Saturday, October 22, 2005

Dog-biting Jiminy Cricket Fighting Religious War

No link because RMN neglected to put it on the website today
Mikey Weinstein, the Air Force Academy alumnus who sued the Air Force to halt religious proselytizing in the military, said evangelical Christians have launched a "religious war" in the United States.
"This is about ensuring that one particular religious view is not allowed to engage the machinery of the state to further it so that all the rest of us are children of a lesser God," he said.
Weinstein filed suit after the Air Force refused to disavow a June statement by the Air Force deputy chief of chaplains Brig. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson, who said "we will not proselytize, but we reserve the right to evangelize the unchurched."

Weinstein, a lawyer who lives in Albuquerque, called the statement "a brutalization of the Constitution" and its guarantees of free religious expression.

"What would America do if someone reserved the right to 'Islamize the unmosqued' or 'Judaize the unsynagogued?'" Weinstein asked.

This is going to be a nasty war
When Mikey Weinstein was 2 years old, according to family lore, his parents received a knock on the door. It was the neighbors, upset that the boy had bitten their dog.

"I guess I've always been very resolute," Weinstein said.
"A lot of people get upset by Mikey's passion," Morton said. "To me, he's like Jiminy Cricket. He's that annoying little voice you can't ignore. The Air Force should listen to him. He's telling them the right way to go."

But then, the opposition is nasty (from unlinked article)
Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, on its Web site, told visitors to "contact President Bush and urge him to restore the right to religious expression in the Air Force."

Dozens of members of Congress took that advice this week, drafting a letter to Bush seeking an executive order protecting free speech for military chaplains.

"Christian military chaplains are under direct attack and their right to pray according to their faith is in jeopardy," said the letter.

By late Friday, 58 members of Congress had signed the letter, including Colorado Republican Reps. Joel Hefley, Bob Beauprez and Marilyn Musgrave. The letter is expected to be delivered Monday.

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