fools and cowards

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

I wonder what kind of combat you ever saw Mickey? You see, it’s easy to mock the true God of the universe when you’ve never been truly faced with your eternal destination. You think you’re a tough guy Mickey? You’re going to shake your finger in the face of Jehovah?
What a fool you are!
I say this in love Mickey….repent….and surrender to Jesus Christ. He’s waiting to be your Lord, and Shepherd, and Savior. He’s waiting with His loving arms stretched out. “Come, Mickey. I will give you peace and rest that passes all understanding!”
Jesus loves you with a perfect love, won’t you reach out and touch His hand today?
It’s never to late to turn from the devil!

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Thanks for your letter and (if applicable) your service to the country. (I am assuming from the tenor of your communication that you were in the service and saw combat.) I assist the MRFF as an occasional volunteer correspondent. As I am a retired Marine with extensive close personal ground combat experience, Mr. Weinstein (who is an Honor Graduate of the USAF Academy) thought it would be appropriate if I responded to your expressed concerns.

First, please allow me to correct your form of address. Mr. Weinstein’s nick-name is “Mikey” not “Mickey.” He was dubbed “Mikey” in his youth, stemming from a popular cereal ad running on TV which featured the phrase; “Mikey likes it!”

I would like to give you some personal background, and some information on the MRFF to clear up your multiple misconceptions.

My family has a long history of US service, which includes 5 generations of Marines, as well as the other branches. My paternal thrice-great grandfather fought in the Revolution and others of our name saw service in the War of 1812. My paternal great-grandfather fought in the Civil War in the 66th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (my paternal grandmother’s family were on the other side). Members of our family also served in WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf I, as well as many smaller conflicts.

My own service, as mentioned, included close personal ground combat in several of the major operations in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, including Operation Scotland (Khe Sanh), before, during, and after the Tet 1968 assault and the Siege, and in the Hue-Phu Bai area both before and after Tet 1968.

I also served in various line infantry units (2/2 and 3/9), and in 1st and 3rd Reconnaissance Bn., in capacities through platoon commander, as well as non-combat service at MARDET CINCLNTFLT, with responsibilities for the security of the command which included (in addition to CINCLNT) FMFLNT, SACLNT, SUBLNT, NATO, and the Nuclear Warfare School.

I later lost a limb which unfortunately ended my active career, but I subsequently went on to teach in the USMC Jr. ROTC program for several years, before using my GI Bill to attain a BA in history, and later a Master’s degree in Education, after which I taught K-12 and Adult education at a number of levels in public and private schools, including at-risk inner city, the Neglected and Abused home, and Juvenile Hall, and later, incarcerated adults in medium and high-security jails.

My story is not unusual. Most of the MRFF clients and volunteers are veterans, often from multi-generational service families, and include active, reserve, and retired, from all branches of the US Armed Forces, holding ranks from enlisted through flag officer, with MOSs in all fields, including combat arms, representing eras from WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, on through Gulf I, and the present GWOT.

Many MRFF clients, staff, and supporters also have combat experience, and hold numerous awards and decorations, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star w/ V, and Silver Star, as well as Army, Navy, and AF Crosses, and one Medal of Honor.

I think you’d agree that winning decorations of that nature involves serious combat.

Mr. Weinstein is also a veteran, being an Honor Graduate of the USAF Academy, and served for 10 years a JAG officer, including service in the Reagan White House as a Special Counsel. His family has over three generations of service that include distinguished service academy graduates, and members of the US Armed Forces. His nephew is a GYSGT in the USMC in a Combat Arms MOS, recently returned from another tour in the Sand Box. He is also a member of and supporter of the MRFF.

I think you might also agree that we are all familiar with the military services.

We are also very familiar with the Constitution, which is the focus of our mission. The MRFF supports the Constitutionally and legally mandated requirement that there will be no established religion (i.e. no official state religion), and no religious test for office, as clearly intended by the Founders both in their words and documents, and as supported by subsequent decisions of US courts through the Supreme Court.

“. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article VI, Section III)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ” (1st Amendment)

The MRFF is committed to ensuring that this boundary between church and state is maintained, and that the Constitutional rights to freedom of conscience for all Americans (particularly our servicemen and women) are not violated, and that they are not subjected to unwanted proselytization by any religious group whatsoever.

