Mountain Home AFB inspirational painting

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

I have just read the story on Fox about this beautiful painting being taken down due to the complaint, apparently registered with your organization, of an “unidentified complainant” and also of your demand that it be taken down “in one hour”!

I learned many things in multiple decades of practicing law and honoring our Rule of Law and our Constitution and Bill of Rights but one of the bedrock principles I learned was that every person has a right to confront those who would complain against him or her. It is impossible for me to state in just words the revulsion I felt in reading that a beautiful inspirational painting has to be taken down – IN ONE HOUR!—due to the complaint of some ninny who got all “uncomfortable, disappointed and disheartened” at having to look at this painting. When I was in the Military – I very proudly served as an aircrew member in the Strategic Air Command—we had another word for “unidentified complainants”, and it left no doubt as to the depth of the contempt we felt for such weasels who will not come out into the sunlight and be identified. You will note from the very complete contact information below that I am NOT, and NEVER WILL BE, such an “unidentified complainant.”

And, in closing, since your organization is dedicated to Military Religious Freedom, I will pass along a short message which is based on my own religious beliefs and foundations: God Help Us and our Beloved Nation if the future belongs to your organization and the “unidentified complainants” who apparently make up its membership and, much more sadly, the body of the current United States Military.

May God Continue to Bless America,
(name withheld)

Hello (name withheld),

My name is Rick Baker. I’m a former Air Force Officer and rescue pilot, having served two consecutive combat tours in Vietnam. I am also a volunteer for MRFF. Despite the large amount of mail we receive we attempt to answer every one, positive or negative.

The “beautiful painting” to which you refer , is certainly that. It is a powerful statement of religious belief. Unfortunately, such statements are misplaced in government venues as decided by the US Supreme Court in a number of decisions which have become addendum to the Constitution as case law.

One such ruling is “Lemon Vs. Kurzman (1971). In this ruling the court held that government, including public education and armed forces, may not favor, promote, advance or proselytize one religion over another or religion over non-religion. In essence this was an admonition to government to remain religion neutral.

In this case the painting is clearly promoting a connection between the military and Christian Crusaders. The display of such a painting connotes a government favoritism of Christianity and is therefore unconstitutional.

As for the complainant whose desire it was to remain unnamed I am sure you are not naive enough to believe that many such complainants who followed conventional chain of command procedures have not been damaged in some way by vengeful superiors who, in order to maintain and advance their own beliefs, used their rank and position to commit acts of retribution. It is also clear to me that ordering the removal of the painting in less than an hour was more the idea of an alert and responsible

MRFF is currently addressing over 33,000 client case complaints generated by our young men and women in the military who have found themselves in the grasp of a growing militant sect of Christianity, known to us now as “Dominion Christians,” which has infiltrated the Armed Forces and whose upper grade personnel are exercising command centered and coercive Christian-based proselytizing on subordinates. Fully 96% of these complainants are self identified Christians, Protestant and Catholic, many of whom are told they are not “Christian enough.”

MRFF’s mission is to ensure each and every member of the armed forces receives the religious freedom he or she is guaranteed by the US Constitution irrespective of their race, color or creed. This includes members of all faiths and those who do not subscribe to religion but are guaranteed freedom from undue religious pressures or hegemony.

While we are counting our blessings, would it not be apropos to thank a selfless organization such as MRFF for intervening in the many cases of religious misconduct we have thus far encountered and the relief provided to the number of young men and women subjected to improper religious proselytizing?

Thank you for your concern . As a fellow airman I am grateful for your service to America, fully understanding the dedication it takes to place oneself in harms way for ones country and fellow man.

Keep ’em Flying!

Rick Baker
USAF (Ret)
MRFF Volunteer

Dear (name withheld),

The MRFF staff is busy protecting the religious freedom of the members of our military and don’t have time to respond to every letter, so as a member of the Advisory Board I hope a reply from me will do.

Since you are a lawyer, one can understand your emphasis on every person’s “right to confront those who would complain against him or her,” though I suspect your self-described “revulsion” arises from an allegiance to more than “our Rule of Law and our Constitution and Bill of Rights.” But as a self-described former military man, I wonder exactly who it is you’d suggest the “unidentified complainant,” or, as you prefer, the “weasel,” or “ninny” (in this case weasels and ninnies) should be forthright enough to complain to? Immediate superior? Commanding Officer? Secretary of Defense? President?

Given your apparent adoration of the “beautiful inspirational painting” that was posted in a manner that is not only unlawful (an odd thing for you to miss, given your profession) but also discomfiting at best and perhaps even oppressive to others, one shudders to think what might happen to the poor ninnies/weasels who felt that way and complained to a superior who shared your defensive passion about this profession of faith.

Since the source of your information is what it was and because you seem to take such pleasure in invoking God in your rather self-satisfied and self-glorifying letter, one may assume you find nothing wrong when those in a position of military leadership invoke, and by doing so endorse and promote a specific faith, regardless of the beliefs of those in the ranks who do not share it. Fortunately for us, however, you do not make the laws.

In closing, as a lawyer, I would hope you’d be more sensitive to the rights of those who do not wish to have an organ of government promulgating a specific religious view and thus violating the cherished separation of church and state. As a former military man, I would hope you’d be more sensitive about the danger to the privileges, and possibly the career, faced by one in the ranks when crossing a superior who thinks the way you do.

Mike Farrell

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