Dear MRFF,


(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld),

Rick Baker here. I’m an Air Force Veteran including
Vietnam and an MRFF Volunteer.

I am intrigued by your statement of “Get a

This would indicate that those of us at MRFF do not
have a life. On the contrary. MRFF has breathed life
into a many young military member who could not
envision a life devoid of his God and at the same time enter
a life of combat resulting in death and a service to his
fellow man.

Actually we have not one, but many lives. Our lives
belong to your young men and women in the armed forces who
give their lives for their beliefs. Many to their God,
a number to various beliefs but all in the sacrifice to
their mother country, America.

I might even be bold enough to say that it is you who
should “get a life”, for it seems to me that
you have totally missed yours.

If I am wrong, forgive me.

Rick Baker
Capt. USAF (Ret)

Capt Baker,

You are wrong. I have a good life. And much of that is due to sacrifice and
courage of thousands of soldiers that have fought for this country. I in no way
minimize your service, dedication, and courage in the US Air Force. And
particularly as a Vietnam veteran because many who fought there didn’t get the
honor they deserved.

I’m just perplexed how someone can expend so much energy in demanding a
reprimand to a chaplain who wrote an historic essay on the origin of the phrase
‘there is no atheists in a foxhole”. Is your group so closed minded that they
feel this somehow brings harm to the Air Force? How can someone who must have
been incredibly brave in Vietnam be so threatened by this?

I told your group to get a life because what is your point. Lt. Col. Reye’s
essay discussed faith. He did not advocate a specific religion, and there was
no proselytizing. The intensity that your group fights any display of faith or
religion within the military establishment (other than in one’s home) makes one
wonder that you fear something. I just don’t understand.

There are Christian, Muslim, and Jewish chaplains I’m sure in the military. So
who are you trying to save from all of this? Is it the atheists? I just don’t
get it. Please funnel your energy into something that would actually help


(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Thanks for your response.
Chaplain Reyes was dreadfully wrong in using the phrase about no Atheists in foxholes.
For some time this phrase has been used to promote religion and demean Atheists and other non-believers and to separate them as a a group from the other brave individuals in our armed forces.

What the Chaplain did was to continue a myth that was self promoting and unconstitutional in nature and adverse to the UCMJ .

Separating by definition the religious from the non-religious in the military is a direct violation of Supreme Court ruling: Lemon Vs. Kurzman, 1971, in which the court held that government, including public schools and the military, may not promote one religion over another or religion over non-religion.

In addition to being a constitutional violation the Chaplain’s remarks were personally insulting to the many Atheists who have and continue to fight Americas battles. The Military Association of Atheists, has a membership of over 13,000, many of whom are deployed in the mid east.

The Chaplains remarks were insensitive and were appropriately taken down.

Steve, MRFF believes in ensuring that every member of the military receives the freedom of religion guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. By the same token, we believe that each member should enjoy freedom from religion as outlined in Supreme Court case law addended to the 1st Amendment.

As far as our expending energy on this case I must remind you that this is just one of many cases in which MRFF expending energy, money and man hours. We are currently addressing over 34,000 complaints from our young men and women in the armed forces concerning command centered and coercive Christian-based proselytizing. Over 96% of these complainants are self-identified Christians.

It is our firm belief that America was founded s a secular nation in which all religions and non-beliefs may flourish but none dominate.

Thank you for your interest and I hope I have answered some of your questions.


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