Tony Perkins and a coalition of allies have urged support for Rep. John Fleming’s military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The Catholic League joins with them. But we are doing more than that: I am calling attention today to the way Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has smeared Evangelicals.
In a report released yesterday, FRC detailed some of the irresponsible comments made by Weinstein, the man who has been leading the fight to censor religious speech in the military. Last month, we prepared our own report: to read “Mikey Weinstein’s Inflammatory Rhetoric,” click here.
Weinstein’s crusade against Evangelicals rests on the premise that they are victimizing Catholics. This is bunk. As president of the Catholic League, I would know if Catholics in the military were being badgered by Evangelicals, but not one Catholic in the nation has ever called our office to register a complaint.
In 2005, following complaints by Weinstein, a report was released on religious liberty at the United States Air Force Academy. It found no “overt religious discrimination.” Weinstein was not happy. After reading the report, I noted that if Weinstein were correct, it would logically mean that Catholics, who are 30 percent of the student body, should be feeling the pinch of “heavy-handed proselytizing efforts.” Yet the report did not cite a single Catholic who ever complained.
On June 10, 2013, I sent Weinstein a letter [click here] asking him to provide evidence for his remark that he represents “over 33,000 members of the U.S. military,” and that “96 percent” are Catholics. He has not replied. That’s because it is simply not true. If 96 percent of his “clients” are Catholics, and if they are blasting Evangelicals for discriminatory behavior, the Catholic League would know about it.
Mikey Weinstein is smearing Evangelicals, fabricating a “crisis” in the military, seeking to divide people on the basis of religion, and threatening the religious liberty of men and women in the armed forces and in the military academies.