59 Congress Members Demand Hagel Explain Meeting with Anti-Christian Extremist
Monday morning, Congressmen Steve Scalise and John Fleming—both Republicans representing districts in Louisiana—sent a letter signed by 59 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, demanding answers regarding Pentagon officials meeting with an anti-Christian extremist.
This story began two weeks ago when Breitbart News reported on at least one such meeting. Since that time it has become a growing controversy, as Breitbart News reported additional disturbing details. Now Congress is weighing in.
The Scalise-Fleming letter begins:
It has come to our attention that as recently as April 23, 2013, Pentagon officials met with Mr. Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), to discuss religious freedom in the military. As we have great concern regarding numerous inflammatory statements from Mr. Weinstein in recent weeks, we are seeking further clarification on the meeting that took place late last month.
The letter continues, detailing the numerous troubling statements attributed to Weinstein:
In a recent posting in his own words, Mr. Weinstein characterized men and women of the Christian faith as, “monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans” and offered consent to labeling individual faith based family groups as “hate groups.” Mr. Weinstein also [referenced such individuals and groups] as “die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution.”
The letter then notes that Weinstein has compared Christians in the military with “the Taliban and Al Qaeda,” as well as comparing Christians in general with “Hitler and Stalin.” The congressmen also criticize Weinstein’s comments “equating spiritual expression to ‘spiritual rape’ and sedition and treason within the military.”
Not surprisingly, the letter reads, “We question the Pentagon’s judgment and reasoning in accepting a meeting from someone with a history of such statements and sentiments.” The members of Congress demand that Hagel answer the following queries:
1. Confirmation of a meeting between pentagon officials and representatives from MRFF, as well as a list of meeting attendees, both military and civilians;
2. The purpose of the meeting specifically whether the meeting was organized to inform deliberative policy for the Armed Forces, as well as a summary of the meeting's discussion;
3. Prior to arranging this meeting, where Pentagon officials aware of Mr. Weinstein’s previous statements, including those referenced above?
4. In addition to any meetings already held, are there additional meetings scheduled?
And so Congress has launched yet another investigation into serious concerns regarding the Obama administration, this one the latest in an ongoing series of acts of hostility between President Obama’s administration and Americans of religious faith.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.