have higher [???] We have far too many that are complicit in what’s happening, but others that are not and are on our side and we protect them as much as we can. Our phones, our emails, our texts, everything on social media never stops with regard to the help that’s needed and we see the trend becoming more and more acute. And if the other side doesn’t feel they can stop than what they’re doing is engaging in ad hominem tactics against me, my family, and our foundation. Which is why we end up with somewhere between eight and twelve death threats a week. My wife came out with a book with our L.A. publisher in December 2014 called To the Far Right Christian Hater, You Can be a Good Speller or a Hater but You Can’t be Both. We just literally published the hate mail. We were in a shop and it went to number One twice, the coveted civil rights and liberties category at Amazon twice. He wanted to even have an Edwards Snowden for a while but it’s like people going to Nascar seeing the wrecks, how horrible it is. There’s a Christian church praying for women in my family developing fast-moving metastasizing breast cancer that is inoperable. Another group praying for the men in my family to develop rectal cancer. And I just can’t tell you the degree to which this is contentious and it is warfare. Here we’re not going to bring a butter knife to a gunfight and that’s why we fight as hard as we can. That’s why we’re doing this interview today.
Jeff: What has been the role of military chaplains in this?
Mikey: We have some very good ones who are clients of ours, we have former chaplains that are on our advisory board, but right now about 84% to our best estimation – no one has exactitude here – of the military chaplaincy are evangelical. That in itself is not a problem. When evangelicals cross the line becoming our enemies and they become Dominionists or Fundamentalists is that they decide that there are no limits on their ability to evangelize. About a third of those 84% are evangelical chaplaincy, diehard Fundamentalist Dominionists, and that is a disaster, an absolute disaster. Right now we are going through the national prayer breakfast season with complaints about the troops being ordered to attend. One of them we had to stop an altar call by a chaplain and another officer, where they were going to have the members of the military come forward, bend down, and accept Christ the Lord and Savior. The price for the things that happened right in front of all our allies in Afghanistan and in Iraq and Pakistan are just astonishing as well. You know it’s something that, we made it clear that we’re not trying to destroy the chaplaincy. I do believe that they should no longer have military rank. They should have like a civil service rank. Just GS 10 11 12 13 14 mixing the uniform with the Christian cross connecting with the yellow cloverleaf of a major or silver leaf for lieutenant colonel, the eagles of a colonel or stars of a general. It is at this point terrifying to me and I think we need to remove the chaplains from the military command and leave them as civil servant employed. We have so many of these already in the civil service.
Jeff: And finally, Michael, tell us how you got involved in this work twelve years ago.
Mikey: Well, I have to thank my good friend Mel Gibson. He came out with a little movie on or about February 4, 2004 that you may remember called the Passion of the Christ and I refer to it as the Jesus chainsaw massacre or Freddy versus Jesus. At the time I my two Jewish sons were at the Air Force Academy; my future Christian daughter-in-law was also there and I had so many people reaching out to me for help because the entirety of that wing, which was like the student body is in a civilian university or college, was under unbelievable pressure to go see this movie. I went and saw the movie. It was from my perspective horrible. Horrible, incredibly antisemitic and it was just mostly a stuff film. But when I realized what was happening at the Air Force Academy, the pressure being forced to bear on these cadets, was also about my own children, that was the first time that, you know, “Houston, we have a problem.” But as I was soon to find out over the next 22 months, it’s not a problem, issue or challenge, it’s as we discussed earlier, Jeff, it is truly a metastasizing national security threat. And so that’s what initially got me into this. As I explored further I found out that one my children was being called an f…ing Jew by his military cadet chain of command at the Academy and being accused of total complicity in the execution of Jesus Christ. That son of mine appeared with me on Good Morning America and we blew the top off of this. I tried to reach out to other civil rights organizations. There are great ones out there but none of them really understand again the peculiar nature – I’ll say it again – the tribal, adversarial, communal, ritualistic nature of the military. My own family has a long history over 130 years of combined military family history in pretty much every major engagement the country’s been in since World War I, albeit military graduates in our family, that I stopped doing what I was doing as a lawyer and businessman. And my wife and I decided we need to form something to directly confront this unspeakable evil of fundamentalist Christian exceptionalism, supremacy and triumphalism as was running rampant through the most powerful military ever known on this planet.
