horror of horrors

To Whom this may concern
I saw story online about the cadet at the Air Force Academy that was told to “voluntarily” erase the bible verse from his note board outside his room. Once I’d investigated more I ran across your organization and learned about all the horrible cases of what you call spiritual rape that you’ve rescued “actual” Christian’s from. I can’t think of a more offensive experience for a cadet than to be forced to “have” to read a bible verse posted on a fellow cadets door. Horror of horrors!!! Certainly every well informed atheist has absolute proof that there is no God so I’m not sure why an encouraging bible verse wouldn’t be considered little more than a harmless hobby or crutch for the weak that aren’t tough like atheists. Atheists are interestingly so afraid of posted spiritual words representing a “god” that does not exist. Certainly interesting to say the least. This bible verse would certainly be considered much much more offensive than a bill board advertising a porn shop. We all know that porn doesn’t exist either and that no man has ever been addicted to it. Let’s go after “God” who we certainly know doesn’t exist and ignore the porn industry which we all know has absolutely no effect on society whatsoever. We should open up the purchase of porn to all ages. Oh and yes, alcohol as well posted bible verses are much more of an issue than alcohol has ever been. Why restrict porn or alcohol only to those of the age of majority. Horror of horrors and spiritual rape, having to be forced to look at a horribly offensive bible verse as a cadet at the Air Force Academy. Yes, we should sell porn and alcohol to minors and restrict them from any horrible religious teaching ’til they are at least 30. That early religious teaching has sure hurt most every child that has ever been raped by it. With posted bible verses on cadets doors being one of, if not the, biggest problems that our nation is dealing with these days many Americans can rest assured that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is always at the ready to clear the societal air of horribly offensive bible verses representing this god for which there is absolute proof does not exist. We certainly wouldn’t want to motivate anyone to care about their neighbor or pray for someone. After all pray to a god that doesn’t exist is an evil waste of time but watching hours and hours of TV certainly isn’t and is not even close to being an issue in our great nation. Hats off to the MRFF for protection from those evil Christians that, in and of themselves, are completely responsible for ALL of our nations problems. God (or nobody) forbid that someone would be influenced to forgive someone or help an old lady across a street. That We can all feel so much safer knowing that the MRFF is at the ready to keep a god who doesn’t exist out of the delicate innocent minds of service men who can’t think for themselves and protect them from the horrible rape of having to look at bible verses put up by cadets on what they mistakenly thought was their space in this wonderfully open totally free nation.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Thanks for your correspondence. I am a volunteer correspondent for the MRFF, and Mr. Weinstein has asked me to respond on his behalf. Please allow me to clear up a few of your obvious misconceptions about the MRFF.

The MRFF’s staff, supporters, and clients are for the most part active, active reserve, retired, or former members of the US Armed Forces. Our numbers include ranks from private to flag officers, from all branches of the service, and specialties ranging from support to front-line combat arms. Service eras represented in the MRFF’s ranks include WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf I and the present GWOT.

Many hold personal decorations, including the Purple Heart for wounds received in action, and for valor ranging from the Bronze Star w/ V and the Silver Star medals, the Army, Navy, and AF Crosses. One holds the Medal of Honor.

Many of us come from multi-generation service families. For example, my own family has a long history of military service, which includes 5 generations of Marines and other branches. My ancestors arrived here ca. 1627, a few years after the founding of the Massachusetts colony. Many of us served in combat. My thrice-great grandfather fought in the Revolution and my great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, fighting for the Union in the 66th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, (one of the few regiments to remain all-volunteer for the duration of the war). He was wounded at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, GA during Sherman’s March to the Sea, and later captured and imprisoned at Madison, GA, later escaping and rejoining Federal lines. After some time in the hospital recuperating, he was sent back to Ohio and mustered out at the end of the war.

My forebears also participated in WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf I as well as many of the smaller wars and conflicts. One of my Marine uncles was captured upon the fall of Corregidor, and transported on the Hell Ships to Japan, where he served as a slave laborer (aka “guest of the Emperor”) until he was liberated. My dad (also a Marine) served in the South Pacific in the island campaigns, serving on Guadalcanal and other campaigns, till he was med-evaced to the US after being wounded. Two Marine uncles (one of them the former POW) were in Korea, including the Chosin Reservoir.

I also served in the Marines, and in was engaged in close personal ground combat in several of the major operations in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 including Operation Scotland at Khe Sanh (before, during, and after the Tet 1968 assault and the Siege), and in the Hue-Phu Bai area after leaving Khe Sanh.

MRFF’s founder and Director, Mr. Weinstein and his family have distinguished service spanning three generations of military academy graduates and over 130 years of combined active duty military service, from World War I to the current GWOT.

Mr. Weinstein’s father was a distinguished graduate of the US Naval Academy, and Mr. Weinstein himself was a 1977 Honor Graduate of the US Air Force Academy, later serving for 10 years in the Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) military attorney, both as prosecutor and defense attorney. He also served in the Reagan White House.

His oldest son and daughter-in-law are also Air Force Academy graduates (2004), and his youngest son also graduated from the Academy (2007). He was the sixth member of the Weinstein family to attend the Air Force Academy.

Mr. Weinstein’s nephew (an observant Christian), is a Marine SNCO in combat arms, who has had three front-line deployments in the GWOT.

Mr. Weinstein was a wealthy and well-connected lawyer who worked with some of the most powerful corporations and people in this country. He left his last position (with H. Ross Perot) to found the MRFF when he found out about the religious abuses going on in the military. Far from “gaining” anything from his pursuit of these issues, he has sacrificed his comfort, savings, and mortgaged all his property to pursue this fight. Furthermore, he has risked his own safety and that of his family in this struggle.

(For Mr. Weinstein’s full biography, please see: https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/about/michael-l-mikey-weinstein )

The MRFF supports the Constitutionally mandated requirements that there will be no religious test for office, and no established religion (i.e. no state official religion).

“. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article VI, Section III)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” (1st Amendment)

Successive Supreme Court decisions have upheld these principles. Based on the 1971 case of Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 612-13, the Court will rule a practice unconstitutional if:

1. It lacks any secular purpose. That is, if the practice lacks any non-religious purpose.

2. The practice either promotes or inhibits religion.

3. The practice excessively involves government (in this case the military) with a religion.

Drawing from the 1989 case of Allegheny County v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, the practice is examined to see if it unconstitutionally endorses religion by conveying

“a message that a particular religion is ‘favored,’ ‘preferred,’ or ‘promoted’ over other beliefs.”

“Wherein ‘core religious viewpoints’ are contrary to or abrogate other Constitutional protections, ‘ the free exercise clause’ and or freedom of ‘expressive association’ as well as its rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion may be curtailed.”

Based on the 1992 case of Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 the religious practice is examined to see to what extent, if any, pressure is applied to force or coerce individuals to participate.

The Court has defined that “Unconstitutional coercion occurs when: “(1) the government directs (2) a formal religious exercise (3) in such a way as to oblige the participation of objectors.”

A religious body may not interfere with or attempt to disrupt the practice of other religions.

A religious body is subject to civil law and may not practice acts which are deemed illegal under law.

There are also numerous federal laws and directives that direct religious neutrality in government, particularly in the US Armed Forces. For example:

Air Force Instruction 1-1

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.

The whiteboard issue and similar cases fulfill these definitions, which is why they are opposed by the MRFF.

The MRFF is committed to ensuring that this boundary between church and state is maintained, and that the Constitutional rights to freedom of conscience for all Americans (particularly our servicemen and women) are not violated, and that they are not subjected to unwanted proselytization by any religious group whatsoever.

Despite reports to the contrary, neither Mr. Weinstein nor the MRFF is “against” Christianity or any other religion. On the contrary, as the name implies, the MRFF supports religious freedom and pluralism for all faiths or none, in accordance with the US Constitution (see above) and public law. Its founder, members, and supporters include people of many different faiths and belief systems, as well as free-thinkers.

For example, Mr. Weinstein is an observant Jew (though he also has a problem with the “token Menorah” TAFB erected as an after-thought concession to the Nativity creche case the MRFF pursued there), and his own family circle is one of blended faiths, including observant Christians. The MRFF staff (paid and volunteers) is composed of approximately 75% Christians of varying sects (mainly Protestant, including evangelical), 15% Jews, and 10% all others, including Hindus, Muslims, and various other faiths, as well as free-thinkers of various types, including atheists and agnostics.

Though the MRFF is comprised of people of many faiths (as well as no faith), it is strictly secular, and as noted above, defends US service personnel against violations of their Constitutional rights to freedom of conscience.

As to the problems MRFF clients face, I’ll let the numbers tell the story.

Currently, 96% of all the over 32,000 (and rising) MRFF cases are brought on behalf of professing Christians, (mainly Protestants), followed by Catholics (including Roman and Eastern Orthodox).

The 4% balance of cases includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as self-described Pagans of various sects, atheists, agnostics, and other free-thinkers, and at least one self-described “Jedi Knight” (formed around the Jedi Knights of the Star Wars movies).

The great preponderance of MRFF cases involve abuses of authority and violations of the above quoted Constitutional guarantees of freedom of conscience by a specific sub-set of aggressively evangelical radicals who style themselves “Christians” and who are becoming increasingly entrenched and powerful in the military at ranks all the way up to flag officer. They are known variously as Dominionists or Reconstructionists. (See the attachment below for more detail.)

In clear and blatant violations of the Constitution, public law, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, members of these groups aggressively inveigle and solicit “recruits”, but failing that, harass, bully, and attempt to intimidate (often under color of authority) service members under their command, in order to forcibly attempt to proselytize them, using tactics ranging from denying choice assignments and promotions to all but those they consider “Christian enough” to giving those unwilling to knuckle under poor performance reviews, and assigning difficult, dirty, and dangerous tasks – including potentially deadly tasks in combat. Some infantrymen have even been put on “permanent point” — that is, they are ordered to be the first man in line on a patrol. (I don’t know what you know about combat patrolling, but this is the equivalent of a death sentence.)

In many commands (especially in the USAF), the entire CoC is often riddled with or entirely composed of these Dominionists — including the people tasked with providing relief, such as EO NCOs and officers, and on up through the entire CoC. In more than one case we have dealt with, the EO NCO (a Dominionist) has placed the supposedly confidential complaint on the desk of the very same CO or XO who was the cause of the complaint in the first place! Exactly what chances of redress through the system are there in these situations? If you answered “minus zero” you are correct. Here is just one example of the thousands of cases we have fielded. The services are all SUPPOSED to have avenues for wrongs like this to be addressed. Read this and see what just one of our clients, an Army officer, experienced. (And this was an officer — imagine the plight of an enlisted person in the rigid top-down hierarchy of the military.)

http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2011/12/05/thought-u-s-military-would-protect-individual%E2%80%8Bs-from-in-rank-bigotry-and-injustice

For all the lip service the USAF and other branches give these issues, the realities are far different. The MRFF has a great many clients, both officer and enlisted, who have been actively discriminated against, harassed, and even beaten for being other than Christian — or even for being the “wrong kind” of Christian — i.e., non-Dominionist.

While I grant you that some of these incidents may seem small potatoes, they are just one of many intrusions on the Constitution by these people in the military and other government agencies. The MRFF opposes ALL such violations when a complaint is made by service personnel.

