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Military Religious Freedom Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Albuquerque, NM - September 5th, 2008 - The California Council of Churches IMPACT (CCCI), one of the country's largest Christian organizations, announced Friday, September 5th, 2008 that it endorses the charitable mission of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to preserve the separation of church and state in America's armed forces. CCCI intends to support the Federal lawsuit filed against the Department of Defense (DoD) earlier this year by MRFF alleging widespread and systemic DoD persecution and discrimination against U.S. servicemen and women for refusing military command directives to embrace fundamentalist evangelical Christianity.
CCCI intends to file a "friend of the court" legal brief in support of MRFF’s Federal lawsuit (Case No. 08-CV-2098-JWL-DJW) against the Defense Department, filed in the Federal District Court for the District of Kansas City, Kansas.
CCCI's endorsement of MRFF's lawsuit is significant in that it marks the very first time that a major Christian organization has agreed to lend its support to the military watchdog's efforts to keep the Pentagon from unlawfully force-feeding fundamentalist evangelical Christianity upon active duty members of the military.
Committed to the separation of church and state, CCCI has acknowledged a pervasive evangelizing in and by the U.S. Military that has dire consequences to our freedoms and to our security as a nation. CCCI Board President Rev. John Freesemann said, "Our alignment with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on behalf of religious freedom for all people, regardless of belief or non-belief. It is not the function of the U.S. Military to proselytize our troops but to protect our constitutional freedoms."
California Council of Churches IMPACT is an organization consisting of 21 denominations representing 5500 congregations and 1.5 million members within the mainstream, progressive Protestant communities of faith. The denominations themselves have over 6.5 million members in California alone. Protecting the rights of individuals within the member denominations and of freedom of religion in general is a central aspect of CCCI work.
Since 1995, CCCI has served as the public policy advocacy sister organization to California Council of Churches. Mutually they have labored to help create a world that cares for all citizens regardless of economic class, ages, gender, race and ethnicity, religious belief or sexual orientation.
Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of MRFF, lauded CCCI's announcement of support. “This hard-earned and terrific universal endorsement from a huge Christian organization as well respected as California Council of Churches IMPACT formidably buttresses the credibility and effectiveness of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) on so very many different levels. Such forthright support is a clear rebuttal to those disgraceful unconstitutional forces who have so often sought to deliberately malign and portray us as "anti-Christian". We, at MRFF, offer our most profound gratitude to our Christian brothers and sisters at CCCI for being the first major Christian organization to have the collective courage, character, integrity, soul and compassion to proudly stand with MRFF and our ever-growing thousands of U.S. armed forces clients in support of the bedrock religious liberties mandated by our beautiful U.S. Constitution.”
Weinstein continues, "CCCI's support of MRFF also underscores that our basic mission is not at all about waging a war against Christianity; rather it is about upholding the foundational laws outlined in Clause 3, Article 6 of the United States Constitution (specific prohibition of a "religious test") and the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights (establishing a wall of separation between church and state). Without that clear wall of separation of church and state in the U.S. military, continued unconstitutional violations recklessly embolden terrorist extremists by sending an unmistakable message that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are really about Christianity versus Islam; essentially a modern day Crusade."
About the Military Religious Freedom Foundation:
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, "MRFF", (www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org) is the only organization in existence dedicated exclusively to preserving the now shattered constitutionally-mandated wall separating church and state within the United States armed forces. A nonprofit charity, MRFF represents multiple thousands of clients being religiously oppressed by fundamentalist Christian military superiors, from the active duty rolls of the United States Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force as well as National Guard, reserve units, Coastguardsmen and veterans. Approximately 96 percent of the Foundation's persecuted clients are actually Christian themselves; about 75 percent of that percentage being Protestant and the remaining 25 percent Roman Catholic. MRFF is currently suing the Department of Defense in Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas where it will show the court that the Pentagon is unlawfully engaging in an incontrovertibly pervasive and pernicious pattern and practice of unconstitutional assault on the religious liberties of our honorable and noble U.S. armed forces members.
To arrange an interview, press article or speaking engagement with MRFF president and founder Mikey Weinstein, please contact MRFF Administrative Assistant Bekki Miller at 337-356-8696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org