Chrismas Decorations Guantanamo Bay

Good afternoon,

first let me say it is always good when a sincere watchdog group is actually out watching on the behalf of those who cannot for themselves. but you guys are nuts. 18 troops out of 12,000 feel that Christianity is being favored over other faiths and supposedly some of them of Christian denominations. I do not think anybody would blast the Jewish trooper if he chooses to set up a Menorah! Now if the Commandant of Guantanamo said everybody had to on Christmas Eve get on their knees and pray to Bethlehem, yes, issue should be drawn (and if I am not mistaken under Muslim Sharia law they are made to get on their knees and pray or have their legs broken or worse (but that is a discussion for an other time). But guys if this is all you have to hark about, then you might as well shut down and go home, because you are only embarrassing yourself and our Military.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond on his and MRFF’s behalf.

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. MRFF does not take action unilaterally. MRFF’s actions are only taken as a result of a fully vetted client(s) complaint regarding inappropriate religious intrusion.

Just as there are time/place/manner restrictions on 1st Amendment free-speech (i.e. no campaigning in close proximity to polling places), there are time/place/manner restrictions on religious freedoms. Particularly those supported in some way by taxpayer funded government interests. Where a Chapel is present on a military installation, that is the proper time/place/manner for religious displays. MRFF feels the same about displays from any religion on military installations…not just my chosen religion of Christianity and our vast majority status in the U.S. Let me explain further:
In your “Jewish trooper setting up a Menorah” straw man argument, the logical conclusion of you position is that all members of the U.S. Military should be able to display their chosen religious symbols at a location of their choosing anywhere they see fit on a military installation? I suggest you let your mind wander a bit about the impact this situation would have on good order and discipline; something which is of paramount importance within any effective military institution.
Your reference to numbers in regard to this issue is irrelevant. Not only are military regulations already in place controlling such religious displays, civil rights protections/accommodations apply to every individual irrespective of minority or majority status.

Your attempt to justify your position in an off-handed reference to the religious practices/authority in other countries makes MRFF’s point for us. We are not like other countries and we intend to continue working to keep it that way. Our constitution establishes a secular democratic republic for a reason.

MRFF fully supports the well funded and publicly (i.e. taxpayer) maintained Military Chaplaincy in their ministrations (without proselytization) to all personnel who seek their assistance.

Peace be with you,
Andy Kasehagen

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