Just a few questions

Dear Mikey,

I have been reading several stories on the controversy from both political slants both liberal and conservative. I am a senior in high school, and yes I am conservative and I personally don’t agree with eliminating and or punishing those who try to speak their religion, but never by force of course. But I in no way am trying to be disrespectful to your views. I know conservatives can get a bad reputation for being extreme and sounding illogical and I want you to know I am not doing that. I just wanted to know more.

Here are my questions:

1.what made you have these views? (Or changed them)

2. Why punish legally for this, up to imprisonment?

3. Is there anything you would want people to know about you that others may get the wrong impression about?

-thank you again for your time!

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey appreciates your very thoughtful email and desire for a more complete understanding of this issue.
In response to your specific question MRFF 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. As a Christian (Episcopalian in fact) supporter of MRFF I have the freedom (as do you) to demonstrably agree with any proselytized message, disagree, or totally ignore with no chance of repercussions. If on the other hand you chose to proselytize a faith based message to me in a government controlled situation where your official capacity was superior and mine subordinate, your message becomes immediately oppressive, and unconstitutional, due to the loss of my freedoms as listed above.
Let me use the words of another in further explanation:
No one will be prosecuted simply for sharing one’s faith in the military. Sharing your faith – in a non-official context – is fine. What’s wrong is when it is in a mandatory, official, or any other context in which the power dynamic between the individuals is out of balance (e.g., a commander recommending church attendance to subordinates).
Should fundamentalist of other religious faiths engage in the same type of activity within the U.S. Military, MRFF’s response will be exactly the same.
You are incredibly wise to ask these questions regarding any politically and/or ideologically charged issue. You can view an excellent account of the reporting genesis and evolution surrounding this issue at the following link http://www.examiner.com/article/deconstructing-hysteria-how-the-ongoing-misstatements-of-military-policy-began. You are probably also aware that this type of reporting is driven by what I personally like to call the ‘ideological snowball effect’, which is in no way limited to conservative or Christian ideologies alone.
Your sound questioning is what we need to take hold in the discourse within this country so that we can start talking with each other rather than past each other.
Andy Kasehagen

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