Christian Nationalism Unleashed in the U.S. Military - Mikey Weinstein

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a non-profit organization, explains why proselytizing in the U.S. military is both dangerous and unconstitutional. Christian nationalist and dominionist ideologies are espoused by high-ranking officers in the military, some of whom are involved in nuclear war and military planning. This highly disturbing reality, Mikey argues, is largely ignored by policymakers. As was reported following the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6th, 2021, an unusually high number of those charged in relation to the attack had a military background, and some of them adhered to radical Christian views.

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Talia Baroncelli

Hi, I’m your host, Talia Baroncelli, and you’re watching Today, I’ll be interviewing Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. If you’d like to support the show, you can do so by going to our website,, and hitting the donate button at the top right corner of the screen. You can also get onto our mailing list; that way, you’re always updated every time a new episode drops. Don’t hesitate to like and subscribe to the show wherever you watch or listen to your podcast, be it on Spotify, Apple, or our YouTube channel, theAnalysis-news. See you in a bit with Mikey Weinstein.

Joining me now is Mikey Weinstein. He is the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the constitutional right of religious freedom in the U.S. Armed Forces. He also formerly served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He is a lawyer and served as White House Counsel to the Reagan administration for three years. He’s the author of numerous books, including With God on Our Side and No Snowflake in an Avalanche. Thank you so much for joining me today, Mikey.

Mikey Weinstein

Nice to be here, Talia. Thank you for having me.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, I wanted to start off by speaking about the really daunting issue of the rise of Christian nationalism in the military; we could actually go back to the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. What’s really interesting is how there’s an overrepresentation of people with military experience among the people who were arrested or actually charged on that day. Out of the 721 people who were charged, approximately 80 of them actually have former military experience. Arguably, a lot of them would be espousing some sort of Christian nationalism or even Dominionist ideology.

The reason I bring this up is because Biden, following 1/6, had a national security strategy that was supposed to counteract domestic terrorism. In this strategy, Christian nationalism wasn’t really explicitly mentioned. What do you think of how this strategy is currently being implemented? Is it actually able to prevent proselytizing in the military?

Mikey Weinstein

It’s terrible. If you fortified it a hundred times more, no, a thousand times more, it would then become a paper tiger. That’s how bad it is. The Defense Secretary, [Lloyd] Austin, has stated he wanted to be the “Lone Star,” his word, not mine, for racial and religious diversity in the military. It doesn’t exist.

Let me make it clear to the viewers of this. Fundamentalist Christian nationalism is inextricably intertwined into the very DNA of the Pentagon, or as we call it, Talia, the Pentecostal God. It is everywhere. Most people don’t understand that the culture of the military is very different than the civilian culture. Your military superior and boss is not your boss. Your shift manager at Starbucks, Taco Bell, or your manager at IBM; they have complete and total control over your life. The military has its own criminal code, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which includes that it can be a felony to have sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse— adultery. You can be ordered to go to the base dentist at 16:00 or 4:00 PM, and if you don’t go, that can be a felon. Why is that? Because the U.S. Supreme Court, way back in 1974, made it clear that the compelling governmental interest in the military for the First Amendment is not what an American like I have, which is a full panoply, but it’s much more focused on maximizing the unit cohesion, good order, morale, discipline, the health and safety of the troops and mission accomplishment.

Obviously, unit cohesion is torn apart by things like adultery, etc. In the military, if you’re even being gently proselytized, Talia, by your military superior, “Get the hell out of my face, Sir or Ma’am,” it’s not an option for you. They come to us. We’re a very militant and aggressive organization. We represent over 85,000 members of the military as well as veterans. About 95% of our clients are actually practicing Christians who are being brutalized by their chains of command, Talia, for not being Christian enough.

Why does this matter? Christian nationalism is terrible in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges. It’s terrible in police forces, sewage workers, firefighters, and legislators. But none of them have nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. They don’t have drones. They don’t have conventional weapons. They don’t have laser-guided weapons. The U.S. military represents the most technologically lethal organization ever created in the history of our species. Christian Dominionism, and particularly nationalism, is, as I said, it’s in the very air conditioning of our U.S. military.

We’ve been screaming about this since we started in the early 2000s. We were not at all surprised when January 6 hit because we know that what animated was Christian nationalism and the significant percentage of former, current, and retired military veterans, and others, some of them active duty, who were there.

The best way I can describe this is by showing you something, your viewers. This is a book. Ironically, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood which talks about Gilead, a future society that is a fundamentalist Christian society. The Hulu series was amazing.

