Following a highly publicized meeting with the Pentagon in April and a flurry of activity that followed it appears the influence of anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is being felt in very real ways among American servicemen. Late last month the MRFF issued a formal complaint about a painting hanging in the dining hall at Mountain Home Air Force Base that features a medieval crusader and airman with a biblical reference from Matthew 5:9 which reads “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Following the MRFF complaint, along with the alleged complaints of over 20 military personnel at the facility, the painting was removed in compliance with Weinstein’s demands who gave the Pentagon one hour to remove the painting. The MMFF called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.”
The overt targeting of Christian materials and those who openly express Christian beliefs is an ongoing mission of the MMFF and Weinstein who in April commented “Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior… It is a version of being spiritually raped.” Although individuals such as Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council have come forward in defense of the military’s existing regulations against harmful evangelization, the Pentagon has continued to give ear to Weinstein’s aggressive demands creating an increasingly toxic and risky environment for Christian service men and women in the American armed services.
“While it’s noble and necessary for influencers and leaders to come forth in defense of Christian values in the military, it’s even more important that the rank and file Christians in the armed forces come forth to defend their faith and religious expression” says Eric Shuster, author of the book Where are the Christians: the Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion. Shuster continues “If the 20 military personnel who opposed the painting were met with 200 who supported the painting what would the Pentagon had done then? Until Christians set aside denominational differences and learn to unite along common values to consolidate its societal influence and not only stand up to bullies like Weinstein, but persecution from the IRS and other governmental institutions, it stands the risk of becoming publicly irrelevant in the not-so-distant future.”
About the Book:
Where are the Christians? uses the classic format of who, what, where and how to explore Christianity and the dynamics that unite and divide the religion into what Shuster refers to as “the unrealized potential it suffers from today.” The book examines hundreds of Biblical and scholarly sources, analyzing data from a multitude of studies leading to unique perspectives and solutions to the challenges facing Christianity in the modern era.
About the Author:
Eric Shuster has dedicated his writing career to building bridges of understanding between Christians. He is the executive director of the Foundation for Christian Studies, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, teaching, and practice of Christianity in support of essential Christian values and compassionate service across the globe. With his professional research background, directorship at the Foundation for Christian Studies, and his unique life experiences, Eric is able to delve into complex spiritual subject matter and make it understandable and enjoyable to the everyday reader.