MRFF’s Position on Faith

Neither Mr. Weinstein nor the MRFF are “for” or “against” Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or any other religion. On the contrary, as the name implies, the MRFF supports religious freedom and pluralism for service personnel of all faiths (or none), in accordance with the US Constitution and public law. Our founder, members, and supporters include peop le of many different faiths and belief systems, as well as free-thinkers and skeptics.

Mr. Weinstein, the founder of the MRFF, is of Jewish heritage, and his family circle of blended faiths includes observant Christians.

The MRFF staff is approximately 75% Christian (mainly Protestant, followed by Catholics), 15% Jewish, and 10% other.

While we have people of faith among us, we are (like the US itself) strictly secular in nature, and we defend all US service personnel against violations of their Constitutional rights to freedom of conscience.

Who the MRFF Represents, and Why

All MRFF cases are filed because of complaints brought by active duty or reserve service personnel.

96% of the well over 30,000 MRFF cases are brought on behalf of professing Christians, (mainly Protestants), followed by Catholics (including Roman and Eastern Orthodox).

The 4% balance of cases includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as Pagans, a few atheists, agnostics, and other free-thinkers.

The great preponderance of our cases involve abuses of authority and violations of the Constitutional guarantees of freedom of conscience by a specific sub-set of aggressive radicals who style themselves “Christians” and who are becoming increasingly entrenched and powerful in the military in all braches and MOSs at ranks up to and including flag officer ranks. They are known by a number of names, but we use the generic term of one of the main branches (“Dominionists”) for convenience. I attach some specifics re: Dominionism below.

I hope that this information will help you to better understand the nature of the MRFF and the nature of the struggle we are waging against a large and growing enemy with deep pockets and strong political and economic backing, and who constitute a far greater and more ur gent threat to the Republic than a handful of rag-tag radical Islamic fundamentalists either here or elsewhere.

Regarding your no-doubt well-meant invitation to become a Christian; while Mr. Weinstein respects your own religious beliefs (indeed, that is what the MRFF is all about), his personal faith heritage is Jewish (although his family is of blended faiths, including evangelical Christians), and he sees no need to convert to what is, in essence, a “spin-off” of his faith, and doesn’t feel that following his Jewish faith heritage constitutes following “the devil” as you seem to suggest in your E.

In addition, while the other MRFF staff, clients, and volunteers appreciate it as well, most of them (96% as pointed out above) are already Christians of various denominations. The small remaining number of various other faiths, and the free-thinkers, also appreciate your kindly-meant invitation, but feel no need to change their beliefs either. If they do, we have ordained chaplains and civilian ministers among our number who can offer them instruction.

Regarding your suggestion that being in combat will generate faith induced by fear of death; I beg to differ. While that is certainly true of some people, it is not the case with all. In fact, I would suggest that your absurdly incorrect subject statement about Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF being “fools and cowards” (which I hope I have disabused you of) actually might be better applied to those who feel the need for magical intervention. Let me give you some examples.

My father was raised an evangelical Christian. He later became a Marine, and was involved in some of the fiercest fighting in the South Pacific in WW II. When he returned, he was an atheist.

I was raised a Catholic (my mother’s religion), but have been an agnostic (leaning towards atheism) most of my life, including before, during, and after my combat service in Vietnam.
I never felt the need to call on an invisible entity that I didn’t actually believe in no matter how intense the fighting. (And I assure you, it was often very intense.) Indeed, I viewed those who had expressed no religious belief before, but “converted” under the stress of combat to be “flip-floppers” – and had even less respect for those who went back to their old ways after the shooting stopped. (Though I did respect those who found faith and kept it.)

The only reason I am not an atheist outright is because the atheist case is no more provable than that of theists, such as yourself, and since one cannot prove or disprove issues involving metaphysics using logic, reason, and science, I prefer not to waste my time in endless and pointless debates. Besides, like most MRFF supporters, I subscribe to the Constitutional right to freedom of religion – which includes the freedom of not following any religion.

