As reported last Friday by Truthout, and this Tuesday by The Washington Post, the Air Force has pulled the section of its missile launch training that had come to be known among some officers as the "Jesus loves nukes speech."
How bad was this training? Well, not only did it use Christian theology and numerous Bible verses to justify nuclear war, but it quoted former Nazi and SS officer Wernher Von Braun as a moral authority. That's right, the U.S. Air Force will do just about anything to work a quote endorsing the Bible into its training, no matter who that quote came from. In this case, they quoted Von Braun as saying upon surrendering at the end of WWII, "[W]e felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured."
This training has been around for about two decades, but it was only when thirty-one Air Force officers decided to come to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and do something about it that it was finally stopped.
Last Wednesday, Truthout exposed the content of this training in an article by Jason Leopold titled "Air Force Cites New Testament, Ex-Nazi, to Train Officers on Ethics of Launching Nuclear Weapons." By Friday, the training had been suspended.
On Wednesday, CNN reported on the story, and since then, the story has gotten much media attention, from both the left and the right. This would include a four minute rant against MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein from right-wing radio host Michael Savage on his show The Savage Nation.
Savage started out with the typical, unoriginal crap, like making fun of Mikey Weinstein's name, repeatedly calling him "Mickey Whine-stein," which is quite ironic coming from a man who's real last name isn't Savage, but Weiner -- or should I say "Whine-er" -- and calling MRFF a "fake" organization (I've never understood that one, and can assure you that MRFF does, in fact, exist). Then came the stuff about Jews only being allowed in America because the Christians so graciously letting them be here.
After his introductory idiocy, Savage really got into his rant, during which he said some things that were apparently so offensive that they even had to be edited out of a show as offensive as his -- gems such as:
"Weinstein, could I ask you a question? Why do you hate Christians, America, and the military, when, was it not for the Christians and the military your ancestors would have been turned into [something edited out]?"
"What Weinstein doesn't know was if it was not for the warrior mentality of the Christians he hates so much, who rescued his ancestors from the ovens of Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz, Mickey Whine- [something edited out] wouldn't be here plaguing the United States of America. So I don't understand the mentality of liberals ... [yada, yada, yada ... liberals ... yada, yada, yada ... mental illness]."
Savage, of course, leaves out the little thing about the training quoting an infamous former Nazi as a moral authority, as mentioned above.
Here's the entire four minute rant:
Mikey Weinstein hates Christians? Tell that to MRFF's thousands of Christian clients, including the thirty-one Air Force officers who took a stand against this "Jesus Loves Nukes" missile training. All thirty-one of those officers were either Catholic or Protestant. In fact, 96% of MRFF's clients are Christians -- Catholics and mainline Protestants who are not considered by the fundamentalists to be the "right kind" of Christians.
He hates the military? Really? Mikey is an honor graduate of the Air Force Academy who comes from a military family with over 130 years of combined active duty military service, in every combat engagement since World War I, including a cousin who was so anxious to fight in World War II that left the country to join Britain's fabled RAF as a fighter pilot and flew for the British until America entered the war and he could fly for the Army Air Corps, shooting down four Nazi warplanes. The family tradition of military service continued with father, a 1953 distinguished graduate of the Naval Academy; both of his sons, his daughter-in-law, and his brother-in-law, all of whom are also Air Force Academy graduates; and his nephew, a highly decorated Marine gunnery sergeant who has done four combat tours, two in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. Saying that Mikey hates the military is as ridiculous as saying that you love liberals, Mr. Savage.
And, speaking of liberals, Mikey isn't exactly a liberal either, Mr. Savage. He's a registered Republican who worked as a legal counsel the Reagan White House, which you might have known if you'd bothered to do a bit of research on the man before spewing forth your little rant against him.
For those who want to see the entire "Jesus Loves Nukes" presentation for themselves, it's available on the Air Force's FOIA site, where documents that people have gotten with FOIA requests, which is how this presentation was obtained, are available to the public. There's no way to post a direct link to the documents, so here's how to get to it. Go to https://www.efoia.af.mil and click on the "FOIA Reading Room" link on the left side of the page. Select "Miscellaneous" in the drop down menu, and hit "Search." (Just leave the default asterisk for "Document Name.") The documents, titled "ICBM Training Material," will show up on the first page of the list, and you can download them as a PDF. The nearly 40-slide "Ethics" training PowerPoint begins on page 4 of the PDF.
Follow Chris Rodda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChrisRodda1