Thursday, February 14, 2019
MRFF OPPOSES USAFA's DECISION TO INVITE
CHICK-fil-A's ANTI-LGBTQ
RODNEY BULLARD
TO SPEAK AT NCLS
(National Character & Leadership Symposium)
Chick-fil-A's VP Bullard
Gives Chicken S**t Denial
Bullard's Denial in Excerpt
from Associated Press:

Bullard said the company and its charitable foundation don’t fund anti-gay programs. He says Chick-fil-A’s foundation funds programs to help children in poverty, including groups that work with LGBQT youth.
THINK PROGRESS ARTICLE
LAYS BARE CHICK-fil-A's LIES
Excerpt from Think Progress Article (June 19th, 2018):

As first noted by blogger Tim Peacock, Chick-fil-A’s tax-exempt foundation filed its annual IRS Form 990  a few months ago and it shows that company continues to support rabidly anti-LGBTQ organizations (emphasis added) .

The form, which covers the year 2016, reveals that the Chick-fil-A Foundation — almost all of which is funded directly from corporate money — gave about $1.8 million to three non-profits known for discriminatory activities (emphasis added): the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Paul Anderson Youth Home, and Salvation Army. This is actually a significant increase  compared to its 2015 totals  to the same groups.

[...]

"Rodney Bullard, VP of Social Responsibility at Chick-fil-A, a company that's donated to anti-gay-marriage causes, and who is Executive Director of Chick-fil-A's anti-LGBTQ Foundation, will speak at the United States Air Force Academy's National Character and Leadership Development Symposium on Feb. 21-22.

Outrageously, this is another wretched example, in a long line of such despicable instances, of fundamentalist Christian-based homophobic oppression by USAFA. "

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
ASSOCIATED PRESS
COVERS MRFF
Air Force Academy criticized for inviting Chick-fil-A Exec

By: Dan Elliott

EXCERPT FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
DENVER (AP) — A group that advocates for religious liberty in the military says the U.S. Air Force Academy should cancel a planned speech by a Chick-fil-A executive.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said Wednesday the company has a history of supporting anti-gay causes and that Rodney Bullard, a Chick-fil-A vice president and academy graduate, shouldn’t speak at the school’s upcoming leadership conference.

Bullard said the company and its charitable foundation don’t fund anti-gay programs. He says Chick-fil-A’s foundation funds programs to help children in poverty, including groups that work with LGBQT youth.

Chick-fil-A has faced accusations that it is anti-gay since 2012 when its president, Dan Cathy, publicly opposed gay marriage. The company has said Cathy’s statements are his personal views.

The academy said it invited speakers with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and conference participants choose which talks to attend.
COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT COVERS MRFF
Chick-fil-A Executive's Planned Speech at AFA Draws Criticism

By: Pam Zubeck

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
A speaker at the Air Force Academy's Character and Leadership Development Symposium on Feb. 21-22 has drawn the attention of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Rodney Bullard , vice president of Chick-fil-A's [...] corporate social responsibility, is an Academy grad, but the MRFF says Chick-fil-A has a record of funding anti-LGBT groups (emphasis added) .

Chick-fil-A has been  working on changing   its image,  as we report in the Feb. 13 issue .

In a letter to Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, MRFF demands the school withdraw its invitation to Bullard and calls the decision to invite Bullard "another wretched example, in a long line of such despicable instances, of fundamentalist Christian-based homophobic oppression by USAFA."

The MRFF likened the invitation to asking "Harvey Weinstein to speak at a USAFA forum on women’s civil rights." Weinstein is a Hollywood producer facing charges of sexual assault (emphasis added) .

MRFF also notes the Academy has invited other  speakers in the past   which MRFF  deemed inappropriate , thus leading MRFF to accuse the school of "pushing a sectarian, fundamentalist Christian, religious extremist agenda."

