"With God on Our Side is the story of one man's willingness to stand up for the Constitution of the United States. Arrayed against Mikey Weinstein are those who would transform the United States military, our most revered institution, into a force of evangelical crusaders, intolerant of the diversity of our society and willfully subversive of our national security interests. It is an important call to arms for all who love our country and the principles for which it stands."
--Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, author of The Politics of Truth
--Reza Aslan, author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
"U.S. Air Force Academy graduate Mikey Weinstein's struggle to keep his beloved school--and the U.S. military--a secular institution has meaning for all of us. Wherever you are on America's religious and political spectrums, you'll find With God on Our Side a challenging and provocative read."
--Ray Suarez, author of The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America, and senior correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
"No one I know is more willing than Mikey Weinstein to take on such a tough, unpopular issue that goes to the very heart of one of our nation's most important and long cherished principles. Read this book to understand why we should all share Mikey's concern."
--Robert T. Herres, General, USAF (Retired), former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Mikey Weinstein's stand against intolerance, intimidation, and inappropriate evangelism in the armed forces is a courageous defense of the principles on which our country was founded. Read this book and be enlightened and motivated to protect the ideals of our Founding Fathers."
--Richard T. Schlosberg III, publisher and CEO (retired), Los Angeles Times
From the Inside Flap
In recent years, however, the Academy has also been producing a cadre of zealous evangelical Christians intent on creating a fundamentalist power base at the highest levels of our country.
With God on Our Side is shocking exposé of life inside the United States Air Force Academy and the systematic program of indoctrination sanctioned, coordinated, and carried out by fundamentalist Christians within the U.S. military.
It is also the story of Michael L. Weinstein, a proud Academy graduate and the father of two graduates and a current cadet, who single-handedly brought to light the evangelicals’ utter disregard of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state that is so essential to the nation’s military mission. Weinstein’s war would pit him and his small band of fellow graduates, cadets, and concerned citizens against a program of Christian fundamentalist indoctrination that could transform our fighting men and women into “right-thinking” warriors more befitting a theocracy. In the process, he would come face to face with religious bigotry and at its most extreme and fight an unrelenting battle to save his beloved Academy, the ideals it stood for, and the very future of the country.
An important book at a critical time in our nation’s history, With God on Our Side is the story of one man’s courageous struggle to thwart a creeping evangelism permeating America’s military and to prevent a taxpayer-funded theocracy in which only the true believers have power.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mikey Weinstein, a self-described "militant Jew" took on the academy, the Air Force and the Department of Defense a couple of years back because of flagrant violations of the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution by the officers and cadets of the Air Force Academy. Their officers, chaplains and classmates were subjecting cadets to a robust and pervasive proselytizing of fundamentalist Christian doctrine. And if you happened to be Jewish, it was likely that you would be treated like an outsider, subjected to humiliation and possibly called a "Christ killer" by classmates.
"With God on Our Side: One Man's War Against an Evangelical Coup in America's Military" chronicles Weinstein's crusade against the school from he himself graduated with honors in 1974 and followed it with a distinguished record of service in the judge advocate general corps and three years on staff in the Reagan White House. So he's no slouch. Instead Weinstein is the third generation of a four-generation military family, and both his sons graduated from the Air Force Academy.
While the narrative occasionally gets rather breathless -- especially the first couple of chapters where the author is desperately trying to hook the reader with the power of Weinstein's personality and the gravity of his crusade, the book is well-written.
For a look into the underpinnings of the race to theocracy and the rise of radical evangelicalism that we are witnessing in America today, read this book.
Various chaplaincy codes flatly prohibit the "proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice."(p. 74) In the command structure of superior and inferior of the military this may put government in the person of an officer in the position of commanding a soldier or cadet to convert or else. This prohibition of evangelizing the fundies reject as curtailing their freedom of religion, claiming that making converts is enjoined as an integral part of their religion. Anything less, they claim, is anti-Christian bigotry, a bias against the majority, and discrimination against their belief. Remember, in most circumstances when fundies speak of Christianity it does not include Roman Catholics and liberal or mainline denominations.
Mikey Weinstein has qualification to take on this struggle few can match. A family tradition of father, son, and grandchildren graduating from the Air Force Academy, law degrees and experience of service in the White House, and a network of political allies. The book is a narrative of events at the Air Force Academy and the military in general which lead Weinstein to found the organization. The book is a quick and easy read. It seems part of a push back on the inroads made by "born again" religious fascists on the administration of the country. In the long run I do think the believers in fascist Christian authority will lose.
This gets 5 stars because it is an extremely important book, but I'd only give it 4 stars for style. The initial chapters are self-consciously erudite, distractingly so. I suspect this was an effort to sound measured and restrained and to avoid seeming inflammatory, but both the subject matter and the protagonist, Mikey Weinstein, ARE explosive. As a result, for awhile I felt like I was riding a dressage-trained East Coast show horse when what was needed was a Western cutting horse that could turn on a dime.
Fortunately, the natural intensity of the story and the players took over after several chapters, and it became a compelling read as well as an essential one. I hope this is only an opening salvo in the war for our national conscience, and that someone will promptly take an equally careful look at the other major branches of the military and the defense hierarchy. If we lose this domestic war, we lose America's soul -- what a bitter irony.
If you pray, better pray Mikey Weinstein isn't too late.
In short, this isn't terribly written (though the ghost writer does seem to spend an awful lot of time slavishly implying Mr. Weinstein is some sort of weird composite of MLK Jr and Clarence Darrow), but my personal experiences tells me this is a bit exagerrated and histrionic. What's more, Mr. Weinstein heads up very vocal "military religous freedom foundations," that is constantly lobbying.... well pretty much everyone.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Separation of Church and State is a major concept on which the United States of America was founded. Read morePublished 11 months ago by MEF
This was an incredibly good book. Scary subject. Warriors for God doesn't seem much different than radical Islam, except naturally "Our God is right". Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
"With God on our side" by Michael L Weinstein and David Seay. Hardcover. Even despite the fact I pick up on a certain amount of excessive pride in the author's Jewish heritage. Read morePublished 20 months ago by ganddw42
This is an eminently thorough, clear, even-handed piece of modern political history. I'd recommend it to anybody interested in the First Amendment or America's military.Published 22 months ago by Leslie Fish
Mikey's expertise as a lawyer gives him plenty of insight into the issues of separation of church and state. Read morePublished on March 3, 2012 by Samwise Gamgee
This is well-written and easy to read, except the subject will be rather painful to some. It's about a driven man, type-A personality, who is determined to right a wrong done to... Read morePublished on May 6, 2011 by P. and G. Hoe
Mikey does an outstanding job of articulating a case for religious freedom for not just our men and women who are dedicated to serving our nation, but to all American's the... Read morePublished on April 12, 2011 by lemonte
While reading this, I just marveled at how much spare time some people have. From litigious activity to writing books that don't matter to worrying about a flashy institution that... Read morePublished on March 26, 2010 by T-Nugget
Frightening real life story of the grip that evangelical christianity had (has?) on a branch of our military. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by Tim Gallagher