Let me try to explain to you how extant and ubiquitous fundamentalist Christianity is in our U.S. military. Behold, a pen. Talia, why did it fall?

Talia Baroncelli


Mikey Weinstein

Yes. How ubiquitous is gravity on planet Earth?

Talia Baroncelli

It’s everywhere within the ozone layer.

Mikey Weinstein

Yes. That’s the example we use to show exactly where fundamentalist Christian nationalism, unchecked, is in the U.S. military. I hope that helps answer the question a little bit.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, why don’t we make this distinction between Christian nationalism and Dominionism? Some viewers would know the difference, but I think Dominionist ideology goes a step further than Christian nationalism. It believes that Armageddon is about to come, that nonbelievers will be swept up in a rapture that everyone else besides Christians or Evangelical Christians will be killed, which includes Muslims and Jews. How do you know to what extent Dominionists are actually in the military?

Mikey Weinstein

I don’t want to get wrapped up in too much of the vernacular, but there’s something called the New Apostolic Reformation, the Seven Mountains Mandate, and Dominionism. When we use Christian nationalism, we are basically forging all of those together. You’re quite right to mention Christian eschatology, the “end times” from the Book of Revelation, singular, not plural. Someone tells you, “I follow Revelations,” well, they’re already wrong because there’s no “S” at the end.

Fundamentalist Christians are promised the Battle of Armageddon; that’s why they want Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. That way, they’ll be a service of an accelerant and lubricant to bring back their version of warrior-weaponized Jesus. They’re promised a 200-mile-long river, four and a half feet deep, filled with nothing but the blood of their enemies that Jesus has slain in this battle of Armageddon. Again, about four and a half feet high, 200-mile river; that’s a great graphic, isn’t it? Christian eschatology is filled with that. That is what, again, animates this. This hellscape is what they want.

There’s a new movie that we are in called Praying for Armageddon. Have you seen it yet? It’s not out, but it just had its American premiere. The international premiere was on March 22 in Copenhagen. Toronto, a place not unknown to you, I know, is where the North American premiere was, I think, in May. I just went back to the Hamptons in New York on October 8; I believe it was Sunday, October 8, if I have the date correctly, was the American premiere. It’s a 97-minute-long movie. Both Colonel Wilkerson, who’s on our advisory board, a big supporter of ours, and myself appear in that movie for a total of about nine minutes, and it’s filled— Praying for Armageddon. This is what our military, many people in the military, obviously not everybody, but many want to have happened.

Remember, in the military, there’s a distinction between officers and enlisted. When you graduate from a military academy like I did, the Air Force Academy, or my dad, the Naval Academy, and you come out as an ensign or a second lieutenant, you already outranked 90% of the military, Talia, because you’re an officer. You have to remember that only about 7% of Hitler’s constituency was initially part of the National Socialist movement. Stalin had like 3.2%. You don’t need the big numbers because you have the command structure that’s there.

What we’re dealing with now, ever since the day before the American premiere of Praying for Armageddon, again, you can Google it, they’re working on a distribution deal now that was eight years in the making. The day before is, of course, when Hamas attacked Israel. We’re dealing right now with military superiors who are gleeful and telling that to their subordinates who can’t say anything back without facing, again, reprisal, retaliation, and revenge. They are saying that this is exactly what the playbook says, “Rejoice! Blood is coming.” There is a great movie with Daniel Day-Lewis that says, “There will be blood.” How do you deal with something like that? It’s very, very difficult.

Obviously, you and I were talking before the interview; the situation between Hamas and Israel is extraordinarily complicated. Hamas is a hideous terror organization that wants genocide for the Jews and to destroy all of Israel. At the same time, the Israel of today is not the Israel back when they were attacked in ’57 or ’56, the Yom Kippur War of ’73, and I can go on. It’s extremely complicated. However, human beings are human beings. We’ve always thought in this foundation that a two-state solution would be best and that Palestinians are entitled to full human rights. Israel has a right to protect itself against an organization like Hamas.

The whole concept of what’s happening there, you take it up to 50,000 feet and look down, the fundamentalist Christian nationalists or the Dominionists, those who follow the NAR, the New Epistolic Reformation, the Seven Mountains Mandate are licking their chops because this is a sign of their version of, again, warrior Jesus. Some leaders have said that Jesus will be on a white horse with a sword leading the attack. Others say it’s not going to be a sword; it’ll be an AR-15. Now, I can’t make this stuff up.

