A group of secularists want to shut down a Christian bookstore on the Fort Liberty army base in North Carolina, formerly known as Fort Bragg. The base was named after Confederate general Braxton Bragg, but the U.S. Congress recently renamed it.
A veteran named Josh Creson owns Faith2Soar, which he opened on the base last September.
Mikey Weinstein, who said the store’s presence on the base amounts to endorsement of a religion, is president of the Military and Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). He also claimed that his organization represents 211 U.S. Army personnel, including 165 Christians, who have complained about the store. From the Christian Post:
The civil rights activist alleged that the military personnel came to MRFF due to concerns about retribution from the chain of command.
“We don’t blame the store,” Weinstein told CP, adding that he was sure the owner was a “nice guy.”
“We blame the Army; we blame the Army and Air Force Exchange Service,” he continued. “How dare they sit there and say, ‘Well, we would let others do it, but they have to show this consumer demand,’ so that means they have to show there are enough atheists, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans, Indians, Buddhists, to make it worthwhile.”
Since the base isn’t stopping others from opening bookstores, how is the government endorsing a religion? Weinstein had an answer for that, too.
“Christians are a majority faith, and that becomes predatory pricing. And that’s not what the exchange service should be doing as a representative.”
An attorney for First Liberty Institute, which represents the bookstore owner, said Weinstein’s claims were dubious.
“Mikey Weinstein lives in a fantasy world in which the law is as he thinks it should be,” attorney Mike Berry told the Christian Post. “Fortunately for us Americans, the Constitution actually protects the right of patriots like Mr. Creson to operate a business in accordance with his faith. The government cannot forbid a company from operating on base just because it happens to be a faith-based company. That’s unlawful discrimination.”