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A longtime contractor for the U.S. Army is speaking out after a notorious atheist attorney complained about his company’s faith-based dog tags and convinced the Army’s trademark office to punish him.
Kenny Vaughan, who owns Shields of Strength, went public this week with the complaint from atheist attorney Mike Weinstein and with the trademark office which informed Vaughn it was concerned about “negative press” for working with Vaughn and his Bible-themed dog tags.
“You are not authorized to put biblical verses on your Army products," Paul Jensen, the director of the Army Trademark Licensing Program, said in a letter sent to Vaughan in August.
Vaughan went public with the dispute on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning, telling the program he is “speechless” after a 20-year contract with the U.S. military was dropped after a single complaint from Weinstein. The dog tags are voluntary, he went on to say, and millions of service members have reached out to Shields of Strength to purchase one and to thank the company “with tears in their eyes” for providing spiritual comfort.
"It's insane. It's incredibly selfish,” Vaughan said of the complaint. “All we do is provide a reminder of God's word. No one has to do this.”
Vaughan is fighting the trademark office’s actions with the help of First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry, who told Fox News he sent a letter to Jensen calling its actions “unconstitutional” and violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Weinstein, an attorney and former U.S. Air Force officer, often made headlines during the liberal Obama administration when his demands to the Pentagon found a compliant audience, and he openly bragged at the speed at which the Pentagon acted.
Weinstein has publicly said he despises and mistrusts Evangelicals who share their faith, once warning a reporter that Evangelicals who proselytize fellow service members is their “Plan A” and “Plan B” is punishing unbelievers under a murderous theocracy.
“They stop asking so nicely,” he warned, “and then you have the Holocaust, the Pogroms, the Inquisition.”
Weinstein told a 2014 House hearing he didn’t regret stating his goal is to “leave a sucking chest wound” in his ongoing fight against open displays of Christianity in the armed forces.
Berry, a Marine Corps veteran, accused Weinstein of attempting to gain more publicity for himself and to take away an opportunity for service members.
“Just when I didn’t think Mikey Weinstein could stoop any lower,” Berry told Fox News, “he pulled a stunt like that.”
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