However, I personally agree in essence with Thomas Paine, the chief propagandist of the Revolution, whose “Common Sense” (1776) was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Writing in “The Age of reason” he stated;

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

The difference between me and Mr. Paine is that I think that most non-national churches are also a human invention, and out for the same purposes.

I attach some material regarding the matter of atheism in combat below. You will find it just beneath the Dominionist material.

Again, thanks for writing the MRFF with your concerns.

I remain, sir,

Semper Fidelis,

F. J. Taylor
USMC (Ret.)

Dominion Theology — A Serious and Growing Threat to the Nation

The MRFF began in 2005 when Mr. Weinstein, an Honor Graduate of the USAF Academy and highly successful top-rank business attorney (then working for H. Ross Perot), learned from his son (then at the Academy) that there was a great deal of religion-based physical, verbal, and emotional harassment directed not just at his son, but at all cadets who were not Christian — or even just “not Christian enough” or of the “right kind.” For Jews and others non-Christians, things are even worse. The Jews get the usual “Jesus-killer” and ethnic slurs, and non-Christians who don’t wish to convert get even worse.

Having experienced such abuse himself at the Academy while a cadet (including a brutal beating from ambush), Mr. Weinstein was very concerned that such egregious violations of the Constitutional right to freedom of conscience, which he had supposed eradicated in the modern military, were still on-going — and what is more, that they were even worse than in his own time.

Initially, he thought that with his service background and his own strong connections that things could be set to rights with a few calls and visits. However, he was astonished to find that not even a man with his connections had enough clout to right the situation, and that indeed, it was far bigger, and far more wide-spread, than he had anticipated.

Instead of a few isolated religious fanatics acting as loose cannons, he found a network that spread wide and deep throughout the USAF and indeed the entire armed forces, in positions of great power and trust from enlisted and NCO through flag officer ranks. Sadly, even flag officer were (and remain) afraid to confront these people!

As he probed deeper into the mire, he found that this was part of long-running, well-financed, and well-organized group of zealots who follow an extremely radical theology.

In violation of the Constitution, public law, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Dominionists (a radical and militant subset of evangelical Christianity) aggressively seek converts. Failing persuasion, they harass, bully, and attempt to intimidate under color of authority service members under their command or control, in order to attempt to proselytize even service members who have expressed their unwillingness.

When in command positions, they use tactics ranging from denying good assignments and promotions to those they don’t consider Christian or “Christian enough” to giving poor performance reviews, and difficult, dirty, and dangerous tasks – including potentially deadly tasks in combat. (One of our clients was assigned as “permanent point” in a combat unit!)

They have advocated in both words and writing the overthrow of the Republic and Constitution (by ballot if possible, but by bullet if necessary), and replacing them with an Old Testament style theocracy, complete with “Biblical” Sharia-like laws, complete with public executions by stoning, sword, or other “Biblical” methods, with mandatory attendance and participation by the whole community – including children.

Anyone not considered not “Christian enough” by these people if they gain power will be forced to either convert to or accept their warped version of Christianity – or die. They have been correctly described as “American Taliban.”

Some people might consider this some sort of tin-hat conspiracy theory, or that they are just far-right fringe loonies without a hope of achieving power, but these people have been operating “under the radar” for over 50 years, and are now firmly entrenched in every branch and MOS of our armed forces and government, at every level – and are getting bolder by the day.

Let’s examine the words of the individuals who founded the movement, such as the late Rousas John Rushdoony who wrote that they intend to “…lead them (non-believers) to Jesus – in chains, if necessary.”

Rushdoony also wrote that democracy is “heresy” and that Christians must remember that “a monarchy (referring to “God’s kingdom on earth”) is not a democracy.” and “Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.”

Rushdoony listed eighteen capital “crimes” including blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, incorrigible delinquency, homosexuality, promiscuity or unchastity before marriage, wearing a red dress (for women – though one must suppose these people would apply it to men too), and failure to keep a kosher kitchen.

Punishment for non-capital crimes would include whipping and indentured servitude or slavery (including for debt), and prisons would become temporary holding tanks while prisoners awaited sentencing. Women and children would again become chattel property of men.

