response to your email

So, Mikey Weinstein says that an Air Force cadet must remove a Bible scripture from his whiteboard. Who died and made Mr. Weinstein judge and jury? Mr. Weinstein can rant and rave all he wants. But let him get this through his thick skull: The Word of God has absolute authority, and in the end, it doesn’t matter what Weinstein’s opinion is.

You can take this to the bank: Unless Weinstein repents of his evil ways, this is what will eventually happen. On the day of judgment, one of God’s angels will drag Mr. Weinstein–while he is screaming in absolute terror–to a place where he definitely does not want to go. It is a place of absolute darkness, where God is absent and Satan has absolute domain. It is a place where Weinstein will live in eternity, and where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. At that point, Weinstein will believe in God, but it will be too late for him.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld) –

Mikey Weinstein has asked if I would like to reply to your email, and I’m happy to do so. It’s a pleasure to answer an email that appears to be sent from a legitimate address and under a real name. You’d be surprised by how many people send anonymous notes from bogus email addresses, even though they claim to share thoughts of which they are proud. As well, your note is polite and I appreciate that, too. I, too, always sign my name and strive to be respectful.

Beyond that common ground, though, we diverge in our points of view. You open your note with an assertion that Mikey is acting as “judge and jury.” That is incorrect – the authority at work derives from Air Force Instruction 1-1 and the US Constitution, which together promise every military member the right to freedom of religion AND freedom from the establishment or favor of one set of beliefs over others.

That first part, individual freedom of religion, seems to hog the limelight. The second part is at least as important, or maybe even more important in a military environment, where superior-subordinate relationships are highly structured. In that setting, the opportunity is significant for even a well-intentioned superior to create a climate that loses religious neutrality.

Like you, I am a Christian and so, like you, in my own life the Word of God is authoritative. But we need to respect the fact that, from the standpoint of the US Constitution, our beliefs are on the same, level playing field as all beliefs (including non-belief). We don’t have to agree with other’s beliefs; we don’t have to like the equal treatment. But we must respect it.

As for the second half of your note, where you posit how judgement day will go for someone else, I’d only ask you to remember the admonition of Christ found in Matthew 7:1-5 ——

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Peace,

Mike Challman
MRFF Supporter

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