Republican congressmen Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Steve Scalise of Louisiana are preparing a letter demanding Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cough up some answers about a change in Pentagon policy that could result in courts martial for Christian service members who openly discuss their faith, and about the role played by religious bigot Mikey Weinstein.
Various Pentagon officials have tried to quell growing concerns about the policy but have only succeeded in stirring up fears that it will result in an anti-Christian witch hunt. The military has had longstanding policies against forcing subordinates to conform to commanders’ religious outlooks, but the recent shift to crackdown on people sharing their faith only recently came to light.
At the center of the controversy is a nonprofit group deceptively named the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, founded by Weinstein, who has repeatedly called Christians “monsters” and “vultures” who engage in “spiritual rape” and “treason.” The MRFF, naturally, has been nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Critics of the new policy worry that Weinstein and company have had undue influence at the Pentagon and point to an april meeting Weinstein had with Pentagon officials. The Pentagon, in trying to deflect criticism, issued a statement saying it was just the one meeting, but information has come to light that Weinstein has had access to top-level brass since about a month after Barack Obama was sworn in as president.
A March 1, 2009, New York Times story reported that Weinstein met with Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwarz, on Feb. 24, 2009. The story noted that the meeting was the first time Weinstein met with a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Weinstein, whose bigoted ravings are often published by the Huffington Post, has a long list of grievances against Christians, who he claims practice “treason” every time they proselytize.
The new policy seems to center around splitting hairs about the differences between “evangelizing,” which is allowed, and “proselytizing,” which is a court-martial offense. In most dictionaries, those two words are synonyms, and the justifiable fear is that allies of Weinstein in the Pentagon will begin a purge of Christian service members.
Weinstein’s group had sued the Bush Administration over supposedly allowing officers to “proselytize” in the military, but that Administration had dismissed Weinstein as a kook who was actually talking about isolated incidents.
Under the Obama Administration, Weinstein has been allowed to spread his Gospel of anti-Christian conspiracies, supported by inroads made by the Southern Poverty Law Center, another anti-Christian, anti-conservative hate group with a rising star under Obama.
Hagel needs to respond to congressional concerns and put and end to this witch-hunting policy before our military is irreparably harmed.