It’s very hard to be living in this situation. Our job is to work 25/8 around the clock, 365 days a year, and every fourth year, 366 days with leap year to fight against this. The only way you can fight against it is right out of [Niccolò] Machiavelli’s The Prince. When you aim at the Prince, Talia, you better kill the Prince.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, I think a lot of these Dominionists would have their allegiances with their version of Jesus or God and not with the U.S. Constitution. Even in the case of Israel, they wouldn’t be advocating for Israel to defend itself within the context of international law and international humanitarian law. They would probably say that this has been played out in different versions of the Bible and that this is something that’s supposed to be coming, this war between Israel and Hamas, and that it will inevitably end in the death of all of the nonbelievers. Aside from what you were speaking about with regard to Israel–

Mikey Weinstein

 I don’t mean to jump in. Let’s also remember that Israel doesn’t even have a constitution. America does. You said it a few minutes ago. Our military leaders swear an oath to the United States Constitution, not to an autocrat or a demagogue leader like Trump or someone like that, but to the U.S. Constitution, not to the weaponized version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as interpreted in the New Testament.

Remember, we have over 900 people that work here, paid and volunteer. Like many civil rights organizations, we have many volunteers. We have representatives from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on most military installations scattered around the world. About 84% of our staff are also Christians. We represent a little more than 18% of all Muslims in the U.S. Military on active duty that we’re aware of. Of course, we represent hundreds of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Bahá’í. We actually have 13 members of the Church of the Jedi right out of Star Wars. We don’t care if they worship Spiderman Man. We only care about the time, Talia, the place, and the manner in which a military superior believes that they have the right to deploy their faith or non-faith.

I’ll let you know this as soon as we find an agnostic, Bahá’í, unitary, universalist, or atheist who is pushing their faith on the subordinates. I wouldn’t hold your breath because our number one enemy, again, are Christian nationalists, come Dominionists, come NAR, come Seven Mountains Mandate.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, earlier, you mentioned retired Colonel Larry Wilkerson, who we’ve had on the show several times. As you said, he’s a board member of the MRFF.

Mikey Weinstein

He’s on our advisory board and one of my closest friends and associates. I don’t know if you know how he joined our advisory board. One of my dearest friends was killed in the attack in Benghazi, one of the two Navy SEALs who was killed there. We wanted to replace him. The late ambassador, Joe Wilson, married to the outed CIA agent, Valerie Plame, both very dear friends. Joe was on my board. He reached out to Larry, and it took about six months for us to be able to convince Larry of what was going on. He looked at it and went, “You know what? I’ve seen enough. I’m there.” He’s been with us for many years, and he’s one of the most knowledgeable people that I know. I’m delighted that he’s been on the show as many times as he has been. I think this is my second or third, but I always enjoy being on the show.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, I think he has mentioned in various interviews that I’ve seen, at least, that he doesn’t think the Biden administration is really doing enough to crack down on the spread of Christian nationalism in the military.

Mikey Weinstein

They’re not. They’re not.

Talia Baroncelli

I do wonder, what is more important for lawmakers right now? They seem to be hyper-focused on white supremacy, but it seems like that’s more politically expedient for them to focus on that issue rather than to tackle the issue of Christian nationalism.

Mikey Weinstein

Let me tell you what the situation basically is. Years ago, we actually hired a lobbyist— many years ago. She worked first for a year, then she fired herself after a year because she said, “Mikey, on Capitol Hill, there’s an old saying under Republicans, man exploits man.” A little sexist; it should be people exploiting people. But under Democrats, it’s just the opposite. Do you get it? She said, “Nobody wants to touch this. We’ll talk about sexual assault, and we’ll talk about white supremacy. You can’t mention Jesus because they get too scared they’re going to lose Evangelical Christian money and Evangelical votes.” The irony is that Evangelicals are our friends. They’re on our staff. They’re clients of ours. They donate to us. It’s the fundamentalists, the ones that believe that they can… I presume you probably have a driver’s license. Am I correct about that?

Talia Baroncelli

I actually don’t have a full driver’s license.

Mikey Weinstein

Okay, you’re the first person I’ve ever used—

Talia Baroncelli

I rely on public transport.

Talia Baroncelli

You get the analogy. I’m going with the analogy here. Let’s presume that, hypothetically, Talia had a driver’s license. But if you do, you could drive the car anywhere, anytime, any place, right? No, you can’t drive drunk, stoned, or if you’re too tired, just like you can’t scream “fire” in a crowded theater. You can’t follow the great commission. One of the last things Jesus is supposed to have said to his disciples is in Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” You can’t do that in a time, place, and manner that violates the U.S. Constitution; it’s destroying federal case law, the directives, instructions, and regulations of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as the core values of the military.

