UPDATE (01.23.2011): All updates to this ‘Clebe McClary bulletin’ will be posted near the end of the article.
Marine 1st Lt. Clebe McClary
Next, they’ll be trying to snuff out officers who are ‘too straight’, or ‘too white’…
(Gazette) A religious rights group is calling for the removal of the Air Force Academy’s top officer after a flap over a speaker planned for a February prayer luncheon at the school.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) says the academy’s choice of retired Marine 1st Lt. Clebe McClary shows that superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould remains tilted toward evangelical Christianity and tolerates an environment where proselytizing is accepted.
Lt. Gen. Mike Gould
“We’re done,” said academy graduate Mikey Weinstein, the foundation’s founder and a frequent foe of religious practices at the school. “Gould needs to go.”
An academy spokesman, Lt. Col. John Bryan, defended the choice of McClary and said the planned prayer gathering is optional and inclusive of a broad spectrum of religious views.
“Nobody is being forced or coerced to go to this luncheon,” Bryan said.
McClary is a wounded Vietnam veteran who overcame his disabilities and now says he’s in the “Lord’s Army.”
Bryan said he’s heard McClary speak and came away with inspiration for overcoming obstacles rather than religious philosophy.
“He’s a nationally recognized motivational speaker,” Bryan said.
McLary’s website lists testimonials from celebrities including The Rev. Billy Graham and former Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves.
The academy first sought retired Army general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell to speak at the luncheon, but when he couldn’t make it due to schedule conflicts, McClary was picked to keynote the annual event. He’ll be paid $2,500 and airfare reimbursement.
Weinstein points to McClary’s website for evidence that the speaker is too evangelical for the academy.
“To him, USMC will always mean a U. S. Marine for Christ,” McClary’s website says.
“Such statements are not only antithetical to the clear mission of the United States Air Force Academy, they are totally anathema to the purportedly globally inclusive purpose of this National Prayer Luncheon,” Weinstein wrote in a letter to Gould and Defense Department officials.
Several groups, including the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union have written Gould in support of Weinsten’s effort.
Weinstein has battled the academy in recent months over the school’s failure to include him in a conference on the school’s religious tolerance practices and the academy’s initial failure to release results of a survey that showed concerns about prosyletizing there.
Gould hasn’t responded to Weinstein’s latest letter.
PLEASE let the United States Air Force Academy Public Affairs know what’s on your mind. Tell ‘em Sad Hill sent ya…:
2304 Cadet Drive Suite 3100
U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840-5016
UPDATE #1 (01.22.2011): Hypocritical Oath taken directly off Weinstein’s site – MRFF’s Mission Statement (h/t: taxesareforever):
“Additionally, MRFF adheres strongly to the principle that religious faith is a deeply personal matter, and that no American has the right to question another American’s beliefs as long as they do not unwontedly intrude on the public space or the privacy or safety of another individual.”
UPDATE #2 (01.22.2011): MRFF Letter from Weinstein to General Gould:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BEKKI MILLER
(MRFF) ALBUQUERQUE – Albuquerque-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has demanded that the United States Air Force Academy rescind their invitation to former Marine Lt. Clebe McClary to speak at the Academy’s upcoming National Prayer Luncheon. “Egregiously sectarian statements like [those] from former Lt. McClary blatantly exclude not only non-Christians, but also the many Christians who do not subscribe to a particularly fundamentalist view of Christianity,” said Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, President and Founder of MRFF. MRFF’s letter, linked below, closes by demanding that the Air Force Academy “immediately rescind its invitation to former Lt. McClary and choose a new speaker who can appropriately embody a message of inclusiveness for all Academy attendees.”
MRFF’s January 20th, 2011 Demand Letter to U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael C. Gould: Please see below.
