A new book by Bonnie Weinstein claims that Christians are capable of writing some nasty letters.
Her book—You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both–is filled with what she claims are authentic letters from Christians to the group her husband Michael Weinstein runs, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
The letters are so strong that Salon’s Edwin Lyngar refuses to quote from them directly, though he does paraphrase.
Lyngar writes, “I will spare you, dear reader, actual excerpts from the book. Instead, I will summarize almost every letter: The MRFF heats America, Weintein is a dirty Jew who deserves to be raped/murdered/skull fucked, some truly awful filth directed at Bonnie, fuck-shit-fuck, cocksucker, and Jesus is Lord.” Lyngar says he is downplaying it “a lot.”
Weinstein says they get 500 of these every single year–year in and year out. What kind of work does her group do that justifies such vitriol, real or imagined?
Here’s MRFF’s tagline: “When one proudly dons a U.S. Military uniform, there is only one religious symbol; the American flag. There is only one religious scripture; the American Constitution. Finally, there is only one religious faith: American patriotism.” It seems MRFF wants only atheists in foxholes.
You can be sure that this group has had a hand in many recent efforts to blanche religious faith and practice from the barracks and the battlefield, including trying to get some Bibles banned from military facilities and attempting to stop any overt displays of Christianity in settings they deem inappropriate. No talk of Christ, for instance, with Muslims. The group clearly has an intense enmity towards Christianity of an evangelical bent. Such efforts and comments could make many people angry.
The letters Bonnie Weinstein printed may or may not be real–no doubt, some are–but what about her husband’s record of offensive language? One would assume he and his group have a spotless record when it comes to what some consider hateful language.
In a congressional hearing on religious freedom in the military held late last month, Weinstein was quizzed by Congressman Randy Forbes about inflammatory remarks Weinstein has made over the years. When pressed by Forbes, Weinstein “proudly” admitted that in 2006, he said, “We’ve created this foundation to be a weapon. We’re going to lie down a withering field of fire and leaving sucking chest wounds.”
Weinstein also published a story in the Huffington Post titled “Fundamentalist Christian Monsters: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” in which he calls Christians “monsters,” “Christian monsters,” and “human monsters.”
He wrote, “Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.” He goes on to state, “I beseech you! Let us call these ignoble actions what they are: the senseless and cowardly squallings of human monsters.”
But this is not the only place where Weinstein said Christians want to foment mass murder. He said it also in his book No Snowflake in an Avalanche.
Bonnie Weinstein’s husband also blamed the Fort Hood shootings on Christians’ mistreatment of the shooter and “linked the actions of Christians to Hitler and Stalin.”
For someone famous for throwing strong verbal punches, comparing Christians to mass murderers, for instance, Weinstein is rather sensitive to name-calling himself. He threatened Fox News’ Megyn Kelly with litigation for calling him an atheist. He sent similar threatening letters to The Christian Post and The Blaze radio network.
Though Weinstein insists he is not an atheist, he does say, “I am trying to get there but I’m not there yet.” He describes himself as a “Jewish agnostic” who prays three times a day in Hebrew. For a non-atheist, Weinstein appears at a lot of atheist gatherings. A look at the “events” section of his website shows him speaking to more than a few atheist groups.
Weinstein has come under fire lately for the exorbitant salary he gives himself at his group. The military publication Stars and Stripes reported, “In 2012, Weinstein received total compensation worth $273,355–about 47 percent of all money MRFF raised through contributions and grants that year, according to IRS filings accessed on the nonprofit transparency website GuideStar.”
Bonnie Weinstein’s book was released December 2. No word on whether she will publish a book about the inflammatory statements her husband has made.