I have attached some information on the Dominionist movement for your elucidation. (Please see below)

As to your outré notion that because Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF oppose illegal and unconstitutional attempts to establish religion, they are somehow in favor of alcoholism and pornography, I can assure you that is not the case. However, the MRFF takes no stand on either pornography or alcoholism because that is not part of their mission.

As to your apparent implication by satirical innuendo that Christians and Christianity are uniformly and universally good, and the source of all that is good,
I think that a close observation of the last 2000 years of history would tend to undermine that thesis. Just a few highlights should serve to disabuse all but the blindest zealot of that quaint notion: The brutal murder of the learned scientist and philosopher Hypatia (for the heinous crimes of being a learned woman and a “pagan”) and the concurrent burning of the great Library of Alexandria by the Christian zealots of that city, the Inquisition, the various witch-hunts and murders over the centuries, and the millennia-long persecution of the Jewish people that resulted in the Holocaust (as well as many lesser pogroms and persecutions), the many religious wars of Europe (all of which were “Christian on Christian”), the centuries of religious persecutions and murder of “heretics” (again, “Christian on Christian”), etc., ad nauseum.

In fact, were it not for the fact that I am personally acquainted with some fine men and women who profess Christianity (including some of my MRFF colleagues), I would not have a very high opinion of that faith based on its track record, or that of many of its practitioners over the millennia.

The principal Founders and Framers knew well what an established church of any kind would look like, and what one would do if it was ever established. As educated men, they had read of the frightful blood-baths committed in the name of religion throughout human history. As Mr. Jefferson so tellingly put it (in his “Notes on Virginia” of 1782);

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.”

Indeed, some, like the great patriot Rev. Dr. John Knox Witherspoon (the only active clergyman to sign the Declaration) had been imprisoned for their beliefs in their native land. Though personally a devout Presbyterian, Dr. Witherspoon also saw the dangers of establishment, and opposed both an establishment and political activism by the clergy (his own great contributions notwithstanding). His principles were inculcated in his students at Princeton, many of whom, like James Madison, went on to play seminal roles in the Revolution and the establishment of the Republic, and we can see his hand at work in the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause, for in the words of Madison (possibly his greatest student);

“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”

Who indeed, but a blind zealot?

(For your further elucidation, I attach a brief essay (below) on the Framers and their attitude towards religion and government.)

You also mentioned Mr. Weinstein ‘s use of the word “rape.” He was of course referring to the spiritual rape experienced not only by “atheists” but by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and every other other-than-Christian faith — and for that matter, as I have demonstrated above, even by those not considered “Christian enough” or the “right kind” of Christians by the Dominionists and others like them.

However, since you mention it, there is (and I would imagine always has been) the very real rape of children (and for that matter, adults) by Catholic priests and by Christian ministers of other faiths. I fail to see how their touted Christianity made them better people.

As too early inculcation of religion and the child making them somehow a better person I refer you to everything I have said (above), and the many things said by the founders of the subject. (See att.)

I trust that this answers your questions, and I hope it has made you aware of the real nature and work of the MRFF. Please feel free to contact the MRFF directly if you have any more questions.

Semper Fidelis

F. J. Taylor
USMC (Ret.)

Dominion Theology — A Serious and Growing Threat to the Nation

The MRFF began in 2005 when Mr. Weinstein, an Honor Graduate of the USAF Academy and highly successful top-level business attorney (then working for Perot Enterprises), learned from his son (then at the USAF Academy) that there was a great deal of religion-based physical, verbal, and emotional harassment directed not just at his son, but at all cadets who were not Christian — or even just “not Christian enough” or the “right kind.” For Jews and others non-Christians, things were even worse. The Jews got the usual “Jesus-killer” and other ethnic slurs, and non-Christians who don’t wish to convert got even worse.

Having experienced similar abuse himself at the Academy while a cadet (including a brutal beating from ambush), Mr. Weinstein was very concerned that such egregious violations of the Constitutional right to freedom of conscience, which he had supposed eradicated in the modern military, were still on-going — and what is more, that they were even worse than in his own time.

Initially, he thought that with his service background and his own connections in the services, the government, and business that things could be set to rights with a few calls and visits. However, he was astonished to find that not even a man with his connections had enough clout to right the situation, and that indeed, it was far bigger, and far more wide-spread, than he had anticipated.

Instead of a few isolated religious fanatics acting as loose cannons, he found a network that spread wide and deep throughout the USAF and indeed the entire armed forces, in positions of great power and trust from enlisted and NCO through flag officer ranks. Sadly, even flag officers (those who weren’t personally involved as part of the problem) were and remain afraid to confront this issue.

As Mr. Weinstein probed deeper into the mire, he found that this was part of a long-running, well-financed, and well-organized operation by a group of zealots who follow an extremely radical theology.

In violation of the Constitution, public law, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, these Dominionists (a radical and militant subset of evangelical Christianity) aggressively seek converts. Failing persuasion, they harass, bully, and attempt to intimidate under color of authority service members under their command or control, in order to attempt to proselytize even service members who have expressed their unwillingness.

When in command positions, they use tactics ranging from denying good assignments and promotions to those they don’t consider Christian or “Christian enough” to giving poor performance reviews, and difficult, dirty, and dangerous tasks – including potentially deadly tasks in combat. (One of our clients was assigned as “permanent point” in a combat unit!)

They have advocated in both words and writing the overthrow of the Republic and Constitution (by ballot if possible, but by bullet if necessary), and replacing them with an Old Testament style theocracy, complete with “Biblical” Sharia-like laws, complete with public executions by stoning, sword, or other “Biblical” methods, with mandatory attendance and participation by the whole community – including children.

Anyone not considered not “Christian enough” by these people if they gain power will be forced to either convert to or accept their warped version of Christianity – or die. They have been correctly described as “American Taliban.”

Some people might consider this some sort of tin-hat conspiracy theory, or that they are just far-right fringe loonies without a hope of achieving power, but these people have been operating “under the radar” for over 50 years, and are now firmly entrenched in every branch and MOS of our armed forces and government, at every level – and are getting bolder by the day.

To get a handle on their plans for the rest if us, let’s examine the words of the individuals who founded and control the movement, such as the late Rousas John Rushdoony who wrote that they intend to “…lead them (non-believers) to Jesus – in chains, if necessary.” (Rushdooney was not speaking metaphorically, but literally.)

Rushdoony also wrote that democracy is “heresy” and that Christians must remember that “a monarchy (referring to “God’s kingdom on earth”) is not a democracy.” and “Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.”

Rushdoony listed eighteen capital “crimes” including blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, incorrigible delinquency, homosexuality, promiscuity or unchastity before marriage, wearing a red dress (for women – though one must suppose these people would apply it to men too), and failure to keep a kosher kitchen.

Punishment for non-capital crimes would include whipping and indentured servitude or slavery (including for debt), and prisons would become temporary holding tanks while prisoners awaited sentencing. Women and children would again become chattel property of men.

Rushdoony and other Dominionists have been aptly described elsewhere as “the American Taliban” as noted above. This is true in more ways than just their morbid interest in cruel and unusual punishment. They are extremely retrogressive socially and politically, and share many more beliefs in common with the Islamic fundamentalists than they do with the average American.

Perhaps one reason they hate the Islamist fascists is that they have so much in common with them — battles between kindred are always the worst. One can only hope that they never recognize their true kinship, lest they join forces in a truly unholy alliance.

Rushdoony’s Chalcedon Foundation also helped establish The Rutherford Institute, a legal organization to promote their agenda through the very courts they plan to supersede once in power, so although Rushdoony died, his organization and legacy of theocracy lives on.

Gary North, Rushdoony’s son-in-law, espouses (publicly) a slightly less draconian version, stating, “I don’t want to kill homosexuals–I would be happy just driving them back into the closet.” However, he also espouses stoning for blasphemers and those who curse their parents, and has stated that public stoning of “malefactors” would be “a great way to bring communities together.”

The CFGC (Council of Full Gospel Churches) was founded and is run by retired Army COL “Jim” Ammerman. They have been one of the main chaplain accreditation agencies ending these stealth “Dominionist” chaplains into the military services.

One of their worst offenders is US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, with his CFGC cohorts have also denigrated Judaism and Catholicism, as well as mainstream Protestant churches. In a stunning example of their theology (and ultimate plans for everyone not of their belief), Linzey, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell” that should be “stomped out.”

The Council of Full Gospel Churches (Linzey’s accrediting agency) not only didn’t pull his accreditation, but supported this egregious violation of the Constitution, his mission and orders as a military chaplain, and of his oath as an officer. (Of course, Ammerman is as bad or worse.)

COL Ammerman and MAJ Linzey have also spread conspiracy theories about “Satanic forces” in the U.S. government for years aiding a military takeover aided by unnamed “foreign” (presumably UN) troops.

In 2008, COL Ammerman said that four presidential candidates (US Senators Obama, Clinton, Biden and Dodd) should be hanged for treason – for not voting to designate English as America’s official language. He also stated that President Obama would be assassinated as a “secret Muslim.” (In the late 1990s, he had also called for the execution of then-president Clinton for treason.)

CFGC and its chaplains have repeatedly and egregiously violated the Constitution and the laws and regulations regarding chaplaincies, including those on interfaith cooperation, bans on membership in organizations with religious or racial supremacist principles, especially those espousing violence, and that active military personnel cannot make disloyal or contemptuous statements about officials.

This problem, as stated, is very wide-spread and deeply entrenched, not only in the military but in many areas of government and indeed, other nations.

These people are very clever, subtle, well-organized, and well-funded. They are gaining ground in many areas – including the military and the Service Academies.

These people are our main opponents, and regular violators of the very Constitution which guarantees them freedom of religion and pluralism, which they call upon to defend themselves as they attack and undermine the very principles which allow them to exist and operate.

While we accept their right to believe as they please, within the framework of the Constitution and public law, we balk at allowing them to proselytize unwilling service personnel under their command “under color of authority” and to undermine and work to destroy the Constitution that many of our members (most of whom are former or serving members of the US Armed Forces), swore to “uphold and defend.”

The Dominionists and their allied sects are committing egregious assaults on the Constitution and on the rights of servicemen and women daily. We expose to the clear light of day their violations, as well as those of any other individuals or groups who attempt the same. Unfortunately, this group constitutes the bulk of the complaints we receive.

Mr. Weinstein determined that this movement, far from being a few relatively harmless religious lunatics, had developed into a highly dangerous and credible threat to the Constitution and to the Republic itself. He determined that there was no way he could stand aside and let them continue their rise to power. He left his employment, and founded MRFF, using all his own money and mortgaging his possessions, borrowing from friends, family and anyone he could convince of the need to battle this threat. He quite literally has wagered his “life, fortune, and sacred honor” to defend the Constitution he swore (like all of us who have served) to “uphold and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

FYI, some Online sources of information on Dominionism:

http://www.mainstreambaptists.org/mob4/dominionism.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_Theology

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christofascism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousas_John_Rushdoony

http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Dominionism

http://www.publiceye.org/christian_right/cr_intro.html#dominion

http://www.theocracywatch.org/dominionism.htm

http://www.jewsonfirst.org/dominionism.html

http://www.rwor.org/a/033/dominionism-be-very-afraid.htm

Also, Pat Robertson’s “The Secret Kingdom” outlines his own plan for a theonomy.