[...]
MRFF's Email To USAFA's Superintendent
Lt. General Jay B. Silveria
Demanding Withdrawal of
USAFA's Invitation to
Rodney Bullard of Chick-fil-A

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

From: Michael L Weinstein
Subject: MRFF Demand to Withdraw NCLS Invitation to Rodney Bullard/Chick-fil-A
Date: February 12, 2019 at 5:41:11 PM MST
To: "Silveria, Jay B Lt Gen USAF USAFA USAFA/ CC"

Lt. General Jay Silveria, 

On behalf of 12 of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF’s) LGBTQ clients at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA,) from among the USAFA Cadet Wing, the USAFA Faculty and USAFA Staff, MRFF demands that USAFA immediately withdraw its invitation to Chick-fil-A Vice President of "Corporate Social Responsibility" and Chick-fil-A Foundation Executive Director Rodney Bullard to speak at USAFA’s upcoming National Character and Leadership Conference (NCLS) scheduled for February 21-22, 2019 at the Academy.

USAFA’s outrageous decision to honor Chick-fil-A Executive Rodney Bullard with this high visibility speaking engagement to its 2019 NLCS is nothing but another wretched example, in a long line of such despicable instances, of fundamentalist Christian-based homophobic oppression by USAFA, which YOU command, sir (emphasis added) . It’s just as counterintuitive, shameful and hurtful as if USAFA invited Harvey Weinstein to speak at a USAFA forum on women’s civil rights. Chick-fil-A has a long and sordid history of financially supporting rabidly anti-LGBTQ organizations such as the virulently homophobic "Fellowship of Christian Athletes."

[...]
USAFA's Superintendent
Lt. General Jay B. Silveria Responds Via Email To MRFF's Mikey Weinstein

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
From: (email address withheld)
Subject: MRFF Demand to Withdraw NCLS Invitation to Rodney Bullard/Chick-fil-A
Date: February 13, 2019 at 5:34 PM
To: Michael L Weinstein

Mikey, thanks for the note. This is my second NCLS and both have been similar in one aspect; I receive numerous notes, letters and emails about the speakers. Each writer has a reason why some speaker is wrong for us to have. They are either too far in one direction or another—in some cases I get support and disdain for the same speaker.

Last year I received the most correspondence regarding TSgt Ireland. He is an amazing Security Forces Airman that happens to be transgender. He and his wife rocked three packed audiences. We enjoyed him so much that we later screened his movie at USAFA—which is remarkable, I urge you to see it soon. I don’t see any article from your organization about Sgt Ireland—I do think it is an amazing story of courage you could share. It would have been a true shame if I had listened to the demands to cancel their appearance. 

We are teaching diversity of thought such as introducing TSgt Ireland. I am glad you recognize NCLS as such a prestigious national event. More and more Universities are attending and watching. 

Last year I was honored to open NCLS with the same material that was in my nationally published article on diversity. You told me that was a good article—I appreciate your support. I hope you shared it widely with your members. It was a great opportunity to spread such an important message. 

I’ll close by saying that one of the great elements of NCLS, the part that cadets enjoy the most---that they can choose which speaker they want to attend depending on their interests. We hope cadets choose a broad spectrum to expand their thinking, but it is their choice. 

You can certainly request whatever payment information you would like. Let me know if you want payment information regarding the Ireland’s appearance as well. 

Thank you for the interest in NCLS.

JS
MRFF's Mikey Responds
Via Email to USAFA's Superintendent
Lt. General Jay B. Silveria


Wednesday, February 13, 2019
From: Michael L Weinstein
Subject: MRFF Demand to Withdraw NCLS Invitation to Rodney Bullard/Chick-fil-A
Date: February 13, 2019 at 7:41:22 PM MST
To: "Silveria, Jay B Lt Gen USAF USAFA USAFA/ CC"

Jay,

Thanks for the response – it's a first and, I hope, not the last. It’s a shame that it took yet another USAFA public relations nightmare for you to finally directly communicate with us at MRFF, but better late than never, right? 

