Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Pentagon Adviser Compares Christian Evangelism to “Rape”

 

The Pentagon is evaluating its guide on religious tolerance with the help of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an organization that has compared evangelism to “rape” and wants military personnel who “proselytize” to be court-martialed.

MRFF President Mikey Weinstein, who met privately with Pentagon officials last week, says U.S. troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished in order to push back what he calls a “tidal wave of fundamentalists.”

Someone needs to be punished for this. Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior.

Weinstein told The Washington Post that military leaders need to understand that “there is a systematic misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the military.”

This is a national security threat. What is happening [aside from sexual assault] is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be getting advice from the MRFF.

Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military? That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights.

Retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin said, “If chaplains and other personnel are censored from offering the full solace of the Gospel, there is no religious freedom in the military.”

Weinstein met with Pentagon officials to discuss a policy called the “Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards,” which requires “government neutrality regarding religion.”

“Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion,” the regulation states.

Military leaders are not supposed to use their position to “promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.”

Weinstein said it he wants to see the Air Force enforce the regulation with zeal.

If a member of the military is proselytizing in a manner that violates the law, well then of course they can be prosecuted. We would love to see hundreds of prosecutions to stop this outrage of fundamentalist religious persecution. . . . When those people are in uniform and they believe there is no time, place or manner in which they can be restricted from proselytizing, they are creating tyranny, oppression, degradation, humiliation and horrible, horrible pain upon members of the military.

The Pentagon has confirmed to Fox News that Christian evangelism is against regulations.

Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, warns that the Air Force policy would “significantly impact the religious liberties of Air Force personnel.”

Saying that a service member cannot speak of his faith is like telling a service member he cannot talk about his spouse or children. I do not think the Air Force wants to ban personnel from protected religious speech, and I certainly hope that it is willing to listen to the numerous individuals and groups who protect military religious liberty without demonizing service members.

Weinstein himself has demonized Christians quite fervently, as is evident in an op-ed article he wrote for the Huffington Post:

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you of monsters and monstrous wrongs. And let me tell you what these bloody monsters thrive on. . . . Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces. Oh my, my, my, how “Papa’s got a brand new bag.”

What’s Papa’s new tactic? You’re gonna just love this! These days, when ANYone attempts to bravely stand up against virulent religious oppression, these monstrosities cry out alligator tears in overflowing torrents and scream that it is, in fact, THEY who are the dispossessed, bereft and oppressed. C’mon, really, you pitiable unconstitutional carpetbaggers? It would be like the utter folly of 1960’s-era southern bigots howling like stuck pigs in protest that Rosa Parks’ civil rights activism is “abusing” them by destroying and disenfranchising their rights to sit in the front seat of buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Please, I beseech you! Let us call these ignoble actions what they are: the senseless and cowardly squallings of human monsters.

Of course, Weinstein is free to state his opinion (though it seems Christians aren’t), but, as Ron Crews said, should someone like this be advising our military on religious tolerance? The answer seems obvious—except to the Obama Administration.

America certainly has changed a great deal since the days of George Washington, who said that “it is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible” and that he hoped “every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”

Was George Washington a monster who terrorized his fellow Americans? According to those advising the Pentagon in 2013, it seems so.

There are 38 comments.

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  1. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The mind boggles.

    • #1
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:01 AM PDT
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  2. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Benjamin Glaser: When I was in the Marines 10 years ago we were told that we were not allowed to “proselytize” in the barracks. I even remember when one kid who got reamed out for passing out tracts. · 16 minutes ago

    I don’t think the rules against proselytizing are that new, as you’ve pointed out. What is troubling is how they’re defining proselytizing now (it’s not really clear) and who is doing the advising. 

    • #2
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:05 AM PDT
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  3. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Simon Templar: Before I retired, I’d heard rumors that there was pressure being put on Protestant Chaplains to get them to stop closing their prayers with the words “in the name of Jesus.” I asked a Chaplain about this and he told me that it was true. · 6 minutes ago

    I think the shutting down of Chaplains is also new. If anyone could preach the Gospel, it used to be them. Of course, they always had parameters, but the restrictions seem more severe than ever and they seem to be focused only on Christianity and not Islam. Again, though, when you have someone like Weinstein advising, we need to be suspicious. The military has always functioned more like a dictatorship than a democracy. Military members don’t have the same freedom of speech as other citizens. But expression of faith used to be allowed and wasn’t called proselytizing. I’m wary of the overlords who are calling Christians monsters.

