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Petraeus Book 'Endorsement'
Draws Fire

Wednesday August 20, 2008

by Bryant Jordan

Gen. David Petraeus is used to controversy surrounding the war in Iraq, but his publicized thoughts on an Army chaplain's book for Soldiers put him squarely in the middle of the ongoing conflict over religious proselytizing in the U.S. military.

The book is "Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel," by Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) William McCoy, and according to Petraeus' published endorsement of the work, "it should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy."

But the endorsement - which has spurred a demand by a watchdog group for Petraeus' dismissal and court martial on the grounds of establishing a religious requirement on troops - was a personal view never intended for publication, the book's author now says.

"In the process of securing--- comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable," McCoy said in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com. "This was my mistake."

In addition to Petraeus, Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling also is quoted plugging the book in press releases and advertisements and on the jacket.

McCoy, writing in response to Military.com's Aug. 18 inquiry to Petraeus' office for comment, said the two generals' endorsements "were intended for me personally rather than for the general public."

In response to follow-up questions from Military.com, McCoy said he has asked that all distribution of the book be halted until a new "graphic overlay" for the back cover is produced "so there is no further public misunderstanding."

McCoy did not respond to questions on the timing of the endorsements, and why it took so long before the officials learned their endorsement has been used in print. Petraeus' endorsement has been on the book since its 2007 publication, while Hertling's plug first appeared on the 2005 edition. Both also are quoted in newspaper ads for the book and on the book's Amazon.com Web page.

Patraeus spokesman Col. Steven Boylan said the general has been Iraq since the beginning of February 2007, "and unless someone [like Military.com] notes it, we would not be aware of it," he said in an Aug. 19 email. "We don't get the stateside papers in Baghdad and I doubt very much that Gen. Petraeus goes to Amazon.com much, if at all."

Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, believes McCoy is taking the fall for Petraeus and Hertling's improper endorsements. Weinstein said it "strains credulity" that Petraeus never knew that his private written endorsement of the book was in the public domain since last year.

Weinstein is a former Air Force judge advocate general and White House counsel during the Reagan administration. His group has been fighting in the courts to keep improper proselytizing out of the military. Now, he said, he intends to incorprate the Petraeus and Hertling endorsements into an ongoing lawsuit against the Pentagon for an alleged pervasive and permicious "pattern and practice" of religious liberties violations in the military.

"MRFF is now officially putting both Army chaplain Lt. Col. Bill McCoy and General Petraeus on notice not to destroy any of the written or electronic records of their communications about this [issue]," Weinstein said.

The chapters in McCoy's book are offered up as "Orders," he said, and one of them is titled "Believe in God."

With his plug for "Under Orders," Weinstein said in a statement to Military.com, Petraeus - one of the most widely recognized officers in the American military - is endorsing religion as something all Soldiers should have and, specifically, the Christian religion.

"General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism," Weinstein told Military.com Aug. 16.

And by endorsing a book that argues only those who believe in God can fully contribute to the military mission or unit, Weinstein contends that Petraeus insults "the integrity, character and veracity of approximately 21 percent of our armed forces members who choose not to follow any particular religious faith."

He said that even if Petraeus offered his comments personally, that's a distinction without a difference. "Privately he's denigrating 21 percent of troops," Weinstein said. Suppose he privately denigrated women, African-Americans or Jews? Weinstein asked.

"He should still be relieved of duty and court martialed," he said.

Rev. Billy Baugham, a retired Army chaplain and executive director of the International Conference of Evangelical Christian Endorsers, backs Petraeus' right to plug the book. Past generals, among them George C. Marshall and George Patton, made the case for religion in the ranks.

Marshall claimed that the Soldier's spiritual life was critical to his morale, even more than equipment, while Patton, said Baugham, had a chaplain pray for good weather for an coming battle and then submitted him for an Army Commendation Medal afterwards, when the weather turned out clear.

"So the ICECE would support what General Patreaus has done," Baugham said.