Rushdoony and other Dominionists have been aptly described elsewhere as “the American Taliban” as noted above. This is true in more ways than just their morbid interest in cruel and unusual punishment. They are extremely retrogressive socially and politically, and share many more beliefs in common with the Islamic fundamentalists than they do with the average American.

Perhaps one reason they hate the Islamist fascists is that they have so much in common with them — battles between kindred are always the worst. One can only hope that they never recognize their true kinship, lest they join forces in a truly unholy alliance.

Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation also helped establish The Rutherford Institute, a legal organization to promote their agenda through the very courts they plan to supersede once in power, so although Rushdoony died, his organization and legacy of theocracy lives on.

Gary North, Rushdoony’s son-in-law, espouses (publicly) a slightly less draconian version, stating, “I don’t want to kill homosexuals–I would be happy just driving them back into the closet.” However, he also espouses stoning for blasphemers and those who curse their parents, and has stated that public stoning of “malefactors” would be “a great way to bring communities together.”

Among the worst offenders among the accrediting agencies supplying chaplains to the services is the Council of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC) founded and run by retired Army COL “Jim” Ammerman. CFGC, COL Ammerman and their cohorts have, contrary to the Constitution, DoD at nd other federal roes and regulations, and the rules and regulations governing the Chaplain Corps, have denigrated Judaism and Catholicism, as well as mainstream Protestant churches.

A stunning example of their theology is the statement of CFGC-accredited US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell ” that should be “stomped out.”

The Council of Full Gospel Churches (Linzey’s accrediting agency) not only didn’t pull his accreditation, but supported this egregious violation of his mission and orders as a military chaplain, and of his oath as an officer. (Of course, Ammerman is as bad or worse.)

COL Ammerman and MAJ Linzey have also spread conspiracy theories about “Satanic forces” in the U.S. government for years aiding a military takeover aided by unnamed “foreign” (presumably UN) troops.

In 2008, COL Ammerman said that four presidential candidates (US Senators Obama, Clinton, Biden and Dodd) should be hanged for treason – for not voting to designate English as America’s official language. He also stated that President Obama would be assassinated as a “secret Muslim.” (In the late 1990s, he had also called for the execution of then-president Clinton for treason.)

CFGC and its chaplains have repeatedly and egregiously violated the Constitution and the laws and regulations regarding chaplaincies, including those on interfaith cooperation, bans on membership in organizations with religious or racial supremacist principles, especially those espousing violence, and that active military personnel cannot make disloyal or contemptuous statements about officials. Yet these chaplains and their accrediting agency have (for the most part) not only not been disciplined, but have been promoted!

This problem, as stated, is very wide-spread and deeply entrenched, not only in the military but in many areas of government and indeed, other nations.

These people are very clever, subtle, well-organized, and well-funded. They are gaining ground in many areas – including the military and the Service Academies.

These people are the main opponents of the MRFF, and regular violators of the very Constitution which guarantees them freedom of religion and pluralism, which they call upon to defend themselves as they attack and undermine the very principles which allow them to exist and operate.

While we accept their right to believe as they please, within the framework of the Constitution and public law, we balk at allowing them to proselytize unwilling service personnel under their command “under color of authority” and to undermine and work to destroy the Constitution that many of our members (most of whom are former or serving members of the US Armed Forces), swore to “uphold and defend.”

The Dominionists and their allied sects are committing egregious assaults on the Constitution and on the rights of servicemen and women daily. We expose to the clear light of day their violations, as well as those of any other individuals or groups who attempt the same. Unfortunately, this group constitutes the bulk of the complaints we receive.

Mr. Weinstein determined that this movement, far from being a few relatively harmless religious lunatics, had developed into a highly dangerous and credible threat to the Constitution and to the Republic itself. He determined that there was no way he could stand aside and let them continue their rise to power. He left his employment, and founded MRFF, using all his own money and mortgaging his possessions, borrowing from friends, family and anyone he could convince of the need to battle this threat. He quite literally has wagered his “life, fortune, and sacred honor” to defend the Constitution he swore (like all of us who have served) to “uphold and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That is why he (and we) belong, and do what we do. In return, we are demonized, vilified, and daily threatened with death and violence to ourselves and our families.

