News and Commentary

Activist Group Rips Air Force Base For Selling ‘Jesus Candy’
F-16 jets are seen on the Tarmac were US President Barack Obama met with a Thunderbird pilot who crashed earlier in the day during an Air Force Academy graduation at Peterson Air Force Base June 2, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is being attacked by an activist group offended that “Jesus candy” is sold at the base, saying they have “fought many battles throughout our long years of civil rights activism at PAFB against this wretched, fundamentalist Christian, religious extremist bigotry and prejudice.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which has blasted the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs before, said it received an email stating, “The base exchange at Peterson Air Force Base is currently selling ‘Jesus’ candy.’ The exchange at the Air Force Academy was also selling ‘Jesus’ candy at Halloween, although I didn’t get any pictures of that.”

The founder and president of MRFF, Mikey Weinstein, informed Crooks and Liars,“Peterson’s selling of for-profit, clearly marked ‘Jesus candy’ at its base exchange (BX) is merely the fundamentalist Christian straw breaking the MRFF clients’ backs. Any pathetically-proffered pretense by the U.S. Air Force at Peterson that Christmas is a mere secular holiday is totally belied and betrayed by this in your face sale of this ‘proselytizing’ candy with the fundamentalist Christian version of its ‘God’s name’ emblazoned on all over the packaging.”

Weinstein added, “Peterson Air Force Base, located deep in the intolerant, fundamentalist Christian enclave of Colorado Springs, Colorado, has consistently been one of the most horrendous military installation abusers of the Constitutional mandate to NOT establish Christianity (or any other faith or even ’non-faith’) as the de facto armed forces State Religion … MRFF has fought many battles throughout our long years of civil rights activism at PAFB against this wretched, fundamentalist Christian, religious extremist bigotry and prejudice.”

He continued, “The ‘elephant in the living’ room fact is that Peterson is well over two years late in releasing its own official ‘religious climate’ survey to MRFF pursuant to well established Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) time limit mandates. So what the hell is Peterson terrified to publicly release to MRFF? MRFF’s litigators have this very same Peterson FOIA case now for further disposition to compel Peterson to release this hidden ‘religious climate’ survey.”

First Liberty Institute lawyer and director of military affairs Mike Berry told Fox News, “This is just the latest publicity stunt by a bunch of activists. A real constitutional expert – or any first-year law student – knows that selling candy canes at Christmas is perfectly legal. Of course, the MRFF has its own version of the Constitution. Sadly, the MRFF has duped its so-called ‘thousands’ of alleged clients into believing its dubious legal fairy tales.”

First Liberty has dealt with MRFF before; First Liberty wrote as recently as December 20 that MRFF had “complained about an inflatable Santa Claus on an Army base,” a “Soldier Santa” on display in the commissary at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, VA. First Liberty continued, “The MRFF has once again invented a problem where none exists, claiming the figure is unconstitutional because it’s holding a small sign with the phrase ‘God Bless America.’ Not only that, they really blew up the Christmas spirit by arguing the inflatable display is supposedly creating ‘mandatory situations where they’ve [soldiers] been forced to engage in blessing for Jesus Christ.’”