Chris Rodda, a freelance writer and researcher for the MRFF, noted in an Aug. 16 column on the Daily Kos Web site that she found much in "Under Orders" that was "pretty good." It offered sound advice and promoted a brand of Christianity that it would be good to see more often both in the military and civilian worlds, she said, and even warned against the practices used by some "para-church groups" within the military that Weinstein's group considers dangerous and unconstitutional.

But in the end, she claims, the book paints those who don't believe in God as "somehow deficient," in that they may - in McCoy's words - view their own "agenda [to be] more important than [the] unit's agenda and thus lead to unit failure."

Author McCoy, writing Aug. 11 in his blog on Amazon.com, acknowledges that the book does promote Christianity.

"No one [else] has written a book which allows for varying world views and perspectives while suggesting the Gospel might have an idea worth considering. Under Orders does just that," he wrote.

McCoy is endorsed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, according to a recent press release for his book. Now the chaplain for U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern, Germany, McCoy previously served as chaplain for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and, before then, the 10th Mountain Division, according to the release.

 


 

The Huffington Post Logo

Removal of Petraeus
Endorsement from "Spiritual Handbook" Not Enough

Thursday August 21, 2008

By: Chris Rodda

As a result of the exposure by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) of endorsements by Gen. Petraeus and Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling on the cover of Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel -- a book promoting Christianity and denigrating non-theists -- it appears that these endorsements are going to be removed from the book, and that the book's author, Army chaplain Lt. Col. William McCoy, is going to take the fall for the constitutionally impermissible conduct of the two generals. Here's what's happened in the few days since my initial post about Petraeus's endorsement of this book appeared.

On August 19, Chaplain McCoy posted the following on his Amazon.com blog, calling it a "Correction."

"The endorsements which appear on this book are solely reflective of the author's writing and not an endorsement of the content of the work. The content is solely the author's responsibility. I apologize for any misunderstanding this might have created. A corrected back cover is in the process of being designed."


And, after Bryant Jordan of Military.com contacted Gen. Petraeus's office with questions about his endorsement, Chaplain McCoy responded with the following "Statement on Endorsement," sent to both Military.com and myself:

"I am the author of 'Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel.' During its second printing, I requested recommendations from respected military leaders for whom I worked. I received comments from General Petraeus and General Hertling. In the process of securing their comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable. This was my mistake. Their comments were intended for me personally rather than for the general public.

"Under Orders is a 'handbook' to assist service members not a field manual, and it is not doctrine for Chaplains in the U.S. Military. In my book, I expressed my personal opinions and it made it clear that they were my opinions. My writing never disparages any religion or spiritual preference but seeks to encourage service members to find faith -- of any sort. I have served Soldiers of all faiths and religious dispositions for nearly 20 years and believe that military chaplains support soldiers through the principle of the 'Free Exercise of Religion.' This book is a personal work and neither General Petraeus' nor Major General Hertling's comments should be misunderstood as an endorsement of my work but rather as an enthusiasm for helping Soldiers with their lives."

Chaplain (LTC) Bill McCoy
21st Theater Sustainment Command
Deputy Command Chaplain

Nice try, Chaplain, but MRFF has no intention on letting Gen. Petraeus or Maj. Gen. Hertling off the hook that easily. MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein isn't buying the preposterously far-fetched notion that Petraeus and Hertling were somehow oblivious to the fact that their endorsements were being used to publicize and sell your book, and has issued the following response to your statement:

"Making matters inestimably worse now, and only after first being publically caught red-handed by MRFF, Petraeus literally strains credulity by claiming that he 'never knew' that his 'private' written endorsement of this evangelizing book was being seen in the public domain? Note well that there's no denying he said it; oops, just that he had no idea the public would ever find out? He actually expects us to just blindly accept that such absurd, blissful ignorance is possible when that book was written by a well known, subordinate Army officer/chaplain and heavily and regularly advertised -- for many, many months -- in the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Times? Next, Petraeus will be telling us that he just found massive WMDs all over Iraq. Let's let the judge decide. MRFF is now officially putting both Army chaplain Lt. Col. William McCoy, Maj. Gen. Hertling and Gen. Petraeus on direct notice not to destroy any of the written or electronic records of their communications about this endorsement as we fully intend to comprehensively introduce this entire sordid affair into our ongoing Federal litigation against the DoD (in Kansas City, Kansas), where MRFF is irrefutably establishing the DoD's pervasive and pernicious 'pattern and practice' of massive Constitutional religious liberties violations. Actions have consequences; completely irrespective of whether Petraeus or Hertling made dubious 'private' or intentionally public written comments. Petraeus's immediate dismissal and trial by General Courts-Martial under Article 134 is not merely warranted but demanded! Lt. Col. McCoy and Maj. Gen. Hertling deserve absolutely the same swift punishment."


