Military Religious Freedom Foundation http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org Protecting the Constitutional Guarantee of Separation of Church and State in the United States Military Thu, 05 May 2016 15:43:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Attack on the First Amendment http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/attack-on-the-first-amendment/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/attack-on-the-first-amendment/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 14:42:40 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27153  Dear MRFF

I understand that you have joined in the fight to remove Bibles, Bible Verses, Speech about the Bible, and references
of or from a Christian stand point from the military.   Is this correct?    Are you putting money, time and or effort
to remove Christian beliefs from the military?      WOULD YOU DO THIS IF ISLAM WAS THE ONE IN QUESTION?

I expect an answer to EVERY question.
Thank you for your time.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

The answer to EVERY question you’ve asked is as follows:
No. No. And stupid question, but sure.

We don’t have the authority to ban anything anywhere.  We are a non profit advocacy group which serves the singular purpose of giving a voice to those in our military who cannot safely speak for themselves.  On the matter of bibles in POW/MIA displays, we notified leaders at several installations that existing US law and military regulation was being violated. Fortunately, those leaders had the good sense to recognize that this is a country of laws, and regardless of how much consternation it causes Dominionists, separatists, Christian nationalists, or subversives of any other variety, we don’t have free reign to pick and choose which laws to follow without consequence.  If that limited public forum were opened to the inclusion of other holy texts, the bible could have stayed.  It was ultimately the decision of the leaders at those installations.

Our organization spends its time, money, and effort fighting theocracy, and defending our clients.  We do not have any ability to remove individual’s beliefs. We do fight against state sponsored religion in the way our Constitution demands any patriot ought.

If the United States government made a real effort to promote Islam as the state sanctioned religion in the same way it so often treats Christianity, we’d be first in line to smack that nonsense down.  Our secular government’s design doesn’t get to pick winners or losers when it comes to personal faith.

You’re welcome,

Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs


Hi (name withheld),

Are you in the military? Are or were you an officer, or perhaps a high-level non-com? I ask because your rather tersely put questions bring to mind one used to giving orders. And the final question, all in CAPS, suggests you think you’re springing a cleverly laid trap. This, it seems to me, is rather odd behavior if all you’re looking for is some simple information.

However, given the flow of queries that have come our way in recent days, let me just try to respond in as appropriate a manner as possible; that is, answering your questions as if you hadn’t already determined what you think the answers should be.

1) You understand wrong. We have not joined any fight. We have initiated, at the request of military personnel, an effort to remove inappropriate religious icons from government-supported displays and stop inappropriate religious proselytizing at certain military events.

2) We have no interest in removing the list of things you mention that may represent what you call a “Christian stand point” from the members of the military for whom they have meaning. We do believe, however, that in honor of the separation of church and state those things you mention should not be placed, displayed, engraved, promoted or otherwise made to appear that they are representative of the U.S. military or the U.S. government.

(I’m sure you understand how inappropriate that would be.)

3) No, it is not correct.

4) No, we are certainly not putting time, money or effort into removing Christian beliefs from the military. The military has no religious belief. The women and men in the military have a variety of beliefs, of course, and they are welcome to them. (I, for one, am uncertain about how anyone could “remove” a belief of any kind from anyone, whether Christian or otherwise. Nor do I understand why anyone would want to do such a thing.)

For the record, removing Christian beliefs would make no sense for us even if it were possible, since over 95% of those associated with the MRFF are themselves Christians.

5) YES. If the Koran was he only religious artifact to be placed on a table as part of a salute to POWs and MIAs, if Koranic verses were engraved on military-issue weapons, if Islamic proselytizing was taking place in military events promoted by general officers, or if testimony was given claiming conversion to Islam was the only way to heal from a sexual assault, or was necessary to be a properly effective military leader, you bet we would do the same thing.

