Utter Irony in Marine Corps University Chaplain’s Bible Study Email Is Just Too Much

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Since: Michael L. Weinstein [email protected]>
Subject: Violation of the US Constitution at Marine Corps University
Date:
February 17, 2022 at 3:58:32 PM MST
For: [email protected], [email protected]
CC : [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]Lewis Lt. Col. John M. [email protected]>, Brady GySgt Thomas Allen [email protected]>, [email protected]Weinstein Information [email protected]>

Dear Brigadier General Walker M. Field,

Sir, first of all, I would like to thank you for your outstanding and selfless service to our country.

My name is Mikey Weinstein and I run a large civil rights organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). The MRFF currently represents more than 77,000 Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen, and veterans on active duty, reserve, and guard duty, as well as cadets and midshipmen at several U.S. military academies, OCS/OTS, and ROTC. Our primary mission of the MRFF is to protect the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state in the armed forces of the United States. About 95% of our MRFF clients happen to be practitioners of the various Christian religious traditions. Of course, we also represent many service members who follow a literal galaxy of other religions as well as those who identify as agnostics, atheists, humanists, and secularists.

For more information on the MRFF, please see this link sir:
https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/

The MRFF today received very disturbing complaints from members of the Marine Corps University (MCU) community under your direct command regarding an indiscriminate email sent to all personnel by the Chaplain (CDR) Bowen Woodruff promoting a Christian Bible study. The MRFF currently represents 12 MCU staff on this issue, 7 of whom identify as practicing Christians. The rest belong to minority faiths or non-denominational belief systems, including Jewish, Islamic, Native American, and non-theistic religious traditions.

Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff’s email, as you can see below, not only promotes to ALL MCU personnel that he is hosting a Bible study, but also details what the subject of the bible study.

From: Woodruff, Harold [email protected]>
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 11:12 a.m.
Subject: MCU Bible Study and Fellowship Announcement
To: MCU Chaplain All Hands [email protected]>

Greetings to the Marine Corps University community. Starting February 24, I will be leading a weekly Bible study and fellowship in the blackjack room from 1200 to 1240. Feel free to bring your lunch!

We will begin with the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians. Paul raises several important issues with the Church at Corinth that concern us today. Everyone is welcome!

What: Weekly Bible Study
When: Thursdays, from February 24, from 12:00 p.m. to 12:40 p.m.
Where: Blackjack Room (Breckinridge Hall, Rm. 224)

Hope to see you there.

Blessings,
chaps

Chaplain Bowen Woodruff, CDR, USN
Marine Corps University, Command Chaplain

In short, Brigadier General Field, Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff has clearly exceeded the rules of engagement, regarding his official duties, by attempting to proselytize the ENTIRE Marine Corps University community with his e- exclusively Christian sectarian mail.

We at MRFF have faced the same situation many times before. See two recent examples on these links:

https://militaryreligiousfreedom.org/press-releases/2020/1_31_Lead_Like_Jesus.pdf

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2020/08/mrff-assists-clients-in-quickly-ending-blatantly-sectarian-religious-proselytizing-to-soccent-personnel/

Chaplains have every right to communicate with their fellow armed forces members via email, but if they wish to cover EVERYONE in their respective units, they should keep their communications secular. If Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff wishes to send emails that target an exclusively Christian audience at Marine Corps University, that is also fine, as long as he is sending such bigoted and Christian messages ONLY to that Marine Corps University staff. who have requested to be included or who are otherwise part of his regular constituency serving as chaplain, such as those with whom he has established a close pastoral relationship or those who might regularly attend his services, etc.

Unfortunately, Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff is doing the exact opposite of what is permitted.

His sending this blatantly Christian-only and unsolicited email to ALL Marine Corps University personnel is totally contrary to the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, all relevant , interpreting federal case law on the same, a plethora of DoD and military branch-specific guidelines, instructions, and regulations, the core values ​​of individual military branches, and the UCMJ.

The dozen (so far) Marine Corps University personnel who have come to the MRFF for assistance rightly fear retaliation, revenge, retaliation and retaliation if they go up the Marine Corps University chain of command with their complaints or through your IG and/or EEO channels.

Sir, please ensure that Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff immediately ceases and refrains from further blanketing all of his fellow MCU members with his Christian email-only proselytizing and immediately conforms to the easy to work boundaries outlined above in all future Marine Corps University email communications.

Our formidable US military is a VERY diverse workplace. One of the DoD’s greatest strengths IS its diversity. By sending his Christian emails ONLY to ALL Marine Corps University personnel, Chaplain (CDR) Woodruff is seriously and most deleteriously degrading the good order, morale, discipline and cohesion of the unit of his Marine Corps University comrades.

As you know, General, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a TOP PRIORITY with his historic management of the DoD. Sadly, the Christian Supremacist, arrogant, ruthless, and imperious actions of Chaplain (CDR) Bowen Woodruff today are precisely the OPPOSITE of what SECDEF Austin is trying to achieve during his tenure as head of the DoD.

Please do whatever is necessary to expeditiously bring it back within proper constitutional bounds in a timely manner, as, again, set forth earlier in this communication.

Please notify as soon as possible. We will be at your disposal to answer you as soon as possible, please.

With my most sincere respects and gratitude,

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF)
505-250-7727

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