The extreme punishment of Petraeus called for by Weinstein is about more than just a book endorsement. As Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq, Gen. Petraeus must be held responsible for the epidemic of constitutional and military regulation violations occurring on his watch -- from violations of military chapel regulations at the military chapels in Iraq that sport permanently affixed crosses and Christian stained glass windows to the grave security threat posed by our military personnel evangelizing Iraqi citizens in violation of General Order 1A. Endorsements of Christianity from the highest ranks of our military, whether in the form of religious speech at command functions or through a book endorsement, send an implicit message to the evangelical enthusiasts among our troops that the military will turn a blind eye to these violations.

Chaplain McCoy is also breaking that pesky no lying commandment when he claims in his statement that he received the endorsements -- umm, "comments" -- from both Petraeus and Hertling during the book's second printing. The endorsement of then Brig. Gen. Hertling appeared on the cover of original 2005 edition of the book, along with those of Chaplain (Col.) Kenneth Leinwand and an Army specialist. Petraeus's was the only new endorsement to be added during the printing referred to by McCoy. The claim that McCoy made a mistake and that these "comments were intended for [him] personally rather than for the general public" is also a bit hard to believe. Are we really to be persuaded that Maj. Gen. Hertling began a personal comment to McCoy about his work with the words "Chaplain Bill McCoy's work is inspirational---?" Wouldn't he have referred to it as "your" work if this had been the case?

Patraeus spokesman Col. Steven Boylan eventually responded to Military.com, sticking to Chaplain McCoy's claim that Petraeus didn't know that his endorsement was on the book or being used to advertise the book. Col. Boylan's flimsy excuse for Gen. Petraeus not being aware of the book's regular advertisements in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Times was, "We don't get the stateside papers in Baghdad." Col. Boylan is going to have to come up with something better than that because MRFF has confirmed that these "stateside" military newspapers are distributed to U.S. military installations worldwide -- including all U.S. military bases in Iraq.

In addition to the "correction" on his blog and his statement, Chaplain McCoy quickly made changes to his Under Orders website, removing from it the endorsements of Petraeus, Hertling, and Col. Leinwand, as well as the official U.S. Army logo, which had appeared on the site as a link to the GoArmy.com page about a career in the Army Chaplain Corps -- a page that starts with an exclusively Christian video consisting of a series of images of Christian chaplains, crucifixes, and soldiers with Bibles, ending with an image of a group of chaplains running with a Christian flag. Of course, even though the link to this official U.S. Army website has been removed from Chaplain McCoy's website, this crap is still on the official U.S. Army website he was linking to.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that this video will be scrubbed from the GoArmy.com site once this post appears, but, have no fear, clicking on the image below will take you to a copy of the video that we saved and put on the MRFF website.

Link to video

It should be noted here that the chaplains running with this flag were in violation of Army Regulation 840-10, Chapter 7, Section 5 when they did so. The flag is the Army chaplains flag, a smaller "field" version of the Army chapel flag, a full size flag authorized only for display inside Army chapels. There are only two authorized uses for the Army chaplains flag -- "to designate the time and place of religious service and in the field to indicate the chaplain's quarters or office." But, although running with this flag is a clear violation of AR 840-10, this photo appears on the GoArmy.com website not only in the video, but also as a still image at the top of the Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course page.