Origins and Intent of the Constitution’s “No Religious Establishment” and “No Religious Test” Clauses.

The US Constitution clearly states:

“. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article VI, Section III)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” (1st Amendment)

Clear enough — but exactly what were the Framers’ intentions in relation to these clauses? To determine that we must look at some of the things the principal Founders said and wrote, for as Jefferson said;

“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” — Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Johnson, 1823

The strongest influence on the Framers was the broad new flowering of thought among the intellectual elite of European philosophers from about the middle of the 17th century to the early 19th century known as the “Age of Enlightenment” (sometimes included with its early 17th century predecessor, the “Age of Reason”). Its principles were based on reason and intellect instead of illogic, irrationality, and superstition, and sought to replace both the aristocracy and established churches, which were viewed by them as reactionary and oppressive. Many of these philosophers were Deists at best.

In America, many of the men who became our Founders and Framers were followers of, and indeed participants in, the Enlightenment movement. Though most were born and raised as at least nominal Christians of one sect or another, our seminal thinkers, who were among the most influential and important Founders, and the main crafters of our form of government (such as Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, and Paine, among others) were clearly Deists at best, eschewing the “miraculous” elements of religion.

Many were Masons, who, while having belief in a higher power, were not Christians in the modern sense. (In fact, it is extremely doubtful that any of these gentlemen would pass the modern “litmus test” for “true believers” — and I would surmise that were they here today, they might well be MRFF clients or supporters.)

They had seen the evils generated by the various “established” churches of Europe and elsewhere – which was one of the main reasons that the US was created as a secular nation with NO established religion. As Mr. Madison so cogently wrote;

“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”

Who, indeed? Only someone whose vision was so myopic and abilities of ratiocination so defective that they would suppose that their chosen sect or denomination was the only “true” one — and would somehow magically prevail.

Of course, a politician’s public pronouncements often cater to religious beliefs, no matter their true thoughts. Therefore, we must examine their private correspondence and acts.

General Washington was baptized as an Anglican (which later became the Episcopalian church following the Revolution). He was also a Freemason, which requires a belief in some higher power (though not necessarily the modern Christian version of deity). It is also clear that he was a believer in the importance of religion in maintaining order.

However, Washington’s personal diaries indicate that he did not regularly attend services while home at Mount Vernon, spending most Sundays writing letters, conducting business, fox-hunting, or doing other activities. His biographer, Paul Leicester Ford, wrote:

His daily “where and how my time is spent” enables us to know exactly how often he attended church, and in the year 1760 he went just sixteen times, and in 1768 he went fourteen, these years being fairly typical of the period 1760-1773.

Though he attended services more often when he traveled on political business (which may have been politically motivated), it might be any sect or denomination – he attended several churches in his travels, including Catholic, Presbyterian, and Quaker.

He also rarely used the word “God” except in non-religious catchphrases such as “thank God”, “God knows” (i.e. no one knows), “for God’s sake”, or “my God!” as an exclamation. More often, he spoke of “Providence” or wrote privately to fellow Masons of the “Great Architect of the Universe” (both common Deist terms). Likewise, he almost never mentions “Jesus Christ” in speeches or writing. A rare reference to “Jesus Christ” by name was in a 1779 letter to a delegation of Christianized Indians, which replies to a letter they sent him telling him of their intent for peace, and to acquire religious instruction, and asking for support in their affairs with Congress.

Moreover, Washington was an early supporter of religious toleration and freedom of religion. In 1775, he ordered that his troops not show anti-Catholic sentiments by burning the pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Night, and he issued the first official proclamation in observance of St. Patrick’s Day in America. The proclamation declared March 17, 1780 a holiday for the Continental Army stationed in Morristown, New Jersey. It was the first holiday granted to the troops in two years. Washington awarded this holiday “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence”.

When hiring workmen for Mount Vernon, he wrote to his agent,”If they be good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa, or Europe; they may be Mohammedans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists.”

In 1790, Washington expressed his support for religious tolerance where in a letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island he stated,
“May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

On February 1, 1800, a few weeks after Washington’s death, Thomas Jefferson made the following entry in his journal, regarding an incident on the occasion of Washington’s departure from office:

“Dr. Rush tells me that he had it from Asa Green that when the clergy addressed Genl. Washington on his departure from the govmt, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Xn religion and they thot they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However he observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice. Rush observes he never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the states when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of the benign influence of the Christian religion. “I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that Genl. Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.”

Rev. Dr. James Abercrombie, was rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, in Philadelphia, which Washington sometimes attended. After Washington died, when asked about Washington’s beliefs, Abercrombie replied: “Sir, Washington was a Deist!”

What emerges from this is a picture of a typical Enlightenment Deist who (like his fellow Founders, Jefferson, Madison, and Franklin) admired the moral teachings, though not necessarily believing in the divinity or miraculous aspects of the (possibly) historic 1st century AD rabbi Yehoshua, now known as “Jesus.”

John Adams, our first Vice President and second President, was certainly an influential Founder. However, he was not a fundamentalist in modern terms by any stretch of the imagination.

He believed that religion was necessary to keep the mob in check, as other members of the ruling classes have done since time immemorial. (As Seneca the Younger wrote; “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers useful.”)

Adams was raised a Congregationalist (descended from the Puritans), and his father wished him to become a minister, but he preferred to study law. He wrote back to his father saying that he found among the lawyers “noble and gallant achievements” but among the clergy, the “pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces.” (While I agree on his assessment of clergy, I haven’t as sanguine a view of lawyers as he did.)

Adams eventually broke completely with his Calvinist upbringing and became a Unitarian, not believing in the Trinity, predestination, eternal damnation, or many other essential tenets of Calvinism or what we now refer to as “fundamentalism”– which is interesting, considering that modern fundamentalists often cite him as an example of a religious Founder. It is highly unlikely that he would have “measured up” to the Dominionists’ “standards” of belief.

Speaking of Calvinism, he wrote (in a letter to Samuel Miller dated July 8th, 1820); “I must acknowledge that I cannot class myself under that denomination.”

Although stoutly defending religion on occasion, and despite an almost rabid hatred of Catholicism (common in his day, and still common among some Protestants), his views were quite liberal and advanced in other respects.

Sometimes, he even doubted the faith he did have. In a letter to Jefferson, he wrote;

“I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”

As to his views upon the Founding, Adams himself clearly did not believe the US had been established by divine intervention or assistance – in fact, quite the opposite. In “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88) he stated clearly;

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity.

It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”

He also wrote;

“. . . Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”

Surely even the most entrenched “fundamentalist” should be able to read such a clearly worded statement and determine that Adams (one of the prime movers in the Revolution and establishment of this country) had no belief in “Divine Intervention” in the establishment of the US.

Here are some other Adams’ quotes on religion:

“The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.”

“The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?”

(Note his use of the typically Deist phrase, “God of nature.”) He also wrote;

“The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning…. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. ” — John Adams, letter to John Taylor, 1814,

“As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” – John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd President and author of the Declaration of Independence studied many religions. (He owned a translation of the Koran, one of the earliest in the US, used in recent years to swear in our first Muslim Congressman, Keith Ellison). Jefferson stated in numerous writings that he didn’t believe in the miraculous trappings of the Bible, or the divinity of Jesus, but viewed him as an admirable, but entirely human reformer, as we find from these quotes:

“The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” – letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.” – Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

“It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.” – letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825

Jefferson wrote extensively of religion and Christianity;

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” – “Notes on Virginia” 1782

“They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” – letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” – letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” – to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” – letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

“What need we despair of after the resurrection of Connecticut to light and liberty? I had believed that the last retreat of monkish darkness, bigotry, and abhorrence of those advances of the mind which had carried the other States a century ahead of them. They seemed still to be exactly where their forefathers were when they schismatized from the covenant of works, and to consider as dangerous heresies all innovations, good or bad I join you, therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.” —Letter to John Adams on the disestablishment of the Connecticut Church — vii, 62. M., 1817.)

Writing in his autobiography about the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, he said;

“…a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,’ the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”

Jefferson’s views clearly illustrate that he was a Deist.

James Madison our 4th President, was the principal author of and known as the “Father of the Constitution.” He said much the same of the above in his autobiography, and “Detached Memoranda.” In his “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments” of June 1785, he wrote;

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less
in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.”

“What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”

Concerning “National Prayer” or “Fast” days, he wrote;

“They seem to imply and certainly nourish the erroneous idea of a national religion.”

Note his use of the word “erroneous” idea of a national religion.

Madison was against the encroachments by religious groups that had already occurred and were occurring during this period. In his letters, and “Detached Memoranda” (written between 1817 – 1828), he warned strongly against them, including the government-established and paid chaplaincies in Congress and the military, and other encroachments that were occurring. Among the views he expressed were these;

“Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.” — Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, Jr., January 1774

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect.” Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1,1774

“…Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which prevades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.” — Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution, June 1778

“No distinction seems to be more obvious than that between spiritual and temporal matters. Yet whenever they have been made objects of Legislation, they have clashed and contended with each other, till one or the other has gained the supremacy.” — Madison in a letter to Thomas Jefferson Oct-Nov 1787

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” — James Madison, c. 1803

(Note that Madison, like Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, uses the term “separation of church and state.”)

“The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” — James Madison in a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819

(Note again the term “separation of church and state.”)

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” James Madison, Detached Memoranda, 1820

(Madison refers here to cases where religious bodies had already tried to encroach on the government. Again note the concept of “separation of church and state” and his clear disapprobation of the creeping intrusion of religion into government even in his time — a trend that has only gotten worse over the intervening centuries.)

“Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov’ & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov’t of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together;

It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom…. We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Gov.” — Madison in a letter to Edward Livingston dated July 10, 1822

But what of other seminal Founders? Let’s examine some of the other most influential.

Benjamin Franklin’s pious sayings are often quoted by current religious promoters (although they ignore his rather less pious actual doings). While he certainly seems to have believed in a Supreme Being of some sort, his ideas were, to say the least, rather interesting.

Franklin (like several of the Founders and Framers) was a Deist, despite being (like Adams) raised as a Congregationalist (Puritan). Like Jefferson and some other Founders, Franklin expressed belief in a supreme being, and espoused Christian moral principles (though he often failed to follow them himself) — but did not believe in the divinity, virgin birth, miracles, or any of the other trappings accorded to Jesus by fundamentalists.

“I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies.”

Franklin himself made that clear several times during his life in bis autobiography and other writings, beginning with his “Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion” published November 20, 1728.

(Please see the Benjamin Franklin Papers at http://franklinpapers.org/franklin/framedVolumes.jsp?vol=1&page=101a )

You will notice in these “Articles” that Franklin does not mention the Puritan or Calvinist ideas of belief in salvation, hell, the divinity of Jesus, or other religious dogma. In fact, he has some rather bizarre concepts of what constituted “deity” – and these ideas would not have passed muster with any fundamentalists — then or now.

For example, he sees the ultimate Supreme Being as being indifferent to mankind, and who created other beings superior to man, in themselves “gods” — each of whom has their own fiefdom in terms of a solar system, and who are therefore the more “personal” subordinate gods of their sub-creations, the “local” god of each system. Therefore, in his view, we in our solar system are subordinate to a deity who is more personally concerned with us than the “supreme being” who created all – including our deity.

