Charles Paige / April 10, 2017

An Air Force Pilot’s a Christian? After Her!

Surprise, surprise — Mikey Weinstein aims to stamp out yet another expression of faith in the military.

The once reliably center-right Economist provided further evidence of its descent into mainstream media territory (i.e., solidly leftist) with a recent article echoing anti-religion zealot Mikey Weinstein. Weinstein’s feathers were ruffled (again) because a decorated U.S. Air Force pilot told the base newspaper, “The overarching thing that defines all my life is my relationship with God. … The reason and purpose behind everything I do is to glorify God and make His Name known.”

The Economist seconds Weinstein’s claim that this statement constitutes a “gross violation” of Air Force policy against statements that could “reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.” Weinstein goes on to argue, and the article’s author concurs, that the officer’s statement is evidence that the Air Force is being subverted by religious zealots and doesn’t know what its actual mission is.

A profile in Ebony magazine says Christina Hopper, now a major, “is the first African-American woman to fly a fighter jet in a combat mission during a major war. She is the recipient of the Air Medal for her courage and bravery during the destruction of a Republican Guard supply line in treacherous flying conditions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” But by all means, Mickey, complain about her faith.

More recently, Weinstein harangued the Air Force for not being more vocal about the fact that the newly appointed commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy is a proud, same-sex-married lesbian. He also filed an inspector general complaint against a blog allegedly written by another active duty Air Force officer that raises a seemingly valid question regarding the prospective commandant’s integrity. Weinstein didn’t specify how gender disorientation pathology does contribute to the Air Force’s mission, but he argues that the blog’s author should be prosecuted for violation of a number of Uniform Code of Military Justice articles. He’s unsurprisingly silent about the prospective commandant’s violation of Article 83 (Fraudulent Enlistment).

The Air Force needs to firmly push back against Weinstein’s bullying once and for all. Past concessions have only emboldened Weinstein and his misnamed Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Air Force leadership should first acknowledge the obvious distinction between actively proselytizing and making a simple statement about what’s important to the speaker. We should give Airmen a little credit and trust that they’re smart enough not to “reasonably construe” that such a statement amounts to “official endorsement” and an expectation that the Airmen adopt the speaker’s religion or face punitive consequences. They should also strongly rebut MRFF’s ridiculous charge that religion hinders the service’s ability to perform its mission. Given that religion, character and morality are all intertwined, absence of religion/morality/character arguably poses a much greater threat to the Air Force — and nation — than a decorated officer’s acknowledgement of what she finds important. After all, isn’t the Air Force supposed to “Aim High”?

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