With what we’re seeing, the Biden administration doesn’t want to touch it. Obama didn’t either. They’re afraid to say anything. The only people that I know are people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They’re afraid to say what needs to be said. Again, they’re concerned about the way our democracy is messy. I get it. But I’m not running. 

I have a son who’s a member of the House of Representatives in Ohio, but I’m not a politician. I’m a civil rights advocate. My job is to not be the pearl in the oyster. No. My job is to be the irritant in the oyster that causes the pearl to form. We are aggressive, and we are militant. But our militancy and aggression are in support of the constitutional mandate of separating church and state, temporal and spiritual.

That’s why I mentioned Glen Doherty, who was that Navy SEAL killed in the attack in Benghazi, Libya. He died, and I just spoke with him three days before this happened, who eventually Larry Wilkerson replaced on our board. Glen was the first one that told me— he was an Irish Catholic kid from Boston— he said, “You got to step up your aggression because we see more of this type of Dominionism or Christian nationalism the closer you get to the point of the spear drawing blood: the Navy SEALS, the Army Rangers, the Green Berets, the Marine Corps Raiders, the Air Force PJs;” the closer you are to drawing enemy blood, the more you’re going to see this Dominionism. It has no place, no place in our U.S. military. We’re talking about people’s lives. It’s not political, and it’s not religious. It’s much bigger than that. It’s life. We are not a Christian nation. We are a secular democratic republic. We have a constitution, and we have case law that construes that. Without becoming the rule of law, we are nothing.

People need to understand that the bloodbath that occurred on October 7, 2023, in those kibbutzim and other places in Israel from Hamas, the story is never one-sided, as hideous as it is. At the same time, organizations that commit war crimes must be brought to justice.

Ukraine is clearly saying that Putin is a war criminal. We use that term very, very easily. It’d be nice if Biden, as the commander-in-chief, commander-in-chief made it clear that we’re not going to judge the value, honesty, integrity, courage, and bravery of a member of the military based on whether or not they have the correct interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There’s no difference between that, Talia, and telling someone that they’re stupid because of the color of their skin or because they were born a woman.

Talia Baroncelli

Another criticism of Colonel Larry Wilkerson about the current U.S. military is that it’s an all-volunteer military, which means there’s no draft. In 1918, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that a draft or conscription was constitutional. I’m just wondering, not really from a legal perspective, but maybe from a moral perspective, would you say it would be right to reintroduce conscription in order to avoid some of the problems that the military has today where it’s not properly vetting the people who are volunteering to join because they just need to fill the ranks?

Mikey Weinstein

Larry is brilliant, and he works with some other people. I want to make sure I can pronounce the name of the retired General Laich; it’s spelled L-A-I-C-H. He’s written a book about this. In fact, an article came out today— I’m not sure when this is going to air— from Religion Unplugged. The draft went away, I think, in 1972. It might have been ’73. I think it was ’72. At least when we had a draft, we were pulling people, sometimes involuntarily, into the military with some degree of equitability from what we now refer to as blue and red states. With the disappearance of the draft, almost immediately, we saw a huge change from the so-called… as Larry was saying, we don’t have an all-volunteer force. We have an all-recruited force. We are recruiting people to come in, but far, far more people are coming in from red states than blue states, which means far more people are going to be coming in with; it’s just the way it is in red states, with more bigotries and hatred. Certainly, that would include the sense of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism that is attended, again, I use the term the hellscape of Christian nationalism. Of course, we’re going to see that, and we see it more and more and more.

Right now, over 80% of the U.S. military chaplaincy are evangelicals, which, as I mentioned, by itself is fine. But about a third of them are fundamentalist Christian nationalists, and they wear military rank. At least they’re just chaplains. We see it all the time among commanders. As I said before, you can’t fight back if your commander is doing this to you. The way that the Uniform Code of Military Justice is structured, subordination is a felony. You can have an affair and work at Costco, and it’s okay, or at McDonald’s. Ethically or morally, I’ll leave that to someone else to judge. But in the military, if it’s destructive, that’s the Parker v. Levy 1974 U.S. Supreme Court case. It was a 6-2 decision. Somebody didn’t vote. I don’t know who, but it was made very clear that your First Amendment rights when you put the uniform on are severely constricted because that is not the compelling governmental interest.

