Stephen Glain of Foreign Policy magazine recently brought attention to the work of Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, an activist who seeks to remove evangelical Christians’ influence from the military. As a former Air Force judge advocate general and target of anti-Semitic violence as a cadet, Weinstein views the overwhelming presence of evangelical Christianity in the military as a “fundamentalist Christian parachurch-military-corporate-proselytizing complex.” He formed the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) in 2006 to expose religious intolerance and to pursue violations of the separation between church and state. Earlier this year, MRFF received media attention for threatening to sue a weapons manufacturer who placed references to Bible verses on rifle scopes. More recently, Weinstein received sharp criticism for his protests against Franklin Graham as the speaker for the National Prayer Breakfast Task Force service. Currently, Weinstein and MRFF have announced plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of Zachari Klawonn, a Muslim U.S. Army specialist who claims he was harassed as a result of Islamophobia following the Fort Hood shooting last November. This lawsuit is one step in a larger effort to expose what Weinstein sees as a Pentagon-sanctioned effort to Christianize the United States military. The Pentagon, however, affirms religious diversity and denies all claims of supporting only one religious affiliation. To read Glain’s article, click here.
By Henry Munson , University of Maine
(Vol. 3, June 2008)
Exporting the Local: Recent Perspectives on ‘Religion’ as a Cultural Category
By Daniel Dubuisson , CNRS-Université Charles de Gaulle-Lille 3 (Translated from the French by Arthur McCalla)
(Vol. 2, November 2007)