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WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE
One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military
By Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay
Under the “boy emperor”, George W. Bush we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. What we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture--a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre- Enlightenment world; and the political and a and economic marginalization of our culture.
Add to this the pervasive hostility toward science on the part of the current administration and we get a clear picture of the Enlightenment being steadily rolled back. Religion is used to explain terror attacks as part of a cosmic conflict between Good and Evil rather than in terms of political processes.... Manichaean’s rules across the United States. According to a poll taken by Time magazine fifty-nine percent of Americans believe that John's apocalyptic prophecies in the Book of Revelation will be fulfilled, and nearly all of these believe that the faithful will be taken up into heaven in the 'Rapture,
Fundamentalism and democracy are completely antithetical when the former attempt to engage the machinery of the state to further its parochial biblical world view. The opposite of the Enlightenment, of course, is tribalism, groupthink; and more and more, this is the direction in which the United States is going...
WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military By Michael L. Weinstein and Davin Seay shines a klieg light on one of the most elite educational institutions in the world. The United States Air Force Academy which, from its inception has attracted the best and brightest, producing outstanding leaders not only in the military but throughout American society.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and his family have a long tradition of service in the United States armed forces. However, Weinstein is now waging a different kind of war. With support at the very highest levels, evangelical groups within the military believe that, serving your country requires the priorities of the military personnel to be, in the words of the Officer’s Christian Fellowship: “ a spiritually transformed US Military” literally “with ambassadors for Christ in uniform” and “empowered by the Holy Spirit.” Weinstein and other American patriots see the evangelicals’ intrusion into military operations and affairs as an affront to the Constitution they were sworn to uphold – and a violation of this nation’s traditionally sacrosanct separation of church and state.
Ten thousand cadets and staff at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, open up their federally-funded newspaper and see an a solicitation signed by hundreds of Academy senior officials and their spouses unabashedly proclaiming, “We believe that the only real hope for mankind is Jesus Christ!” Cadets are bombarded with official command “encouragement” to see the movie The Passion of the Christ at local movie theatres, and stridently sectarian fliers are strategically placed at every cadet’s seat for three straight days in the Academy dining hall. The Air Force Deputy Chief of Chaplains tells a New York Times Reporter, in a front page story, that it is now official U.S, Air Force policy to “Reserve the right to evangelize the un-churched.” (Who exactly are “the un-churched,”and who decides?).
These disturbing developments have been a call to arms for Mikey Weinstein, a US Air Force Academy honor graduate, son of a US Naval Academy distinguished graduate, father of a current Air Force Academy cadet and father and father-in-law of two recent Air Force Academy graduates, and the founder and outspoken president of the Military Religious Foundation of America. Weinstein sees the invasion toward a fundamentalist Christian-based religious based US Military as an abomination against the Constitution and its bedrock principle of separation of church and state.
In the shocking expose With God on our Side, Weinstein shows that from the highest levels down to cadets, the Academy pushes Christian fundamentalism on young students in total disregard of the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”). The Pentagon’s shocking, comprehensive disdain for Constitutional law has no bounds, and continues in all 737 U.S. military bases in 132 countries around the world.
Weinstein loves his alma-mater deeply, but in his eyes the Academy –and the entire U.S. military establishment itself – has unlawfully rendered the constitutional wall separating church and state into nothing but smoke and debris in the most technologically lethal organization ever created by humankind. Weinstein has never been one to shy away from a fight. As he said during an interview with the Washington Post (July 16 2006): “Let me make it clear. I would shed my last drop of blood to defend their right to hold their biblical worldview….But I will not accept my government telling me who are the children of the greater God and who are the children of a lesser God. That’s a difference I will not defend – I will fight them tooth and nail, and lay down a withering field of fire and leave sucking chest wounds – if they engage the machinery of the state, which is what they are doing.”
A vitally important book at a critical time in our nation’s history, With God on our Side is the story of one man’s courageous struggle to thwart a tsunami of evangelism permeating America’s military and to prevent a taxpayer-funded theocracy in which only the true believers have powers.
Besides sticks and stones thrown at him, Mikey has been reviled by the fundamentalist Christian right, and has been given many names by his evangelical enemies including Satan, Satan's lawyer, the Antichrist, That Godless, Secular Leftist, The Antagonizer of All Christians, The Most Dangerous Man in America and, most recently and perhaps most colorfully, The Field General of the Godless Armies of Satan.
When a country goes to war, it sends a cargo of good and bad
men and women; the vast majority of whom have fine, noble and heroic sensibilities, and, unfortunately a minute minority of sadists and criminals slip in. The country then pours this entire, mixed bag of people into another society -- and with them, their courage and nobility; but also, their problems, their frailties, and their crimes. And then this entire spectrum is subjected to the kind of tremendous stress and strain, endemic only to the experience of war, that’s almost beyond human endurance.
The point is that war is an inferno, and so spiritually and physically catastrophic for both sides, that it must never be allowed to be manipulated by an unconstitutional cabal of evangelical zealots and mindless so-called patriots.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Michael L. Weinstein is founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He is an attorney and businessman who served on active duty in the USAF as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for ten years and also spent three years as an attorney in the Reagan White House and formerly General Counsel for H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Davis Seay is the author of seven books. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.