On these pages, I have written a number of blogs regarding the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”) over the past several years. The MRFF’s stated objective is to ensure “that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they . . . are entitled.” In actual fact, the MRFF’s goals have been precisely the opposite, and it seeks to take away the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion for Christian believers in our nation’s military. The MRFF has reportedly been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize numerous times, but has not won yet. The MRFF founder, president, and sole employee is Michael L. (Mikey) Weinstein, Esq. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Mr. Weinstein served as one of the White House West Wing attorneys for President Reagan, and later served as the general counsel for H. Ross Perot and his company. He is the author of several books which describe his fight against “coercive” Christian practices in the military. In 2012, Defense News named Mr. Weinstein as one of the most influential members of today’s military-industrial complex (ahead of former CIA Director, General David Petraeus), and Mr. Weinstein has important contacts at the highest levels in the Obama Administration. As one example of his immense power and influence, Mikey Weinstein will testify on September 19, 2014, before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, regarding the current state of religious freedom in the military. Mr. Weinstein also recently spoke at the Military College of Georgia, and at Duke University Medical School’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. He is scheduled to address the students and faculty at the evangelical Patrick Henry College in late September. (I hope that the College is not paying much in a speaker’s fee.) My most recent blog regarding MRFF, Mikey Weinstein Strikes Again, available here. is prominently featured on the front page of the MRFF website. (Thanks, Mikey! But I am not so sure that you are going to link to this one.)
The past few years have been tough on the MRFF, but they have been very good for Mikey. MRFF revenues decreased from $698,698 in 2011 to $584,347 in 2012. Importantly, as MRFF’s annual revenues are well below $1 million, most charity-rating agencies, such as Charity Navigator, do not evaluate the efficacy of expenditures for smaller non-profit entities. However, the MRFF is quite a sinecure for its sole employee. Mikey Weinstein’s salary from the MRFF in 2011 and 2012, as reported in its Form 990 tax filings, were $263,098 and $284,009, respectively. (Did you get a $21,000 raise in 2012?) Although his salary might seem high to a few of my readers, Mikey affirmed in his tax filings under penalties of perjury that he worked an average work week of 80 hours at the MRFF. Given that the MRFF asserts that more than 38,000 active duty, veteran, and civilian personnel of our nation’s armed forces have sought out MRFF assistance, with “hundreds more contacting MRFF each day,” it is little wonder that Mikey has had to work so hard. So in light of his important and powerful influence, and all of his hard work and dedication to his cause, one should not be surprised that he earned in salary almost one-half of MRFF’s total revenues for 2012. It will be interesting to see how well he continues to do for 2013 when those numbers are published in the coming weeks. I am certain that his donors see his valuable contributions to the MRFF, but to put things into some perspective, in its 2013 CEO Compensation Report, Charity Navigator determined that the typical CEO at a non-profit entity receiving between $1 million to $3.5 million in annual revenues earned $95,661 in 2011. The median CEO salary for a larger non-profit entity receiving up to $100 million in annual revenues was $285,753, an amount similar to Mikey’s salary. Of course, the other CEOs are not among the most influential members of the defense establishment, and few will claim, under penalties of perjury, to work an average of 80 hours each week. Some jokesters have quipped that the MRFF actually stands for “Mikey’s Religious Fund Foundation.” It seems to me that our Internal Revenue Service might wish to investigate the MRFF’s 501(c)(3) status. After all, should donors to the MRFF be entitled to a tax deduction when the primary “charitable” purpose is to pay Mikey’s high salary? So for having earned over $547,000 over two years, it is too bad that Lois Lerner, Esq., is no longer in the saddle at the tax-exempt division at the IRS. She would certainly know what to do to investigate the MRFF fully. Christians do not and should never fear religious freedom, for where there is freedom, God’s Holy Word and his Son, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will be known, for He only is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But those opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ have throughout history sought to silence the voices of His children.