FYI, some Online sources of information on Dominionism:

http://www.mainstreambaptists.org/mob4/dominionism.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_Theology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christofascism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousas_John_Rushdoony

http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Dominionism

http://www.publiceye.org/christian_right/cr_intro.html#dominion

http://www.theocracywatch.org/dominionism.htm

http://www.jewsonfirst.org/dominionism.html

http://www.rwor.org/a/033/dominionism-be-very-afraid.htm

Pat Robertson’s “The Secret Kingdom” outlines his own plans for a theocracy.

“No Atheists in Foxholes?”

Speaking only for myself, and some others I know, I never prayed to any god when in combat, even when I was in grave personal danger.

IMO, praying when one is in trouble, but not when things are OK is rather hypocritical. (I am not accusing here – just speaking from my own POV.)

I have been going around with the Marine Museum at San Diego on this very issue. They posted an exhibit on the chaplains and on religion in the military. That part is fine with me, but they entitled the exhibit “No Atheists in Foxholes.” I was notified of this by another Marine I know, a former officer, who was a Mormon, but who is now an atheist. He was pissed. So was I., so I wrote them to protest the use of that phrase, which I knew was not true. (At least in my case and that of several others I know.) They sent me back a polite “F**k you very much”-gram, so I have initiated action against them on the issue.

While researching it, I spoke to LCDR Ray Stubbe, USN (Ret.), who was chaplain of the 26th Marines at Khe Sanh, and noted co-author of the most authoritative history of the battles for Khe Sanh “Valley of Decision.”

Ray is a long-time friend who remembers me from KS, and he informed me that not only was that statement untrue in his personal experience, but that he had made a statement to the news to that effect at the time of the Siege. He sent me a copy of the newspaper clippings of the statement. He reiterated that he stands by his statement, based on his extensive personal combat experience with wounded and dying Marines and other service personnel. I quote from the relevant parts of his letter dated 21 Nov. 2010 and attach his clippings in a PDF (below):

Your mention of “atheists in foxholes” evoked some memories, as I mentioned to you, and I’m attaching the documentation I mentioned along with a letter received in regard to the news item from Mr. John W. Webster. I think you’ll find this to be interesting. I’ve always tried to be completely honest about things, as you know. We have to be focused on telling the truth!

CPT John Roberts, USMC (Ret.), was and remains a devout Christian evangelical, and a deacon in his church. In 1967 and 1968, he was a Navy Hospital Corpsman, assigned to our unit (O-2) at Khe Sanh. He was later with us on the lines of FOB 3 outside KSCB when our company was removed there following the assaults on the District HQ and CAP Oscar-1 and 2 in Khe Sanh ville during the initial assaults of the Tet Offensive of 1968. Doc later was commissioned in the Marines. As a combat Corpsman, he was personally exposed on numerous occasions to enemy fire, and cared for casualties. In an E-mail dated Nov. 21 2010, he wrote:

The old saying is that there are no “atheist in foxholes” is certainly not a true statement. Some of the Marines I could not save from their injuries did not want me to pray with them. Some died quietly and others went out fighting for every breath and cursing. Most resigned themselves to their fate. Most of the time, when I asked if I could pray for them, they said “Please.”

I personally know several other men who were atheists who were awarded the Silver Star and Navy Cross, and other personal combat awards. In fact, some became atheists as a result of their combat experience. (My dad was one.)

One well-known soldier who died an atheist was the late CPL Pat Tillman. Though not a Marine, and not killed by enemy action, I think his actions in leaving a high-paid career in professional football and enlisting to serve his nation in combat were the mark of a highly principled individual.

Of course, I am aware that others got religion in combat. In fact, one of our Oscar Company men was converted shortly before his death in an ambush on Hill 689, several other Khe Sanh vets later became ministers – but that is not the point under discussion. It has never (to my knowledge) been said or implied that there were “no theists” or “no Christians in foxholes” – a statement which would be as untrue as the one I am disputing.

I did some research, and found that those who are usually credited with the creation of the phrase did not in fact claim or acknowledge it.

The three candidates from WW II were: Fr. William Cummings, a Catholic priest who served as a Transport chaplain, Lt. Col. Warren Clear, and an unnamed Army sergeant, all of whom were in Bataan in April of 1942. However, neither Fr. Cummings nor LCOL Clear claimed to be the author of this, and indeed, denied it. (The sergeant’s claim is as unknown as he is.)