Of course, MRFF applauds the NCLS invitation of TSgt Ireland and his wife last year. But I'm sorry if we at MRFF don't always take the time to congratulate everyone who simply does the right thing. As you know, and have said and written publicly, supporting diversity is part of what those who support and defend the Constitution DO. Inviting TSgt Ireland and his wife to speak at your NCLS is, however, the polar opposite of inviting Chick-fil-A executive Mr. Bullard – a man responsible for passing out large sums of Chick-fil-A corporate charity to organizations who throw despicable hatred at the LGBTQ community. Indeed, far from being supportive of diversity, the Chick-fil-A Foundation has (as cited by many sources that I've sent you) overtly and generously supported organizations that blatantly and hurtfully discriminate against and even demonize members of the LGBTQ community.

I don't understand why you cannot see how immaterial, disingenuous, dishonest and specious your nonsensical analogy of TSgt Ireland's presentation is when discussing Chick-fil-A’s Mr. Bullard. Willful ignorance is always antithetical to seeing the truth I guess. TSgt Ireland is overtly, and by example, showing all of us that sexual orientation or identification are irrelevant to a military member's ability to serve honorably. TSgt Ireland is NOT and was NOT saying that non-transgenders are somehow lesser airmen. The converse, though, is not true. Mr. Bullard and his Chick-fil-A Foundation support other organizations that openly and notoriously oppose LGBTQ rights (Mr. Bullard’s cowardly and mendacious statement denying such support to the Associated Press today notwithstanding). Opposing equal rights is simply completely contrary to our Constitution, settled U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and DoD/USAF Directives, Instructions, and Regulations. It makes Bullard and his organization nothing more than a pathetic and miserably negative example. If the NCLS is now ready to invite such manifest, palpable, and glaring negative examples, then I suggest you invite marchers from Charlottesville next year so they can explain to cadets and staff their sense of “patriotism” and the importance of free speech. Maybe you could ask David Duke or, as I said in my initial demand letter to you last evening, maybe Harvey Weinstein can come next year, as well? You know that would be just fine, right Jay, because after all, as you so graciously pointed out to me in your e-mail earlier this evening, cadets are free to just decide for themselves whether to attend these speeches at USAFA's prestigious NCLS event or not, huh?

Oh, and just one more key fact here, Jay; 12 LGBTQ members of YOUR USAFA community (Air Force Academy faculty, staff and cadets) came to MRFF and ASKED US to advocate their total objections to this speaker of LGBTQ hate from Chick-fil-A. (Nobody at ALL came to ask us to do that for TSgt Ireland or his wife last year). They felt that your Command Climate at USAFA was so terribly toxic that they could not express their objections to you or your USAFA chains-of-command without facing horrendous reprisal, retribution, and revenge. You might want to work on that a bit in your remaining year or two, eh?

MRFF DEMANDS, again, that you rescind Mr. Bullard's invitation immediately!
COLORADO SPRINGS INDEPENDENT COVERS MRFF
Chick-fil-A Lands in Air Force Academy Religion Debate

By: Pam Zubeck

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Rodney Bullard, vice president of the chain's corporate social responsibility section, is an AFA grad and worked as a U.S. Attorney and for NASA.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which has LGBTQ clients at the Academy, says inviting Bullard is another "in a long line of such despicable instances of fundamentalist Christian-based homophobic oppression" at the Academy.

[...]
KRCC RADIO,
AFFILIATED WITH NPR,
COVERS MRFF
RE: MRFF's Opposition to Chick-fil-A's Rodney Bullard

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

(Section regarding MRFF starts at 1:01.)
BACKGROUND:
MRFF'S LONG-LINE OF OPPOSITION TO THE FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN-BASED HOMOPHOBIC OPPRESSION BY USAFA
MORE BACKGROUND:
MRFF Information/Contact:
(505) 250-7727
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