Weinstein explains why he defends Muslims


Falcon football players pray before games. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Falcon football players pray before games.
Mikey Weinstein is a very unpopular person, especially among the hard-core fundamentalist Christians who believe in their heart of hearts that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.

The Air Force Academy alum who started the Military Religious Freedom Foundation about a decade ago takes abuse on a regular basis via email, phone calls, swastikas painted on his house and so on.

For a better understanding of his mission, take a moment to read this piece that appeared on this link with the headline, "This Republican Jew is fighting to defend American Muslims — here’s why."

We recently broke the story about the Air Force Academy football team kneeling in the end zone prior to games, praying even as they wore uniforms emblazoned with "Air Force." See our blog here. 

A spoof created by MRFF to drive home the point of whether it's appropriate to pray in public while representing the armed forces. - COURTESY MRFF
  • Courtesy MRFF
  • A spoof created by MRFF to drive home the point of whether it's appropriate to pray in public while representing the armed forces.
Here's a message sent to Weinstein recently by former Academy chaplain Melinda Morton:
I think it is helpful to see USAFA end zone praying as yet another "territorial conquest" of the Christian Right. This stands in a long line of conservative Christian usurpation of government space via supposed voluntary demonstrations of Christian piety. See praying "at the flagpole" in public schools, student prayers at graduations, public address prayers prior to high school sporting events. All of these demonstrations have in common the use of students or other non- government, and non-official individuals which engage in supposed voluntary and/or spontaneous religious piety at government sponsored events or in government regulated space. These demonstrations assert the cultural appropriateness of attaching a Christian power discourse to governmental action. They promote, by repetitive association within official government settings, the idea that culturally the United States is a Christian Nation and that the power of the US government ought be (and is) deployed in support of Christian perspectives.

Of course, in the case of the USAFA football players, conservative Christians have moved on from using unofficial actors and instead have embraced the use of official government actors (cadet football players). In this way the former locker room banner assertion that "We are team Jesus..." is now paraded onto the field, performed before the pluralistic crowd and displayed on television.

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