Military Religious Freedom Foundation Protecting the Constitutional Guarantee of Separation of Church and State in the United States Military Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:26:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Save the Constitution Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:26:52 +0000 I get a weekly e-mail up-date from The Economist and just read their article about the MRFF. I found the link to your website and immediately signed up. Your organization is absolutely vital to keep this country from slipping into a theocracy.

This also a battle I have waged before. In the early 1970s when I was a mere Army 2LT I was the base Transportation Officer in the Mannheim-Heidelberg area of Germany. I had a waiting room for personnel who were shipping their household goods for their rotation. I found that someone kept placing Christian tracts in our display where forms and other information was available for the soldiers. I would check it on a daily basis and throw them away. It lasted for some time and then stopped.

Unfortunately, I am retired (not from the Army) and on a very limited budget so I cannot provide a donation at this time. However, when I do get some discretionary income I will provide something.

Of all the various organizations I follow I believe that the MRFF is the most important and I would be willing to provide more active support if possible.

(name withheld)

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WORLD – Air Force won’t let atheist airman skip God in enlistment oath Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:20:40 +0000 Selected Article Excerpt:

Evangelicals often see such cases as a growing hostility toward Christians in the military, while atheist groups claim they’re fighting an ingrained culture of religious fundamentalism that may make non-Christians feel uncomfortable.

The most recent Air Force battle occurred in March, when a cadet at the Air Force Academy voluntarily removed a Bible verse from the whiteboard on his dorm room door after someone complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which notified Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson. Because the cadet had a leadership position, the Academy decided he could not write a Bible verse on his door.

The reenlistment oath poses a different question, but it’s no less nuanced. The Air Force Times reportedWednesday that neither the Army nor the Navy requires soldiers to say “so help me God” in their enlistment oaths. The Department of Defense doesn’t require it. A quiet change to Air Force regulations in October 2013, though, removed the option for airmen not to say the phrase—because a United States law requires it.

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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR – Can the Air Force require airmen to swear ‘So help me God’ to reenlist? Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:18:41 +0000 Selected Article Excerpt:

“The case law is so universally settled in this precise area that even actors who play lawyers on TV or in the movies could win this one in court,” writes Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and a US Air Force Academy graduate who served in the judge advocate corps.

“When one ‘affirms’ such an oath of office, there is NO need to ‘swear’ to ‘God’ to do so,” Mr. Weinstein writes in an online op-ed. “Such is the very distinction between ‘swearing and affirming.’ [Federal law] allows either to be done by the enlisting or commissioning Air Force member.”

“The USAF’s transparent duplicity and specious motivations for basing its new decision to force service members to swear to God are dangerous, disingenuous and despicable,” Weinstein writes.

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Fuck you weinstien Fri, 12 Sep 2014 11:08:34 +0000 Air Force is right to put God in the oath. mikey weinstien is wrong to even still be breething. Air force should save a bomb from dropping on ISIS and drop it on mikey.

(name withheld)

Dear Coward (for using a fake address)

Your use of the language is a tribute to the home schooling to which you apparently didn’t
pay much attention. There’s something called the Constitution of the United States of
America you might want to check out, just for laughs. Even the Air Force is trying to figure
out a way to resolve this problem, and they intend to fix it without the use of violence, an
idea that was promoted in the Ten Commandments. You might want to check them out,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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Please Fight For Us MRFF (re: ‘So Help Me God’ Oath) Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:35:17 +0000 > Mr. Weinstein I’m a (rank withheld) in the USAF. I am a combat special forces veteran and have been very highly decorated. I have (names of decorations withheld) and even more than one Purple Heart. I have been in the USAF for well over (number of years withheld) now and am supposed to reenlist in just (number of months withheld) more months. I am a devout Chrsitian (Protestant denomination withheld)) and even though I’ve alway said “So help me God” in my (number withheld) prior reenlistments with the Air Force and even my first one I WILL NOT DO IT THIS NEXT TIME! For solidarity with my USAF brothers and sisters in arms who are being given a “relgious test” by the senior leadership in my USAF. In all my time I never thought it would come to this. I’ve never asked for MRFF’s help before but I am now. If they kick me out for failing to say those words I will ask MRFF to help me fight this in Court. My wife (name withheld) cried about this all last night. We have (number withheld) kids too but this is the only thing we can do. Please don’t le the Air Force do this Mr. Weinstein. Please fight for us with all MRFF has to fight with. I have never been this sad before to serve my country as an airman.
> Thank MRFF for being our Champions
> V/R
> (USAF Airman’s name, rank, AFSC, military unit and installation all withheld)

Dear USAF Special Forces Vet,

Mikey shared your letter with me and I was moved to respond. First, I’m appreciative of the commitment to our nation demonstrated by your length of service, awards, and injuries you’ve suffered in the line of duty.

