Testimony on MRFF Victory Over Shocking Pattern of Religious Violations

I work at a military facility where certain events and cermonies are required attendance for all enlisted.

The audience at these ceremonies (both military and civilian/contractor) on multiple occasions was told to bow and pray to “our lord and savior jesus christ.” Prayers recited during these events were blatantly sectarian due to the inclusion of phrases such as “jesus christ” and “father, son, and holy spirit”. At one ceremony in particular a preacher/chaplain chanted how Jesus is our savior and will protect our soldiers. Needless to say, this struck a chord with me and I left mid ceremony because of its appalling nature.

The official statement on such ceremonies was, “This is generally a celebration of respect for the [branch redacted] and it is important that we as contractors, civilians, soldiers and officers be involved with such events for tradition, respect and camaraderie.”

After being given the impression that I must conform to a narrow range of religious beliefs (or any belief at all, as I am non-religious) in order to be considered patriotic, I contacted Mikey at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Mikey was helpful in several ways, primarily by taking my complaint seriously, as my chain of command almost certainly would not have. Mikey acted as a mouthpiece for myself and dozens of others (including many Protestants and Roman Catholics) who found the religious ceremonies inappropriate and more importantly unconstitutional. He contacted the head of command at my facility and was able to succeed in impressing upon the command, how important it is to prohibit such incantations which violate the constitutional rights of so many men and women.

Mikey’s effort produced rapid results and resulted in an address to the entire facility, condemning the events that had taken place and promoting an environment that is inclusive to all (by not involving religion). I would encourage anyone else who is in a similar situation, having witnessed or been subjected to sectarian religious preference in the U.S. military, to come forward and speak to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Mikey has assured me and many others that he will not allow our anonymity to be compromised in doing so.

Thank you once again, for being an advocate of those who cannot advocate for themselves for fear of losing anonymity.

(name, rank, and military installation withheld)

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