Faith2Soar book store operates in an exchange mini-mall at Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, the sprawling U.S. Army base in North Carolina that is famously home to Special Forces and to the 82nd Airborne. Store owner Josh Creson is himself an 82nd Airborne veteran who served in Iraq in 2003.
After operating the Christian book store for a year this month, Creson learned recently that activist-attorney Michael "Mikey" Weinstein had learned of Faith2Soar and demanded Forth Liberty kick it off the base. As of this week, however, Faith2Soar is still open for business after base officials visited the store and reviewed its items.
The store's vendor application was approved by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, which visited the store after Weinstein's over-the-top complaint.
Weinstein, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is founder of a military atheist group, Military and Religious Freedom Foundation. He has claimed the group has over 85,000 members, including Christians who wear a military uniform. In his complaint about Faith2Soar, the atheist claimed 211 soldiers at Fort Liberty have contacted him to complain about the mini-mall book store. He also claimed 165 of those complainers are Christians.
In an unhinged letter to the base's commanding general, Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, Weinstein said the book store "represents the heinously un-American, unconstitutional epitome of unlawful, ‘in-your-face’, fundamentalist Christian nationalism, triumphalism, exceptionalism, domination, bullying and supremacy."
In related comments to The Military Times, the attorney-activist claimed allowing the book store to operate is unconstitutional and violates the Establishment Clause.
Weinstein, who says he is Jewish, has used similar over-the-top descriptions of a future theocratic government, run by fanatical Christians, in his previous complaints to military commanders.
Meanwhile, Creson tells AFN he is praying for anyone associated with MRFF who is struggling with anger, bitterness, spiritual darkness, and depression. The soldier-turned-book-store-owner says he, too, struggled with those issues over the years.
“It was not until I surrendered to Jesus wholeheartedly," he says, "that I began to recover and find hope, peace, and strength to change for Him, which transformed me and positively impacted my family, community, and work.”
Regarding the recent threats against Faith2Soar, such as vulgar phone calls, Creson says he takes a lesson from the Old Testament story of Joshua.
"All our hope and trust is in Him," the store owner declares, "and only He can cause the arguments of MRFF to crumble like the walls of Jericho.”
After learning about Weinstein's demands, Creson sought legal help from First Liberty Institute and attorney Mike Berry. A military veteran, Berry has tangled with Weinstein over previous threats so he knows the atheist attorney's legal tactics.
"Mikey Weinstein’s dubious legal threats are nothing more than religious hostility," Berry says, "that has no place in our nation.”