The Romans used to cut off heads and stick them on poles for the whole populace to see. Well, obviously, we don’t do that anymore, but we need to see somebody punished for fundamentalist Christian bullying, oppression, tyranny, and hate. I felt it myself when I was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. My children at the U.S. Air Force Academy felt it. I assure you that cadets at the Academy now are still feeling it, and members of the military all over the American Empire are dealing with it. It’s not easy to do that, which is why we’re in business. I wish we were not. I wish that when my kids were going through it and when I went through it, there was a place like this to fight back.

There are only two types of kryptonite that the military is afraid of. The first is being dragged into federal court. The other one is bad press. We’re doing it right now. They’re going to hate this interview, and we’re going to make sure they see it because we have all their email addresses. They’re going to see your face, Talia, and they’re going to see mine for the umpteenth time, and they have professional P.R. staff that will try to figure out how to counter this either quietly or whatever.

Again, when you mix in the jet fuel that animated January 6, 2021, which is fundamentals Christian nationalism with our hydrant and atomic nuclear stockpile, it is terrifying. If I ask your readers out there, two of our biggest stories, just google Christian “Jesus Nukes” and “Jesus Rifles.” I don’t have time to go into all of it here. “Jesus Rifles” you can google, and “Jesus Nukes.”

We’ve gone through this for many years. We have been doing this for the better part of 20 years now, and it never stops, ever stops. It’s not stopping during this interview. I’m looking at client requests coming in right now, mixed in with what I’m sure are going to be some threats. We get a bunch of those as well, but in this business, you cannot be cowed by that. You have to keep going. It’s not easy, but you have to keep going.

Recently, I saw that some Republican members of Congress were crying because they were getting bad voicemails because they weren’t supporting Jim Jordan to be the speaker of the House. Some of our staff and some of our supporters didn’t laugh at it but just said, “What is showing up on those voicemails compared to the usual stuff we get is de-minimal.” It’s the nature of this type of fight unless you’re prepared to go for it all, and you have to do that. Most of our clients are younger members of the military: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Maritime Service. Younger officers, younger enlisted, but we have them up to the four-star Admiral and General level and Senior Executive Service, Schedule C political appointees.

This might surprise you, Talia, so put on your seatbelt, please, or shoulder harness, but it’s not at all unusual for a senior ranking General or Admiral to call us and tell us what’s happening in his or her own organization and have us blow it up so that they don’t take the flack for doing it themselves. They can say, “What? This is going on? I had no idea.” Try that one on for size. We’re not a line item in the government budget. We’re a nonprofit. We don’t ever skold anyone for doing that because they feel they can come to us, and then we’ll blow something up in their own command because they are afraid and they are terrified, actually frightened to be the first ones to do it. They’d rather react to us doing it than announcing it themselves. Do you understand how petrifying that is for national security and our national events?

Talia Baroncelli

It’s a big issue, and I think there are a lot of people who are trying to prevent the work that you’re doing. Recently, in June this past summer, Representative Mike Turner, a Republican from Ohio who’s on the House Armed Services Committee, introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed, and I think something like $886 billion was approved for the defense budget. He quietly introduced this amendment to prevent people in the military from speaking or seeking counsel from the MRFF. My question is, how did this even happen without the Democrats raising any issue about this? How did they even vote for this?

Mikey Weinstein

When we first found out about it, we thought it was sarcasm from The Onion, the famous sarcastic news outlet. Mike Turner represents the Dayton, Ohio, area. About seven years ago, we blew him up because we were successful in getting a Christian Bible removed from a POW-MIA display at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in his district, where my kids had been stationed in Dayton, Ohio. He never forgot that. Even seven years ago, we had him on video saying, “We may have to seek a legislative solution against the MRFF.”

Never in the history of America and in our Congress has a civil rights organization been put into a situation of assassination by legislation. They never did that to Plan Parenthood. They’ve never done that to the ACLU. They didn’t do it to Black Lives Matter. We’ll wear it as a badge of courage that they’re so afraid of us that they’re trying to literally make it a felony for anyone in the military to reach out for help and for anyone in the military to even pick up our phone calls. If that isn’t stopped…

The Democrats, as I said before, we know some of them are in the House of Armed Services Committee. Cowards like Gabe Vasquez, who’s a junior member that has been in the House for seven months or eight months from New Mexico. It turned out he voted for it. He had his staff work with us for two weeks until it went to the entire House for a vote. Then I had a very famous outlet call me the day of the vote and said, “Can you give a comment? Because Congressmen Gabe Vasquez is one of the four or five Democrats who have voted with the Republicans on this.” I called him up and just said, “Brote, or actually, Gabe,” I was disgusted. Disgusted that someone would allow that, despite the fact that it shows as far as we’re concerned. This isn’t narcissism, Talia; it’s a necessity. That’s how potent we are, how good we are at what we’re doing. We win about 98% of the time. Most of our clients will not give us permission to go to the media. Most of our clients will not even write a thank you note. They’re too terrified they’re going to be found out.