    • #3
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:09 AM PDT
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  4. Larry3435 Member

    I think it is important to recognize that atheism is a religion because (unlike agnosticism) it claims to know the truth of God. Adherents of the atheist religion clearly want to make it the official religion of the United States, and they proselytize with more vehemence than any Christian I know.

    • #4
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:13 AM PDT
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  5. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    The King Prawn
    Tuck: If the military is going PC, we need to shut it down. Makes me happy those sequester cuts went through…

    Going? It’s gone, man. To quote an old salty chief from my first boat (concerning homosexuality right after DADT came out), “When I enlisted it was forbidden. After years of service it’s tolerated. I hope I retire before it becomes mandatory.” The military is going that way with every PC piece of trash that comes down the pipe. · 35 minutes ago

    I think the steady decline of intolerance is of great concern here. So is the language being used to demonize Christians specifically. “Monsters” “Rape” “Terrorizing”–these are terms that feed anger and hate. They whip people up into a frenzy and before you know it imagined terror and persecution will become a reality—directed against Christians. 

    • #5
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:24 AM PDT
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  6. Profile Photo Member

    As a retired (non-military) chaplain, I wonder about the position of Academy students and/or troops on base/in the field whose superior officers want to evangelize those in their charge…a captive audience – so to speak – in the presence of their superiors. While personal sharing/invitation are vital, coercion (however subtle) would seem inimical to the process. (This is not to say that I concur *at all* with Mr. Weinstein’s statements or viewpoint.) Keep ’em coming, Denise!

    • #6
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:27 AM PDT
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  7. Brad B. Inactive

    I never hear religion discussed in the ranks. I don’t sense a lot of religiosity in the force, and certainly not outward fervor. And I’ve never seen anyone proselytize. But this character is absurd. No one is “oppressing” anyone with religion. Idiotic claims made by people not in the service.

    • #7
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:28 AM PDT
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  8. KC Mulville Inactive

    Again, we have a conflict between the notion of religious authority and civil positions of authority.

    Weinstein is an old hand at obscuring the difference.

    • For instance, he begins with something obviously wrong … i.e., exploiting military positions of authority to proselytize. Yes, that would be wrong.
    • He then works on the notion that proselytizing in general is wrong. (Note: gone is the modifier that caused the wrong … i.e., using positions of civilian authority to coerce.)

    He’s hoping that while he’s distracting you with bombast (rape, etc.), you won’t notice that inviting someone to a prayer meeting or some other voluntary religious event is well within the bounds of voluntary association. The more the bombast,of course, the harder he’s trying to distract you.

    He’s just an angry elf.

    Does it surprise anyone that Obama is allowing radicals to have a protected voice?

    • #8
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:30 AM PDT
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  9. ST Inactive
    ST
    Byron Horatio: I never hear religion discussed in the ranks. I don’t sense a lot of religiosity in the force, and certainly not outward fervor. And I’ve never seen anyone proselytize. But this character is absurd. No one is “oppressing” anyone with religion. Idiotic claims made by people not in the service. · 3 minutes ago

    Exactly.

    • #9
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:33 AM PDT
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  10. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive
    Byron Horatio: I never hear religion discussed in the ranks. I don’t sense a lot of religiosity in the force, and certainly not outward fervor. And I’ve never seen anyone proselytize.

    This was my experience as well. There was always that one guy who made his religion a problem for everyone else, but in general even the very religious are courteous about it. If anything, the military is irreligious enough to be problematic, from my point of view.

    • #10
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:33 AM PDT
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  11. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Byron Horatio: I never hear religion discussed in the ranks. I don’t sense a lot of religiosity in the force, and certainly not outward fervor. And I’ve never seen anyone proselytize. But this character is absurd. No one is “oppressing” anyone with religion. Idiotic claims made by people not in the service. · 6 minutes ago

    It is of great concern to me that the Obama Administration is inviting people like this to advise top military officials. It’s adding fuel to the fire against religious freedom in our society. Even if you’re not a Christian, or you’re a deist or agnostic, the tone here should be of concern to everyone.

    • #11
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:37 AM PDT
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  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ashley Judd, call your agent. Someone named Mikey Weinstein has made off with your meme.

    • #12
    • May 2, 2013, at 1:40 AM PDT
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  13. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The inflammatory language, the attitude … clearly this Administration regards Christians as the enemy, and not to be tolerated. This worries me beyond anything.

    • #13
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:16 AM PDT
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  14. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Here’s the regulation [pdf] this jackwagon is trying to get the Air Force (not all of DoD, contrary to the way it is being reported) to enforce. Section 2.11 on page 19.

