Archives for posts with tag: usafa


Mikey Weinstein is one of my most admired activists in efforts to bring our nation’s military-industrial war machine under control and restore a semblance of sanity prior to the Pentagon initiating literal Armageddon based on Bible prophecy. Think this is a far fetched proposal? After reading this article, use google search: “Jesus Love Nukes, United States Air Force.” Article reprinted here with permission of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation-

The United States Air Force Prepares to Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of Fundamentalist Christian Proselytizing War

“Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.”  William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1, Line 273

“Justice delayed is justice denied”; these salient words apply in full to the conditions and prospects of religious liberty in the U.S. Air Force (USAF). What lies at stake is the alteration (and possible evisceration) of one of the only protective barriers restraining the brutal spread of ruthless fundamentalist Christianity spread throughout the U.S. military: Air Force Instruction 1-1, specifically Section 2 .11 (AFI 1-1).

Would the United States Air Force sooner throw the basic religious rights of Air Force personnel into a stinking garbage heap than “court controversy” with Tea Party bigots and religious extremists in the United States Congress and their incestuous gangs of fundamentalist Christian, parasitic parachurch organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC), the American Family Association (AFA), Focus on the Family (FOF) and the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF) to name only a few of these rapaciously religious extremist entities?

Sadly, telltale signs of dubious, constitutional queasiness and pathetically faux ambivalence by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III have clearly revealed that this may well be the case. The floodgates of state-sponsored evangelizing/proselytizing and fundamentalist Christian supremacy, exceptionalism and primacy by newly emboldened “Hobby Lobby”-style Christian fundamentalists within the Air Force are set to literally fly open, with devastating effect.

It should be a no-brainer: AFI 1-1 and similar protections and regulations on religious expressions should, if anything, be strengthened – not deliberately and so shamefully diluted. Instead, the changes being considered by the USAF, as it craters and cowers before these fundamentalist Christian lawmakers and their private sector parachurch persecutors, will authorize “witnessing,” preaching and proselytizing on the tax-payer’s dime provided the “tormentor” airman is projecting his/her “sincerely held” religious beliefs upon the “tormentee” airman. Prohibition on such “testifying” would ONLY apply if these expressions are determined to “have a real, not hypothetical adverse impact” (according, of course, to the subjective, arbitrary and clearly conflicted determination of Air Force leadership).

Look, let’s just call it what it is. “Spiritual rape” perpetrated by “fundamentalist Christian religious predators” is how we at the civil rights organization I lead–the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)— describe the profound sense of vicious, personal violation that is being mercilessly inflicted upon tens of thousands of our MRFF military clients, 96% of whom are practicing Christians themselves.  Forced religious indoctrination, mandatory prayer sessions, active, abusive measures towards the promotion of one or another fundamentalist Christian sect, the shaming and savaging of freethinking, atheist, and agnostic service members – these barbaric tactics define the monstrous modus operandi of the Christian dominionist hegemony that lies as a cancerous plague metastasizing briskly across the whole of the Air Force and the U.S. Military.

By fatally handicapping and consciously crippling the hard-fought AFI 1-1, top USAF brass will be effectively legalizing hate speech, coercive proselytizing, and religious extremist extremism. It’s REALLY that damn serious, folks. Anti-LGBTQ bigotry, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and heinous misogyny – all will be gleefully allowable if the views of any and all superior ranking tormenting airman are (cue the harp music please) “sincere”, heartfelt, “and have a real impact”. To the well over 37,000 armed forces clients currently being represented by MRFF, it’s akin to stating that domestic violence and abuse aren’t “real” unless there are clear bruises, black eyes, scars, and broken bones. The word “unconscionable” comes immediately to mind. There are other (unprintable) words of unbridled outrage that also more than merit being screamed from every mountaintop.

In fact, the preposterous, proposed changes go even further and actually assert that EACH and EVERY one of the respective criteria constituting a USAF regulation violation must be fulfilled and proven before the restrictions come into effect. Thus, a superior ranking officer who regularly proselytizes his or her defenseless subordinates will only be potentially found in violation of regulations if it’s proven that the officer’s words deleteriously affect military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, morale, discipline, health, safety, AND military accomplishment. One can violate without repercussions any combination of the foregoing, minus one, any one at all, of the above constituent elements – the health and morale of subordinates, to provide just one example. However, unless ALL of the other elements are likewise measurably breached, the matter at hand can NEVER rise to become even a possibility of a violation. Not enough yet to enrage you? How about we assume that a USAF leader has somehow managed to actually violate ALL of the above “new AFI 1-1” infraction criteria; can he or she receive ANY meaningful punishment even in such a nearly impossible-to-conceive of scenario? Ready to be thunderstruck, for the answer is a resounding NO!  Believe it or not, there is additional proposed language, being seriously considered by senior USAF leadership, which would actually bar or fully immunize any USAF supervisor or commander found guilty of exercising religious bigotry or prejudice under this “new AFI 1-1” from suffering any criminal and administrative consequences (to include that he or she may not be removed from their position as a supervisor or relieved from command.) Are you getting the picture now, my friends? The legions of the victims of fundamentalist Christian oppression in the USAF, the “battered,” in this case, know much better – hence the terribly critical necessity for such basic guidelines of “Do’s and Don’ts” that came in the form of layers of the original, unadulterated AFI 1-1 protective shield which went into effect on August 7, 2012.

