Free lecture by Founder/President of Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein is an attorney, businessman, and former Air Force officer well-known for battling alleged coercive Christian Fundamentalist practices in the military. Wikipedia describes Weinstein's activism as follows:
Weinstein found that both his sons were exposed to Christian proselytizing at the Academy. In the case of his younger son Curtis, he reported that it included anti-Semitic language and being asked "how it felt to kill Jesus". His older son Casey, a 2004 Academy graduate, alleged that "Senior cadets would sit down and say, 'How do you feel about the fact that your family is going to burn in hell?'". Weinstein wrote in his autobiography:It is naturally of great personal consequence that Curtis's and Casey's encounters with religious bigotry occurred at the Academy, which is where I first encountered it as well. Of course, from a historical perspective, Jews have always had the unfortunate role of scapegoat thrust upon them. But I'm under no illusions that what happened to my Jewish sons and my Christian daughter-in-law could not have happened to the son of a patriotic American Muslim or Buddhist or agnostic or atheist. I wouldn't be surprised if it already had.Describing his trajectory in an interview with LA Progressive that was published in April 2012, Weinstein explained:With regard to the arc of justice in my life, I started out at point A where I made a commitment that wherever I saw anti-semitism I’d stamp it out. Now I’m at point B, when I see unconstitutional religious persecution of any stripe, I don’t care if I live or die, I’m not going to stand by and let it happen.In October 6, 2005, Weinstein sued the United States Air Force for failing to prevent religious proselytizing in the U.S. Air Force. U.S. District Judge James A. Parker dismissed the case of Weinstein v. U.S. Air Force and wrote:No Plaintiff claims to have personally experienced any of the things described under 'Factual Allegations'… while at the Academy or after leaving the Academy. The only fair reading of Plaintiffs’ factual allegations limits them to practices and events at the Academy and policies as they affect persons, other than Plaintiffs, at the Academy…Not a single Plaintiff has alleged any personal factual situation that has allegedly impinged on that Plaintiff’s constitutional rights since the Plaintiff left the Academy.On September 17, 2007, Weinstein and the MRFF filed a federal lawsuit in Kansas City, Kansas, against Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Major Freddy J. Welborn, accusing them of allowing a "pervasive and pernicious pattern and practice of unconstitutional religious rape of freedoms of our U.S. military. On March 5, 2008, the lawsuit was re-filed to include allegations that co-plaintiff Army Specialist Jeremy Hall was denied a promotion due to the filing of the original lawsuit.
The talk is titled Religious Intolerance in the Armed Forces: As Dangerous as it Gets and is also sponsored by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), Free Inquiry Group (FIG) of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and Wright-Patt M*A*S*H (Military Atheists & Secular Humanists).
This free event is open to the public and will run from 1 – 3 PM at Temple Beth Or at 5275 N. Marsdhall Rd, Dayton. More information can be found at the Freethought Dayton web site.
Freethought Dayton is a Friend of Columbus CoR.