Thursday Afternoon, August 31, 2023





"After grabbing my chow and taking a seat, I looked up and noticed the 'FAITH2SOAR Christian Bookstore and More' on the other side of the Mini-Mall, complete with a little kiosk selling T-shirts reading 'Salvation is Found in JESUS' and other very exclusively Christian messages. My first thought was, 'You gotta be shitting me, right? Is this really allowed in an AAFES facility?'

"After staring in disbelief for a minute or two, I decided it was time for a closer look and a couple of photos. As I walked toward the store and kiosk, I realized that MRFF needs to hear about this, rapidly. I sent the images to Mikey Weinstein, and he wasted zero time in getting back to me - we're talking within eight minutes."

— MRFF U.S. Army client at Fort Liberty

Top of Hold Fast We the People Constitution T shirt with Armor of God book cover seen right behind it



Trending story on Daily Kos

Christian nationalist store opens in Army PX — hundreds of soldiers, mostly Christians, want it gone

By: MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Chris Rodda

So, there’s a company called Hold Fast that sells apparel and other items blatantly equating patriotism with Christianity, saying on its website:

“Hold Fast apparel, hats, and drinkware are for freedom loving Americans who want to see Biblical values preserved and are taking a stand and letting their voices be heard.”

That’s just fine. A private company has the free speech rights to be as Christian nationalistic as it wants to be.

What is NOT just fine is for a store that sells these Hold Fast and other Christian and Christian nationalistic items to be operating — and highly visibly operating — in a U.S. Army PX. But that is what we now have with the Faith2Soar store and kiosk in the PX mini-mall at Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg) in North Carolina. The store, owned by Josh Creson, a graduate of both Liberty University and Regent University, two schools known for their Christian nationalism, flaunts, among other things, Christian t-shirts hung on the kiosk and outside the store, essentially having the same effect in visibility and size as big Jesus posters being plastered on the walls of the PX, which is absolutely not permitted in a government facility. 

Photo of front of faith 2 soar store showing Jesus shirt hanging from the center of store sign above entrance
Another photo of the front of the faith 2 soar store from a different angle

To see some of the most damning photos of the unconstitutional — and unavoidable to Fort Liberty mini-mall patrons — promotion of the military-preferred faith of Christianity by the Faith2Soar kiosk, look no further that this post from Faith2Soar’s own Facebook page:

Faith 2 soar Facebook post

Although this photo taken a few days ago by a MRFF client was taken while the Faith2Soar kiosk was closed for lunch, you can still clearly see a Jesus shirt hung next to a Hold Fast Constitution shirt, because nothing shouts Christian nationalism better than inextricably coupling Jesus with the Constitution. 

Photo of kiosk partially covered but still showing Constitution shirt hanging right next to Jesus shirt
Hold Fast We the People Constitution T shirt

And, of course, no Christian store at the installation that’s home to the 82nd Airborne Division would be complete without selling the book Jesus was an Airborne Ranger!

Photo of Kiosk with Jesus was an Airborne Ranger book circled in red

The following e-mail is from one of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF) 211 U.S. Army Fort Liberty clients (165 of whom are Christians) who want this store gone, whose reaction to seeing the Faith2Soar kiosk for the first time was: "You gotta be shitting me, right? Is this really allowed in an AAFES facility?"

From: (MRFF Client’s/U.S. Army member’s E-mail Address Withheld)

Subject: Fort Liberty Christian store

Date: August 29, 2023 at 5:02:14 PM MDT


Team MRFF - 

I'm an Army member at Fort Liberty, NC. This week, I popped into the Mini-Mall PX at Bastogne Drive and Rock Merritt Avenue for a quick bite to eat. 

After grabbing my chow and taking a seat, I looked up and noticed the 'FAITH2SOAR Christian Bookstore and More' on the other side of the Mini-Mall, complete with a little kiosk selling T-shirts reading "Salvation is Found in JESUS" and other very exclusively Christian messages. My first thought was, "You gotta be shitting me, right? Is this really allowed in an AAFES facility?"

After staring in disbelief for a minute or two, I decided it was time for a closer look and a couple of photos. As I walked toward the store and kiosk, I realized that MRFF needs to hear about this, rapidly. I sent the images to Mikey Weinstein, and he wasted zero time in getting back to me - we're talking within eight minutes. Apparently this has been an issue for a while, and he's on the case. 

