Weinstein Marches On in Battle Against Armed Forces Proselytizing

July 16, 2006

Source: The Washington Post


On July 16, 2006 The Washington Post reported, "Porcelain figurines are perched on the mantelpiece behind Mikey Weinstein. Guests are seated on chintz couches in front of him. It's a nice crowd at a polite fundraising party.

But Mikey -- his friends, his enemies, even complete strangers call him 'Mikey' -- has had it with nice.

He's done with polite.

'We've created this foundation to be a weapon. We're going to lay down a withering field of fire and leave sucking chest wounds,' he says, glaring through the floor-to-ceiling windows of an Arlington high-rise at a panoramic view of Washington.

Weinstein, 51, was once a White House lawyer who defended the Reagan administration during the Iran-contra investigation. Three generations of his family -- his father, himself, both of his sons and a daughter-in-law -- have gone to U.S. military academies.

Now he's declaring war against what, for him, is an improbable enemy: the defense establishment. He is suing the Air Force in federal court, demanding a permanent injunction against alleged religious favoritism and proselytizing in the service. He has also formed a nonprofit organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to combat what he sees as a concerted effort by evangelical Christian organizations to treat the armed forces as a mission field, ripe for conversions... one of his favorite lines these days -- right up there with 'sucking chest wounds' -- comes from the Officers' Christian Fellowship, a private organization with 14,000 active-duty members on more than 200 U.S. military bases around the world. In its mission statement, the OCF says its goal is 'a spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.'"