The Philadelphia Jewish Voice has posted a chilling interview with Michael Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and a former Naval serviceman who served with the Reagan Administration. Since 2004 Weinstein has been waging a very public battle over what he sees as the pernicious influence of a certain strain of evangelical Christians on our supposedly secular military. Since starting his organization, Weinstein claims that nearly 7000 active duty members of our military have come forward complaining of harassment due to their religious faith.
“By last week, over 6,800 active duty members of the United States Marine Corp, Navy, Army and Air Force have come to our foundation pretty much as spiritual rape victims/tormentees and the shocking thing is 96% of them coming to us are Christians themselves. Roughly three-quarters are traditional Protestants, like Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodist. We get Mormons, we get Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Southern Baptist. One-fourth of that 96% percent of that total universe of 6,800 — more each day — one-quarter of that 96% are Roman Catholic. About 4% will be Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Jain, Shinto, Native American spirituality or atheist or agnostic.”
Weinstein has also received death threats, “talks” from fellow Republicans and military men who tell him that the Jews who died in the Holocaust are burning in hell, and malicious magical prayer workings from evangelical Christians.
“I wanted to say one more thing. You know, we do not talk about this a lot, but our family has a lot of stress. We get death threats practically every day. We’ve had the largest windows in our house shot out, we’ve had dead animal sacrifices put on our front door. We’ve had feces and beer bottles thrown at the house. My wife and I have a group of what we presume are fundamentalist Christian women who call about every eight to 10 days, for most of the last 34 months, and they just chant on the phone, “Mikey Weinstein, bullet in the head, praise the Lord, he’s finally dead.” We’ve got little children, three or four years of age, call and say, “Now we lay you in your grave, there was no way you could be saved; you hate our Lord and he can tell, which is why you burn in hell.” And that’s not the worst part. The worst part is listening to the adult males and females in the background telling them what to say and how to do this.”
Anyone from a Pagan tradition that practices magic will instantly recognize those phone-calls for what they are, directed group workings with the goal of Weinstein’s death. The kind of “black magic” that is almost universally seen as morally repugnant within our communities. These claims of abuse, intolerance, and mistreatment towards soldiers of the “wrong” faith, while shocking, points to a trend I have been reporting from the Pagan angle for some time now. A trend that puts our Pagan troops in danger, and is a scary harbinger of what our military could become if left unchecked.
For those wanting to help Weinstein in his struggles, there is a page for making monetary donations to his (non-profit) organization, and I’m certain he wouldn’t mind prayers, devotionals, and workings from Pagans to help counteract the “magical war” being waged against him by Christian groups. For the latest news from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, click here.