Constitution

Dear Mr Weinstein,

I recently viewed your website after reading an article about the score that you made at the Air Force Academy, pulling down the God clause in the cadet oath. It must have given you some satisfaction. Yet, the article went on to say that you will seek the elimination of the cadet oath completely. I support your original complaint that the oath violated the freedom rights of those cadets who do not believe in God. Obviously, to ask such cadets to make a public oath with reference to god, would be for them both hypocritical and demeaning.

However, to force the Academy to remove the clause completely from view, instead of making it optional, is hypocritical and demeaning on your part. Why? Because you assert the rights of the cadets who do not believe in a god, over the rights of those who do. It is simple logic. In life we are constantly subjected to images, both verbal and pictorial, that are offensive , because we do not hold them to be true. It would be ludicrous to expect a government agency be deployed to sensor and excise everything from the public domain that is offensive to any one group.

Paul Tillich in his book, Dynamics of Faith, asserts that even atheists have a faith.. and when organized in their efforts… establish themselves as a religion. My degree is in religion and I have studied the world’s pantheon of religion. I have found that the plethora of inconsistencies in religions surely allows your organization to qualify as a religion.

You should not be concerned, however, because the true interpretation of the First Amendment allows your existence in the Public Square, without infringement on your right to establish your practice thereof. There literally is no Separation Clause in the Constitution. If read for understanding, the First Amendment simply states that the government cannot prevent its citizens from practicing their religion. Therefore, it allows you to insist that a cadet have the religious freedom to not say the clause pertaining to God. However, it does not allow you to insist that the government keep those cadets who wish to say ‘So help me God’ from being able to witness to their faith.

I maintain that if you pursue your promise to sue the Academy if they do not comply with your religion, you will be asking the government to establish your religion.

Hoping to receive your reply.

Sincerely,

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond on his behalf due to tremendous constraints on his time spent on behalf of MRFF’s clients. I am a Christian (Episcopalian in fact) who fully supports Mikey’s and MRFF’s attempt to protect members of the U.S. Military from unconstitutional religious influence in relation to their training, assignment, advancement and retention. In supporting MRFF’s efforts, I defend both my Christian faith and my Constitution proudly and equally.

The U.S. Constitution establishes a secular democratic republic.

…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (Article VI, Section 3, in relevant part)

-and-

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…(Amendment 1; in relevant part)

Additionally, the lone oath contained within the U.S. constitution has no religious component whatsoever;

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Article II, Section 1; in relevant part)

Megyn Kelly of ‘The Kelly File’, during her recent interview with Mikey, made the case herself that religious pledges in required government oaths are meaningless and irrelevant when she contended that anyone who didn’t want to say those words (So Help Me God) could just omit it. Why are they included in the government’s oath then? Additionally, if they are meaningless, why all the worry and ‘pearl clutching’ in light of the commendable objective of limited government intrusion so usually expressed by Ms. Kelly?

Now consider the reverse of what Ms. Kelly said; that individuals taking the oath could simply add ‘those words’, other religious words, or no words on their own (this was Mikey’s point to Ms. Kelly). This applies specifically to the point you’re trying to make. Have individual members of the military been denied this personal ability when completing their require oaths? If you are aware of this happening, please let us know here at MRFF, we’ll jump all over that government intrusion into personal religious faith just a vigorously. Personally, my Christian faith in God and Jesus do not require government prompting for expression.

Now let’s consider the no harm/no foul concept while replacing ‘those words’ in a required government oath with ‘So help me Allah’. So help me Jehovah? So help me Vishnu? Buddha? Flying Spaghetti Monster?….etc. How’s your comfort level now? Any objections being included in a required government oath?

Finally, Mikey is not an atheist, he is a secular Jew. 96% of MRFF’s clients are every bit as Christian as I am. Aside from the ‘Up is Down’ argument that atheism is a religion, your point is meaningless. Leave all religious references out of required government oaths, including atheism. Your ‘bizzaro world’ contention that by not mentioning an essentially meaningless government sanctioned pledge to God you’re supporting an “atheist religion” is simply the ridiculous Catch-22 that has been decades in the making by Christian Dominionist demanding a Christian imprimatur on our secular democratic republic.

The importance of maintaining and encouraging secular democracy here is one of the things that makes our form of government unique. Encouraging this form of government abroad is extremely important for our national security interests. If you don’t believe me I suggest you review clearly stated foreign policy positions regarding U.S. support for the formation of secular democracies in the wake of the ‘Arab Spring’.

Sincerely,

Andy Kasehagen

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