He further clarified his position in his 1771 autobiography.

Franklin retained these beliefs until his death. In 1790, just about a month before he died, Franklin wrote a letter to Ezra Stiles, then president of Yale University, who had asked him his views on religion:

“As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and I think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble….”

Thomas Paine, author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, and revolutionary, was the chief propagandist of the Revolution. His “Common Sense” (1776) was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

Paine also authored “The American Crisis” a series which ran from 1776–1783, and “The Age of Reason” among others. Writing in “The Age of Reason” he stated;

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

In addition to the Constitution and the writings of the Founders above, in 1797 America made one of its earliest foreign treaties with the Muslim kingdom of Tripoli (in the present state of Libya).

This treaty was initially drafted on November 4th, 1796 (at the end of Washington’s presidency) by Joel Barlow, the American consul to Algiers. (Barlow was a friend to Jefferson and Madison, and had been an Army chaplain in the Revolutionary War appointed by Washington himself, but he later abandoned dogmatic religion and became a Rationalist.)

Barlow forwarded the treaty to the Senate, where it was endorsed by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, approved by the Senate, and signed by the new President, John Adams on June 10th, 1797, and published in the Philadelphia Gazette on June 17th of that year.

This treaty explicitly states (in Article 11);

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

Thus, in one of our earliest treaties with a foreign power (ironically, from an Islamic culture), our first two Presidents and Congress agreed that the US was “not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” – in other words, we were a secular nation. Q.E.D.

As to the Founders’ personal beliefs, a brief glance at their own words (above) should suffice to demonstrate that many would not be considered “Christians” by modern fundamentalists.

That this fact was well known in the early days of the Republic is proven by the words of the Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister of Albany, New York. In a sermon preached in October, 1831, he said;

“The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who have thus far been elected not a one had professed a belief in Christianity….

“Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.”

(The presidents up to that time (1831) had been: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe [considered Founders / Framers by historians] and John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson [not considered Founders] ).

Please note that Dr. Wilson was not being complementary of these early leaders — he was being critical, and stating what was a generally known and acknowledged fact in America in this period, which coincided with an intense religious “revival” a precursor of the various religious “revivals” that America has experienced up to the present — some of which have involved trying to inject religion into government, despite the best attempts of the Founders to separate them.

There are many other quotations of this nature. It seems apparent that the leading Founders, like Jefferson and Madison, and even the somewhat more religious ones like Adams, were strongly against mixing religion with government and politics. It is clear that they had seen the failure of religious governments in Europe and elsewhere, and wanted no part of them.

However, in the final analysis, the Founders and Framers, theist, Deist or whatever their personal beliefs, came together and wisely constructed and approved a secular government system, which allows freedom of conscience for all, while prohibiting the establishment of any religion.

Therefore, any reasonable and impartial observer must conclude that the notion of the United States of America (as constituted by the Constitution of 1789), as a theistic nation is not supported by the Constitution itself, successive Supreme Court decisions, or the words and deeds of the principal men who constructed both the nation and the Constitution. It is instead a secular nation which allows freedom of conscience to all. Q.E.D


I would understand if this particular “violation” rose to the level of historical events like the Spanish inquisition as you seem to want to portray but this certainly hardly seems to be the case in this instance.

I made no such portrayal, or even suggested a comparison, as I think you will find if you re-read my reply. My mention of the Inquisition and other Christian atrocities was not in reference to this particular case, but in response to your assertion that Christianity (as practiced) was and is always and inevitably the epitome of goodness and loving kindness, when in fact, history shows otherwise.

However, the point is not whether the violation rises to the level of the Inquisition or any other of the monstrous evils perpetrated by religions that have the power of the state behind them, but that said actions, great or small, are in fact illegal.

I do agree that the history of the “Christian” Church has probably been anything but exemplary of the teachings of Christ.

Then in fact we agree on this point — and one which is IMO a very important one. There has often been little to nothing of the purported teachings of the mid-first century AD Jewish rabbi Yehoshua ben Yosef displayed by many of his self-described followers over the centuries since the first establishment of that religion as the state religion of Rome under Flavius Valerius Constantinus, who both established Christianity as the new state religion of Rome (beginning with the “toleration” Edict of Milan in 313 AD), and brought the new religion into conformity, beginning with his calling the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, which produced much of what we recognize as Christianity, as embodied in the “Apostles’ Creed.”

The Christian religion, once fully in political power as the new state religion of Rome, proceeded to destroy their temples and shrines (some of them of great cultural heritage value), and to arrest, imprison, torture, and murder not only thousands of those deemed “pagans,” but also Jews and even other Christians they labeled “heretics” (i.e., those who did not believe the way they did, such as the Arians and Cathars). Even kings were not immune from their power (as Henry II would later learn when Becket was murdered).

Some time after the Empire split, the Church did likewise, establishing the Eastern Orthodox in opposition to the Western Roman Catholic Church in the Great Schism of 1054 AD, and later splitting yet again in the Western Schism of 1378 AD to 1417 AD. These schisms all entailed rather vigorous theological debate — much of it with swords, lances, and bows, as the debating tools, and the field of battle as the venue of choice.

And of course, once the various forces and sects of the Protestant Reformation became established in their respective areas, they began to serve the formerly all-powerful Roman Catholic church with a dose of their own medicine — which then retaliated with its usual “Christian love and kindness” as may be seen from the words of a Pope of that period:

“I do further promise and declare, that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do and to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth, and that I will spare neither sex, age nor condition and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the wall, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race.” — Pope Paul III, 1576

Now if that speech doesn’t just reek of compassion, love and kindness, I don’t know what does! Please keep in mind that these “heretics” Protestants and Liberals were fellow Christians — not even other faiths or Jews, who were served as bad or worse.

Of course, Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF staff get “promises” like this from Christians like this every day, so it is no surprise to us. Here’s a few examples of many:

From: (e mail withheld)
Subject: Formal Request to The Evil One
Date: April 9, 2014 8:17:23 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein

From: Our Army Combat Unit’s Daily Morning Bible Study Prayerful Soldiers

To: The MRFF’s Evil Michael Weinstein

Message: Drop Dead. Preferably while you are driving into your driveway at home so you can hit as many family members as possible with your vehicle. Multiple dead Weinsteins for the price of one. Such a deal!

V/R

Proud Christians in the United States Army
Proud Americans in the Christian United States

From: (email withheld)
Subject: Why We Hate Michael Weinstien
Date: March 31, 2014 9:33:39 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein

Because he is a devil loving Christian hating, fag loving muslum loving, America hating, military hating athiest commie leftist with a big jew mouth an uppity jew anarchist socialist attitude. Fire up the ovens boys!

From: (email withheld)
Subject: jew jew jew jew jew jew
Date: October 29, 2013 9:39:48 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein

you goddamn jewboy homo commie America hating kike. I hate you mikey. my family hats you. my church hates you. My town hates you. We hate your uglyass children and skank cunt of a wife. we pray pray and more pray that your hearts will explode out of your hookjew noses and Christ hating mouths. and that day is coming you jew. We hate your MFFR devil worshippers too. you will all of you pay in time for trying to keep the ONLY Lord of all Jesus out of the sacred oath at the Air Academy. oh you think you won with making Jesus optional little jewboy? there is NO optional when it comes to surrendering to Jesus you damn kike motherfucker. And thats what America was founded for.

From: (email withheld)
Subject: Spirit of satan on Your jew face
Date: September 25, 2013 3:57:26 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein

I am a proud Christian living and spreading The Word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ here in Tulsa. Me and my wife came to listen to the devil’s own Mikie Wienstein at the All Soul’s unitarian church here last saturday. Our pastor told us the next day at Sunday Service that this so called “church” should be renamed as “All Soul’s Going To Hell” for 2 reasons. First it invited one of the greatest enemys of Christ wienstein to even speak here in Tulsa in the first place. Second because noone at that “church” has been saved by the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ. And they all then will burn in the Lake of Fire for they rejection of our Savior. We listened to mikie Wienstein speak his evil words against allowing Christ to impower our U.S. army soldiers. We watched the jews face. We could not help but notice his face. Being a cunning jew he has a shrewd jew face to begin with to confuse the people. But the spirit on that dark face of his could only be of the Dark One himself satan. It was so obvious. It gave my wife and me chils to behold his demonism. My wife wanted to ask him a question at the microphone about him being of satan. But his evil glare from his dark father the fallen angel satan kept her from the strength to do so. And it was useless anyway. As all the others there will burn erternally in hell with that jew of satan. And he had to bring his big nigra guards with him for protection? He has no protection from The Way,The Truth and The Life of Jesus. Mikie should no that there is no protection from those who kiss the lips of satan. And reject the free gift of the love of Christ. He gets what is coming for him from the warriors of the Savior. It is only a matter of time now.

And these are but a few of the stream of venomous filth and hatred received daily from your loving, compassionate, fellow Christians. As I said, if I didn’t know from personal experience that all Christians weren’t like that, I would have nothing but utter contempt for the religion.

Their knowledge of these historic facts is one of many reasons why the Framers wisely made this a secular nation, albeit (equally wisely) one with freedom of conscience for all.

Let me remind you, however, that Christian have suffered greatly as well at the hands of many despots throughout history and this is no more inexcusable than anything you write about.

I think you mean “no more excusable” here? “no more inexcusable” is a double negative. In any case, with all due respect, sir, as a degreed and credentialed historian who has researched these issues for years, I feel that I have no need of being “reminded” about anything historical.

While we can agree that what Christians have suffered or continue to suffer at the hands of despots is indeed inexcusable, it is something over which the MRFF has no control (if external to the US), and is not part of the MRFF mission, unless within the US or a US base overseas. If the latter, then the MRFF will respond to a complaint.

In fact, as I mentioned in my earlier letter, 96% of the MRFF cases involve Christians suffering — at the hands of fellow “Christians” – for not being “Christian enough” or for being the “wrong kind” of Christian. THAT is something the MRFF can and does do something about.

Given the obvious flaws of human nature there will be those who say they hold particular ideological principles that don’t adhere always in practice

No argument here. However, these “Super-Christian” Dominionists and Reconstructionists we are dealing with not only say they adhere, but indeed claimtheir beliefs and methods of observance are the ONLY correct way. (Of course, many denominations and religions claim that.)

but this does not provide rational evidence to censor of ban individual liberty when there is clearly no threat even implied by posting a bible verse.

However, posting biblical verses (or those of any religion) in such a manner and place on government property as to imply that the subject religion is established, or “sanctioned, preferred, or elevated” by the state is unconstitutional and illegal (as I have pointed out elsewhere). It is not a matter of the “severity” or “threat” (if any). It is a matter of the rule of law. Q.E.D.

I think we both know that the example of the Catholic priests behaviors was despite and not because of the teachings of the new testament.

I have no such certainty as you that the clerical abuse was “despite and not because” of their teachings, but I am not going to debate the issue, because it is not the issue. I merely mentioned that as but one example of many of Christian clerical abuse that counters your own certainty.

However, while on the subject, let me remind you that it has not been just Catholic priests, but Protestant ministers. The Protestant denominations are rife with those violating their “biblical precepts” on a regular basis. Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Ted Haggard spring instantly to mind, but there were also such classics as Bishop Eddie Long, Dr. Albert Odulele, the aptly named Robert Liardon, the very inappropriately named Douglas Goodman, Pat Mesiti, John Paulo, Paul Barnes, Earl Paulk, Tony Alamo, Michael Reid, Joe Barron, Lester Roloff and Frank Houston- to name but a few. I could go on, but the list is such a long one that I really haven’t time.

