To: Lt. General Christopher T. Donahue
Commanding General XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty
2175 Rock Merritt Avenue
Fort Liberty, North Carolina, 28310
Re: Shocking Constitutional First Amendment Church-State Violations at Fort Liberty PX
From: Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)
Lt. General Donahue,
Just what the HELL is going on under your direct command at Fort Liberty?!
My name is Mikey Weinstein and I’m the Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). If you are unaware, MRFF is a large civil rights advocacy organization currently representing just under 85,000 active duty, reserve and national guard military members, as well as armed forces veterans, DoD civilians, DoD contractors, and many others associated with our nation's national defense and security. Please see mrff.org.
MRFF is currently representing 211 U.S. Army personnel complainants under your direct command at Fort Liberty. 165 of them are practicing Christians (Protestant and Roman Catholics) from many denominations, with the others from a number of other faith groups including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Native Americans, Hindus, Wiccans, Sikhs, and non-faith traditions to include Atheists, Agnostics, Secularists, and Humanists.
Seconds ago, the following news article just broke from MRFF’s Senior Research Director, Ms. Chris Rodda. It contains all of the germane and utterly repulsive particulars of this wretched matter at hand which has occurred under YOUR direct command, General.
So, how about THAT, General??!! YOUR PX system at Fort Liberty (Mini-Mall PX at Bastogne Drive and Rock Merritt Avenue) now proudly sports a repulsively sectarian merchant outlet called “FAITH2SOAR Christian Bookstore and More”??!! And, only further exacerbating this unconstitutional train-wreck, how wonderfully CONVENIENT it is that this fundamentalist Christian vendor in YOUR Fort Liberty PX is also fully cleared to accept the special military members only “STAR” credit card system to maximize their nonsecular point of sale success!!!
Again, General Donahue, are you COMPLETELY blind as to the solemn oath you swore to protect and defend the United States Constitution vis-a-vis what is happening with this In YOUR FACE unconstitutional Christian religious extremism on the storied military installation YOU command, sir!?
And don’t EVEN try to tell me and The World that your "hands are tied" because this is “unfortunately above your pay grade” as the whole matter is merely an Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) issue!!
YOU ARE THE COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE XVIII Airborne Corps AND ALL OF FORT LIBERTY!! As such, it is YOU who should be 100% aware of this fundamentalist Christian nationalist store inextricably intertwined into your Fort Liberty PX system as well as the EXTREMELY deleterious effect it is having upon your diverse soldiers’ collective morale, good order, discipline, and unit cohesion!!
And please let me also ask you, Lt. General Donahue, why is it that 211 United States Army troops under YOUR direct command fear bringing this sordid matter directly to you or their respective Fort Liberty chains of command??!! Just HOW TOXIC is your command climate and culture at Fort Liberty?! Why did they believe they had no choice but to come to MRFF for help instead to preserve their anonymity and avoid what they all felt would be certain and vicious retribution, revenge, reprisal, and retaliation?!
Sir, it is YOU as the Commanding General who should CLEARLY realize how savagely the open, notorious, and hostile existence of that "FAITH2SOAR Christian Bookstore and More” vendor in YOUR Fort Liberty PX system is tearing asunder the United States Constitution’s First Amendment protection of “No Establishment” of religion as well as other key Constitutional provisions, a legion of supporting U.S. Constitutional caselaw, DoD and U.S. Army Directives, Instructions, and Regulations, a number of germane Articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and, finally, the 7 Core Values of the U.S. Army!
Let me make 2 things VERY clear to you, General:
(1) The existence of that brazenly sectarian Christian vendor’s store would be completely fine in some private sector, NON-DoD/U.S. Government locations of which there are literally countless venues and opportunities. All MRFF is protesting to you here, on behalf of our 211 U.S. Army personnel complainants under your direct command, is the illicit time, place, and manner of its comprehensively OUTRAGEOUS current existence at Fort Liberty in YOUR PX system!!
The obvious COMMAND endorsement and favor of fundamentalist Christianity, to the exclusion of all other faith and non-faith traditions of your subordinate U.S. Army soldiers, by the Fort Liberty command structure is unmistakable, untenable, illegal, immoral, and unethical!!
It represents the heinously unAmerican, unconstitutional epitome of unlawful, “in-your-face”, fundamentalist Christian nationalism, triumphalism, exceptionalism, domination, bullying, and supremacy. Indeed, General, can you EVEN imagine what would have happened had that “store” in YOUR PX not been proselytizing the fundamentalist Christian faith but, instead, had been promoting other faith and non-faith traditions such as Satanism, Islam, Judaism or Atheism/Agnosticism??!! Why, sir, there would have most assuredly been an unrestrained bloody outrage BEYOND measure to be sure, eh?!
(2) MRFF demands that you IMMEDIATELY do WHATEVER is necessary to remove that odious, fundamentalist Christian “FAITH2SOAR Christian Bookstore and More” from your Fort Liberty PX system! If you fail to do so in a timely manner, MRFF reserves its right to assist its U.S. Army clients to file and exhaust all administrative remedies (IG, EEO, UCMJ Article 138 complaints et al) to expeditiously clear the path for necessarily aggressive and public Federal litigation!
MRFF and its Fort Liberty clients await your swift and just decision here, Lt. General Donahue.
Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation