Christmas display at Shaw

Dear Weinstein and MRF-

Proud of yourselves that you have eliminated the Christmas display at Shaw? What else can you do to enhance discrimination against Christians who serve in the military? You should be so proud of knowing that you have something in common with the Islamic radicals who want to eradicate every last trace of Christianity from the world.

As a Vietnam veteran who fought for his country, I thoroughly detest your actions as an organization. Last time I checked, the citizens of this country were guaranteed freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. That includes men and women serving in the military. Any thinking person knows religion isn’t being forced upon you. Do you actually expect me to believe that merely driving by a manger scene at Christmastime upsets you and causes you distress? If you are that thin-skinned and sensitive, perhaps you don’t belong in the military I served in…. nor would I want to serve in a combat situation with any of your members.

Members of the military are entitled to attend to religious services and participate in religious activities, just as you are entitled NOT to do so. Again no one is forcing anything on anybody. That should be sufficient and that is where it should end. Your tiny minority of anti-Christian zealots should not get to spoil it for the rest of us.

I realize that you receive a lot of negative comments and will probably ignore this, but even though I am not a very religious person I just felt compelled to respond to your misguided, discriminatory actions. I only wish that I could tell you what I really think – face to face. Shame on you.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Mikey is busy helping soldiers and he asked me to respond to you.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) does NOT ACT ON ITS OWN but at the request of the soldiers’ and their complaints of the blatant disregard and trampling of the Constitution and the Military Code of Justice; blurring the lines between the separation of church and state. Every complaint is vetted by Mikey who was a JAG lawyer at the Air Force Academy for 10 years; worked in the West Wing under Ronald Reagan; and held positions in private practice.

We are an agent- intermediator – for the soldiers whose valid complaints are not heard. When the military oversteps the bounds laid down by our Constitution and military law, we step in.

So, it is the soldiers that you should be writing to and I suggest you write to The Military Times with your concerns.

We are not an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish and 75% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our almost 36,000 soldier clients (1 can represent 50) are Christians. So, we fight for the rights of Christians more than any other religion.

The Air Force has strict laws on religious neutrality.

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE

Air Force Instruction 1-1

7 August 2012

2.11. Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.

Our military is a government entity and must remain secular. All religious holidays, feasts and obligations are to be in the hands of the Chaplains on Chapel grounds. This is legal and we encourage it. The Christians can put up a tree, a Nativity scene and any other decorations they want on their grounds – not any place on base they want.

The Nativity “was not within the vicinity of any chapel and was not part of a scene designed to accommodate all religious preferences, or no preferences, aboard the base.”

The Nativity scene was placed by a lake – not at a designated area – by a “volunteer group” that believed they were above the law by placing it there according to 41 officers at Shaw of which 39 are Christians.

A Chaplain was asked at Shaw AFB why it was placed there. She said that they wanted to put it on “neutral” ground. Neutral ground is secular ground used by all soldiers – those of faith and those of no faith – and is not allowed there by law.

The only reason people hear about the MRFF “attacking” Christians is because they are the ONLY ones that flaunt the Constitution and military law. Every other religion obeys and works within the Air Force directive.

Please go to our website, click on “About” and then click on “Foundation Voices.” Scroll through and you will see many distinguished military personnel that support the MRFF. We rely on them for their expertise concerning what can and cannot be done on our bases under military law.

We are not anti-Christian in anyway. If the MRFF was I would have been gone a long time ago. What we are is a defender of the Constitution and military law and if they overstep those bounds, we step in.

“I only wish that I could tell you what I really think – face to face.”

I’d advise against that. Mikey is a boxer.

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member

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