AFI 1-1’s specious revision threatens to subsume and absolutely obliterate religious liberty in the Air Force, setting a horrific example for the other service branches. One can only imagine if similar policies were laid out regarding sexual assault, harassment, and racial discrimination. Unless USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Welsh makes the right decision, USAF airmen will be universally discouraged from filing complaints on the basis that their justified anxiety and grief will be shrugged aside as merely “hypothetical” rather than “real.” Then, oh my, my, my, just watch as the USAF chain of command “reprisal and retribution games” begin in earnest for those who had the temerity and integrity to try stand up and seek redress and help for their civil rights suffering in the Brave New World of the now gutted AFI 1-1, “as amended”.

The men and women who bravely serve in our Air Force deserve better than that, far better.

Hey, wait a minute. Has the United States Supreme Court ever ruled on the legality of “protecting” the First Amendment “right” of military leaders to freely proselytize their helpless subordinates? For that is the entire justification utilized by the fundamentalist Christian supremacists in Congress (and their adoring legions of parachurch organizations and Pentagon sycophants) for the obliteration of the formidable current AFI 1-1 protections. Surprise! Indeed our nation’s highest Court HAS so opined, and over 40 years ago, by one of the most conservative Chief Justices ever to sit on the Court. In a 6-2 decision in Parker vs. Levy (1974), written by the extremely “non-liberal” Chief Justice William Rehnquist and still considered to be unimpeachable law to this very day, the Supreme Court said the following about whether it’s permissible to place limits on the Constitutional rights of armed forces members (for instance, as presently appropriately exists with the not-yet-destroyed-but-about-to-be AFI 1-1) which might otherwise NOT belabor them if they were civilians instead:

“This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society. We have also recognized that the military has, again by necessity, developed laws and traditions of its own during its long history. The differences between the military and civilian communities result from the fact that “it is the primary business of armies and navies to fight or be ready to fight wars should the occasion arise. … An army is not a deliberative body. It is the executive arm. Its law is that of obedience. No question can be left open as to the right to command in the officer or the duty of obedience in the soldier. … While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it. …  In the armed forces, some restrictions exist for reasons that have no counterpart in the civilian community. Disrespectful and contemptuous speech, even advocacy of violent change, is tolerable in the civilian community, for it does not directly affect the capacity of the Government to discharge its responsibilities unless it both is directed to inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to produce such action. …  In military life, however, other considerations must be weighed. The armed forces depend on a command structure that, at times must commit men to combat, not only hazarding their lives but also ultimately involving the security of the Nation itself. Speech that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.”

Our United States Supreme Court and Chief Justice Rehnquist could not POSSIBLY be more clear: permitting “free-ranging”, limitless, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing by USAF superiors to their defenseless subordinates on the justification of the “free speech” and “freedom of religion” rights of those very same USAF superiors is simply and absolutely WRONG and ILLEGAL!The civil rights religious views (or lack thereof) of all USAF airmen must remain utterly inviolable, precisely as envisioned by those who drafted our magnificent United States Constitution and its beautiful Bill of Rights.

Civil “rights” indeed. They are NOT merely  “civil privileges”. Everyone who is a U. S. citizen gets them, especially junior and subordinate ranking members of the USAF. Particularly if they choose NOT to accept the fundamentalist Christian religious faith of their “Purpose Driven Life”, USAF oppressors who are tormenting them as mean spirited and/or even “Good News”, glad-handing leaders, commanders and superiors.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated  Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy, and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Defense News named Mikey one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense. He is the author of  “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and  “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

Originally posted to Mikey Weinstein on Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 11:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Progressive Atheists.

Republished with permission of the author



Uncle Sam: Dominionist Puppet?
Fundamentalist Christians are pulling out all stops to make this a reality

‘Tis the season when goodwill, family unity, fireside warmth, and generosity seemingly reign; the more discerning eye, however, clearly evinces the cold chill of holiday hypocrisy, crass commercialism, and spiritually vacant pseudo-religious posturing. Within the United States Armed Forces, one needn’t wait for the scent of holiday spices and burning yule logs to witness a similarly ugly display.