    • #14
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:17 AM PDT
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  15. Profile Photo Member

    I was in the Navy 40 years ago. During the 3 years I was in, I can only recall meeting one guy we would have referred to at the time as a “sky pilot” (not referring to a chaplain, just someone who wore their religious beliefs on their sleeve). I was never proselytized by anyone.

    However, the ship chaplain was a great guy and solely responsible for reigning in a CO who was mistreating a detachment assigned to his command. For you ex-Navy types from way, way back, it was the chaplain corps that broke the “Arnheiter Affair”. The military was a better place for having a chaplain corps but there was never so much as a hint of coercion for or against any religion. I got the impression they were chaplains first, members of a religion or denomination second.

    In the ward room, three subjects were taboo: politics, women and religion (in the old, old days when officers would fight duels for their honor, the 3 biggest causes? Yep, politics, women and religion).

    I am having difficulty apprehending how or why any active duty military types would even give Weinstein the time of day.

    • #15
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:41 AM PDT
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  16. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    The King Prawn: Here’s the regulation [pdf] this jackwagon is trying to get the Air Force (not all of DoD, contrary to the way it is being reported) to enforce. Section 2.11 on page 19. 

    That’s the part I quoted in the post. But I didn’t include this part: Here’s the quote in full: 

    “For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.”

    Again, what is of concern here is the inflammatory language of Weinstein that characterizes Christians as monsters and that fact that this guy got a hearing at all by the military officials.

    • #16
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:47 AM PDT
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  17. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    Blue Jay Bob: 

    I am having difficulty apprehending how or why any active duty military types would even give Weinstein the time of day. · 6 minutes ago

    This is the problem, especially with this administration and the way in which religious freedom is being attacked on many fronts (ie, free birth control, and eventually pastors marrying same-sex partners). I don’t like the language. I don’t like characterizing Christians this way. I don’t think we should characterize any good people this way (deists, agnostics, Jews, whites, blacks—anyone). 

    • #17
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:51 AM PDT
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  18. David Preston Inactive

    Weinstein misstates the Constitutional restriction on the establishment of religion, such that his initial salvo: “unconstitutional proselytizing,” is incorrect as a matter of law. It is not unconstitutional under the First Amendment for any citizen to state his opinion on religious matters or proselytize about his religious beliefs.

    • #18
    • May 2, 2013, at 2:54 AM PDT
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  19. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Nanda Panjandrum: As a retired (non-military) chaplain, I wonder about the position of Academy students and/or troops on base/in the field whose superior officers want to evangelize those in their charge…a captive audience – so to speak – in the presence of their superiors. While personal sharing/invitation are vital, coercion (however subtle) would seem inimical to the process.

    This. It’s not a person’s religious beliefs that are the trouble, it’s using a person’s religious beliefs against them for promotion or advancement if they don’t coincide with the commander’s beliefs. This happens with regrettable frequency.

    • #19
    • May 2, 2013, at 3:11 AM PDT
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  20. ST Inactive
    ST

    Army Chaplain Emil Kapaun posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

    “Father Kapaun,” as he was known, was among the first U.S. troops on the ground in the Korean War. Fellow soldiers remember him as “a shepherd in combat boots,” a “saint,” and “a blessing from God.”

    “In the chaos, dodging bullets and explosions, Father Kapaun raced between fox holes, out past the front lines and into no-man’s land, dragging the wounded to safety,” President Obama said during Thursday’s Medal of Honor ceremony. 

    “When his commanders ordered an evacuation he chose to stay, gathering the injured, tending to their wounds,” the president said. Herb Miller, now 86, was injured in the fight and would have been executed by a Chinese soldier if Father Kapaun hadn’t knocked him down and then carried Miller four miles to their POW camp. During captivity, Kapaun led prayer services for the men.

    Although he was persecuted by Chinese soldiers for his faith, he never lost it. Father Kapaun was 35 when he died a POW.

    • #20
    • May 2, 2013, at 3:16 AM PDT
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  21. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s some people who give everyone else a bad name. Some officers who base their evaluations of their subordinates on their religion (Oh, they’d never go so far as to deny someone a promotion or decoration for not being Christian, but, you know, THOSE people aren’t really trustworthy, not officer material you know.) and those who bridle at any mention at all of God in any form.

    There is nothing wrong with Christ or Christianity. Some Christians, however…you gotta wonder what they are thinking.

