TWO interventions by Mikey Weinstein, above, founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), rescued Halloween at an unidentified American military base after the event was suddenly banned by the unit’s “wack-a-doodle” Christian commander.
Weinstein was contacted by a junior officer in charge of organising the event after the commander abruptly cancelled it, saying it was “disrespectful to Christian personnel” and that it elevated “Satan over Christ.”
In a letter to the MRFF on October 27, the event’s organising officer, who’s name is being withheld, wrote:
WTF? I could not believe this happened? My spouse and many others were shocked. And by the way my spouse and I are both church going Christians as are most of the others helping with this Halloween event.
Weinstein – often accused of being an atheist (he’s not) – then contacted the unit commander who apparently took fright and reversed his ban. However, he then listed costumes of “a satanic nature” that would not be allowed at the event. These included “devil, demon, witch, vampire, monster or skeleton” costumes. There were many other Halloween costumes on the list which were likewise banned.
Including pumpkin costumes!
So Weinstein intervened again – and the list of banned costumes was scrapped.
In a “thank you” letter to the organising officer wrote:
This whole thing has given me, my spouse and many others here at (military installation name withheld) a true wake up call to the illegal stronghold which certain Christian commanders have on the (name of military branch withheld).
Unless you have gone through this yourself it is hard to digest and believe. You feel alone and small. And disappointed and confused.
But the worst of all of this was not receiving support from our intermediate commanders whom we went to for help first. Most of them admitted they supported us silently but none of them would do so on the record to our (military unit’s name withheld) Commander. Which is why we all followed my sister’s advice to then call the MRFF.
I know that me and my family and those who worked with us to keep the Halloween party and allow for the usual Halloween costumes may still face blowback from our chain and the (military unit’s name withheld) Commander. All because we sought help from the MRFF and Mr. Weinstein.
Everybody pretty much knows that the MRFF was involved now. Even if that happens it will still have been worth it. We upheld our oaths to the Constitution to keep church and state apart. And we will call the MRFF again to help us fight the blowback!
The identity of the individuals was also an issue. The MRFF withheld their clients’ names to protect the whistleblowers.
But several individuals believe the identity of the unit commander should be made known, as his decisions were viewed as an abuse of authority and violation of First Amendment protections and Uniform Code of Military Justice.
With respect … the identity of this unit commander needs to be provided … because this person needs to be mustered out of the U.S. military I have no objection to fundie Christian whack-a-doodles being in the military. But when and if they abuse positions of authority to impose their silly superstitions on others, they need to be slapped down, hard … If they allow their superstitious belief in a bunch of Middle-Eastern bullshit from 2,000 years ago to trump the Constitution, they need to be thrown the hell out of the military, immediately.