When you try to stand up in the U.S. military for your religious rights, do you know what you turn yourself into, Talia?

Talia Baroncelli

A target. 

Mikey Weinstein

You turn yourself, Talia, into a tarantula on a wedding cake. You and I have both been to weddings. Tarantulas on wedding cakes don’t last very long. We’re still waiting. With this carnage going on in the House of Representatives, they can’t even elect a speaker. As you mentioned, the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year ’24, which is the largest hunk of the entire American budget, is our war-making machine, and they try to bury that in there. Nobody wants to talk about it. We are doing our best to reach out to Democratic members of the Senate who will be on the conference committee when they try to reconcile this with the House. We don’t trust that it’ll be taken out before it goes to Biden. We don’t trust Biden to use his line item, veto rather, to eliminate it. We’ve prepared a strike team. I’m a member of the bar in the district of Colombia, and I’ll be on that strike team to go right into federal district court because it is absolutely a poster child.

[inaudible 00:31:21] is an example of what’s called a bill of attainder. Congress is not allowed to pass an act incriminating anybody or any organization through legislation. They know it’s wrong, but these are “Make America Great.” These are MAGA, right-wing Republicans. I’ll use the term. I’ll drop it: Nazis. Fascists and Nazis. You can talk to Colonel Wilkerson about it. Let’s just call it what it is.

You should see our email traffic and the stuff that comes out on the website with the number of threats we get and the people cheering for this legislation. If we can’t stop any conference, as I said before, we have no confidence that Joe Biden will even be aware of it enough to try to strike it out. But it’s as illegal as making it clear that if they stuck something in that act, making it a felony, if you used chewing gum, Talia, but getting it out. So we’ll keep fighting. But as I said before, we’ll view it as an accomplishment.

I often think human beings, if I can be philosophical for 15 seconds, human beings are better defined by who their enemies are than by who their friends are. If our enemies are the people that stormed the castle on January 6, the people like Mike Turner or the people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, she’s not on the House of Armed Services Committee, but the speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, put her on this conference committee on this exact NDAA bill. If these are your enemies, you’re doing okay. I don’t know what more I can say about that.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, it’s funny that we’re speaking about the speaker of the House since today, Trump said something like, “The only guaranteed speaker would probably be Jesus.”

Mikey Weinstein

Correct. I heard that.

Talia Baroncelli

[crosstalk 00:33:15] Jesus, who would take that position because then that would be asking.

Mikey Weinstein

I don’t ascribe any intelligence to Trump. I think he’s been emitting the same energy since he was an 18-month-old. I think, besides being cowardly and uneducated, that he’s an imbecile. This frequency bandwidth he put out resonated with people, so they didn’t have to hide their bigotry, prejudice, and hatred so much anymore. I heard that when he said, “Probably the only person that could become a speaker, Jesus could do it.” Because he just said the name Jesus, and that’s all they want to hear.

A few minutes before I came on the air today, let me see if I can even find the email for you. This one came in from… this is very typical. If you’ll bear with me for a second, I’ll see if I can find it. It just said, it gave its usual cussing at me and then referred to the fact that “Mikey, please point out Jewish influence in writings during the early formation of our country and after the establishment of our republic. How many Jews worked on or influenced and signed the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights? Give me some examples of Jewish influence. Because we, praise God, the United States of America, a republic, was founded as a true Christian nation.”

As I said before, on my job, I’m not there to educate this person. All we can rely upon is something that we have called a constitution and the rule of law. I did have a few choice things to say back to this person and others who are out there. We do not remain silent. We don’t turn the cheek very well. But that attitude is pervasive.

I want to say one more thing. When you say fundamentalist, Christian nationalism, or slash, Dominionism, or the other varieties of it, the NAR, New Apostolic Reformation, or Seven Mountain Mandate, we view that as a mothership, circulating and orbiting around the Earth. But out of that, you find virulent Islamophobia, virulent anti-Semitism, virulent misogyny, hatred of LGBTQIA+, and a real hatred of the Constitution because they want that subordinated to the supremacy of their weaponized version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I and our foundation get accused every second of every day of eating Christians for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. But of course, as I mentioned, most of our staff and most of our clients are Christians. Half of my own family is Christian. That isn’t the point. As I said before, we only care about the time, place, and manner in which someone feels they have the right to deploy their faith. They can’t accept that.

