??

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

There are no atheists in fox holes. They are not smart enough to get in when danger is near.

The Chaplain should be suing you for being so studied as to they to have him punished for repeating a quote. From this I can only assume you want to rewrite history, which means you are a liberal idiot (my apologies for the redundant statement).

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Mr. Weinstein is tied down reading some of our rare rational mail right now, I hope you don’t mind me sitting in.

My name is Rick Baker and I’m a former Air Force Officer and Rescue Pilot, having served two combat tours in Vietnam. I say that only to qualify myself to address the Atheists in the military issue. I’m also an MRFF Volunteer.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice is quite plain on the issues of religion in the military. In cases where religious freedoms are curtailed, criticized or withheld, it is up to the commander to call for a cease and desist. Our Constitution, too, is very clear that the government, including public education and the armed forces, may not favor or promote one religion over another or religion over non-religion.

In many cases it is the commander who is at fault and it takes an organization such as MRFF to step in and attempt to straighten things out. Of course that does take cooperation from the chain of command but for the most part has served those who found themselves in need of assistance well.

The Chaplain’s statement, asserting that there “are no Atheists in Foxholes” is a direct attack on the military’s sizeable Atheist contingent. It is also a prohibition and denial of religious freedom. Denigrating Atheists is no different than denigrating Christians, Jews or Muslims.

I found your addition: “They are not smart enough to get in when danger is near,” a bit smarmy and a rather smug observation. It appears that whatever your beliefs are had better be the dominant ones.

In any case I invite you to visit our web site at militaryreligiousfreedom.org for more information about MRFF’s goals and some interesting correspondence.

Rick Baker
Capt. USAF (Ret)
MRFF Volunteer


Capt. Baker,
How does being an Air Force Officer and Rescue Pilot serving in Vietnam qualify you to address the Atheists in the military issue? I, too, served in the USAF in Vietnam and do not consider myself qualified to address religious issues in the military. What kind of logic are you using?

Could you also show me where in the Constitution it “…is very clear that the government, including public education and the armed forces, may not favor or promote one religion over another or religion over non-religion.”

The Constitution is only interpreted in that manner by people who do not like what it actually says. The Constitution says the government shall make no law recognizing a religion. This was to prevent a Church of the USA in the fashion of the Church of England.

The Constitution does not say there can be no religion in schools. It does not say there can be no religion in the military. In fact it does not even say the government cannot promote one religion over another, but I would not believe it good if it did. It says “make no law”. Which of those 3 words do you not understand?

Allowing prayer in school is NOT making a law. Quoting a historical statement is NOT making a law. Allowing Christmas event on public property is NOT making a law.

So you are better informed, here is Amendment One of the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”

Not allowing students to pray in school is “prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”
Anyone should be allowed to pray anywhere at any time as long it does not cause a safety issue. Stopping someone from praying because “it might offend someone” is offensive to the person who wants to pray.

For having been an officer in the USAF, you do not seem very informed about the Constitution you took an oath to defend.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld),

As an Air Force Officer I was in the military and therefore qualified to make an informed opinion on Atheists in the military. If I were a civilian making the same opinion my opinion would bear no weight. Also, I was familiar with a number of Atheists in the Air Force who were very brave young men and women. Two of these young men were Parajumpers aboard my aircraft. Of course e didn’t have foxholes in the Air Force but I felt that any combat position was analogous to the issue.
E
The US Constitution has been modified many times by the US Supreme Court over the years. Many decisions and rulings have been made which have added to or otherwise affected the meanings of many articles and amendments. This activity is called “Case Law.” Case law is maintained separately and may be researched through the courts, Google or any reliable search engine. One such ruling is Lemon Vs. Kurzman, US Supreme Court (1971). In this ruling, the court held that Government, including Public Education and the Armed Forces may not favor or promote one religion over another or religion over non-religion. You may also find this restriction in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

America was founded as a secular nation in which all religions may flourish but none dominate. The Supreme Court’s decisions regarding prayer in public school were to prevent single religion domination of prayer in school and sectarian prayer being led by school staff which are government employees. In addition, the free exercise clause has not been applied in school prayer cases due to the fact that it would enable Satanist prayer and ceremony, Pagan prayers and ceremony and other complications.

Because I took an oath to defend the US Constitution, I made special efforts to find out how it has been affected by Supreme court decisions such as School Prayer and many others affecting civil law. It appears that lack of this knowledge has rather limited your knowledge of current adjustments in Constitutional Law. One cannot possibly know how much the constitution has been affected by case law without considerable study.

Regards,

Rick


Hi Capt baker,
The Supreme Court has been legislating for years and just because they do, does not mean they are right. There are many laws on the books that violate the intent of the Constitution, and all because of “popular opinion” being implemented by the courts. Legislating is NOT the role of the Supreme Court. Bader Ginsberg even said we as a country should look to laws of other countries to interpret our Constitution. Spoken like a true liberal!

I believe you have every right to display your own faith. Why do Atheists believe others should behave as they do and not display their faith? If seeing a Cross on public land offends you, how is that different from me, a Christian, being offended if there is a Menorah, which does not offend me. You exercising you right to remove the Cross violates my right to have it there. Why are your rights more important? Hint: They are not.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld),

It doesn’t matter if the Supreme Court is right or wrong in our opinion in making their decisions. Their rulings have become law which must legally be obeyed unless changed through due process. Therefore all case law addended to the Constitution remains in force and must be obeyed.

As for the right to display our religious symbols and celebrate our religious beliefs none of that has been curtailed. We may celebrate in our homes, churches and other areas designated as religious areas such as Chapels and grounds.

Remember (name withheld), despite its majority, Christianity has no more position, standing or power than any other religion or non-belief in the eyes of the law. Christianity, as are other religions, is subject to Constitutional provision.

In the removal of a Cross from a military establishment it is not my sole right to do so it is a constitutional provision that must be followed and it would not be your right to have the cross there if not in a designated area. We may not display religious symbols arbitrarily on military reservations and other government facilities to the exclusion of other religious representation. That is the law. So you do not have the right to display symbols of or proselytize your faith on military reservations except in designated areas. If a cross is in a designated area, such as a Christian chapel or chapel grounds , it would not be removed.

Rick

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