religious freedoms

Why cant every religion have a holiday display on the military bases? Why is it so offensive to let people celebrate their religious holidays on military bases? Where is the tolerance of mankind? I guess we no longer support each others religious holidays. Will I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

(name withheld)


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

We totally agree with you that every religion should be able to have a religious display on base. There is a designated place for them on bases: Chapel grounds.

You are really complaining to the wrong people. 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- mediator – 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.

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 just any place on base they want.

A Chaplain was asked why the Nativity scene was placed there. She said because they wanted it on “neutral” ground. That “neutral” ground on base is secular and no religion is allowed to use it for any religious displays.

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.

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. What we are is a defender of the Constitution and military law and if they overstep those bounds, we step in.

We do support and fight for the rights of all religions, hence our name; The Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Have a wonderful Merry Christmas!

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member

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