My last name is a Jewish surname; it’s Weinstein. I’m not a plumber; I’m a lawyer. You put a lawyer together with a Jewish last name, and look at all the trouble that I’ve made for the last fifth of the century. I’m a bad man leading a bad organization because I must really, really, really, really hate Jesus. I’m certainly working totally with my best buddy and college roommate, Satan. I can go on and on.

He’s dead now, but Jerry Falwell, if you remember who he was, referred to me as the Field General of the Godless armies of Satan. They used to put my picture up on these jumbotrons at these fundamentalist churches around the country with that underneath it. I think that’s part of the reason that we’ve had the windows shot out of our house on more than one occasion. We’ve had innocent animals beheaded and disemboweled and left at the front of our house. We’ve had swastikas and crosses painted on the house, beer bottles and feces thrown at the house, tires slashed, and we have to live with bodyguards, elite-level attacked trained German shepherds, a lot of guns, and a lot of cameras. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that that is what is necessary if you’re going to be an effective advocate for the members of our military; most of them are Christians themselves who are trying to defend themselves from the onslaught that otherwise they could not defend themselves from, a fundamentalist Christianity.

Talia Baroncelli

Well, you’re defending religious freedom and fighting the onslaught of people like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who would advocate the church controlling the government and not there being some separation between the state and the church. These are really tricky issues, which obviously permeate rather all facets of U.S. society. As you point out, if it’s in the military where people have control over nuclear weapons, it really is a big deal, but even beyond that.

Mikey Weinstein

Yeah. That’s why I said if you Google “Jesus Nukes,” and you’ll see. I think it was 68 U.S. Air Force nuclear, nuclear, nuclear missile launch officers, the ones who launched the nukes made it clear to us that they were being trained by what they call the “Jesus Nukes PowerPoint.” We got it under the Freedom of Information Act, which made it clear that Jesus wants you to launch those nukes. It was a PowerPoint filled with citations from the New Testament. One of the last frames of the PowerPoint showed an S.S. Officer, Wernher von Braun, their rocket scientist, saying that the Nazis wanted to bring their advanced rocket technology to a Bible-based society. That’s why they wouldn’t go to the Soviet Union. Of course, a bunch of them went there anyway. It was so vile we stopped the training within, I think, 48 hours. The Air Force admitted they’d been using it for 20 years at Vanderberg Air Force Base in California, where they trained the nuclear missile launch officers, and coincidentally, where I went to high school, my dad was stationed there, and it was actually 25 years. Jesus rifles, every single rifle in the U.S. military, had inscribed and burned into the metal base of the scopes, citations from the Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and Revelation.

Trijicon, a defense contractor located in Michigan, the TRI obviously, which stands for Trinity, got a $2 billion contract from the Pentagon to make these rifle scopes. Then we had 138 U.S. Marines and soldiers at Helmand province in Afghanistan come to us saying they were walking into the villages. Even though 90% of Afghanistan hadn’t even heard of 9/11, they heard of these Jesus rifles. You see the optics of American soldiers shooting Muslims with the Biblical citations on there.

There’s an old saying that lawyers use called the thirteenth stroke theory, Talia. Have you ever heard of the thirteenth stroke theory?

Talia Baroncelli

I don’t think I’ve heard of that, no.

Mikey Weinstein

It’s like the thirteenth stroke, Talia, of a crazy clock that cast doubt not only that hour but, indeed, all that preceded. If those are the things that we’re finding, it’s like if you find a termite on your windowsill. The chances that there aren’t also millions of other termites in your home are exactly zero. 

We’ve had 85,000-plus stories out there. We have news stories that’ll be breaking in the next 24 hours. It is only through the utilization of journalists and the media, just like here at theAnalysis, that we can fight back most effectively. As I said before, this interview is going to go directly to the gatekeepers of these senior people in the Pentagon and much wider than that. I hope they won’t be intimidated when they see how long the interview is. Most of them are. They want to sit down and watch all of it. The good people go, “See, we told you.” The bad people say, “See, we told you how bad this person is. Clearly, he wakes up each morning and gets his to-do list from Mephistopheles, the death demon.”

Talia Baroncelli

Just to add to the presentation you were speaking about, I think that was from 2011. Around that time, Obama’s military advisor or general was explicitly speaking out against Islam and critiquing it as some terrorist religion. This is a public figure saying all sorts of things.

