freedom from religion

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

You are absolutely right when you say our military should have freedom from religion because, religion is about God – but is without God. Our military personnel should enjoy the right to have freedom of religion just as all other US citizens have a constitutional right to do so. This also includes their right to speak freely about what they believe from their hearts as they remain true to their sworn oath to serve in our military with honor.

We agree that members of the U.S. Military have the right to speak freely about what they believe as long as the concept of freely includes the right of those being addressed. Due to the special circumstances under which service members exist (i.e. Lawful Orders of Superiors and the UCMJ), proselytization in situations controlled by lawful orders and the UCMJ rarely comply with any concept of freely (i.e., a subordinates ability to freely tell a superior intent on proselytizing to stop is limited and all too often results in retribution).

You and I can freely exercise these rights every day. I question how anyone can imagine that either of these rights affect the security of our military when they seemingly have nothing to do with military strategy or policy or religion.

Yes we do enjoy this right, but unless you are in the service, we are not subject to lawful orders under the UCMJ. I am neither your superior or subordinate in any government sanctioned aspect. Unit cohesion, morale, and discipline is crucial within the fighting force of any military. Active proselytizing of sectarian religious beliefs within a military serving the non-sectarian representative democracy established by our Constitution is destructive of these crucial elements. The MRFF Website Archive is filled with examples of “religious speech” directly affecting military policy/strategy. Here are a couple of the most blatant examples:

July 29, 2011

MRFF Compels Concrete Corrective Action by the U.S. Department of Defense

Based on the fallout from a MRFF client’s FOIA request exposing the use of Christian ‘Just War’ theology, the Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare training program “has been taken out of the curriculum and is being reviewed,” according to David Smith, chief of public affairs of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. Subsequent to this action, on August 14, 2011, the Air Force Times reported that the Air Force was reviewing all training materials related to ethics, core values and character development after more Christian-themed course work surfaced.

May 10, 2012

MRFF Condemns and Submits FOIA Regarding Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) Training Advocating Waging ‘Total War’ Against Muslim Civilian Populations

JFSC faculty member Army Lt. Col. Matthew A. Dooley, presentation to officers from all four branches of the U.S. Military entitled “’So What Can We Do?’ A Counter-Jihad Op Design Model” (July/2011) includes the following statements/recommendations for consideration:

-The model asserts Islam has already declared war on the West, and the United States specifically, as is demonstrable with over 30 years of violent history. It is, therefore, illogical to continue along our current global strategy models that presume there are always possible options for common ground and detent with the Muslim Umma with waging near “total war.”

-This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable to the Mecca and Medina destruction DP [decision point] in Phase III.)

This presentation was delivered as part of the “Perspective on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” course of the JFSC.

MRFF submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the President of the National Defense University, the Commandant of the Joint Forces Staff College, and the Secretary of the Department of Defense for all agency documents pertaining to all training materials, documents, and communications associate with the Perspectives on Islam course and Lt. Col. Dooley’s presentation.

Also, I’m sure that some folks outside of Christianity are aware that it (Christianity) is not a religion at all but a relationship and I would presume that those who know this would be aware of who that relationship would be with?

I would ask what religion does not involve a relationship? This is a distinction without a difference.

But then, if there is no God, why so much fear of Christians and their beliefs? Please explain this to me, as it puzzles me to hear anyone who believes there is no God would be in fear of those who believe there is. Really if there is no God then what place does fear have. I would say it should have none.

MRFF has no fear of the beliefs of any faith. This projection of fear upon Mikey and MRFF is the all too common and shameless tactic of predominantly Christian Dominionists and Fundamentalists attempting to rally all sects of the majority religion in this country against MRFF. The only ‘fear’ behind MRFF’s mission is of the destructive capability of secular religious activities in regards to the U.S. Military’s ability to live up to an oath upholding an explicitly non-sectarian Constitution.

So, is it really a crusade for the separation of Religion from the State or as it appears a separation of Christianity from the State? And why only Christianity? If it is only a religion then why not separate all religions?

The appearance of focus on Christianity is purely a function of MRFF’s response to the action of members of the majority religious faith. MRFF has, and will continue to, take action against U.S. Military members of other faiths, or no faith at all, when it involves the destructive aspects of proselytizing sanctioned by lawful orders under the UCMJ.

Or could the fear be that maybe, just maybe, the followers of Jesus Christ might be right when they say He (Jesus) was for certain God incarnate and for certain He (Jesus) the Son of God really did appear to pay the debt of all mens trangressions with His own life and that would truly make Him the Savior of all mankind.

Projection and proselytizing both in this ‘question’. As discussed above, I enjoy one but not the other in this private exchange of emails.

Please don’t think me to me condescending I do not intend that, however, please allow me to enlighten you on something – No where in the recorded history of His (Jesus) life time on this earth is it recorded that he had any interest concerning any military or government or nation. His only interest was and still is the salvation of men’s souls – yours and mine included.

I don’t find this comment condescending. As a Christian, I find it appalling. At what time did this become a discussion of the actions of Jesus? MRFF actions affect only those followers who have attempted to use the U.S. Military as a tightly controlled playground for sectarian proselytizing. Our founding fathers were well aware, as displayed in the non-sectarian representative democracy created by the Constitution, that the followers of many faiths have a significant recorded history concerning military, government, and national interests.

Maybe it would be best to first determine whether or not His (Jesus) claims are true? What say you???? Was He truly who He claimed to be? Are you interested in investigating the claims of Christ. Is it not better for us to reason together over this before promoting strife and division over things which possibly have no basis of truth at all and only serve to prolong our base fears.

Again with the proselytization and projection. See response above.

If I am wrong I lose nothing – but if you are wrong you lose everything. Are you willing to risk that? The least I deserve is your answer to that question.

Your feeling of entitlement to an answer to this question from Mikey or any man is truly astonishing. You have the right to proselytize and ask the question…the entitlement of an answer is reserved for someone else…not you.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond on his and MRFF’s behalf
due to demands on his time.

As a Christian (Episcopalian in fact) supporter of MRFF, I truly enjoy your
efforts to proselytize your faith to everyone here at MRFF. In this private
exchange of emails it is both appropriate and appreciated. I have the
freedom (as do you) to demonstrably agree with your message, disagree with
your message or totally ignore with no chance of repercussions. If on the
other hand your proselytized message was being delivered to me in a
government controlled situation where your official capacity was superior
and mine subordinate, your message becomes immediately oppressive due to the
loss of my freedoms as listed above.

I fully support Mikey’s and MRFF’s attempt to protect members of the U.S.
Military from unconstitutional religious influence in relation to their
training, assignment, advancement and retention. This includes all attempts
at proselytizing any religious belief within the military structure. MRFF
also fully supports the military chaplaincy role in its passive (i.e.
without proselytization) ministrations to the religious needs of all U.S.
Service Members of any faith.

The remainder of my response to your questions and observations is presented
in red within the body of your email below.

Peace be with you,

Andy Kasehagen

You and I can only be self-professed Christians for there is no other kind
of Christian outside of a verdict that is adjudicated by only one.


(name withheld)

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1 Comment

  1. Gordon Ross

    Andy, I enjoyed reading this exchange of ideas and your clarification of the mission of the MRFF! The precise wording (phrases) that you used will help me articulate my ideas in support of the mission of the MRFF during my discussions with others.

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