Will Hagel Cut Ties With Anti-Christian Extremist Weinstein?

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel is the U.S. secretary of defense.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) urged the secretary of defense on Monday to cut ties with an anti-Christian extremist whom the Pentagon is using to provide advice on crafting policies on religious tolerance for the armed forces. 

In a letter to Secretary Chuck Hagel, the ACLJ, which defends religious freedom and the Constitution, argues that the views of Mikey Weinstein, of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), “do not comport with Supreme Court opinions on permissibly religious expression” and urges Secretary Hagel to discontinue using Weinstein as a consultant on religious tolerance.

“Mikey Weinstein’s beliefs and statements are not only offensive, but clearly represent the vehement intolerance that our military should reject,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. “To use him as an adviser in crafting policy for religious tolerance is absurd. Without question, he’s among the world's worst candidates to advise Pentagon officials on religious matters. This extremist has no business advising the Pentagon on any matters—much less the critically important need to protect the religious freedom of our men and women serving in the military.”

Weinstein has a long track record of using pejorative language to describe Christians, including words and phrases like “monsters,” “pitiable unconstitutional carpetbaggers,” “bigots,” “stuck pigs,” “evil,” “hate groups,” and “die-hard enemies of the Constitution.”

Weinstein says that Christians exercising their faith in the military “is a national security threat. What is happening … is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.”

He also says, “We are fighting the Christian version of the Taliban. ... We’re fighting al-Qaida. We’re fighting the Taliban, and we’re turning our own military into that exact same thing.”

In the letter, posted here, the ACLJ argues, “While [Weinstein] claims to be in pursuit of religious tolerance, he readily defames those who disagree with him and accuses them of all manner of evil activities. In truth, Mr. Weinstein's disagreement is with the beliefs held by those he targets, beliefs that he frequently misunderstands and misstates and beliefs he periodically mocks.”

By providing consultative services to the Pentagon, the ACLJ notes that “in effect, Mr. Weinstein is demanding that the Pentagon adopt his position on what theological beliefs, expression and conduct are acceptable.”

The ACLJ specifically calls on Secretary Hagel to cut ties with Weinstein immediately: “In light of the facts and law presented above, it is clear that Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF do not represent views or pursue policies that enhance religious tolerance. Mr. Weinstein advocates extreme positions, which he defends with intemperate and ill-considered arguments. He is an extremist who sees constitutional violations where none exist. He is the last person who should be consulted in developing a balanced policy on religious expression in the armed forces of the United States.”

In addition to the letter, the ACLJ has heard from more than 65,000 Americans who are calling on the Obama administration to end its relationship with Weinstein.

Led by ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is online at aclj.org.

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