Where’s the Southern Poverty Law Center when you need them? “Dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society”, I have a new client for them. The National Day of Prayer Task Force is under attack by Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel demanding that the Pentagon refuse to participate in The National Day of Prayer–not because of the event itself, but because The National Day of Prayer Task Force is chaired by Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is asking officials “not to provide speakers or ceremonial support for the event, which they argue would show favoritism and endorsement of evangelical Christians…”
“…The National Day of Prayer Task Force is what we view as a fundamentalist Christian theocratic cabal working as hard as it can to turn America into a fundamentalist version of a Salafist or Wahhabist Islamic state,” Weinstein told the The Christian Post.
A press release detailed his complaints [all emphasis mine]:
“Longtime critics of Christian conservatives’ influence in military culture are demanding the Pentagon back away from involvement in a National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill next month, saying it’s a thinly veiled rally for far-right fundamentalists.
The planned participation by uniformed U.S. military personnel in this private fundamentalist Christian religious event, run by a non-federal entity, is an unequivocally clear violation of [a] plethora of DoD regulations and instructions,” the letter states. “The U.S. military absolutely cannot endorse these searingly sectarian events by its public participation in them….”
And then he offers this brilliant analogy: “The National Day of Prayer Task Force is to the National Day of Prayer as what a National Football League al-Qaida chapter would be to the National Football League…”
From the official Facebook page of the National Day of Prayer Task Force:
“The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
In accordance with Biblical truth, the National Day of Prayer Task Force seeks to:
* Foster unity within the Christian Church
* Protect America’s Constitutional Freedoms to gather, worship, pray and speak freely.
* Publicize and preserve America’s Christian heritage
* Encourage and emphasize prayer, regardless of current issues and positions
* Respect all people, regardless of denomination or creed
* Be wise stewards of God’s resources and provision
* Glorify the Lord in word and deed”
Right. Dangerous words, those. I can see why Mikey feels the need to protect the military from those Christian fundamentalists who want to encourage prayer for our country and why he insists that our military refrain from participating.
And, here’s another thought: Who is more likely to be insulted by his comparisons and analogies? Evangelical Christians, Islamists, or al-Qaida? I can’t imagine that Islamists are any more thrilled than Christians at being linked together in Weinstein’s ludicrous self-serving comments. Mikey’s offensive, intolerant, bigotry-filled statements, made solely to justify his organization’s well-documented purpose of exterminating any outward expressions of Christianity from the military, are beyond preposterous.
Way to go, Mikey. Your hatred is showing.