Mikey Weinstein

Well, there was General Jerry Boykin, of course, who was involved in the famous Black Hawk Down situation. He was the general in charge of that and was a ranger. He’s now the number two person at the Family Research Council, an absolute right-wing fundamentalist Christian man. Mike Flynn, who, of course, was the Head of the National Security Administration, and I think the DIA, I guess, actually, one of the big intelligence agencies. I should also say we have clients from all 17 national security agencies. Mike Flynn is involved in the QAnon movement and is a complete right-wing fundamentalist Christian, just like General Jerry Boykin. It shouldn’t be that hard. 

What we need is for some of these people to be criminally prosecuted and to be thrown into jail so someone can say, “See, it can happen,” because it’s never, ever happened. We threaten it. It’s like a weed whacker. We can get them punished, but the weeds come back 10 days later. We have to punish them all over again because people are afraid of the criticism of being anti-Christian or anti-Jesus. Even if you give them all the facts, it doesn’t matter. I mean, there have been double-blind scientific studies showing that if somebody believes that the squirrel and the tree in their backyard actually is controlling the world, you can give them an immense amount of information showing that that’s impossible. The more specific information you give them, showing them that the squirrel is not running the world, it only hardens their belief that that squirrel is running the world. This is the nature of human beings. It’s difficult.

Talia Baroncelli

That’s really great. It’s been a great conversation. Well, thank you so much for making time. Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Thanks so much for joining.

Mikey Weinstein

Can I put one plugin? I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I just wanted to throw one plugin, which is if you want to support what we do, we don’t really need any more volunteers, but you can go to and see what we’re about if you want to help the effort. We’re a nonprofit. You get a tax deduction, and we don’t run on chocolate sauce, so we can use the help. We’re a nonprofit NGO, as discussed earlier by Talia, a non-government organization. I apologize for interrupting, Talia. Go ahead. I’m sorry.

Talia Baroncelli

No worries. Please do support the MRFF. If you’re also so inclined to support the show, if you like the show, feel free to go to and donate by hitting the red button at the top right corner of the screen. See you next time.

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Michael L. Weinstein is an American attorney and former Air Force officer. He is the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of With God on Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military and No Snowflake in an Avalanche, both of which describe purported Christian evangelical and fundamentalist proselytizing by some members of the military. theme music

written by Slim Williams for Paul Jay’s documentary film “Never-Endum-Referendum“.  

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  1. i immediately sent this link off to my senators and representative (the latter, michelle fischbach, will toss it into the trash because she advocates the opposite). when i left the air force in 1969, i had seen enough hints that religion was taking over the military and was happy to find FFRF. still, this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night and most definitely will be a strong influence in how the military “interprets” domestic issues. NO subordinate in the military has ANY influence over anyone above them in the chain of command. that’s the kind of thing that can work in the military, but it’s a disaster waiting to happen when applied to domestic politics.

  2. I want to second the comment by C.M. Phillips, in every respect. Weinstein exhibits a phenomenal, and I would say a deliberately cultivated ignorance on matters pertaining to Israel/Palestine. Perhaps he’s just here to show us the limits inherent in the outlook of someone of military background who fears Christian fundamentalism for his own reasons rather than from a well-informed, principled perspective. I suspect he’d be very comfortable with an American fundamentalism minus the hair-raising weirdness of the far-right Christian element.

  3. While I appreciate Mikey Weinstein’s work, I must push back on the Palestinian genocide by the Israeli’s as being “very complicated”. Zionism has always been about colonization. The Israeli settlers are the terrorists. The Israeli state is a fascist state, ethnically cleansing the indigenous Palestinian people from their own country of Palestine.

    Israel, after its creation in 1948, started the Nakba – the mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinians – denying them any human rights, displacing over 700,000 Palestinians. For 75 years Israel has been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity with total impunity. They control the entire “West Bank” and the “Gaza strip,” under an illegal occupation violating international law. These areas are massive concentration camps, where Israel controls all the basic essentials of life for the Palestinians; food, water, electricity and medicine.

    Calling “Hamas” a terrorist organization (one that was democratically elected by the Palestinian people) while ignoring the Fascist-apartheid state of Israel shows a lack of knowledge of the subject or a complete, and utter disregard of the Palestinian people, and the horrible oppression they have suffered for decades. Israel is literally using many of the same tactics on the Palestinian population that the Nazi’s used on the Jews. I am not being hyperbolic. This is a mass murder. This is the Holocaust of the Palestinians by the Israelis. Period.

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