I am not judging these people, because that is not my job, and as your own scriptures say, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1, KJV)
(The rest of that verse is very applicable to many self-proclaimed Christians today who (like the hypocrites mentioned above) shout the loudest about the sins of others:

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

For those clerics whose activities were with consenting adults (as opposed to children and / or domestic animals), their sex lives are nobody else’s business — not mine, not yours, or the government’s. However, I mention them here for their gross hypocrisy in that they were all notorious for pounding the pulpit and spewing hatred and venom against those who were “guilty” of what they themselves were secretly doing all along.

As I said, were it not for the fact that I know some fine people who profess Christianity, I personally would not be very impressed either by the religion or your argument.

I would hasten to add that he same is true of those of other faiths in my circle of friends, which includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other faiths.
I have found good people in every faith (and no faith) that I have encountered — but no faith that in and of itself automatically and uniformly produces or confers good upon humanity.

However, again, the goodness or otherwise of Christianity and Christians (or any other religion) is not the issue — the issue is the Constitution and the law.

From what I can see about your organization, despite your description saying you’re for religious freedom would have been kind of like a small contingent in Nazi Germany called Nazi for Jews. Maybe this is a little extreme

It is VERY extreme to belittle that evil regime’s role, or attempt to compare it with the MRFF or any of us here in any way. I find it greatly insulting personally. Not only were many of Mr. Weinstein’s family victims of those evil bastards, but also my own wife’s family (she is of Jewish heritage) lost almost half of the European branch to the death camps, and for you to even try to compare what the MRFF does with what they did, is, sir, a grave and most reprehensible act which I deeply resent.

As I have stated above and in my earlier E (which apparently you didn’t really bother to read closely or without your goggles of zealotry) 96% of the MRFF cases involve Christians suffering at the hands of fellow “Christians” – for not being “Christian enough” or for being the “wrong kind” of Christian.

However, since you mention them, the Nazis were almost all Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, and both the Nazi and Italian fascist movements were generally approved of and supported by the clergy and hierarchy of both Catholic and Protestant during their rise to power. That is a fact that many Christians have tried to sweep under the rug since the end of the war.

(The tendency among Christians to hide nasty secrets is hardly a modern phenomenon. As Gibbon said in his “Decline and Fall” of Eusebius, the 4th century bishop of Caesarea who was one of the earliest “historians” of the church:

“…Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion.”

However, let’s let the record of what the Nazis were and stood for speak for itself;

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, p. 46

“I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Almighty Creator. By fighting the Jews, I am doing the Lord’s work.” — Adolf Hitler, ibid. p. 65

“This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.” — Adolf Hitler, ibid. p 152

“Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the ‘remaking’ of the Reich as they call it.” — Adolf Hitler, ibid. Vol. 2 Chapter 1

“The work that Christ started but could not finish, I — Adolf Hitler — will conclude.” — Adolf Hitler, December 1926.

“The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy … proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism…” — Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, 1929

“The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.” — Adolf Hitler, Berlin, 1933, first radio address after coming to power.

“The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society.” — Adolf Hitler, speech at the Reichstag, March 1933

“Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith … We need believing people.” — Adolf Hitler, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of April 1933

“I am personally convinced of the great power and deep significance of Christianity, and I won’t allow any other religion to be promoted.” — Adolf Hitler

“Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country]… I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past … (few) years.” — Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1

“We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out.” — Adolf Hitler, speech on October 24, 1933

“As for the Jews, I am just carrying on with the same policy which the Catholic Church has adopted for fifteen hundred years, when it has regarded the Jews as dangerous and pushed them into ghettos etc., because it knew what the Jews were like. I don’t put race above religion, but I do see the danger in the representatives of this race for Church and State, and perhaps I am doing Christianity a great service.” — Adolf Hitler, 1936, to Bishop Berning and Msg. Steinman, representatives of Pope Pius XI.

“I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” — Adolf Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941

Here are some photos of Hitler:

Hitler leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven

Hitler prays at a rally.

The original caption reads:

“Der ergreifende Abschlub der Kundgebung in Wien: Wir treten zum Beten…”

[The touching and emotional end of the rally in Vienna: Let us pray…]

Here is a great shot showing how close the Christian church (both Catholic and Protestant) and the Nazis were:

National Bishop Friedrich Coch giving a Hitler greeting in Dresden, 10 December 1933
(Coch was one of the leading men of the “German Christians” in Saxony, and had been
the Nazi Gau “consultant for church matters” since 1932. He was elected to the office of
state bishop by the “Brown Synod” in August 1933.)

Catholic Bishops giving the Nazi salute in honor of Hitler.
Note Nazi leaders Joseph Goebbels (far right) and Wilhelm Frick (second from right)

In 1932 the the Protestant Nazi movement called “German Christians” (Bewegung Deutscher Christen, also called “Stormtroopers of Jesus”) was founded and lead by Rev. Joachim Hossenfelder. Protestant churches throughout Germany participated in the movement.

Consecrated in 1935, the only remaining Nazi Christian church Martin Luther Memorial Church still stands in Berlin. Originally the Church bells and altar contained the swastika, but later removed because of post-war law that outlaws swastikas in Germany. The church still retains many of the Nazi symbols and icons, including a muscular “Aryanized” Jesus, the Iron Cross, statues of Nazi stormtroopers, and a bust of Adolf Hitler. During the ’30s, Nazi party members made up two thirds of the church attendance, where they also baptized their children.

The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) Flag. Note the Swastika in the Cross.

Oh, and let’s not forget that German soldiers swore oaths to Hitler and God, and marched in to battle in that war
and earlier ones wearing a belt buckle that plainly stated:

“Gott Mit Uns” — “God (is) With Us”

The above (and a LOT more) about Hitler and the Nazis and religion and Christianity are available from these sites:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm

http://www.nobeliefs.com/mementoes.htm

http://www.nobeliefs.com/speeches.htm

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/09/17/list-of-hitler-quotes-in-honor

http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/tp/AdolfHitlerQuotesGodReligion.htm

Also please note that Adolf Hitler was never excommunicated or in any other way officially censured by the Catholic Church.
The only high-ranking Catholic Nazi to be excommunicated was Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels — because he married a divorced Protestant woman.

I should also note here that Hitler was being quite truthful and correct about his following “1500 years of church example” in his treatment of Jews.

Lest you try to say that Hitler’s views were a “perversion” of Christian teaching, we actually see this going back to some the earliest interactions of the Christian church with Jews. (Which is sadly hilarious, given that Yehoshua and his earliest disciples were all born, lived, and died as practicing Jews.)

“For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,” — 1st Thessalonians 2:14-15

I quote from the Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, PhD, in his “Introduction to Gerald S. Sloyan’s article on Christian Persecution Of Jews Over The Centuries”:

“In several places John’s gospel associates “the Jews” with darkness and with the devil. This laid the groundwork for centuries of Christian characterization of Jews as agents of the devil, a characterization which found its way into medieval popular religion and eventually into passion plays.”

For a more complete treatment of this subject, see:

http://www.ushmm.org/research/the-center-for-advanced-holocaust-studies/programs-ethics-religion-the-holocaust/articles-and-resources/christian-persecution-of-jews-over-the-centuries

During the First Crusade, while the peasant army was passing through Germany in 1096, they slaughtered thousands of Jews, nearly wiping out the entire Jewish population of Worms. According to one eyewitness account;

” They put a rope around his [a Jew’s] neck and dragged him throughout the entire city. . . . They said to him ‘ You may still be saved. Do you wish to convert?’ He signaled [no] . . . and they severed his neck.”

These Crusaders were far from an exception. I have other detailed contemporary accounts of the great joy they took in murder and torture of Jews, Muslims, as well as other Christians. In addition to murdering Jews and stealing from the Christian lands and regions along their way, they attacked and looted Byzantium, then a Christian city.

When Jerusalem was sacked in 1099, the Crusaders were even more brutal to the defenders, as well as any Jews who fell into their hands.

“Some Saracens, Arabs, and Ethiopians took refuge in the tower of David, others fled to the temples of the Lord and of Solomon. A great fight took place in the court and porch of the temples, where they were unable to escape from our gladiators. Many fled to the roof of the temple of Solomon, and were shot with arrows, so that they fell to the ground dead. In this temple almost ten thousand were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet colored to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared.” – (Fulcher of Chartres – Chapter 27: The Siege of the City of Jerusalem )

Some of our men (and this was more merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are ordinarily chanted. What happened there? If I tell the truth, it will exceed your powers of belief. So let it suffice to say this much, at least, that in the Temple and porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed, it was a just and splendid judgment of God that this place should be filled with the blood of the unbelievers, since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies. The city was filled with corpses and blood. Some of the enemy took refuge in the Tower of David, and, petitioning Count Raymond for protection, surrendered the Tower into his hands. – (letter of Raymond d’Aguiliers)

After the capture of Jerusalem, they stole fairly equally from Muslim, Jew, and local Christians. Again, according to the contemporary eyewitness chronicler, Fulcher of Chartres;

“Moreover, Tancred broke into the temple of the Lord and most wrongfully stole much gold and silver, also precious stones…”

(Apparently Tancred had a conscience attack later, and returned the loot.)

But what description of the Crusades would be complete without a mention of Reginald of Chatillon, the infamous “Red Wolf of Karak”? In addition to breaking truces with both Muslims and Christians, he was notorious for robbing, looting, torturing, and murdering the unfortunates (of any religion) who fell into his hands or crossed him.

In 1156, he claimed that the emperor Manuel I Comnenus ( a fellow Christian) had reneged on his promise to pay Reginald a sum of money, and vowed to attack Cyprus in revenge. When the (Christian} Patriarch of Antioch refused to finance this expedition, Reginald had the Patriarch seized, stripped naked, covered in honey, and left in the burning sun on top of the citadel. When the Patriarch was released, he collapsed in exhaustion and agreed to finance the expedition against Cyprus. Reginald’s forces attacked Cyprus, ravaging the island and pillaging its inhabitants – most of whom were Christians.

But of course, the original “Crusades” were about stamping out any opposition to the new religion, and were aimed at the heretics” mentioned above, like the Cathars and Arians. Here are some quotes from some of the representatives of this “religion of peace”:

“Kill them all.God will select those who should go to heaven and those who should go to hell.” — Abbot Arnold de Citeaux, 1205 (during the Fourth Crusade), when asked what to do with prisoners.

“Kill them all, for God knows His own.” — Pope Innocent III, to his troops in the Albigensian Crusade of 1209. (The Albigensians were one of the “heretical” Christian sects, an off-shoot of the Cathar “heresy” mentioned above.)

Some correspondents have said to me when given such examples that these were Catholics, not Protestants, so I refer them and you to one of the founders of Protestantism, Martin Luther.