I'm an atheist who was raised in a nominally Christian household, but I realized by the time I was 16 that I do not believe in god. Goodness and character is not tied to religious beliefs. It has to come from within a person who is capable of self-reflection and constantly analyzing his/her beliefs, morals, and ethics to develop a strong set of standards. 

As a Soldier, I definitely steered clear of church services and religious events, but I also believe that there IS a place in the military for the Chaplaincy - many of my brothers and sisters maintain their religious faith in garrison, in the field, and downrange. Our Chaplains are there to ensure the faithful can exercise their religious freedom, as well as being available to talk and counsel during the darker times. 

Should AAFES host this particular store? Emphatically, NO. This clearly amounts to DoD endorsement of one specific religion, which I will never agree to. Is there a Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim store? No. Agnostic. Atheist, or Humanist kiosk? Nope. There would be a mass conniption fit - especially from the far-right - if any of those faith or non-faith groups were represented in a similar fashion. 

Let the Chaplains handle the religious materials - stores like this have no business being authorized to operate on our military installations. 

I've been following the recent attempt by Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, to specifically bar American service members from contacting MRFF when one religion is being favored over another, OR if a person is being prevented from exercising their Constitutionally protected right to practice their own faith. Rep. Turner's fascist amendment to the NDAA is absolutely outrageous and unconstitutional on its face. This old Soldier is firmly in MRFF's corner, and I'll refer any service member to MRFF if the need arises - Turner and his ilk be damned.  

Thank you, MRFF, for what you do on behalf of ALL of us - faithful or not. This is America, and MRFF understands the real definition of "religious freedom," not the bastardized version bandied about by the theocrats on the right.


(MRFF Client’s/U.S. Army Member’s name, rank, title, and unit all withheld)

This blatant promotion of Christian nationalism and Christian supremacy, courtesy of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) allowing Faith2Soar to hawk its godly goods in the Fort Liberty PX mini-mall, in violation of both the Constitution and military regulations, must be stopped, as MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein makes abundantly clear in the following letter that he is e-mailing today to Fort Liberty’s commanding general:

To: Lt. General Christopher T. Donahue

Commanding General XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty

2175 Rock Merritt Avenue

Stop A

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 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


Click to read on Daily Kos

We haven't seen such an odious example of a military installation allowing this level of unfettered Christian proselytizing in one of its shopping facilities since

"Enabled By Christ – A Store for the Christian Man"

in the Malmstrom Air Force Base BX many years ago.

Urgent Help Save MRFF Please submit petition letter

Christian nationalist Rep. Mike Turner's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to SHUT MRFF DOWN by making it ILLEGAL for members of the military to even communicate with MRFF is now part of the GOP-led House's version of the NDAA, WHICH HAS BEEN PASSED BY THE WHOLE HOUSE WITH TURNER’S DESPICABLE, VINDICTIVE, AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT STILL IN IT!!!

Last week, the Senate passed its version of the NDAA,

which does not contain any language regarding MRFF. When Congress returns from its August recess, a conference committee made up of both House and Senate members will meet to reconcile the two bills. THIS IS WHERE TURNER'S AMENDMENT TO SHUT MRFF DOWN MUST BE REMOVED!!!

If Turner's amendment is allowed to remain in the final, bicameral version of the NDAA, it will obliterate MRFF's ability to protect and advocate on behalf of our service members facing religious discrimination, harassment, and aggressive proselytizing!

If you haven't already, please take a minute to submit our petition letter opposing Turner's amendment to your representative and senators.

This form submits a letter to Congress on your behalf, which

will be sent to your U.S. Representative in the House and your

U.S. Senators urging removal of Christian Nationalist Rep. Turner's

blatantly unconstitutional NDAA amendment and, additionally,

sends a copy to the entire Senate Armed Services Committee.