Second, I wish to commend you for the special courage demonstrated by your decision to not swear an oath ‘so help you G-d’ despite your profound religious convictions. I am always surprised at the number of people who’ve made lesser or even similar sacrifices in the name of ‘our ideals’ but who wilt like daisies when confronted with the choice of knuckling under to social pressure or unjust regulations to conform rather than act according to the Constitutional ideals they’ve sworn to ‘support and defend’.

Clearly, performing an oath in public is a public ritual intended to enhance the gravity of the commitment not just for the individual swearing the oath, but also for those observing it; essentially, it is a bonding ritual. But, as a person of faith, you must also know that that public utterance of the ‘so help me…’ phrase is only central to the public ritual since an all-knowing deity would know what’s in your heart, perhaps even before you know it. There’s no need to say it aloud for the benefit of your deity. Hence, to force pro-forma swearing to a deity – any deity – is a performance designed for public consumption to promote a specific agenda; in this case a military dominated by Christian domionists to the exclusion of all other faiths including the majority of those Chrisitans who aren’t ‘Christian enough’.

By the same token, refusing to swear a religious oath (the Constitutional ‘default’ position), you also make a profound public statement (enhanced by your personal military history and your religious beliefs) regarding the need for the military to uphold in its daily life & public rituals the very Constitutional tenets it is sworn to defend.

So, I say kudos to you for your stance! Imagine the brevity of the life-span of this egregiously unconstitutional demand if 50, 60,or even 75% of those re-enlisting (not to mention new enlistees!) had your courage and willingness to confront the very enemy they’re swearing to protect us from and say ‘I so swear.’ Full stop!

My thanks & admiration,

Rael Nidess, M.D.
Marshall, TX

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enlistment oath Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:43:52 +0000 Dear MRFF,

I am an atheist serving as an NCO in the Air Force. I’ve never been required to include god in any of my four Oaths. While I am not up again until 2017, I supervise an atheist Airman who will need to reenlist sometime about 15 months from now. I will be following your efforts and those of the AHA and others to see how this matter progresses.

Thank you for the good work.

(name withheld)

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9/10/14 MRFF Letter to Secretary Hagel Thu, 11 Sep 2014 01:03:29 +0000 0 Letter of Support for MRFF (Redacted) Wed, 10 Sep 2014 19:25:53 +0000 Dear Mikey Weinstein & the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,

This letter is to thank you for the outstanding service you provide to all those of us in the military who aren’t free to speak for ourselves. We have read about your organization and followed it in the media but we did not think that we would ever need to contact you ourselves.

Recently a commanding officer in my wife’s [service & component withheld] unit used his position and authority to push religion on captive audiences. He had been approached by several of his senior noncommissioned officers with their concerns about the appropriateness of this action. He responded by describing their actions as an attack on his authority.

Out of a very legitimate fear of reprisals, we felt like our options were severely limited. We contacted the MRFF and immediately Mikey Weinstein and his team went to work to correct this situation.

We knew that the MRFF would not relent until this illegal and unethical behavior was stopped. We also took great comfort in knowing that our identities would be protected.

We view the MRFF like a fire department or an ambulance: You don’t want to need them but it’s sure nice to know that they’re there when and if you do.

As a dual military couple with more than [years of service withheld] collective years of military service we are proud to be clients of the MRFF. Thank you very much.
[ranks & names withheld]

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9/9/14 THE ECONOMIST – Religion and the American Military: One army under God? Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:09:08 +0000 0 SOUTHERN MARYLAND NEWS – Bibles to return to Pax Navy Lodge rooms Mon, 08 Sep 2014 22:08:12 +0000 Selected Article Excerpts:

The foundation’s letter to the Navy requesting removal of the Bibles suggested the books “be placed in an on-site library, along with other religious and nonreligious books.”

If the Navy refuses to pull the Bibles “out of every single room,” said Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “we are looking to file a federal lawsuit.”

If every room had a Quran, or the Book of Mormon, he said, “we both know there would be blood in the streets.”

Weinstein says he’s proud of his Jewish heritage, prays three times a day, yet remains agnostic. “I’m not sure what’s up there,” he said. But this fight is not about religious beliefs. “It’s constitutional.”

A former Air Force officer himself, Weinstein plans to speak Friday, Sept. 19, to the House Armed Services Military Personnel subcommittee. “I’m sure there will be a lot of fireworks,” he said.

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