Hitler greatly admired Luther (mentioned prominently in Mein Kampf and other of Hitler’s writings and speeches), and considered him one of the greatest reformers. Here are some of Luther’s quotes on Jews and how they should be dealt with:

“… we must drive them [Jews] out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all the their other vices and thus merit God’s wrath and be damned with them.” — Martin Luther, “On the Jews and Their Lies”, 1543

He did not call them Abraham’s children, but a “brood of vipers” [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, “He has a demon’ [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a “brood of vipers”; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: “If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did…. You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, nor can they bear to hear this today.

Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self­glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.

Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch­thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security.

….but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly ­ and I myself was unaware of it ­ will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: “what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord.” Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people’s obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], “You are Peter,” etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home.

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God’s blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. for our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God.

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward.

There, sir, is one of the foremost Christians expounding on the Jews — and one can clearly see where one of his greatest admirers, Adolph Hitler, got his inspiration and ideas for his treatment of the Jews.

(All the above from Martin Luther’s “The Jews & Their Lies” taken from Luther’s Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971. pp. 268­-293.)

As to Christianity (or any religion) necessarily imparting truthfulness or other good qualities to its adherents, Luther had this to say:

“What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church? […] a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”

Of course, in this, Luther echoes Saul of Tarsus, who said; “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” — Romans 3:7 (KJV).

Luther also echoes Eusebius, the early “historian” (mentioned above) who lied often in the service of Christianity, and has been in turn echoed into modern times by Mr. David Barton and the other “Liars for Jesus” (as the MRFF’s researcher, Ms. Rodda named them in her book of the same name).
But of course, what would one expect from a man like Luther, who also vehemently decried and denounced the use of reason?

“Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.”

“Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason.”

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

“Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.” — Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148

“Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and … know nothing but the word of God.”

Now you might say; “But this was in history. Modern Christians aren’t like that!” My reply to that would be that many moderns who describe themselves most vehemently as Christians say all that and more. Here’s just a few of the MASSIVE amounts of “love and compassion” Es, letters, and calls the MRFF receives from self-described Christians daily:

“you fucking piece of shit jew and your stinking jew woman and inbred jew childrun and jew-lover traiter daughterinlaw deserve to torture die you filth jew liberil america hating jesus hating basterd Lord willing none of us will have to wait long america is too good for dirty jew scum of your family and your commie foundasion”

Why do all you Jews always get expelled from every Country that lets you in? You’re a fucking minority in America, most Americans are Christian, if you don’t like that then go get gassed or go something else you fucking kike. Die you fucking jews

Our nation and it’s soldiers yearn for the sweet and nurturing love of Christ Jesus. And only our Savior, to give us the military might and leadership to smite Satan and the gays and the Lord of Lies’ moslem and atheist armies of evil. This clever judas lawyer Weinstien’s real father is Satan. It is the Word of our Lord. And his witch wife and demon spawn children are too of Satan (John 8:44). And MFRR henchmen are as well. They all so eagerly fly to stand in direct conflict with our Son of Man, Christ Jesus. They are of Darkness. They fight only for islamist and atheists and queers and false Christians. They fight for Satan. But our Lord is an awesome Lord. Every true American citizen soul to Jesus in this Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave will rejoice and feast when our Lord hurls judas Weinstien and his hosts to there second deaths into the depths of the Fire Lake of eternal damnation. (Revelation 20:14) As it is written it shall be done.

“…it’s difficult to convince some creatures that their part in God’s plan involves an oven… sometimes only a physical reminder will suffice. Spare a Jew from the grave, and he will insult the military that saved him. Spare a nigger the whip, and he’ll turn to insult the man who made the whip. The lesser need to understand that they’re made that way. We must cultivate enough knowledge in those who are beneath men that their mouths only open to say ‘yes sir!’ in the full bloom of joy that comes with appreciating their role.”

(And if you would like to read more violent, psychotic, venom-spewing hatred from these obviously moronic and illiterate schmucks describing themselves as “Christians,” more can be seen at: https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/mrff_mail_reports/hatemail_report.pdf )

You can also see what some very modern Christians said relatively recently below, under my remarks on the Dominionists.

but you mention these couple of groups of evangelicals that are such a “threat” to the military.

Had you even performed a cursory reading of the many links I provided, or on the MRFF site, sir, you would know that the Dominionists are far from being “a handful of evangelicals” and yes, they are a “threat” to the military and to this nation.

Are they literally torturing people to change their faith?

In some cases, yes, and I can guarantee you that given the power, they most certainly would — because they have said as much. As just one example, one of the MRFF’s Jewish clients, a veteran, was in a VA hospital. He was offered a Christian chaplain, who wanted him to convert to Christianity — a highly illegal and unconstitutional offer he rightfully refused. He was thereafter continually harassed and even denied treatment, including needed pain medications, and told he could to “pray to his God” for relief.

Other MRFF clients (again, 96% of them Christian) have been subjected to punishments for their lack of knuckling under to these zealots ranging from extremely unpleasant details and assignments to career-ending fitness reports. More extreme cases have included physical beatings, and being put on “permanent point” in a combat unit. I don’t know what service experience you have (if any), but “permanent point” in a hot combat zone is tantamount to a death sentence.

The only reason there are not a great many more extreme examples on the MRFF’s books (and believe me there are plenty!) is because of the code of silence in the services, and the fact that many don’t even realize they have a safe avenue for complaint. I guarantee you if the Dominionists gain the power that they seek they will definitely exercise it! Again, you obviously didn’t read my reply closely, or you would have seen it in their own words. I reiterate:

“…lead them (non-believers) to Jesus – in chains, if necessary.” (the late Rousas John Rushdoony, founder of the Chalcedon Foundation, and the Rutherford Institute. He was not speaking metaphorically.)

Rushdoony also wrote that democracy is “heresy” and that Christians must remember that “a monarchy (referring to “God’s kingdom on earth”) is not a democracy.” and “Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.”

Rushdoony listed eighteen capital “crimes” including blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, incorrigible delinquency, homosexuality, promiscuity or unchastity before marriage, wearing a red dress (for women – though one must suppose these people would apply it to men too), and failure to keep a kosher kitchen.

Punishment for non-capital crimes would include whipping and indentured servitude or slavery (including for debt), and prisons would become temporary holding tanks while prisoners awaited sentencing. Women and children would again become chattel property of men.

Gary North, Rushdoony’s son-in-law said; “I don’t want to kill homosexuals–I would be happy just driving them back into the closet.” However, he also espouses stoning to death for “blasphemers and those who curse their parents” and stated that public stoning of “malefactors” would be “a great way to bring communities together.”

The CFGC (Council of Full Gospel Churches) founded and run by retired Army COL “Jim” Ammerman is one of the main chaplain accreditation agencies sending “Dominionist” chaplains into the military services.

One of their chaplains is US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, with his CFGC cohorts have also denigrated Judaism and Catholicism, as well as mainstream Protestant churches. In a stunning example of their theology (and ultimate plans for everyone not of their belief), Linzey, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell” that should be “stomped out.”

Here are some other quotes that should tell you their intentions. The first piece is from an American fascist Catholic priest and US radio host, who was very popular in the 1930s. He was one of the early radio talking airheads whose spiritual heirs pollute the airwaves to this day:

“When we get through with the Jews in America, they’ll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing.” — Fr. Charles Edward Coughlin, (1938)

No doubt had “Father” Coughlin and his fellow Christian fascists gotten their way in WW II, that would have been the case. His spiritual heirs remain ready to do “God’s work” on the Jews if they get an opportunity.

But here are some more recent examples;

“The Bible is the supreme law that all governments must obey.” — Randall Terry, founder of “Operation Rescue”

“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good — Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty. We are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”

— Randall Terry, 8/16/1993

“Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God’s law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies.” — Randall Terry

“When I, or people like me, are running the country, you’d better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we’ll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed.” — Randall Terry, on abortion providers and women who had abortions

“Our goal is a Christian Nation…. We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I’ve got a hot flash. God rules.” — Randall Terry, 4/15/1993

My emphasis — but Terry’s own un-edited bigotry, hatred, and blind zealotry. (Interestingly, Terry’s son is gay. No doubt Terry hates him as well.)

Here’s some more from a few other fanatics. These are not only not all that are out there, they don’t even begin to scratch the surface.

“Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” — Rev. Jerry Falwell, December 1999 (Rather reminiscent of Rushdoony.)

“Expect confrontations that will be not only unpleasant but at times physically bloody. When it is over, I am convinced God’s people will emerge victorious.” — Rev. Pat Robertson

These are patent examples of the “theology” of the Dominionists, who view the Constitution as “quaint” and seek to replace it with a theonomy — in which only they and those like them will have a vote of a say, or be free to practice their religion. If you agree with these wacko zealots, you are part of the problem, and we have nothing further to discuss. If not, you should be joining forces with the MRFF.

Are these Christians associated with anyone that may be flying airplanes into buildings by a “religion of peace”.

Read the above and elsewhere in my reply, and I think any but a blind zealot can deduce the answer to that. However, if not, read on;

Many Dominionists “boast” ties with one or more of the “Christian Identity” and other radical Christian and neo-Nazi movements such as the Aryan Nation, most of which have racist and terrorist connections. I have already documented the deep Nazi ties to Christianity. Here are but a few of many examples of the self-appointed emissaries of another self-styled “religion of peace.”

Neo-Nazi White supremacist (and Christian evangelical) Joseph Paul Franklin (born James Clayton Vaughn in Mobile, AL) murdered at least five people between 1977 and 1980. (Detectives believe he could be responsible for another 21 murders.) He changed his name to Joseph Paul in honor of Paul Joseph Goebbels who was the Nazi propaganda minister under Adolf Hitler, and (for some bizarre reason) Benjamin Franklin. In the 1960s, Franklin was inspired to try to start a race war after reading Adolf Hitler’s (very strongly Christian) political manifesto Mein Kampf. He was executed in 2013 for killing a Jewish man in Missouri in 1977. (He also killed an interracial couple in Wisconsin and two black joggers in Utah.)

On June 18, 1984, Denver-based talk show host Alan Berg, a critic of white supremacists, was killed with an automatic weapon. The killing was linked to members of the Order, a neo-Nazi, anti-semitic, Christian Identity white supremacist group that had marked Berg for death. Order members David Lane (a former Ku Klux Klan member who had also been active in the Aryan Nations) and Bruce Pierce were both convicted in federal court on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and violating Berg’s civil rights and given what amounted to life sentences.

Robert Matthews, who founded the Order, got that name from a fictional group in white supremacist William Luther Pierce’s anti-Semitic 1978 novel, The Turner Diaries—a book Timothy McVeigh was quite fond of. The novel’s fictional account of the destruction of a government building has been described as the inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

In 1994, the radical anti-abortionist and “Army of God” member John Salvi attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts, shooting and killing receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols and wounding several others. Salvi was found dead in his prison cell in 1996. His death was ruled a suicide. The Army of God has exalted Salvi as a Christian martyr and described Lowney and Nichols not as victims of domestic terrorism, but as infidels who got what they deserved. The Rev. Donald Spitz, a Christian Army of God supporter who is so extreme that even the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue disassociated itself from him, has praised Salvi as well.

On July 29, 1994, Paul Jennings Hill, a member of the “Army of God,” a loose network of radical Christians with a long history of terrorist attacks on abortion providers murdered Dr. John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett. Hill shot both of them in cold blood and expressed no remorse whatsoever; he insisted he was doing’s God’s work and has been exalted as a martyr by the Army of God. Hill was executed by lethal injection on Sept. 3, 2003 for the murders.

The Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, 1995. Prior to the al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing was the most deadly terrorist attack in U.S. history. 168 people were killed and more than 600 were injured. Both McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols both had close ties to the white supremacist and militia movements, which in turn are tied to Christian identity movements.

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing on July 27, 1996 killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others. That was carried out by Eric Rudolph, another “Army of God” “hero” who is serving life without parole for a long list of terrorist attacks committed in the name of Christianity.

Rudolph also bombed the Otherwise Lounge (a lesbian bar in Atlanta), and an abortion clinic in an Atlanta suburb, both in 1997. His bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama in 1998 caused the death of Robert Sanderson (a Birmingham police officer and part-time security guard) and caused nurse Emily Lyons to lose an eye. The “Army of God” continues to exalt Rudolph as a brave Christian who was doing God’s work.

On Oct. 23, 1998, James Charles Kopp, a radical Christian terrorist (who has also been exalted as a hero by the “Army of God”) fired a single shot into the Amherst, NY home of Barnett Slepian (a doctor who performed abortions), mortally wounding him. Slepian died an hour later. Kopp later claimed he only meant to wound Slepian, not kill him. But Judge Michael D’Amico of Erin County, NY said that the killing was clearly premeditated and sentenced Kopp to 25 years to life. Kopp is a suspect in other anti-abortion terrorist attacks, including the non-fatal shootings of three doctors in Canada, though it appears unlikely that Kopp will be extradited to Canada to face any charges.

On July 27, 2008, Christian Right member Jim David Adkisson walked into the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church during a children’s play and began shooting people at random. Two were killed, while seven others were injured but survived. Adkisson said he was motivated by a hatred of liberals, Democrats and gays, and he considered neocon Bernard Goldberg’s book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, his political manifesto. Adkisson was vehemently anti-abortion, but apparently killing people you disagree with during a children’s play is merely good family values.

On May 31, 2009 Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Christian Right anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder. Tiller had been targeted for violence by Christian Right terrorists for years. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Then, in 1993, Tiller was shot five times by female Christian Right terrorist Shelly Shannon [now serving time in federal prison] but survived. Tiller had been the victim of an attempted murder and received countless death threats after that.

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly repeatedly referred to him as “Tiller the baby killer.” Though O’Reilly condemned the attack in a lukewarm fashion, Ann Coulter apparently viewed the murder as a source of comic relief, telling O’Reilly, “I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.”
Frank Schaffer, formerly a figure on the Christian Right who has since become critical of that movement, asserted that the Christian Right’s extreme anti-abortion rhetoric “helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen.” (Schaeffer’s father was among the founders of a movement allied to the Dominionists.)

Only four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh (who are NOT Muslims) immigrant from India, who owned a gas station in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered by Frank Silva Roque, a racist who obviously mistook him for a Muslim.

On February 18, 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack III, flying his Piper Dakota, crashed into Building I of the Echelon office complex in Austin,Texas, killing himself and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) manager Vernon Hunter. Thirteen others were injured, two seriously. The IRS spent more than $38.6 million to repair it, along with $6.4 million to recover and resume work at the building, and over $32 million spent to increase security at other IRS sites in the U.S. While his attack seemed mainly aimed at the tax system, there appear to have been religious matters involved as well. He hated organized religion (understandable as he was partially raised in a Catholic orphanage), but his wife had been connected to The Way International, described as a “non-denominational Christian ministry” based in New Knoxville, Ohio. Their teachings seem to be questionable even to other Christians. (No surprises there, though!)

The Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012 – Christian white supremacist Wade Michael Page (who a former friend said had talked about an “impending racial holy war”) used a semiautomatic weapon to murder six people during an attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page’s connection to the white supremacist movement was well-documented: he had been a member of the neo-Nazi rock bands End Empathy and Definite Hate.

I have already documented the deep Nazi ties to Christianity. As you see, many of these murders were committed by neo-Nazis, the others by radical anti-abortion activists. All were self-described Christians.

There are plenty of others, but I haven’t the time to cover more at present, and as stated it is irrelevant how many or few.

No the press does not usually point out this blatant hypocrisy

?? I am not sure what “blatant hypocrisy” you refer to here, but I think “the press” has covered all aspects of Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups adequately, as we see reports in the major papers and media almost every day about them.

In addition, the many organs of News Corporation (Mr. Murdoch’s organization, which includes Fox News and which comprises about 73% of the media in the Western world) have more than adequately beat the drum and fueled the fires which seek to indict all Muslims for the reprehensible actions of a few — drum-beating which I might add has led to a number of deaths of not only innocent Muslims but of people like the Sikhs, whose only “fault” is that they also wear a turban and a beard, and “look like” Muslims.

What is sadly amusing is that when the same people clamoring for mass indictment of Muslims and Islam based on the actions of some Muslim radicals are reminded of the long and continuing Christian record of atrocities and murders, they immediately respond that these were “aberrations” or “they weren’t realChristians” etc. I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways. If the actions of some Muslims is enough to indict them all, then the same should be true for Christians, or any other religion.

Since I have no dog in this fight (being an agnostic who is moving ever closer to atheism, largely due to my dealings with religious quacks for the MRFF), I can see all sides of the story.

but while, although inexcusable,

?? Again not sure what you mean here. The papers or the priests?

seems to work ceaselessly to keep the Catholic priest story alive.

I would be most interested to learn why you don’t seem to find the ongoing discoveries of the foul and despicable actions of predatory pedophile and otherwise abusive clerics (both Catholic and Protestant) whose acts were often deliberately covered up by high-ranking prelates newsworthy, and why you seem to think the newspapers should stop covering them.

Since new revelations occur almost daily in both religions (and others), it remains a source of news interest — which is IMO a good thing, after the many years (and indeed centuries) when such matters were routinely swept under the rug. Like free speech, a free press is an integral part of a free society.

My family can also trace roots to the Mayflower.

Actually, I do not trace our family’s roots to the Mayflower, which arrived in 1620, but to a later ship which arrived in 1627.

The arrivals on the Mayflower were (as you doubtless know) members of the Puritan sect now known as “Pilgrims.” (This was not a name they used themselves, but a term applied to them in a speech made about 170 years after their time. They called themselves [doubtless in all humility] “Saints.”)

I did not mention our early arrival as a point of family pride, but to inform you of the length of time my people have been here and served in this nation’s wars. In point of fact, I am not much enamored of any possible Puritan connections, because I know the reality behind that band of bigoted zealots.

The Puritans (as you may know) were ultra-religious English Christian fundamentalists who wanted to “purify” the Anglican Church of what they saw as residual “Papish” practices.

They left England, (first for Holland), because they felt they were persecuted in (Protestant) England by the established Anglican Church and the Crown, who viewed them (obviously with justification) as dangerous radicals.

However, Dutch tolerance also extended to other denominations, and the Puritans didn’t actually want tolerance for all — just for themselves. They also wanted theocratic as opposed to secular rule. Along with other cultural and economic factors, this led to serious discontent, so they next set out for America, where they established the Massachusetts Bay Colony, governed by their own theocracy, which proved a prime example of religious intolerance.

(The Puritans remaining in England later precipitated a bloody civil war in the British Isles, resulting in the death, maiming, or enslavement of hundreds of thousands of men, women,and children, the overthrow of the government, the beheading of the King, and the establishment of a theocratic regime under Oliver Cromwell, who later prorogued Parliament, making himself effectively dictator. Ironically, one of the charges leveled against Charles I was that he was too autocratic.)

These “Saints” in America were responsible for numerous grave civil rights offenses against the natives and those colonials who did not believe as they did — which would now be considered genocide, war crimes, and other crimes against humanity, that would have gotten them death sentences if they committed them if they had been tried at Nuremburg. They inflicted flogging, torture, imprisonment, and hanging on those convicted of such heinous “crimes” as working on the Sabbath, blasphemy, being members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and other “heresies.”

According to Rev. John Cotton, a Puritan minister, their first order of business upon establishing the new colony in Massachusetts,

“was not Toleration, but were professed enemies of it” and they sought to “break the very neck of Schism and vile opinions.”

(From Cotton’s recollections written in 1681.)

By “schism and vile opinions” Cotton meant anything that diverged from the exceedingly narrow-minded, intolerant, rigid notions of the Puritans.

It is easy to see from quotes like this, that Mr. Terry and his fellow religious radicals (and of course the Dominionists) would have been right at home with them — at least when it comes to hunting down and killing any who dare disagree with their interpretation of Bronze Age Jewish mythology.

They expelled, or imprisoned and tortured those they disliked, including dissenters like Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, (the first prominent American female religious leader), and executed those impertinent enough to return, including Quakers like Mary Dyer, the first woman murdered for her religion in the US.

They also murdered the “heathen” natives wholesale, and stole their lands. An episode of the Pequot War will suffice for example. On May 26, 1637, 400 fighting men under Captain John Mason, armed with muskets and swords, and reinforced by native enemies of the Pequot, attacked the Pequot village of Misistuck.

Mason estimated that “six or seven Hundred” Pequot were there when his forces assaulted the palisade. However, 150 warriors had earlier accompanied their chief, Sassacus, to Hartford, so the natives remaining were largely women, children, and old men.

Mason ordered that the enclosure be set on fire, and then opened fire on the helpless inhabitants. Of the ensuing slaughter, he wrote approvingly;

“Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so they were quickly dispatched, and very few escaped. It was conceived that they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory was a sweet sacrifice, and they gave their prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and to give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”

(Notice: “They gave their prayers thereof to God” for facilitating for this atrocity.)

Mason insisted that any Pequot attempting to escape the flames should be killed. Of the estimated 600 to 700 Pequots at Mystic that day, only seven survived to be taken prisoner, while another seven escaped to the woods.

“Justifying” his conduct later, Mason declared that the attack against the Pequot was the act of God who had;

“…laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot] as a fiery Oven . . . Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling [Mystic] with dead Bodies.”

Let me remind you again that the “Heathens” they murdered in cold blood were almost all old men, women, children, and infants.

The New England Puritans were also responsible for the judicial torture and murders of the Salem “witches.”

Yep. Wonderful people! These kindly and loving Christians obviously sent their spirit down the ages to fill up their spiritual heirs — the radical religious far-right that initiate the main problems the MRFF deals with.

One of these spiritual descendants was the despicable “Colonel” John Chivington, a former Methodist minister and would-be war criminal in the Civil War (where he threatened to massacre a group of Confederate prisoners in cold blood), and mass-murderer of a small, peaceful and unsuspecting Cheyenne village at Sand Creek, Colorado in 1864.

Assured by government promises of peace, Black Kettle had sent most of his warriors to hunt, leaving only around 60 men in the village, most of them too old or too young to participate in the hunt. An American flag flew over Black Kettle’s lodge as he had been instructed by an Army officer shortly before that “as long as he flew the American flag, he and his people would be safe from U.S. soldiers.”

On the night of November 28, 1864, “Colonel” Chivington and 800 troops of the First Colorado Cavalry, Third Colorado Cavalry and a company of First New Mexico Volunteers, after positioning themselves around the camp, soldiers and militia drank heavily and celebrated the anticipated victory, and on the morning of the 29th, Chivington ordered his troops to attack. One officer, Captain Silas Soule, seeing that the Indians were peaceful, refused to follow Chivington’s order and told his men to hold fire. The rest attacked, disregarding the American flag, and a white flag that was run up shortly after the soldiers commenced firing. Chivington’s soldiers massacred the majority of its mostly-unarmed inhabitants.