All year ‘round throughout the U.S. military, we hear of “good order, morale, and discipline” being the ultimate mandate of the day. The sad truth, however, is that instead of the rule of Constitutional law applying equitably across the ranks, we instead see the brutal rule of the jungle – “honor among thieves” – rife with state-sanctioned, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing, corruption, wretchedly obvious glad-handing, and an absolute dearth of accountability. The repercussions for our brave war-fighters and, consequently, the essence of American national security itself, are extraordinarily grave.

Case in point: my alma mater and the alma mater of 4 of my kids, the scandal-drenched United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO. Out of our 35,383 clients across the U.S. military (96% of whom are practicing Christians), the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) currently represents 435 cadet, staff, and faculty clients at USAFA alone. Of that number, 372 are practicing Protestants and Roman Catholics. Further, 27 of these clients identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB).

Despite pathetically disingenuous damage control efforts by newly-minted Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the Academy simply can’t shrug off the pungent stench of Keystone Kops negligence and willful malfeasance which it has ignominiously accumulated over its last deplorable decade of serial scandals. Clearly, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agrees. The arresting news broke only a few days ago that the OSI allegedly “recruited” (read: strong-armed) multiple Academy cadet informants into forced participation in “FBI-style” sting operations to allegedly infiltrate those suspected of sexual assault and drug distributors among the ranks of Academy personnel. It is alleged by at least one former cadet, since expelled from USAFA, that the OSI instructed and even encouraged cadet informants to break laws, as well as the venerated Cadet Honor Code, to buttress the likelihood of the accomplishment of their informant “missions”.  They were further apparently promised by the OSI, it is alleged, that there would be no negative consequences for doing so. Suffice it to say that such “promises” by the OSI appear to be a load of crap. Minority cadets appear to have been disproportionately targeted by the OSI both as targets and informants. Having personally witnessed and experienced, as an Academy cadet, utterly outrageous acts of unconstitutional depravity that shocked the conscience from this very same OSI, I cannot say I am even remotely surprised. Stay Tuned.

These disgraceful revelations burst upon the scene contemporaneously with USAFA’s senior leadership’s absurd attempts to paint “happy faces” on their windows in order to obscure a blatantly intolerant and dreadfully oppressive anti-gay atmosphere at the Academy. Last month, the world learned that the Academy is employing Dr. Mike Rosebush, an Academy grad and allegedly “ex-gay” fundamentalist Christian whose entire professional career has been geared toward “curing homosexuality,” fighting “unwanted same-sex attractions” among Christian men “acting upon their homoerotic temptations.” Homophobia, thy name be USAFA.

Rosebush’s position at USAFA? Well, according to the Air Force’s own Global Address List, Rosebush is “Chief, Coaching Development” at the Academy’s much vaunted and revered “Center for Character and Leadership Development.” Meaning that Rosebush’s “work” – and the mind clearly boggles here – sets the standard for what constitutes leaders within the Air Force Academy, specifically, and the United States Air Force, generally.

USAFA attempted to ridiculously counter this shocking news about Rosebush by essentially exhorting the public not to fear the possibility of any harm here.  The Academy vociferously vouchsafed that Rosebush was absolutely NOT having ANY impact upon the “character and leadership development” of any cadets whatsoever. Indeed, perish the thought. And who could argue? After all, Rosebush is a senior official at the Academy’s “Center for Character and Leadership Development.” Thus, it would be simply ludicrous and counter intuitive in the extremis to presume that he would have ANY effect on the “character and leadership development” of Academy cadets, right? Um, wait? Hey, I told you the mind boggles.

USAFA’s public (mis)information office sprang into full gear, parading openly LGBQ cadets before the microphones and cameras in a carefully stage-managed “Potemkin Village” production meant to create the utopian illusion of the Air Force Academy’s pristine inclusion and sexual preference diversity. A MRFF cadet client at USAFA (whose identity is being kept confidential for justified fear of reprisal) publicly condemned these “self-serving” claims of providing a welcoming atmosphere for LGBQ cadets, staff, and faculty as a “crock” and a brutal affront to the human dignity of LGBQ personnel at USAFA. This Academy-staged spectacle of shame reminded me of the horrific tragedy of the infamous “orchestra” made up of concentration camp victims at Auschwitz.

Many of the worst marks of disgrace on the collective body of the Academy are the self-inflicted result of its Constitutionally derelict leaders violating the religious liberties of cadets, faculty, and staff. This affliction of the most basic civil rights of Air Force Academy personnel is wrought by means of aggressive fundamentalist Christian preaching and proselytizing while in uniform – a wholesale violation of the very same United States Constitution which these leaders have sworn to support and defend with their very lives.

