Catalyst September Issue 2013
Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins and allies have urged support for Rep. John Fleming’s military religious freedom amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, to secure religious liberty for members of the armed forces.
The Catholic League joined with them, noting how Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has repeatedly smeared Evangelicals.
An FRC report detailed Weinstein’s irresponsible comments. His crusade rests on the premise that Evangelicals are victimizing Catholics. This is bunk. The Catholic League would know if Catholics were being badgered by Evangelicals, but not one Catholic in the nation has ever called the Catholic League’s 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, Bill Donohue noted that if Weinstein were correct, it would logically mean that Catholics, who are 30 percent of the student body, should have been feeling the pinch of “heavy-handed proselytizing efforts.” Yet the report did not cite a single Catholic who ever complained about this.
On June 10, 2013, Donohue sent Weinstein a letter 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. It is simply not true. If 96 percent of his “clients” are Catholics, and if they are blasting Evangelicals for discriminatory behavior, then the Catholic League would have known something 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.