Click here to go directly to submission form to send letter to your Representative and Senators

Previous MRFF coverage of

Christian nationalist Rep. Turner's amendment

7/20/23 – United Press International (UPI) Covers Christian Nationalist Rep. Turner’s Unconstitutional NDAA Amendment to Shut MRFF Down
7/18/23 – Notable National Coverage of Christian Nationalist House NDAA Amendment to Shut MRFF Down — Rachel Maddow Blog • NPR • Lee Fang
6/29/23 – The Young Turks “Progress Report” Covers Amendment to Shut MRFF Down; National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force Stands in Defense of MRFF
6/27/23 – Military Times Covers Rep. Turner’s NDAA Amendment Making Contact with MRFF Illegal for Military; MRFF Supporters Mobilize
6/26/23 – GOP Congress Shocking Disgrace!!! House Armed Services Committee Passes Amendment to Make it ILLEGAL to Communicate with MRFF!!!
MRFF Matters – 6/27/23 – GOP DISGRACE!!! Amendment Passed to Make
Communication with MRFF Illegal!!!
Still image of Mikey Weinstein from video
Click to watch (2:57) video
This isn't the first time Christian nationalist
Rep. Mike Turner has come after MRFF

Seven years ago, in 2016, when MRFF was successful in getting a Bible removed from a POW-MIA table in the medical center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Turner sent a letter to the base's top general objecting to the removal, writing in the letter:

“It is simply unacceptable that (Wright-Patterson) personnel removed the Bible from the display, and I am concerned that similar efforts to restrict religious freedom may be made at other military installations.” 

In a video accompanying the 2016 article below from the Dayton Daily News, Turner stated that if he didn’t get the response he wanted from the Air Force, “we’re certainly going to be looking to a legislative fix because this certainly, I thing, undermines what really goes to the basis of all of our heritage”

Congressman Turner objects to
Bible removal from Wright-Patt display

By: Barrie Barber

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Taking direct aim at MRFF, in what sounds very much like a precursor to his current NDAA amendment, Turner told the Dayton Daily News (emphasis added):

“It’s a very dangerous precedent to have a group that has an issue campaign to effect policy on a government installation merely by complaining. Their voice should not be any greater than anyone else’s. This is an issue of national policy, not an issue of individual affront or concern, and it needs to be handled in that manner.”

“We need to know exactly what happened, what was the process, why was this done, and we need to ensure this is not a pattern of policy change that’s going to be enforced across the base impacting religious expression and symbols.”
Click to read article and watch video on the Dayton Daily News

A handful of MRFF's numerous run-ins with

Christian nationalist GOP Congress members

and Senators over the years

12/9/19 – Sen. Ted Cruz and GOP Congressman Object to Army Heeding MRFF’s Demand to Disallow Official Army Emblems on Bible Verse Dog Tags
3/13/20 – Defiantly Opposing MRFF’s Victory, Bill is Introduced in Congress by Eight Republican Lawmakers!
5/14/20 – You Know You’re Winning When This Happens! 20 Congress Members Write to Secretary of Defense Condemning MRFF!
6/10/20 – GOP Senator. Ted Cruz Falsely Condemns MRFF in Press Release and Letter to U.S. DoD Secretary Mark Esper
7/2/20 – U.S. Army Sides With MRFF Incensing 20 Fundamentalist GOP U.S. Congress Members!
7/6/20 – U.S. Congress Afraid of MRFF Again! Both House and Senate GOP Trying to Stop Us!
7/15/20 – GOP U.S. Congress Members Continue Unmitigated Assault on MRFF and Religious Freedom
7/20/20 – GOP Congressman Collins Proposes Absurd Amendment to Protect Christians in the Military From MRFF’s Victories!
8/4/20 – Desperate and Laughable GOP Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) Still Railing Against MRFF’s Constitutional Victory!! – Fox News Covers
12/17/21 – Disgraced U.S. Reps Lauren Boebert & Marjorie Taylor Greene Sign Onto MRFF-Bashing Letter to VA Secretary About “Wreaths Across America”
2/15/23 – MRFF Responds to Efforts of Five Extreme MAGA Congressmen to Get Ginormous Jesus Painting at Merchant Marine Academy Uncovered
2/22/23 – GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Denounces MRFF’s Mikey Weinstein on Fox News and in Letter to U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Supt. Vice Admiral Nunan
5/23/23 – 17 Republican Congress Members Write to VA Secretary Demanding Christian Cross that MRFF Got Removed from VA Clinic Lobby Be Put Back

Mikey Weinstein’s 2014 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel, which was crashed by members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus who weren’t members of the subcommittee to berate Mikey
Former Christian nationalist GOP Congressman and Congressional Prayer Caucus member John Fleming
attacks MRFF on House floor in 2013

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