We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are used to baseless, slanderous attacks. As the sole organization looking out for the constitutionally guaranteed civil rights of armed service members who suffer the horrors of religious oppression and unsolicited, aggressive proselytizing, it comes as no surprise to us that we are daily the specific target of those same perpetrators of religious zealotry who victimize our clients.
Sometimes, though, we can only sit back and chuckle in amusement at the ignorant calumnies and insinuations tossed about by our Christian fundamentalist foes.
Case in point: David Barton’s recent rant about yours truly. According to this foolish moron, in addition to being Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, I am now the new Secretary of the United States Air Force (USAF). Why is that? As Barton explains, “Every stinkin’ case he files against the Air Force, the Air Force says ‘oh my Gosh, we didn’t realize we were doing that, we’ll stop that!’”
Imagine that: Mikey Weinstein, the Honorable Secretary of the Air Force! While I’m flattered by such an honorific and homage, nothing Barton says can ever possibly find residence within the realm of credibility. While we at MRFF do constitute an advance guard among those who seek to restore the shattered wall separating church and state in the U.S. military, Barton gives both MRFF and USAF top brass far more credit than we deserve. Likewise, while his spin implies that there’s little more to MRFF than hues, cries, and litigious excess, the facts testify to an altogether different reality; our civil rights foundation represents well over 27,000 clients, 96% of whom are practicing Christians. What compels them to approach our humble organization to seek redress? Intolerable, wretched conditions of religious oppression against both religious minorities (and especially even fellow Protestants and Roman Catholics), fundamentalist and racist contraband embedded in training material, coerced attendance at uber-sectarian, evangelical Christian fundamentalist rock concerts, and countless other heinous examples of the widespread encroachment upon the armed forces being driven forward by Barton and his ilk.
For those who may be unaware, Barton has served as vice chair of the Texas GOP and is a skilled, veteran propagandist operating under the guise of his phony self-designation as a “historian.” Barton’s “craft” consists of surpassing historical revision of the most pernicious kind. The website for his political Christian fundamentalist group, WallBuilders, is a treasure trove for those seeking a hagiography of U.S. history consisting entirely of false, Christian nationalist mythologizing. There you will discover, among myriad fabrications, that the Founding Fathers of our “modern Christian nation” were cut from the same sectarian ideological cloth as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and other “level-headed,” freedom-loving Americans.
Barton has become one of the foremost ideologues of American Christian extremist exceptionalism and Tea Party-style militant fundamentalism. This ignominy has earned him the reverence of powerful figures in the Republican Party, many of whom have clamored and lined up to “kiss the ring” and earn the endorsement of this vile, base truth assassin. He has even earned the distinguished honor of being a lecturer at the esteemed online “Beck University,”whose owner and “Dean” is the renowned pedagogue and schlock-jock “super-patriot,” Glenn Beck.
Our Senior Research Director here at MRFF, Ms. Chris Rodda, has done an absolutely splendid job haranguing, deconstructing, and otherwise comprehensively exposing this Dominionist tool. She even wrote a book comprised of razor-sharp refutations of Barton’s amateurish compendia of counter-factual, pseudo-theocratic lies.
Indeed, Mr. Barton, you yourself are responsible for Chris Rodda joining forces with MRFF. This was back in 2007, when Rodda adeptly tore apart your tortured misrepresentation of the meaning behind Thomas Jefferson’s letters discussing the separation of church and state. The craftsmanship and skill with which she upheld the truth about our foundational values as a nation immediately caught our attention, and she soon became our top Researcher here at MRFF. For this, o exalted “Liar for Jesus,” we are truly indebted to you!
The confession from Barton that he believes me to be the Head of the Department of the United States Air Force shows the extent to which this man has been bewitched by his own Dominionist hocus-pocus. To paraphrase the great English scientist and critic Sir Peter Medawar, Barton “can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself.”
If I were the Secretary of the Air Force, would our civil rights foundation have to fight tooth and nail for even the slightest shred of information from the Pentagon in the form of Freedom of Information Act disclosures?
If I were Secretary of the Air Force, would Brigadier General Dana Born, Dean of Faculty at the United States Air Force Academy, be instructing her subordinates to launch counterinsurgency (COIN) operations against our four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominated civil rights organization?
According to Mike Huckabee, the obnoxiously hokey Fox News personality and has-been presidential contender who never was, “All Americans [should] be forced – forced at gunpoint, no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen.”
At the time, we thought that such a bizarre statement, once confined to the lunatic fringe of evangelical fundamentalism, starkly revealed the tyrannical aspirations of the religious right’s mainstream leaders. However, Barton’s “message” that yours truly is the Secretary of the Air Force changes things up a bit. By assigning me such an august position, perhaps Barton is actually interested, for once, in doing some good for our country and the religious freedoms enshrined by the U.S. Constitution? We trust that Mr. Huckabee, M-16 in hand, wouldn’t take exception to this latest David Barton message.
From my secret desk here at the shadow Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, however, one thing is certain: Hell hath frozen over, and the pigs are flying overhead in Delta formation.