A small, family-owned, Christian bookstore that operates inside the Fort Liberty Exchange mall is under attack from a hate group that claims the store’s presence violates the U.S. Constitution.
Faith2Soar has operated in an Army and Air Force Exchange mall for the past eight months. Prior to that, the for-profit company ran kiosks on military bases.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an activist group known for targeting Christian ministries operating on military bases, filed a complaint arguing that the store violated the so-called “separation of church and state.”
“We have no trouble with any of these stores at all if they’re in some local mall. But it’s about the time, place and manner. This is on U.S. military property,” MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein told Military Times.
He claims he was alerted to the store’s existence when a soldier emailed about the bookstore “selling t-shirts reading ‘Salvation is Found in JESUS.'”
Imagine that, folks. A Christian bookstore selling a t-shirt adorned with a Christian message.
Weinstein alleges that 211 Military Religious Freedom Foundation clients complained and out of those – 165 purported to be Christians. Smells like a lot of bull fertilizer to me.
He also claimed “the Constitution makes it clear that [the government] will not establish religion. This is the epitome of establishing religion, in a post exchange.” Again, not true.
First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s largest religious liberty law firms, is representing Faith2Soar.
“First Liberty is proud to stand with our client, Josh Creson, and his faith-based business,” attorney Mike Berry told The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Berry is the law firm’s senior counsel director of military affairs.
“The Army should simply ignore Mikey Weinstein and his hollow threats that have no basis in law or reality. This is exactly why Congress is considering a bill that would prohibit the military from wasting its time responding to Mikey Weinstein’s blatant religious hostility,” he told me.
Weinstein, who has been incredibly successful at removing Nativity scenes and Bibles from POW/MIA tables, also took issue with products that he said promoted “Christian nationalism.”
“It represents the heinously un-American, unconstitutional epitome of unlawful, ‘in-your-face’, fundamentalist Christian nationalism, triumphalism, exceptionalism, domination, bullying and supremacy,” Weinstein wrote in a letter to Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general at Fort Liberty.
“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,” he added.
Store owner Josh Creson told Military Times that mall officials officials met with him to look at the items in the store since Weinstein’s complaint. But no action has been taken.
“We’ve never been approached by anyone complaining about our presence here at all. We’ve received a tremendous amount of praise and appreciation from people saying they are so thankful we are here, but nothing ever negative,” Creson said.
Creson says he and his wife have been subjected to profane and threatening emails and telephone calls. In spite of that, he is calling on people to pray for “Mr. Weinstein and other angry people, some of which have sent some mean, expletive-laden messages and attacks, to come to know the goodness of God.”
“We want nothing more than to serve, honor, and glorify God and to help our community in having access to Christian material,” he wrote on the store’s Facebook page.
Here’s a thought. How about booting the godless heathens and keeping the bookstore?