I THINK THAT ANSWERS YOUR EVERY QUESTION. IF THERE’S SOMETHING I HAVEN’T MADE CLEAR, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AGAIN.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Dear (name withheld),

I’m an active duty Air Force officer and long-time supporter of the MRFF.  I can say, unequivocally, that the MRFF has no interest at all in denying the right to worship to any member of the military–Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or Ba’hai.  That right is guaranteed by the Constitution that I have sworn to defend for well over over 30 years.  The MRFF, in fact, supports the diverse American population represented by those that choose to serve in our military and values and respects the contributions made by those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.
We do recognize, however, that while thousands of Christians (and others) serve in the military around the world, it is completely counter to our Constitution (i.e., the Establishment Clause), judicial precedent (Parker vs Levy) and current policy (e.g., AFI1-1) for those in command or other hierarchical positions within the military to use their status or rank to advance a specific religious perspective or belief–or to promote non-belief for that matter.  Commanders simply cannot and should not consider a specific religious belief as a necessary or sufficient condition for honorable service in our military, nor should they judge those subordinate to them on this basis.  They should be judged solely on the performance of their duty to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.’
To your point, the MRFF does fight to remove religious symbolism, verses, and speech of all kinds IN THE MILITARY WORKPLACE to the extent they violate the laws as described above. As an active duty member, I cannot urge my subordinates to vote for a specific political candidate and I cannot urge them, actively or passively, to practice a specific religion.  That word “passive” means that, if I hold official business in my office, that I can’t have posters declaring my religious belief (or non-belief) obvious to all who enter my office for fear that they might perceive those posters as hostile to their own personally chosen beliefs.  Yes, the MRFF would fight just as hard to remove a declaration of Muslim Faith from the military workplace as they would Christian, and they would not tolerate anti-religious declarations (e.g., Marx’s “Religion is the Opiate of the Masses” quote) either.  They have fought against commanders who choose to drive their cars on-base with hostile anti-religious messages, for example–that’s just not appropriate in our workplace, even if it is protected free speech on public streets or the mall parking lot.
I hope that I’m making myself clear and realize that this is a complex issue that we all wrestle with–it can take more than a Tweet to describe.  You ask “Are you putting money, time and or effort
to remove Christian beliefs from the military?”  The answer here, again, is a complete and total “No!”  Military members are completely free to believe in Christ and should enjoy the right to worship as they see fit during their free, non-duty time at the base chapel or local church of their choosing.  96% of the MRFF’s clients are, after all, Christians themselves.  All that the MRFF asks is that ALL military members–and especially those in leadership positions–allow others in the military to enjoy the same right, unencumbered by the worry that their strongly held personal beliefs will not be an impediment to their accomplishment of duties, promotion, or career status.  Is that too much to ask?
Thanks for your inquiry.  I’d be glad to answer any other questions you have via Mikey.

(name withheld)

 

 

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Re: MRFF Rebukes Arrogant ACLJ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/re-mrff-rebukes-arrogant-aclj/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/re-mrff-rebukes-arrogant-aclj/#comments Thu, 05 May 2016 11:41:58 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27151 I was a military chaplain for 26+ years of Active Duty.  I did not like the National Day of Prayer…. One bit.   I’m all for praying.  But I e(name withhexperienced very aggressive Christians each year….trying to hijack the religious focus to act out their own brand of religion and exclude others.  The NDP also touts a official site with many of their religious items for sale.  These were certainly not inclusive of people from other faith…  Yikes.  The NDP…..should be off military bases….

(name withheld)

 

 

 

 

