Who is This Christian Basher? Separating Fact from Internet Legend

Michael Weinstein is a self-styled “civil rights advocate” and Founder and President of a hate-tank called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

He is also the author of a Christian-bashing article that was published by the Huffington Post. 

I wrote about an article yesterday about this article, Christian Bashing: Are There Any Limits? and readers followed through with a plethora of information on Mr Weinstein. One of the claims was that he is a religious adviser for President Obama. However, I don’t think that Michael Weinstein is a religious adviser for President Obama or the Pentagon.

I’ve googled quite a bit, and I found that claim splashed all over the internet. However, I could not track it back to a reputable source. What I found instead were circular sources linking to one another. 

I did find a Department of Defense document that says this:

Internet posts are attributing a statement that superior officers who try to convert those under their command should face court-martial to Mikey Weinstein, president of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and are identifying him as a Pentagon advisor, Christensen noted.

“Mr. Weinstein is not part of any DOD advisory group or committee, nor is he a consultant to the Defense Department regarding religious matters,” Christensen said. “Mr. Weinstein requested, and was granted, a meeting at the Pentagon April 23, with the Air Force judge advocate general and others, to include the deputy chief of chaplains, to express his concerns of religious issues in the military.”

Based on the unabashed self-promotion I saw on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation web site, I doubt that Mr Weinstein would leave something like this out if it was true. If someone has a link to an original source saying that Mr Weinstein is a religious advisor for either President Obama or the Pentagon, please share it with me. Otherwise, I’m going to round-file that story as internet legend. 

Here, from the MRFF website, are a few things about Mr Weinstein, who often refers to himself as “Mikey,” that did turn out to be true:  

  • “Mikey” is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Served in a Federal prosecutor in the JAG corps. 
  • A registered Republican.
  • Former legal counsel for the Reagan White House. Committee Management Officer of the much-publicized Iran-Contra Investigation in his capacity as Assistant General Counsel of The White House Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President of the United States. 
  • Mikey served as the first General Counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation.
  • In December 2012, Defense News named Mikey one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense. As a distinguished “Opinion shaper” exercising a hard-fought influence over the U.S. Armed Forces, Mikey’s influence has been recognized as exceeding that of former General David Petraeus himself by a publication that represents “the world’s biggest military newsroom.” 
  • On November 7, 2011, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State presented Mikey Weinstein with AU’s first ever Person of the Year Award. 
  • On November 18, 2012, for the fourth consecutive year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was officially nominated again for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize (its fifth total nomination)

Here, in the order in which they appear, is a list of the organizations that have submitted “partnering links” to the MRFF:

    • Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
    • California Church IMPACT
    • Atheist Alliance International
    • Constantine’s Sword
    • Jews on First!
    • Mainstream Baptist
    • Town Hall, Los Angeles
    • Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    • Calvets Investigation Committee
    • Society-Links.com
    • womenstanding
    • Working Minds
    • Humanists of the Treasure Coast
    • Pacific Palisades Democratic Club
    • American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado
    • Center for Inquiry
    • Free Range Longmont
    • Chasing Evil
    • the Horn, The Head on Radio Network
    • Foundation Beyond Belief
    • United Atheist Front



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  • FW Ken
  • aveteran

    It’s blatantly obvious you didn’t bother to check any reputable websites, especially any military-related ones.
    As a Catholic, you should be thanking Weinstein and MRFF for exposing the harrassment of Catholic and other non-evangelical cadets at the Air Force Academy by evangelical extremists. You should also broaden your search criteria to include legitimate news sites, and not just right-wing propaganda mills.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Your email address makes it clear that you are a person with adversarial views toward faith and people of faith. I was unaware that either the Huffington Post or Mr Weinstein’s web site were right wing propaganda mills. Those, along with the Department of Defense web site, were the sources for these two posts.

      I edited the link you included with your comment out of the comment. I didn’t look at it (on my cell phone), but, based on your email address and what you say here, I thought it might be an anti-Christian site. This is a Christian blog. I don’t promote things like that here. If I’m wrong, feel free to re-post it, and later, when I have time to look at it, I’ll check it. However, I don’t usually allow links to anti-Christian propaganda on this blog.

  • FW Ken

    As a Catholic living in Texas, I’m familiar with evangelicals. Personally, I’m grateful that they are concerned for my soul.

    One of the best men, and best Christians, I’ve known, is a Fundamentalist. He took good care of my mother after they married, until her death. He’s cheerful, friendly, generous, and caring. He gives to the church and to the poor.

    I’ll take Sam over Mikey any day.

  • Bill S

    FW Ken,

    Christianity can and often does bring out the best in its followers as in the case of the man who married and cared for your mother. Still, it is a belief in the supernatural and therefore cannot be proved or disproved. It is a world view that should not be imposed on others and it cannot be in government funded institutions like the military.

    Michael Weinstein’s involvement had personal beginnings when his son was harassed in the military for being Jewish. Evangelicals are over the top in their attempts to “save” non-Christians. They even include Catholics in that category. The best thing would and should be complete secularism in the military and government.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      If Michael Weinstein is using what he says is the harassment of his son to justify the kind of Christian bashing thing he wrote for the Huffington post, then he is no different from any number of other vicious discriminators and fomenters of violent persecution throughout history. Ironically, Hitler used very similar logic in Mein Kampf. Read that article from the Huffington Post Bill. Then think carefully if you want to come out in support of that kind of hatred.

  • Bill S

    He is very extreme. But I understand what he is trying to do. This country cannot promote itself as a Christian country any more than it can a Muslim, Jewish or any other religious affiliation. This is a country with no state religion. This especially applies to our military. Because the abuses are so extreme, the reactions are extreme as well. We can all get by without bringing up religion of any kind in activities where it doesn’t matter what your religion is. It should be a non-issue along with sexual preference and every other divisive issue.