As for Chaplain McCoy's claim in his statement that Under Orders encourages service members to find faith "of any sort," MRFF isn't buying that either, and neither would anyone else who'd read the book. As I wrote in my previous post, this book is an unabashed promotion of Christianity. The last sentence of the book's introduction is: "Ultimately, I hope we will bring the good news to our world, not my good news, but the good news of the Gospel!" And, while throwing in the occasional assurance that he's not telling his readers what to believe, these assurances are sandwiched between Bible quotes and and a far greater number of statements about the "truth" of the Bible and superiority of Christianity. Clearly, despite Chaplain McCoy's incessant claims that he is merely encouraging soldiers to find faith "of any sort," he is very transparently pushing faith of a particular sort -- his. But, worse than this are the book's insinuations that non-theists are somehow deficient human beings, and that a soldier's lack of spirituality or religion can negatively affect their ability to be an effective team member and can cause the failure of their unit.

Also removed from the Under Orders website was the following audio file of Chaplain McCoy reading an excerpt from the introduction of his book, explaining where the "under orders" idea came from.

http://www.liarsforjesus.com/UO_Soundbite.wav

There was no need for Chaplain McCoy to remove this audio file from his website. It had nothing to do with the book's endorsements. It was just a two paragraph excerpt from the book. It wouldn't have been the four mentions of Jesus' name in these two paragraphs -- in this book about finding faith "of any sort" -- that led McCoy to remove this file, now would it?

 


 

The Christian Post Logo

Petraeus Endorsement of
Faith-Based Military Book
Draws Fire

Friday August 22, 2008

By: Eric Young

A faith-based book for military personnel has given opponents of Gen. David Petraeus more fuel for protests though the author claims to have been the one who made the mistake.

Patraeus Photo "In the process of securing comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable," Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) William McCoy wrote in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com, the nation’s largest military and veteran membership organization.
(Photo: AP Images / Maya Alleruzzo)

U.S.Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, speaks to local leaders as he visits a marketplace in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad in Iraq's volatile Diyala province on Saturday, July 26, 2008.
The author was referring to endorsements for his book, Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, by Petraeus and Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, who said the book “should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy" and called it “inspirational,” respectively.

The endorsements, McCoy explained, “were intended for me personally rather than for the general public."

Despite the author's claims, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group, is calling for an investigation.

"General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism," MRFF founder Michael Weinstein expressed in a statement to Military.com.

"MRFF is now officially putting both Army chaplain Lt. Col. Bill McCoy and General Petraeus on notice not to destroy any of the written or electronic records of their communications about this [issue]," added the former Air Force judge advocate general and White House counsel during the Reagan administration.

According to the MRFF, Petraeus’ endorsement of the book was brought to its attention when Weinstein noticed a half-page ad for the 2008 edition of the 3-year-old book in the Air Force Times. Though Weinstein was initially reading the Aug. 11 issue of the publication to probe an interview with Air Force Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson, the title of McCoy’s book caught his eye and prompted him to find out what the book was about.

“[A]nd this is what we found – a pro-Christian, anti-atheist book heartily endorsed by none other than Gen. David Petraeus, a slap in the face from the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq to the 21 percent of the men and women fighting there who define themselves as atheists or having no religious preference,” wrote Chris Rodda, a freelance writer and researcher for the MRFF, in a recent article.

Though Rodda said she “actually found much of the book to be pretty good” and that it promotes “a brand of Christianity that I wish we saw more of in both the military and civilian spheres,” she found Petraeus’ endorsement to be improper.

“And, of course, the fact that this book not only promotes a specific religion, but denigrates those service members who choose to have no religion, makes Petraeus' endorsement all the more exceptionable,” she added.

Patraeus spokesman Col. Steven Boylan, however, said the general was likely unaware of the public use of his endorsement as he has been in Iraq since the beginning of February 2007 – before the second publication of the 2005 book. Petraeus' endorsement has been on the book since its 2007 publication, while Hertling's plug first appeared on the original 2005 edition.

“[U]nless someone notes it, we would not be aware of it," Boylan wrote in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com. "We don't get the stateside papers in Baghdad and I doubt very much that Gen. Petraeus goes to Amazon.com much, if at all."