Indeed, earlier this semester, 7 Academy cadets came to MRFF for guidance and assistance as new clients begging for help when their USAFA professor wrote the following “equation” on the blackboard whilst concomitantly declaring to his/her class that this mathematical formula was the “only one you will need to pass this class”; to wit, “1 Cross plus 3 Nails Equals 4given”. This professor is an Academy grad him/herself, is on active duty and was in uniform at the time. Yes, we have a picture of the blackboard “equation”. But our cadet clients are terrified to come forward. And they should be. A loving father of one of these cadets wrote me an e-mail explaining exactly why.

And, just last month, in my capacity as Founder and President of MRFF, I received a “hate” email that addressed the litanies of egregious, fundamentalist Christian supremacy religious violations that have earned weapons-grade infamy for the Academy. The email read, in part: “God will always be a part of the US Military even when you are gone to meet him face to face… I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with.”

Who wrote this wonderful email? None other than Allen Willoughby, head athletic trainer and assistant athletic director at USAFA’s prep school. Predictably, USAFA issued a statement universally defending and exonerating Willoughby, stating that the hate mail was sent “in his personal capacity,” and that “no action is being taken against the individual.” Of course, in today’s military, “good leaders” cover up for one another, right? George Marshall spins in his grave. Hmm? I wonder what USAFA “leadership” would have done had Willoughby stated, instead, that he would “talk about male superiority over females and the virtues of sexual assault to everyone that I work with?”

Speaking of stinking, sexist misogyny and command-directed female exploitation, further south in Texas, a prostitution ring was discovered at Fort Hood. And who was the pimp? None other than Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, a man employed by the U.S. military’s sexual assault and harassment program who is said to have “tried to recruit [a young private] to have sex with high-ranking soldiers and sexually assaulted her during what she termed an ‘interview.’” All signs so far indicate that this is merely the tip of an iceberg that lies extant across the military.

Meanwhile, our civil rights foundation perpetually receives a sadly steady torrent of anguished testimonials from myriad sailors, soldiers, marines, airmen, cadets, midshipmen, national guardsmen, reservists and veterans regarding their own profound suffering at the hands of corrupt-to-the-bone so-called “leaders.” These plaintive pleas for help have included forced attendance at military Holiday Balls with clear, Christian sectarian religious themes, the coerced swearing of religious oaths, mandatory “spiritual fitness” testing and a veritable plethora of other “spiritual rape” grievances large and small across the entirety of the United States armed forces home and abroad. Taken as a whole, this sea of unconstitutional oppression represents a vast, systemic and chronic internal war of attrition against the good order, morale, and discipline which is supposed to comprise the sterling sine qua non of the foundational essence of what our American military represents and fights for.

As the old Russian proverb goes, “a fish rots from the head down.” The U.S. Military is the most technologically sophisticated and lethal organization ever devised by humankind, yet it often finds itself helplessly inert due to its own byzantine bureaucracy and those who resort to any and all means to jealously and zealously guard their personal privileges and those of their partners-in-crime. We at MRFF see the endless grievances of painful denigration and bigotry experienced by MRFF’s armed forces clientele who are, in fact, our nation’s bravest war fighters across the spectrum of the 4 DoD service branches. This despicable religious/fascistic tyranny incontrovertibly illustrates that the careless and bullying use of martial hierarchy and misapplied physical force are a clear and present national security danger to the health and well-being of both military individuals and their respective organizations alike.

Presently, a new tactic is being employed and deployed by this twisted Christian version of the Taliban. We are seeing a cowardly swarm of smarmy, fundamentalist Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council, American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and Officers’ Christian Fellowship, endlessly whining and screaming that it is now THEY who are the “real” victims of “Obama’s anti-Christian Defense Department.” Those among the Pentagon’s top brass and civilian legislatures who take these fraudulent, contrived and mendacious affirmations of victimhood seriously would do well to consider the real “Clear and Present Danger” to good order, morale, and discipline in America’s mighty military:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.


The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is up against well-funded extremist religious organizations. Your donations allow us to continue our fight in the courts and in the media to fight for separation of church and state in the U.S. military. Please make a fully tax-deductible donation today at

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. is founder and president of the six-time Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy. He served as a White House counsel in the Reagan Administration and as the Committee Management Officer of the “Iran-Contra” Investigation. He is also the former General Counsel to H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. Mikey is an honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former J.A.G. in the U.S. Air Force. His two sons, daughter-in-law, son-in law, and brother-in-law are also graduates of USAFA. In December 2012, Mikey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense by Defense News. He is the author of “With God On Our Side” (2006, St. Martin’s Press) and “No Snowflake in an Avalanche” (2012, Vireo).

Originally posted to Mikey Weinstein on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 02:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily KosProgressive Atheists and Street Prophets .

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