Mikey Weinstein's Crusade: Meet the man who's trying to purge evangelical Christianity from the Pentagon.
BY STEPHEN GLAIN | MAY 25, 2010
"Good morning Mikey, you f*** Jew. Let me be the first to call you a f*** Jew today."
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein shares his hate mail with both friends and strangers the way elderly people show off photos of their grandkids. He has plenty of it to share. For the past four years, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been doing battle with a Christian subculture that, he believes, is trying to Christianize the U.S. armed forces with the help of a complicit Pentagon brass. He calls it the "fundamentalist Christian parachurch-military-corporate-proselytizing complex," a mouthful by which he means holy warriors in contempt of the constitutional barrier between church and state.
"The scary thing about all this," Weinstein says, "is it's going on not with the blind eye of the Pentagon but with its full and totally enthusiastic support. And those who are not directly involved are passive about it. As the Talmud says, 'silence is consent.'"
You may recall the headlines in January, when a company called Trijicon, the lead supplier of rifle scopes to the U.S. military, was found to have inscribed them with coded references to passages in the New Testament. That was Weinstein -- his organization threatened to sue Trijicon, which eventually agreed to discontinue the practice and distribute kits that would enable troops to retroactively secularize their scopes. Weinstein grabbed headlines again last month by pressuring the Pentagon to withdraw an invitation to the Rev. Franklin Graham, known for his Islamophobic oratory, to speak at a National Day of Prayer Task Force service. That provoked a stiff rebuke of Weinstein and his group from Shirley Dobson, wife of conservative Christian leader James Dobson and the task force chairwoman...
A strongly recommended read-in-full at Foreign Policy.