But even if Petraeus was aware of the publication of his endorsement, the Rev. Billy Baugham, a retired Army chaplain and executive director of the International Conference of Evangelical Christian Endorsers, says Petraeus has a right to plug the book.

Past generals, such as George C. Marshall and George Patton, made the case for religion in the ranks, he argued.

"So the ICECE would support what General Patreaus has done," Baugham told Military.com.

On his blog, McCoy said the blurb will be removed from future editions of the book, which is listed as a Best Seller in its category by the Army and Air Force Exchange System.

McCoy was recently awarded a “Golden Pen Award” for the book at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College for a major publication by a faculty member.

 


 

Controversy over Petraeus
blurb on chaplain's book
about Christianity

Thursday August 21, 2008

By Mike Carney

Gen. David Petraeus is under fire for the blurb a military chaplain has been using since last year to promote a book about Christianity in the military.

On the back cover of Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, the incoming Centcom commander is quoted saying that Army chaplain William McCoy's paperback "should be in every rucksack for those moments when Soldiers need spiritual energy." (The version on Amazon has been modified, but you can still see the original back cover via Barnes & Noble.)

The author now says he mistook a private message from Petraeus for a public endorsement.

"In the process of securing comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable," McCoy tells Military.com. "This was my mistake."

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group, is calling for an investigation.

"General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism," Michael Weinstein, the group's founder, says.

McCoy says on his blog that the blurb will removed from future editions of the book.

 


 

Petraeus draws criticism for
saying Christian book
‘should be in every rucksack.’

Wednesday August 20, 2008

Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq who will soon take control of Central Command, has found himself embroiled in the “ongoing conflict over religious proselytizing in the U.S. military.” Petraeus’ published endorsement of an Army Chaplain’s Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, in which he says “it should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy,” has led a watchdog group to call for Petraeus’ dismissal and court martial. The book’s author now claims that the endorsement wasn’t meant to be published:

But the endorsement - which has spurred a demand by a watchdog group for Petraeus’ dismissal and court martial on the grounds of establishing a religious requirement on troops - was a personal view never intended for publication, the book’s author now says.

“In the process of securing--- comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable,” McCoy said in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com. “This was my mistake.”

Mikey Weinstein, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says that it “strains credulity” that Petraeus didn’t know his private written endorsement of the book had been public since last year. But Petraeus’ spokesman Col. Steven Boylan says Petraeus was unaware because he has been in Iraq since February 2007.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW RIVETING
READER COMMENTS
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MRFF's Inbox

 

August 21, 2008

Dear MRFF,

I am amazed that your little coterie of word mechanics and legal parasites remain consumed with your hatred of practicing Christians in the military.

Your trite argument is always hung up on the same stump of what you call "Christian Dominionism"; by definition a supreme authority. Let me therefore introduce you to a bit of Supreme Authority, that regardless of your word games, none can escape at the final judgment, which I suspect is the very issue that drives you 'free thinkers' nuts:

Since you so loosely refer to codes, articles, and clauses authored by men, let me introduce you to a bit of "Exclusivity" authored by Jesus Christ himself (Heb 5:9). You and the MRFF predicate your argument, mistakenly, on our wonderful 'Constitution' of a few hundred years; I base mine on the New Testament which has stood for thousands of years:

John 14:6 "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me."

John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

Peter makes a good summation:

Acts 4:12 ""Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved."

The foundational argument is not who receives eternal life but rather where one gets to spend it.

It is my considered positioned that men like Gen.'s Richardson and Petraeus should be lauded for their concern for their men and women's physical safety and spiritual security.

Having rendered my thoughts, I suggest you MRFF warriors go fight the real enemy* and leave men like Richardson and Petraeus alone.

I sincerely hope that one day you overcome the effects of Romans 11:8 and II Thessalonians 2:11 and take advantage of the fact that whether or not you accept it, Christ has already died in your stead and paid the price for your sin.

[name withheld]
USN (Ret) (a citizen of the dominion you jostle, for over 51 years)

*The real enemy: the ones with their heads wrapped in towels, the ones who send their children and mentally handicapped women out wrapped in bombs; the ones rightfully called Terrorists! They, every single one, are readily discerned by their practice of "Dominionism"..it is called radical Islam!

