May 24 2012

Mikey Weinstein Responds to David Barton Calling Him “Secretary of the Air Force”

A little over five years ago, I wrote an article titled “The Department of Defense — Bringing Historical Revisionism to a High School Near You,” which was about a David Barton essay on the “myth” of separation of church and state being in the JROTC core curriculum American history textbook. That article caught the attention of a volunteer at MRFF, who brought it to Mikey Weinstein’s attention, and a week later I was introduced to Mikey and suddenly found myself working for MRFF, documenting the major Air Force participation that was planned for a big evangelical Christian rally at Stone Mountain, Georgia that Memorial Day weekend.

Yesterday, exactly five years after I started working for MRFF, David Barton — the man who is actually responsible for me getting my job at MRFF — just happened to be talking about Mikey Weinstein on his radio show. Here’s the little video that Mikey made in response:


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  1. 1

    I love it. Progress is being made.

  2. 2
    The Gregarious Misanthrope

    Keep up the fight Chris and Mikey.

    What was Barton going on about with the bible in the hotel room bit? It was incoherent.

    Proud supporter of the MRFF


  3. 3

    ROFL! I love it. But please tell Mikey he needs better lighting for these videotaped commentary!

  4. 4

    Great, Mikey!
    We are what we do. Dishonest people are just dishonest, and ideology is just the excuse.
    As a fellow vet and New Mexican, I’m proud you are here, reminding us of what this republic is about.
    Wish we could go back to “E Pluribus Unum”, as our national motto, instead of trusting somebody’s god.

  5. 5
    Chris Rodda

    @ Gregarious Misanthrope … the Bibles in hotel rooms thing wasn’t even something MRFF was involved in. Barton was mixing up MRFF and MAAF (The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers), and on top of that not even getting it right with what that Bible thing was about. It wasn’t Bibles in hotel rooms; it was Bibles being placed in temporary lodgings for Air Force personnel, which the military justified by saying it was BECAUSE there were Bibles in hotel rooms and they were trying to make the temporary lodgings comparable to hotel rooms in civilian hotels.

  6. 6

    I know I’m a little late to the party, but it took me a few days to get to this video.

    It seemed like David Barton was implying that Mikey Weinstein is like the Secretary of the Air Force, because of how easily the Air Force rolls over for him every time he files suit. Most of Mikey’s response was phrased as if David Barton had said he actually was the Secretary of the Air Force.

    In context, and given the way Barton started the sentence with “I’ve decided…,” it seems pretty clear that he wasn’t saying what Mikey seems to have thought he said.

    Not that it matters, Barton’s still a tool. The other day someone posted this on Facebook, and I picked five claims totally at random from the list, sourced them, and discovered that all five were being taken blatantly out of context. Surprise surprise!

  7. 7
    Chris Rodda

    @ redpanda … Of course we knew that Barton didn’t literally mean he thought Mikey was the Secretary of the Air Force! Mikey was messing with him!

  8. 8

    Oh man, Mikey and Chris, I’m worrying about this. I mean, what if David Barton was to sue you guys for defamation, and after the verdict finding Barton was lying through his teeth he goes into a deep depression and gains 40lbs? Won’t you both feel terrible for poor David? I feel bad for him already.

  9. 9
    The Gregarious Misanthrope

    @Chris Rodda #5

    How unsurprising for Barton (noted author of historical fiction) to be wrong twice in one sentence. Par for the course that he can’t understand the difference between allowing the Gideons to provide bibles if they want vs. having government employees providing only a christian book.

    I need to get a sticker for all those Gideon bibles like the one several schoolboards have wanted on science text books. It would read “Caution: Not intended as a factual statement.”

  10. 10

    @redpanda #6

    “I’ve decided that Mikey Weinstein is the new Secretary of the Air Force.” –David Barton (at 1:30)

    I’m sure both Barton and Weinstein were speaking tongue-in-cheek.

  11. 11

    Barton’s books will be reprinted for decades. In a hundred years from now the fundies will regard him as a great historian – and mainstream Christians will be telling each other that “Barton had some good ideas.”

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