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5/4/16 MRFF REBUKES ARROGANT ACLJ – Letter from MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator Tobanna Barker to Marine Corps University President http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5416-letter-from/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5416-letter-from/#comments Wed, 04 May 2016 17:42:23 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27142 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5416-letter-from/feed/ 0 5/3/16 – MRFF Covered by Multiple Media Outlets Over Military’s Training’s “Jesus Heals” Solution for Sexual Assault http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5316-sexually-assaulted-mrff-condemns-militarys-jesus-heals-solution-media-coverage-continues/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5316-sexually-assaulted-mrff-condemns-militarys-jesus-heals-solution-media-coverage-continues/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 23:44:48 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27126 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5316-sexually-assaulted-mrff-condemns-militarys-jesus-heals-solution-media-coverage-continues/feed/ 0 5/2/16 ACLJ – ACLJ Sends Letter Defending National Day of Prayer in Military from Anti-Christian Zealots http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-aclj-sends-letter-defending-national-day-of-prayer-in-military-from-anti-christian-zealots/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-aclj-sends-letter-defending-national-day-of-prayer-in-military-from-anti-christian-zealots/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 19:41:47 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27121 Click to read on ACLJ ]]> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-aclj-sends-letter-defending-national-day-of-prayer-in-military-from-anti-christian-zealots/feed/ 4 5/2/16 ACLJ – Military Appeals Court Hears Major Religious Liberty Case http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-military-appeals-court-hears-major-religious-liberty-case/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-military-appeals-court-hears-major-religious-liberty-case/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 19:37:52 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27119 Click To Read at ACLJ ]]> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-aclj-military-appeals-court-hears-major-religious-liberty-case/feed/ 0 5/2/16 TRUNEWS – Cruz joins VA Bible removal inquiry http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-trunews-cruz-joins-va-bible-removal-inquiry/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-trunews-cruz-joins-va-bible-removal-inquiry/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 19:31:58 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27117 Click To Read at TrueNews ]]> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5216-trunews-cruz-joins-va-bible-removal-inquiry/feed/ 0 5/1/16 PATHEOS – Army Tells Soldiers Only Jesus Can Heal Rape Victims http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5116-patheos-army-tells-soldiers-only-jesus-can-heal-rape-victims/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5116-patheos-army-tells-soldiers-only-jesus-can-heal-rape-victims/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 19:26:33 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27115 Click to read at Patheos ]]> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/5116-patheos-army-tells-soldiers-only-jesus-can-heal-rape-victims/feed/ 1 HmmmH- How do you know that. ?? http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/hmmmh-how-do-you-know-that/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/hmmmh-how-do-you-know-that/#comments Tue, 03 May 2016 12:46:01 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27113 Does God, (I term it Creator) come down and tell you that you are threatening us in IT’s name(I doubt if IT has a gender)? ISIS does the same. Great Inquisition murderers, torturers (Mostly Innocent Women) did the same- coming up with thinking, claiming that they can speak for Creator. You are like ISIS. The only time Creator made an appearance was Mosees experience on Mt Sinai and Creator’s gifted vision to one of our Sioux medicine Men, Black Elk which predicted what is happening now Environmentally and corruption wise- mainly you Christians and Moslems. This was revealed in latter 1800s and thru an interview by an honest White Man- John Neihardt the book Black Elk Speaks was published in 1930s. Neither man, knew about the approaching environmental dilemma which is upon us now. Rising seas, Over population, Planetary Heating and Climate Change but Interviewer Neihardt and Interviewee – Black Elk went on to finish the book. Now it has been read by millions who credit it’s accuracy.  Predictability -wise it far out shadows the Bible which says nary a word of such. If one was a staunch Biblicist- One would have to deny the approaching dilemma which most do. No doubt you are of the latter. I think you will be in for a big surprise when you attempt to speak for Creator. I am an American Indian- a Sioux. We were very Spiritual before your kind came over here to take our land and put us on Reservations. For that alone you will be punished severely if Creator is all Truth and whom I suspicion wants all of us to live harmoniously like the four legged do. As long as we humans have Proselytization we will have Terrorism. Eventually the “My Way Onlys” will have atomic weapons and whole cities will be blown, flattened. These happenings will finally wake the world up and they will turn on you ISIS types. Overpopulation(Spawned and Modus operandi of the Churches} will cause immense suffering due to its role in causing Climate Change. Hungry, angry  Mobs will tear down your proselytizing Churches without mercy. Jews and us Sioux do not proselytize. We have brains enough to have figured out that Creator is a vast, vast Mystery. You have no clue as to who or what IT is and neither do I but at least I admit it. For being Truthful I highly doubt it that I will ever receive the punishment that your sick mind has fantasized up and hence leaving you very stupid when you enter the Spirit World. I will be laughing at you and simply state- “That dumb know it All got what is coming to him. He never prepared his mind with Creator’s absolute Truth or admitted that Ultimate is absolute Mystey. Benevolnt- Yes but still indescribable. Western Europe the Churches are falling down, Convents, monasteries closed. Australia and even Spain and Ireland too. They have seen through Religions fallacy. Internet is opening eyes. Go there and find out. Bout time!

(name withheld)

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OPPOSING VIEWS – Christian Evangelism At Military Sex Assault Program? http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/opposing-views-christian-evangelism-at-military-sex-assault-program/ http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/opposing-views-christian-evangelism-at-military-sex-assault-program/#comments Mon, 02 May 2016 21:17:35 +0000 http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/?p=27106 Click to read on Opposing Views ]]> http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2016/05/opposing-views-christian-evangelism-at-military-sex-assault-program/feed/ 0