Jeff: And what will constitute victory or success for you?
Mikey: I would like to say there are 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae. I’d like to see 300 people in the US military be court-martialed for violating the constitutional rights of helpless subordinates. When it comes to their freedom of religious faith they need not have it shoved down their throat and have it intertwined in our weapons system. At this point I’d even take one. I’d even take one. But, for instance, you may remember, and your listeners may remember, that years ago the Navy used to have an annual tradition in Las Vegas called the Tailhook Convention and many times female aviators and others were being molested and were being sexually assaulted, that was part of the naval culture. That stopped when the thing blew up and there were people that went to jail and they were court-martialed and that, while we still have serious sexual assault issue in the military, that was a demarcation line right there. And we need to have something done here in our military that clearly, clearly spells the message that this will not be accepted, that the Romans had it right. When you cut off somebody’s head and you stick it on a pole and show it to the masses, it changes behavior. But we don’t do that nowadays. What we do is, we can charge somebody under the unit code of military justice with violating their oath to the Constitution and various other aspects of the UCMJ and have them lose their liberty and go to jail and this is what we need to have done. And it’s something I’ve said before. Otherwise we look like we would provide an incredible, unbridled aspect of propaganda bonanza for Isis by doing what we were doing to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram. We destroy the morale and discipline. That is the blood, the sinew, the cartilage, the bones of the body of our military. Our military needs to be lethal enough to protect us always. We have a wonderful country with a credible Constitution but our Constitution does not create a Christian nation. It does not create Christian supremacy. If you are not the right type of Christian you should not have to sit in the back of the bus. We don’t determine your value as a warrior, as a pilot, as a tank commander, as a mariner, as any aspect of our military organization based on whether or not you accept this particular version of Dominion Christianity which talks about taking over control of all of our country, does not want a democracy, but wants a theocracy and we’ve seen this ship leave the port many times. Whenever you mix in the radicalized version of any religious faith, in this case it’s Christianity with the War Department of State, we don’t end up with little creeks, streams, ponds or lakes. Just call it what it is. We end up with oceans and oceans of blood, oftentimes beginning with Jewish blood but in this case I’ve testified on Capitol Hill about this before the House in committee in testimony on the Hill on what is happening to multiple American members of the military and it certainly hurts to see what’s happening to xenophobia towards Muslims. We have so many marines, so many sailors, airmen and soldiers putting their lives on the line but they’re being judged first by what their religion is. And let’s not forget it’s not just separation of church and state. In the First Amendment that’s article 6 of the body of the Constitution that was actually passed in December 1789 which was 14 months 15 months before the Bill of Rights was passed, that states will never have a religious test for any position in the federal government.
Jeff: Mickey Weinstein is the head and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. My guest, thank you so much for spending time with us here at
Mickey: I’m very grateful. Do I have time to say one final thing?
Jeff: Of course
Mikey: You know, I remind people in my speeches that the rock star of his day, Jeff, was Benjamin Franklin. After we finally had a constitution hammered out at the Philadelphia Convention, Franklin walked outside and was completely surrounded by our fellow American citizens who were saying, “Dr. Franklin, what type of government will we have?” and he made it very clear: “A Republic as long as we can keep it and if you can keep it.” So I’m asking the listeners to help the Republic and our beautiful country with a magnificent Constitution, democracy may be messy but we are all valued brothers and sisters in this country and we need to remember that irrespective of sexual orientation, gender, height, weight, color of hair, national origin, religion, or race. And that’s what’s important. Unity. Not diversity.
Jeff: Mikey Weinstein, thanks so much for being with us.
Mikey: I appreciate it. You take care.
Jeff: Thank you. And thank you for listening and joining us here on radio whowhatwhy. I hope you join us next week for another radio whowhatwhy podcast. I’m Jeff Schechtman. If you like this podcast please feel free to share and help other people find it, rating and reviewing it on iTunes. You can also support this podcast and all the work we do by going to whowhatwhy.org/donate