    • #21
    • May 2, 2013, at 3:23 AM PDT
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  22. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee Coyote Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The fix for this is simple: just include an atheist asserting that “there’s no God” in the definition of religious proselytizing (since it certainly is).

    Then watch them lose their appetite for this sort of thing.

    • #22
    • May 2, 2013, at 3:44 AM PDT
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  23. Profile Photo Member
    Robert E. Lee

    It’s not a person’s religious beliefs that are the trouble, it’s using a person’s religious beliefs against them for promotion or advancement if they don’t coincide with the commander’s beliefs. This happens with regrettable frequency. · 20 minutes ago

    I confess I am very surprised at your assertion that a person’s religious beliefs are a factor in anyone’s evaluations, let alone, “with regrettable frequency.” Admittedly, I’ve been out of the service for a long time. The mere thought of a person’s religion being even remotely relevant to a fitness evaluation I find offensive. It’s not like we’re talking office politics – people’s lives depend on how well someone does their job.

    I am curious – do you have a source for this?

    • #23
    • May 2, 2013, at 3:44 AM PDT
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  24. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive
    Denise McAllister Again, what is of concern here is the inflammatory language of Weinstein that characterizes Christians as monsters and that fact that this guy got a hearing at all by the military officials. ·

    Yes, but that’s not the whole of the problem. Not using one’s position and authority to proselytize is a BHD: big, huge duh. Also, showing favoritism of any kind is already forbidden in the military. There are regulations aplenty to cover such things. The real problem in this goes back to the original instruction issued by the Sec. AF. Any actual instances of coercive proselytizing could have been dealt with on an individual basis under existing regulations. As soon as this new regulation was issued it laid out the welcome mat for asshats like Weinstein to push for a heavier hand in punishment of “actual or apparent” misuse of authority concerning one’s faith. We sometimes overuse the term “chilling effect,” but it really does come into play here. Under such rules I may never have seen Capt. Mack’s well used bible and been encouraged in my own faith by my CO during a very difficult time in my life.

    • #24
    • May 2, 2013, at 4:33 AM PDT
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  25. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister

    The King Prawn–good points and well said, especially your description of Weinstein.

    • #25
    • May 2, 2013, at 4:37 AM PDT
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  26. Dave Carter Podcaster

    I wonder if Weinstein would like to retroactively impeach the theocratic author of this prayer?

    Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

    Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

    Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

    With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

    Thy will be done, Almighty God.

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt — June 6, 1944 (D-Day)

    • #26
    • May 2, 2013, at 5:23 AM PDT
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  27. SlowerPussycatChillChill! Inactive

    I spent many years in the Navy and religion never ever entered into the equation when it came to promotions, at least as far as I can tell. Personnel ran the gamut from exuberantly irreligious to profoundly spiritual. One occasionally ran into the God Squad types. These were roundly mocked by most sailors and counseled by superiors to keep it to themselves. 

    Where is this systematic abuse of (and by) faith? 

    • #27
    • May 2, 2013, at 5:42 AM PDT
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  28. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mikey hates everything!

    • #28
    • May 2, 2013, at 5:48 AM PDT
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  29. Robert E. Lee Member
    Robert E. Lee Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Blue Jay Bob

    I am curious – do you have a source for this? · 3 hours ago

    It’s not wide spread but there are pockets of it, most notably at the AF Academy, also noted for it’s sexual scandals. Even one instance is too many but unfortunately there are more than one. A brief go0gle search will produce plenty of information, including Air Force documentation of the problem, but this article by Mikey Weinstein probably gets to the heart of it.

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12661-air-force-academys-orwellian-religious-respect-conference-indicates-clear-bias-against-the-non-religious

    It’s not just religion or sexual assault, there are a small number of senior officers who routinely act against the best interests of the Air Force in favor of their own personal agenda’s. I have run afoul of a couple of these villains (for want of a CoC acceptable term) personally. They give the entire service a bad name. The good news is they don’t live forever. The bad news are the people they destroy during their tenure, the harm they do to the service and the nation, and the sycophant they leave behind.

    • #29
    • May 2, 2013, at 7:35 AM PDT
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  30. Richard Fulmer Member

    I would object to officers and NCOs (other than chaplains, of course) proselytizing to those they outrank; such actions can reasonably be seen as coercive. However, Weinstein’s inflamatory language makes clear that he wants to throw his net far wider. And the fact that the military is talking to such a person suggests that someone up the command chain has no qualms against using coercion to enforce his or her own biases on the troops. 

    • #30
    • May 2, 2013, at 12:16 PM PDT
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