MRFF Responds:

Hi [name withheld],

Nice to see you posting again. But that's why I have kept you on the mailing list, in hopes you would become active again.

Thanks for the sermon but although your points work very well for followers of your particular beliefs, they fall far short of satisfying the views of others.

Jesus is not universally worshipped but rather only one of many deities created by man to satisfy a number of needs, including the need for world
dominance. Just as a number of other figures who started out as men and were later deified, Jesus, a Jew, was transmogrified into Jesus, the Christian, ostensibly post-mortem. Man has a bad habit of creating Gods in his own image.

To assume your beliefs are the only valid ones is the crux of the problem and is why religious strife exists and, by the way, why MRFF exists. The exclusivity of each religion's doctrines assures divisiveness and the unending attempts to achieve dominance. You, [withheld], are a Christian Supremacist. You believe that Christianity should rule America and the world as it rules you. Stamping your foot and declaring loudly, and often aggressively, that Jesus is the true God constitutes the foundation of that supremacy and what Gen. Petraeus and other commanders are doing perpetuates it.

This strife will continue in the form of Jihad or Holy War, as long as each religion remains exclusive, inflexible and rigid. By degree, Christianity is no different than Islam. Christians share many of the exclusive beliefs of Islam. Islam has Jihad Christians have Crusades. The difference is that our constitution has prevented Christianity from going quite as berserk as Islam.

Extremism is exclusionary and deals harshly with those who not comply with the extremists beliefs. The word "rabid" applies here as well, in that there is a pathology to extremism. Faith is a legitimate undertaking but when faith turns toxic as it has in Dominion Christianity, Islam and even some sects of Judaism, then the mental processes become tainted.

Dominionism is not exclusive to Christianity but since Christianity and not Islam is our main domestic problem in America, we of the MRFF address it first. Were we in Iran or Pakistan we would be performing the same guardianship in regard to Islam.

One day, we will most certainly all perish in some religious conflict not of a god's making but of our own. Extremism, whether Christian, Muslim or other, will be the world ending factor.

There is one hope, however, that the religious extremist will one day lay down his sword and say "who gives a fat rat's ass how or by who's hand we get to heaven?" "I'm tired of killing, especially for a god I can't even see.""Let's get a meeting with the other religions going "Because what if they have the one true god?" "Wouldn't that increase our odds?"

So, I say it's time to loosen up, stop being such a fanatic, and rejoin the entire human race in brotherhood and fellowship. Otherwise as Christianity becomes even more like a Crips or Blood gang reunion, you will be forever trapped like a fly in amber. Now this won't be easy, because then you'll become like me. You see, I love everybody, some a bit more, but I also have to fear them until they let go of their exclusivity.

And I fear you, [name withheld], because I feel that at this juncture in your belief that if called on my your god or someone like him, you would violate our constitution, and abrogate your oath to uphold it. I think you are capable of doing harm to those who do not subscribe to your beliefs.

How many must die in the name of a peaceful god?

I hope you and your family are well. Anchor's Aweigh!

Richard Baker
President
Colorado Springs Chapter
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

 


August 19, 2008

From: [name, rank and installation withheld]

Subject: 2008 Presidential elections -
a short reflection and prayer


76 days, 16 hours and 46 minutes left until election day.

God’s Desire for Righteousness

Reflection:
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
--Psalm 33:5

Prayer:
Holy Lord God, all the earth is filled with Your glory and beauty, and your majesty fills the heavens. You declare Your desire for Your people to long for righteousness. So as we approach election day in our great nation, may our fellow Americans earnestly desire righteousness and a determination to seek You for guidance as we cast our vot. May we hunger to do good in Your eyes, to honor Your ways and to obey You in all things, particularly as we consider those for whom we will vote this fall. In Your Name we pray, amen.


Response:

Subject: RE: 2008 Presidential elections - a short reflection and prayer

I certainly don’t need a prayer for the upcoming election.

Thanks anyways.

//SIGNED//

[name and installation withheld]

 


 

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