November 2, 2008
My name is Richard Baker and I'm with the MRFF in Colorado Springs. I saw your recent note to Mikey and I hope you don't mind me butting in here.
I must say yours is a reasoned approach to the ages old dust up between the believer and the non-believer. And if that was what MRFF and Mikey Weinstein were all about, you would be spot on in your assessment.
I think where you have missed the point is that MRFF and Mikey as the President and Founder are not in any way anti-religious nor would we spend one minute or one dime in that pursuit. We fully subscribe to the Constitutional religious provisions guaranteed under the first Amendment and are fierce defenders of the free practice clause.
It is when religion goes awry that it must be addressed as any other philosophy, political or religious that goes to the extreme.
[withheld], over 90% of our case load is generated by young Christian men and women at our military bases, service academies and even war zones. These non-evangelical Christians have been illegally, overtly and coercively proselytized, castigated for not being "Christian enough" or, frankly, for just being Jewish, or some other faith.
It is our fervent goal that our efforts provide succor and legal defense against those who would compromise these young folks by using the specter of command influence to require obeisance in sectarian prayer, ceremony or formation.
So, in truth, it is the world view not of MRFF but those who would, in their zeal, perform the very unAmerican activities that their oaths to uphold the Constitution prohibit.
MRFF, our members, associates or supporters are not a religious group or an anti-religious group, although we do have many religious folks of different faiths and a I am sure, a few Atheists and Agnostics as well. Mikey is a devout Jew and his diverse extended family practice both Christianity and Judaism. Our quarrel is not with religion but rather the practice of it in the extreme. Just as various contingents of each major faith have splintered off in some power fantasy of exclusivity, supremacy and militant stance, today's Dominion Christian, or Pre-Millennial Reconstructionist, (that's a mouthful) has adopted a very bellicose agenda, indeed. Their operations vary from their contemporaries in the Taliban, Irish Republican Army, KKK, Aryan Nation, Army of God, Skin Heads, World Church of the Creator and other Christian Identity organizations by a rather well camouflaged effort and the aegis of large, well-funded and organized agencies such as the Christian Officers Fellowship, Campus Crusade for Christ Military Mission and many hundreds of like minded senior officers and NCO's in their evangelizing.
You are correct that we preach. Our preaching however comes not from Bible, Missal or Holy scripture but the words so lovingly carved over the centuries into the bedrock of American Democracy as they appear in the articles and amendments of our beautiful constitution.
You are also correct, [withheld], that even prisoners under the crushing heel of oppressive masters can freely choose their beliefs in the privacy of their hearts. It is quite a different matter for those whose only option is, irrespective of their chosen beliefs, to obey directives and participate in an often grotesque caricature of Christianity while in charge and control of weapons of immense destructive power or otherwise not advance in position and rank.
I'm afraid our ability to manipulate anybody, if it ever existed, has atrophied to a state of malfunction. Our only power is reason.
Thank you for your well thought out communication, as it is a pleasure to address reasonable questions and not the standard death threats and burn in Hell wishes.
Colorado Springs Chapter
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
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