Power Duo To Headline Church-State Fundraiser

By Rebecca Spence

Published September 08, 2006, issue of September 08, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

An activist leading the charge against the influence of evangelical Christians in America’s military is sizzling up his latest fundraising gala with some heavy-hitting Washington star power.

Mikey Weinstein, an Air Force veteran turned church-state gadfly, has signed up Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame to headline a soiree he is set to throw September 9 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Wilson is the former U.S. ambassador who accused the Bush administration of manipulating pre-Iraq War intelligence. Plame, his wife, is, of course, the erstwhile CIA operative whose outing as a spy led to a federal leak investigation that reached all the way up to the president’s office.

Wilson sits on the advisory board of Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which fights to maintain the separation of church and state in all branches of the armed forces.

“We believe very strongly,” Wilson told the Forward, “that the notion of freedom to practice your own religion without being proselytized is particularly important” in the context of the American military. He rattled off a list of relatives from both his own family and his wife’s who have had military careers, including his father, who was a marine pilot, and Plame’s father, who served as an Air Force officer.

Wilson also said that he has two Jewish children from his first marriage and that Plame is the great-granddaughter of a rabbi.

Wilson and Weinstein first met about a year ago, when Patricia Madrid, who is the New Mexico attorney general and a mutual friend, introduced them. “He’s one of my strongest proponents,” Weinstein said of Wilson.

Weinstein’s latest gripe is with the airmen of the 523rd Fighter Squadron, based in New Mexico. The F-16 combat squadron calls itself “The Crusaders” and has incorporated the religious imagery of the crusades — including a cross — into the patches they affix to their uniforms. As usual, Weinstein pulled no punches. “I’m already in court suing the Air Force, and my lawyer is studying whether we want to take this to federal court,” he said.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.