BY Dustin Fitzharris
February 18 2010 8:35 PM ET
Last month the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization that battles the evangelical, fundamentalist religious right, exposed the use of so-called Jesus rifles (there are coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ on rifle sights) in the U.S. military ... just three months after being nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Now MRRF and its founder, Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, is taking on the Obama administration for delaying the president's campaign promise to repeal the “don't ask, don't tell” policy
Weinstein, whose family has a long U.S. history, spanning three consecutive generations of military academy graduates, is a Republican who once served in the Reagan administration as a White House legal counsel. He is married with two a daughter and two sons, both of whom followed in his footsteps and graduated from the Air Force Academy. He was an adviser to Ross Perot. And he is anything buy shy or forgiving with his views on “don't ask, don't tell."
The Advocate: How does the Military Religious Freedom Foundation relate to “don't ask, don't tell?"
Mikey Weinstein: We thought to be a good soldier you had to shoot straight, not be straight. I felt this was a huge cop-out by Clinton, and we are furious with the Obama administration. I’m a Republican, but I’m also a Republican who voted for Clinton twice, Gore and Kerry, and for Obama. I get the fact that our economy and health care are important. However, the concept of "don't ask, don't tell" is the most pernicious, evil thing that I’ve seen come out in regard to privacy in America ever.
And you said Obama doesn’t have to go through all of these channels of overturning the policy. How is that?
It can be done away with in just a stroke of the pen. An executive order can make it go away like many other countries have done it. “don’t ask, don’t tell” to us is ridiculous. No, it’s not ridiculous — that makes it sound too lighthearted. It’s a cancer. It’s something that Obama said he was going to get rid of, and with a stroke of a pen he could’ve written an executive order. It’s a cop-out that he wants legislation. Let that follow. He’s the commander in chief!
But what authority does he have to repeal this on his own?
He has tremendous authority. I can’t even tell you. The power of an executive order — I mean, ask the Bush administration about what they did with executive orders.
What were your thoughts on Obama’s State of the Union Address?
My problem is he gives a great speech, but so do a lot of college professors that don’t actually have to do anything. We’ve been furious ever since he wouldn’t get rid of the faith-based initiative, which allowed so many religious organizations to get money and to continue their hiring and firing practices based upon their own particular religious views.
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