Which is worse– Jewish or homosexual in the USAF?

You’ve probably heard that the House voted to end DADT.  Smart way to do it, leave the ultimate decision up to the SecDef and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (who will in fact repeal it) for some nice political cover.  Despite all the controversy, this has become a very popular position.  CNN’s latest poll reports an amazingly high 80% support.  Here’s a great Tom Ricks post (Via Big Steve, of course) on the topic.

So, that said, Big Steve also linked to a really interesting story about discrimination in the military (especially against Jews) by right-wing Christians.  They seem to have taken over the Air Force academy, but these problems surely exist throughout the whole military to a degree.  Former Air Force JAG, Mikey Weinstein, is leading the charge against those trying to turn the US Military into a thoroughly evangelical Christian organization.  Here’s the opening:

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein shares his hate mail with both friends and strangers the way elderly people show off photos of their grandkids. He has plenty of it to share. For the past four years, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has been doing battle with a Christian subculture that, he believes, is trying to Christianize the U.S. armed forces with the help of a complicit Pentagon brass. He calls it the “fundamentalist Christian parachurch-military-corporate-proselytizing complex,” a mouthful by which he means holy warriors in contempt of the constitutional barrier between church and state.

“The scary thing about all this,” Weinstein says, “is it’s going on not with the blind eye of the Pentagon but with its full and totally enthusiastic support. And those who are not directly involved are passive about it. As the Talmud says, ‘silence is consent.'”

Obviously, legal discrimination (as it currently is for homosexuals) based on religion in the military will never be the case, but there’s clearly quite a bit of religious discrimination nonetheless.  Here’s to Weinstein’s crusade to end it.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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