Celebrating Good Friday, Mikey Weinstein? (with responses)

Hi, I have read about your attacks on Christian Chaplains and Christianity in general, and would just like to ask if this is how Mikey Weinstein celebrates Good Friday (The Crucifixion of Christ)? Just like in the old days about 33 AD.

Let’s Not Just Email One Another The Latest News, Let’s Act On It And Contact Friend And Foe With Our Support And Criticisms – Always In Prayer

(name withheld)

A response from MRFF Advisory Board member Mike Farrell

Hi (withheld),

What is it about some supposed Christians that makes them unable to understand the simple difference between a wish to honor the U.S. Constitution’s commitment to a separation of church and state and an “attack on Christians and Christianity in general”?  The defensiveness exhibited by you and others seems to suggest not only a lack of understanding, but in an odd way a lack of faith.

Always in prayer.

Mike Farrell

 The two following responses are from family friends of Mr. Mikey Weinstein

Mr. (withheld),
Your email to Mikey reminded me of a very special Good Friday he spent with my family a few years ago.  Every year, our family makes our annual Good Friday pilgrimage in northern NM to pray and acknowledge the death of Jesus Christ and the role he plays in our faith. That year, Mikey walked with us, wearing a baseball cap that read “Shalom”

As Catholics, we are accustomed to non-Catholic Christians setting up tables along the way and passing out materials.  Some are very respectful and offer food, drinks and bathrooms to the pilgrims.  On their tables outside they will have literature that talks about their Christian faith and invite folks to their church.  Others stand and pass out materials to the people that are walking, sometimes being respectful when we are walking in silence and prayer, other times trying to hand us pamphlets.  My response has always been to kindly smile and say “no thank you” and go on my way.

Because we are raising our children in our Catholic faith, they also walk with us.  Because it is a safe road, and we walk at different paces, we will split off and finish at different times, always reconvening at the church and finding our way back to one another.

This particular year, a young woman was at the side of the road near a small camper and was passing out miniature paper books that had a the familiar yellow smiley face on the front. It’s similar to a book one would get in a Cracker Jack box.  Once opened, it proceeded to talk about their Christian faith, clearly evangelical in nature.  I passed her and acknowledged her respectfully as I do all others with her similar mission.

As our family gathered at the end and began working our way back to the truck, my 13 year old daughter, niece and their friend began telling us about this young woman who pulled them into her spot in front of her camper and invited them to sit down in the folding chairs and began proselytizing to them.  My daughter tried to tell the other two girls that they needed to go, but they felt unsure as to how to disengage themselves from this woman.

Needless to say, as mothers, this enraged my sister and I, and on the road back down, we confronted this young woman and gave her a piece of our mind.  After years of being civil and kind, I asked her what she was doing here, clearly out of place with her bonnet and non-Catholic presence, talking to children without their parent’s permission. I told her we have a faith and were acting on our faith, and wondered what she was doing attempting to convert us.  Of course, she was too young and overwhelmed to respond to any of our questions, and the older person that was part of her conversion effort was not around.

Later, I called a local reporter and shared my experience.  She wrote a long piece in the Albuquerque Tribune, and was able to track down the main person of this church, located somewhere in Tennesee.  She asked the question of  why they would come to northern NM and attempt to convert Christian people with their form of Christianity.  This preacher’s response was something akin to: “If you saw someone walking across a burning bridge, wouldn’t you try to stop them?”

I’m aware that this schism has been here since the beginning of time and will continue until mankind no longer exists.  I’m aware that blood will continue to be shed  and lives will be lost over religious differences, even between groups that pray to the same God.  I can only continue to do what I believe are part of my faithful convictions and be the best Catholic, Christian, human being I think God wants me to be.

I am grateful to live in a country where this is possible, and that it includes the choice of believing in no God at all. My faith will continue to be strengthened by people of all faiths, that live their lives in ways that I respect and attempt to emulate. including Mikey, Bonnie and their children.

Have a blessed Holy Week Mr (withheld),

(name withheld)

Hello Mr. withheld,
My sister forwarded me this comment that you sent to Mr. Weinstein:
“Subject: Celebrating Good Friday – Mikey Weinstein?
Hi, I have read about your attacks on Christian Chaplains and Christianity in general, and would just like to ask if this is how Mikey Weinstein celebrates Good Friday (The Crucifixion of Christ)? Just like in the old days about 33 AD”

I am a practicing Christian who has met Mr. Weinstein, and my experience it that he is a decent man whose behavior is just and kind and who only seeks the end of persecution in our government funded programs of those that do not practice the Christian faith.
I wanted to ask you a simple question?  What would Jesus do?  Would he have taken the time to taunt someone who does not share his faith tradition?  Is that how he would have spent holy week?
Please do not act in the name of Christ or Christianity if those actions are out of character and against the basic nature of the man you say you emulate.  It gives all Christians a bad name.

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  1. Teuchtar

    I have a feeling that this putz attacking Mikey and MRFF is one of those ‘Christians’ who blames Jews for the death of one Yeshua Bar Yusuf, rebbe and politician – an attitude which even the pope decries, and for which JP II apologised to the Jewish people over twenty years ago. I am neither Jewish nor Xtian; when asked, I tell people I am an ‘orthodox Twainian,’ one who holds values from many philosophies. It is a sad commentary on religion and education in this country that people believe this claptrap, and cannot differentiate between an ‘attack’ and the defense of religious FREEDOM. ‘Freedom of religion’ means that no one dogma is allowed preference over any other, and ‘separation of church and state’ means exactly that – NO religious indoctrination or compulsory attendance to any service, prayer meeting, or sectarian event in any public institution – particularly the military!

  2. Byron Alsup

    Hi, I would like to make a comment, respectfully, to the parent of the teenager who was proselytized to in New Mexico. I agree with your point entirely, yet I think you need to see it in a different light. Your church, as well as the one I grew up in, has gone around the world for centuries proselytizing to people with different belief systems, without apology. I sincerely doubt that a Catholic priest or other Christian missionary routinely asks permission of African parents before trying to convert their children to a belief system that is strange and foreign to them. The fact that they are not Christians does not mean they don’t have a set of beliefs, nor make them any fairer game for this than one type of Christian trying to convert another. Respectfully, B. Alsup

  3. As a non-Christian, non-monotheist, I simply have to wonder whether the person who seems to think a Jew should observe a Christian holiday, ever so observes holy days of OTHER faiths? We could ask how that person observes the Passover, for instance? We could ask if they fast during Ramadan. Wiccans might ask if they celebrate the esbats and sabbats.

    Such a lot of intolerant clap-trap, such a lot of exceptionalism (narcissism made large) and entitlement. Not so much like the Christ I read about extensively; but like Gandhi? I liked Christ, but his followers? Not so much….because of those like the letter writer at the head of this column of comments.

  4. I prayed for the perfidious jews like the Christians of old. Not that you be relieved of your blindness, but that you would burn cleanly so as not to poison the air in one last hurrah of atmospheric pollution.

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