Some newspapers published at the end of WW I stated that an “unnamed clergyman” had (supposedly) remarked that during the Great War one could find no atheists in the trenches.

As a young man, I personally knew men who were in the trenches during that particularly ghastly war on both sides (one was a German soldier), and several were atheists. Some had gone into the war as true believers – both in god and the righteousness of the cause. They emerged from the other end of the meat-grinder with quite a different set of beliefs.

Possibly someone at Bataan or elsewhere was influenced by these earlier remarks. If anyone said that, they either weren’t in the trenches (where there most certainly were some atheists, as is plain from their writing both during and after their time in combat) – or they were just lying – a trait not unknown among some people who loudly profess faith.

Nobody can identify the speaker or speakers in either WW I or WW II with any degree of certainty or accuracy, or their rank, clerical status, or military affiliation (if any), let alone their combat experience (if any).

The most anybody can say about this remark with any degree of accuracy is that someone (who may or may not have even been in the military, or had combat experience) may have made this or a similar statement in WW I and / or WW II.

In addition to LCDR Stubbe’s and CPT Roberts’ remarks (above), at least one WW II chaplain stated clearly that there WERE atheists in foxholes, and indeed, they were rampant. Here is a reprint from Time, dated July 18, 1945, found in the Time archives on the Net:

Religion: Atheists & Foxholes
Monday, Jun. 18, 1945

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,775935,00.html

Despite pious rumor, there are atheists in foxholes. So writes Transport Chaplain Lewis A. Myers in the current Arkansas Baptist: “Foxholes are not valid agents for making Christians, for destroying atheists or for driving men to God. … If you desire a man to come out of a foxhole with something, you had better send him in with something.

“In load after load of returning soldiers … we find 80% of them listen to the gospel with more scepticism than . . . ever … stay away from religious services . . . with less scruples . . . curse more and with a finesse unbelievable . . . gamble with more avidity and defend it with more vigor . . and find it difficult to hold an extended conversation without defaming womankind, even though unintentionally.”

Chaplain Myers believes that his plain speaking should act as a challenge to churchmen: “There is no need for our churches to fear the truth. Frankness in this matter is not against the war effort, and it isn’t expected of churches that they should surrender their idealism. We should understand now, before the great discharge of soldiers begins, that foxholes are not now and never will do the work of our Christian institutions.”

So yes, there are atheists (and agnostics) in foxholes — I was one of them.


Well F.J. Taylor, I’d probably have enjoyed serving beside you! I don’t agree with everything you say, but you have earned my respect.
What stirred me to writing you originally was negative press from your organization concerning the Christian faith. I too have a long history of service in my family. Faith has always been there, and especially in the foxhole. We never pushed our faith, it was always been a private matter. But there were times when others would ask questions and seek that same peace and comfort that they would see in my family’s lives. And at those moments silence, in the name of political correctness, would have been the worst of options.> That’s not pushing an agenda, but rather opening a dialog between close friends.
I was angry when I first wrote you and I hope you will forgive me for that. It’s clear that you are well educated and very versed on your subject matter. I commend you for that. Being soldiers, I think we can agree that giving up real estate that’s been bought and paid for with the blood of patriots, leaves a bad taste.
Our nation’s moral fabric is unraveling. And it will in my opinion be the undoing of our military.
You seem to take pride in your ability to stand strong, alone, in the midst of war. Just you and the enemy. That’s it. You are a brave man, but, I cannot help but feel sorry for you my friend. For at such times you must surely have felt very alone. How anyone could walk that road without the 23rd Psalm is beyond my comprehension.
And perhaps that makes you stronger than I, and in that sense, you win. But my God has never, and will never fail me, nor will I turn my back on Him when others ask where my strength resides. It is in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. And with that fact, I fear no enemy, physical or spiritual!
Thanks for your timely and well thought out response, and do forgive me for my original outburst. Warriors are cut out of very similar materials! Best wishes….and God’s blessing to you! ( And I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way!)
We’ve put the gloves on, and just maybe, that’s the best way to knock some sense into one another!
Your friend, and a guy who would have your back regardless of what!
(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Please feel free to call me Jim (my middle name, which I usually go by.)

