This is a guest post from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
Servicemember Civil Rights Organization Blasts U.S. Air Force Academy for Circulating Offensive Anti-Gay and Sexist Religious Material. Protest to be held Friday, March 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM on the corner of Academy Blvd and Voyager Parkway, COLORADO SPRINGS. Food, beverages, signage, and security will be provided. PDF of flyer for the event is available for download.
On Friday, March 8, 2013, Colorado Springs will be the scene of a protest rally led by celebrated civil rights activist and church and state separation advocate Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF; www.mrff.org).
MRFF is a five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominated civil rights foundation that represents over 32,000 active duty servicemembers and armed forces veteran clients, 96% of whom are Christians. According to MRFF, “The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is promoting a reprehensible, homophobic, and sexist religious website to its entire faculty, staff, and cadet wing. Even after [MRFF exposed] this noxious act, USAFA leadership have steadfastly refused to remove the link from their website!”
The website in question is “Judaism 101,” or www.jewfaq.org, which bills itself as an “online encyclopedia of Judaism.” While the website contains information about various Jewish holidays, content on the site also indicates virulently homophobic and misogynistic prejudices presented as mainstream “traditional” Judaism. MRFF sprang into action after being contacted by numerous USAFA cadets, faculty members, and staff, including 21 lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) personnel who reached out to MRFF after links to the site were circulated in a “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM) of Religious Accommodations.
According to Weinstein, “an equivalent move would be to link the descriptions of Christian holidays… to the website of Pastor Fred Phelps’ utterly despicable Westboro Baptist Church! The material… includes suggestions that homosexual males should be put to death as per the Torah. Additionally, it includes a speciously hideous comparison of the originating cause of homosexuality to that of kleptomania. This disgrace is an open slap in the face to all lesbian, gay, and bisexual USAFA cadets, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the website contains the absurd and perverse notion that males who masturbate should have their hands chopped off.”
Additionally, the website states that women’s social status under Judaism is that they are “separate but equal,” a statement that typically stipulates the polar opposite of any modern, democratic conception of “equality.”
This incident isn’t the first time that Weinstein has blasted the religious and social climate at USAFA. Weinstein asserts that today’s military has been transformed into a stomping ground for evangelical, fundamentalist Christians who have created an intolerable, unconstitutional climate of religious oppression for fellow members. These conditions, which have included (but are not limited to) mandatory “Spiritual Fitness Tests” and coerced attendance of Christian prayer ceremonies and Christian rock concerts, have resulted in spiritual torment for religious minorities as well as those who are not considered the “right kind of Christian.” In many cases, servicemembers have been subject to physical harm and brutal incidents of hazing as a result of their sexual orientation, gender identity, professed faith, or lack thereof.
MRFF claims that supernatural theological concepts and a “Clash of Civilizations,” “us vs. them” apocalyptic ideology have fatally tainted military doctrine and warped good order, discipline, and servicemember morale. Weinstein notes that fundamentalist “Crusader” Christian fanaticism mirrors the militant jihadist extremism of those whom the U.S. military is fighting in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. MRFF advocacy has given broad international media exposure to many egregious, unconstitutional violations including “Jesus Rifles,” the nickname given to the widely deployed government-contracted riflescopes engraved with Bible verses which were used in Afghanistan and Iraq. MRFF also exposed the ‘Jesus Loves Nukes’ formal indoctrination; a grotesque mandatory USAF training program for Air Force Nuclear Missile Launch Officers that used a perverse brand of “Christian Just War” theory and New Testament biblical citations, including the Book of Revelations, to establish a theological justification for the use of weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations.
MIKEY WEINSTEIN BIOGRAPHY
In addition to being the president of MRFF, Mikey Weinstein is an attorney, businessman, and former Air Force Officer. Mikey is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He is the proud parent of two sons and one daughter. His oldest son and daughter-in-law are 2004 USAFA Graduates, Mikey’s youngest son graduated from the Academy in the Class of 2007, and his son-in-law is a 2010 graduate from USAFA as well. Seven total members of Mikey’s family have attended the Academy. Weinstein also has the hard-fought distinction of having been a former White House counsel to President Ronald Reagan and General Counsel to two-time Presidential candidate and Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot. In November 2011, Americans United for Separation of Church and State honored him as their first-ever “Person of the Year.” In December 2012 Mikey Weinstein Named to the List of 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News, a Gannett publication.
MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND – DETAILS BELOW – INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE WITH MIKEY WEINSTEIN
The protest will take place on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 11:00 AM on the corner of Academy Blvd and Voyager Parkway, near IHOP. Food, beverages, signage, and security will be provided. The event will coincide with International Women’s Day. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation calls on those who stand for religious tolerance as well as sex and gender equality to make a stand and demonstrate for this important cause. For more information, please go to www.MRFF.org.