CAUTION: This document contains Mikey Weinstein’s extremely violent, profanity-laced, and bigoted comments against all evangelical Christians who believe the New Testament of the Bible: HERE
(PIJN) On 21 April the Pentagon disinvited Franklin Graham to speak at their National Day of Prayer event, because Graham allegedly made previous controversial statements, by daring to criticize some Muslims who beat their wives, kill their children for suspicion of adultery, and committed mass genocide against 2 million Christians in Sudan.
But the real question is, why did the Air Force Academy invite Mikey Weinstein (whose letter to SECDEF got Graham disinvited) to speak to cadets at their National Character and Leadership Symposium in February 2010, when Mikey Weinstein has made statements far worse than Graham’s, threatening violence and swearing vulgar obscenities at all evangelical Christians, up to 38 million American people on whom he has declared war?
Continue reading: HERE
UPDATE #4 (01.23.2011): Weinstein and cronies sue Fort Carson for over emblem with cross and inscription, “For God and Humanity” (h/t: Erik and rybbr): HERE
Note: ‘It’s inscribed with “For God and Humanity” — not “For God and Americans” or “For God and Christians.” And it’s a hospital, not a combat unit.
(PajamasMedia) Persecution of Christians worldwide, particularly at the hands of Muslims, is a well-documented phenomenon despite the successful attempts by most major Western and American media organs to ignore it.
Persecution of Christians in the United States — a country where almost 80% of the population, some 240 million, is of that faith — is deemed, ipso facto, an absurdity by some and an undeniable fact by others. As a conservative yet non-fundamentalist (Lutheran) Christian, Army veteran, and former academic specializing in Islamic history, I agree that Christians are notcurrently being persecuted in this country. I do discern, nonetheless, a worrisome growing intolerance of the majority faith coupled with a kneejerk support of minority religions.
Particularly, and unsurprisingly, Islam.
This year alone, there have been four prominent attacks on Christian connections to the U.S. military:
• Charges of neo-Crusaderism against military supplier Trijicon for its gunsights inscribed with New Testament verses.
• Charges of neo-Crusaderism against an Army unit for daring to have a cross as part of its unit insignia.
• The Army’s decision to disinvite prominent evangelical Franklin Graham from speaking at a Pentagon prayer service on the National Day of Prayer.
Weinstein is a former member of the Air Force JAG (Judge Advocated General’s) Corps — an attorney — and a self-proclaimed secular crusader for rebuilding what he calls the military’s “obliterated wall separating church and state.”
Since Weinstein blames evangelical Protestants for allegedly breaching this wall, he directs most of his ire against them. They don’t hesitate to return fire, often citing Weinstein’s own intemperate, crass words. Weinstein gets plenty of support from the media, as is obvious from a sympathetic 2009Harper’s article with an inflammatory title: “Jesus Killed Mohammad: The Crusade for a Christian Military.” The piece quotes him at length and takes his assertions at face value.
I will leave it to Weinstein’s evangelical Protestant opponents to question his salvation status; however, his misrepresentations of history — Christian, American, and even Islamic — are certainly fair game and call into question his logic and motives. If Weinstein were simply the head of a “religious watchdog group,” working out a personal animus against Christians and Christianity in the military, we could perhaps ignore him, but his views appear to be not just influential but gaining traction among some elements of the Obama administration.
Weinstein’s favorite trope is that the American military is somehow being turned into a “Crusader” army by the nefarious Protestants within its ranks, as exemplified by the “Crusader” unit heraldry which, according to him, “continues to add more fodder to the argument that we are Crusaders. … It’s exactly what fundamentalist Muslims want.”
UPDATE #5 (01.11.2011): Air Force Academy Prayer Luncheon With Clebe McClary ‘A Go’ – Judge Sends ‘Speculative’ Mikey Weinstein’s MRFF Home: HERE
‘Mikey’ Weinstein gets Franklin Graham disinvited from National Day Of Prayer (h/t: Girlene): HERE
McClary’s Biography: HERE
McClary Silver Star Citation (h/t: Retain Mike): HERE
Weak-Kneed Christians: HERE
Hat tip: Dad/Mom