Thanks for your prompt and courteous response. No apology necessary. You have a constitutional right to free speech, and, like me, you earned your right as well.

I actually agree with much of what you say. It is perfectly appropriate if you share your faith with a comrade in a personal conversation when it is initiated by the other person, although I think you’d agree that to forcibly engage in active proselytization (especially to a subordinate) would NOT be appropriate – and it is that latter situation which we deal with most at the MRFF.

I do not pretend to be brave, let alone braver than you, or anybody else who has stood in battle. However, as I said, I feel it would have been hypocritical of me to have sought divine intercession in times of desperate need, since I did not practice when times were good. (And yes, I have been told that the deity doesn’t care about that – but I do. If I ever convert, it will be when all is well with me and mine.)

On the other hand, you were perfectly within the bounds of integrity to ask for help from a deity that you already believed in and followed. That is not hypocrisy, but faith.
The fact that I do not share your faith does not make me one iota braver or better than you.

You are quite right, it can be lonely at times standing on your own. I understand and appreciate the value of faith in the lives of most people. When there are difficult and traumatic times, I have seen that it helps most people cope better with their situations.

However, I personally have never really felt the need to call on something I didn’t believe in. Even in the stiffest combat, or later, when I was lying with my leg obviously shattered beyond repair, and in some pain (though fortunately, shock set in pretty quickly and dulled the pain) I somehow maintained my self-possession and ability to remain cool and effective. I’m not sure if this is even a good trait, as it has caused me to go up against some fearsome odds at times, which could easily have gotten me killed.

When the chaplain came to me in the hospital, and wanted to share his beliefs, I thanked him for his kindness, but told him that since I did not share his beliefs before my loss, and still didn’t, that his time would be better spent ministering to the believers in the ward.

Somehow, despite the somewhat depressing nature of the loss, I managed to maintain a good attitude – but this has been a life-long trait. A saying I have always subscribed to is;
“If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade!”

I can see from your letter that you are not one of those the MRFF opposes. You are just a man who is strong in your belief and faith, but you obviously support the Constitution. As I mentioned in my last, we have a great many Christians among our clients, staff, and supporters — in fact, they constitute the majority of the MRFF. Many are evangelicals, like you. However, they understand that mixing religion with politics and especially the military is a dangerous road and a slippery slope. As James Madison wrote;

> “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”

Who, indeed? But what is apparent is that this particular breed of “Christians” known as Dominionists has serious plans to establish a “Christian” church here along THEIR warped lines (as mentioned in my earlier E. I don’t think either of us want this gang of warped yahoos in charge,o r our Republic turned into a “Christian” theocracy — especially since I doubt that you would pass their litmus test, sine you don’t appear to be willing to overthrow the Republic and Constitution for a theocracy that would make the most radical imams and mullahs green with envy.

In short. you (and Christians like you) aren’t what Mikey is after. He is after people who would quite literally force their version of religion on others if given the power- which they are working on seizing (in their own words) “by ballot or bullet.”

Neither Mikey or I care if the religion is Christian, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism or even atheism. Our Constitution was wisely designed to ensure that there would be NO established (i.e., official state) religion, and that ALL people would be free to practice their religion in whatever way they saw fit. (As long as it is in consonance with public civil law — for example, no human sacrifices allowed.)

Again, thanks for your letter, and your service to this country. I would be proud to have had you at my back, and would likewise have covered yours. That’s what Marines (and all real warriors) do.

Best,

Jim

F. J. Taylor
USMC (Ret.)

PS: Here is a website I established for one of my units in Nam — the one at Khe Sanh. As a fellow combat vet, you might like to look it over.

http://sites.google.com/site/usmccaposcar

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1 Comment

  1. Mickeyfacedownassup

    Heard about this Jew Weinstein today via a news article.

    Also heard he served in the Airforce. I also heard he has a serious problem with religion in the military. I also heard he was mad at the Airforce for forcing him out due to his inability to adjust to military culture.

    That puts it into a clearer perspective as to why this wacko is so hateful towards the military; he couldnt cut it.

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