The U.S. forces lost 15 killed and more than 50 wounded, most due to “friendly fire” from the effects of the heavy drinking and the resulting chaos of the assault, the rest inflicted by the few Indians that were able to regroup and return fire on their attackers.

At least 130 Indians were killed, approximately 103 of them women, children, and infants.

Accounts from John S. Smith and Lieutenant James Connor described the gruesome and disgusting butchery:

According to Smith, Chivington knew the Indians to be peaceful before the massacre, but was intent on massacring them to boost his reputation as a soldier, and because he believed that the Indians were an “inferior” race who needed to be exterminated so white men could enjoy their lands, because “God” had ordained it.

Smith witnessed helpless and unarmed Indian men and women, and even young children slaughtered in cold blood, and the fingers of Indians were cut off to get at the rings on them.

The sex organs of the males were removed. One soldier boasted that he would make a tobacco pouch with the privates of White Antelope, a tribal elder. These “brave soldiers” also mutilated the women, cutting away their breasts and removing other sex organs. After the massacre, soldiers displayed the women’s severed body parts on their hats and stretched them over their saddle-bows. Conner witnessed a soldier displaying the body parts of a woman on a stick.

Connor also saw a baby only a few months old who had been hidden in the feed box of a wagon for protection. When the soldiers discovered the baby some time later, the baby was thrown onto the frozen ground to die. Every corpse was mutilated in some way, and scalped.

Robert Bent and James Beckwourth, forced to ride with Chivington that morning, saw the same thing. Beckwourth noted that before the massacre, White Antelope (age 75) ran out to meet the soldiers. He came running out to meet the command, holding up his hands and saying “Stop! Stop!” Beckwourth said; “He spoke in as plain English as I can. He stopped and folded his arms until shot down.”

Bent recounted the shooting of a little girl carrying a white flag, and seeing an Indian woman on the ground whose leg had been shattered by a shell. As she lay helpless, a soldier drew his saber, breaking the arm she had risen in defense. She then rolled over on her other side. The soldier did not leave until breaking her other arm with his saber, whereupon he left without killing her. Bent saw a pregnant woman who had been cut open and disemboweled. Her unborn child lay mutilated almost beyond human recognition beside her. A number of mothers were slain, still clinging to their babies.

During the massacre, one of the less brutal soldiers asked the brave Colonel about the infants. Chivington replied with almost the identical words of one of the equally brutal Puritan Oliver Cromwell’s commanders at the massacre of Drogheda – “Kill them all! Nits will be lice!” (It is quite possible he was quoting that equally brutal and callous murderer.)

Chivington later pretended that his forces had fought a battle with hostile Indians and the action was initially celebrated as a victory, with some soldiers callously displaying Indian body parts as trophies. However, the testimony of Soule and his men forced an investigation into the incident, which concluded that Chivington had acted wrongly.

Wouldn’t you just love having ardent Christians like these as neighbors, and in charge of the government? (If the answer to that is “yes” — then we have nothing further to discuss. You are part of the problem. If, on the other hand, such behavior sickens and appalls you as much as it does me, then we may have some common ground.)

The modern radical Christian fundamentalists we oppose are right in one respect — the American Puritan “Pilgrims” and their “spiritual descendants” like Chivington are indeed the spiritual ancestors of the modern ultra-fundamentalist and intolerant movements – the same ones that the MRFF opposes.

So no, I am not especially proud of any potential Puritan ancestry. In fact, if such a link were to be revealed, I would thoroughly disgusted, and certainly wouldn’t be proud of it.

If anyone has been water boarded in the military to force them to become a Christian I could certainly understand your concerns but given the proclivity of the secular press we would have no doubt heard all about this by now. Your concerns are clearly way over rated

I see. So unless someone is physically beaten (which has happened) or “water-boarded” or otherwise physically tortured for their beliefs, as far as you are concerned it is OK to attempt to forcibly proselytize anyone against their will, and there is no problem?

Sadly for you and your beliefs, the Constitution, Federal and military laws and regulations, SCOTUS, the MRFF, and the over 33,000 cases (and rising) reporting such abuse to the MRFF seem to think otherwise.

Also, as noted before — 96% of the cases the MRFF deals with are “Christian on Christian” — so most of those cases are not people being “forced to become a Christian” — but CHRISTIANS being harassed, discriminated against, and in some cases brutalized — mainly by others calling themselves Christian. In other words, the situation remains what it has been throughout the history of Christianity and indeed religion in general — people attempting to force others to believe as they do.

HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT MATTER ONE IOTA HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE AFFECTED, TO WHAT LEVEL OR KIND OF HARASSMENT THEY ARE BEING SUBJECTED TO, WHAT BELIEF SYSTEM IF ANY THEY HOLD. THE “PROBLEM” IS IN THE ILLEGALITY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF THEM. PERIOD.

but then again despite all the horrible racism that our president undergoes whenever anyone merely questions his clearly unconstitutional policies and actions the only “acceptable” equivalent form of “racism” and prejudice these days is toward politically conservative ethnic minorities and those horrible and dangerous evangelical Christians who would dare do such as to post a dangerous bible verse honoring a “god” that, for all intents and purposes has been rendered dead to popular culture. Despite your great fear that someone’s “freedom” may be violated by looking at the verse, the only one whose freedom has been violated is the cadet who was asked to “voluntarily” remove the verse. They clearly must be stopped before any of the less important problems of society are addressed.

“politically conservative ethnic minority” is an interesting phrase. There are a great many ethnicities in the US, all of them deriving from various homelands, with local languages or dialects, cultures, customs, and religions — the generally accepted markers of ethnicity in anthropology. Now, it seems, we can add a political viewpoint as a marker of “ethnicity.”

As to racism, the MRFF is apolitical, but speaking from a personal POV, the President has clearly been the target of racism on multiple occasions. He received regular death threats starting from before his first election which are clearly racist in nature and intent, many of them from the same type of self-described Christians who send us the threats on a regular basis. In fact he has received more death threats (many of them racially-based) than any president in the history of the United States.

I also find your interest in the constitutionality of what he may or may not be doing interesting, given that you seem uninterested in the constitutional proscription on establishing a state religion.

It seems to me that some “racism” is indeed inherent in your statement — your own, and very thinly veiled racism, sir — which is hardly surprising, given racism’s long association with religions — including Christianity, which “justified” it for centuries by “scripture.” A few examples from the words of the perpetrators themselves should suffice:

“…the right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example… Had the holding of slaves been a moral evil, it cannot be supposed that the inspired Apostles … would have tolerated it for a moment in the Christian Church. In proving this subject justifiable by Scriptural authority [Luke 12:47], its morality is also proved; for the Divine Law never sanctions immoral actions.” — Richard Furman, Baptist State Convention, letter to South Carolina Governor, 1822

“God is introduced to give dignity and emphasis … and then He is banished. It was this very atheistic Declaration [of Independence] which had inspired the ‘higher law’ doctrine of the radical antislavery men. If the mischievous abolitionists had only followed the Bible instead of the godless Declaration, they would have been bound to acknowledge that human bondage was divinely ordained. The mission of southerners was therefore clear; they must defend the word of God against abolitionist infidels.” — Thomas Smyth, minister of 2nd Presbyterian Church of Charleston, S.C. 11/21/1861

“Slavery itself … is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law… The purchaser [of the slave] should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave.” — Vatican statement, 1866

Come on, I’d been through some academic abuse in my years in education and training and when you’re in a subordinate role with your career on the line your going to submit regardless, to this kind of bullying from the AFA staff.

One would have thought that if you have been through “academic abuse” and know what it is like to be a subordinate in the chain of command (particularly in the military which has a strict command hierarchy), you of all people should know what that feels like to be forced to knuckle under — and would resent it — but that is what our clients undergo daily. That sort of treatment is part and parcel (although not the worst) of what the MRFF deals with on a daily basis. However, the bullying” has generally been by the Dominionist staff and cadets of the cadets and staff they perceive as either not Christian, or “not Christian enough” or the “wrong kind” of Christian — not the other way around!

Posting a bible verse is not hurting anyone

While not necessarily a physical “hurt” (in this case), it is a very real hurt to those who have been regularly bombarded with such messages, and harassed mentally, emotionally and physically on a regular basis because they did not share the beliefs of the perpetrators. And in any case, it is (as mentioned above and elsewhere) illegal and unconstitutional.

and given all the other “voices” out there that vie for your attention everyday it seems like an organization that calls itself the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is clearly misnamed if you don’t have better things to do than go after cadets posting bible verses on their doors.

I assure you that Bible verses are the least of what the MRFF does, and the MRFF is not mis-named. It fights for the right of all service men and women to be free to live their lives according to the dictates of their conscience. As i have pointed out numerous times, that includes the rights of Christians — who make up the great bulk of the MRFF’s cases.

Although quoting Adolf Hitler would probably be OK.

I think I have established fairly conclusively that Hitler was a practicing Catholic and a big fan of Christianity — so it probably wouldn’t be a problem for you to see him quoted — but if one of Hitler’s other, non-Christian messages were posted,we would not like it, but it would not be part of the MRFF’s mission as that comes under the heading of free speech, not freedom of religion. However, I imagine there might be some military or other legal ramifications for such a posting, especially under article 134 of the UCMJ relating to the good order and discipline the Armed Forces.

You say that your organization has no position on alcohol or pornography.

Not as an organization — though I am fairly sure some MRFF staff, supporters, clients may individuals may object to one or both as individuals — particularly the more devout religious people whose teachings forbid them. (Such as the Muslims, Mormons, and of course, some Christians who believe as you do.)

Despite the clear teachings of the bible regarding involvement in these sorts of activities

Once more for emphasis; the doctrine or teachings of any religion have no bearing on the MRFF which is a non-sectarian, non-partisan organization.Neither do they have any bearing on the laws of the United States, which is and always has been a secular nation by wise design.

As Mr. Jefferson said;

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” – in a letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

As to alcohol, other than some local “dry laws” and the disaster known as “Prohibition” there is no legal ban on alcohol, and as noted elsewhere, your particular belief system has no force of law in the secular US, any more than the Mormon, Muslim, or other religious bans on alcohol and other drugs do.

As to your point that alcohol is prohibited by your scriptures, that is, as stated, irrelevant. However, since you mention it, while some verses decry the use (or more usually overuse) of alcohol, others depict alcohol in a positive light.

Deuteronomy 14:26 implies that it is a good thing to drink wine and strong drink “to the Lord.”

Psalm 4:7 compares joy in the Lord to the abundance of wine.

Psalm 104:14-15 credits God as the creator of wine that “makes a man’s heart glad” (cf. also Hos 2:8);

Proverbs 3:10 tells us that he who honors the Lord with one’s wealth is rewarded with the blessings of abundant stores of wine ;

Isaiah 25:6 tells us that the Lord prepares a banquet with “well-aged wines… and fine, well-aged wines” for his people.

Also, in the Song of Songs, love is compared to wine repeatedly, as though good wine were similarly sweet (1:2, 4; 4:10; 7:9).

OTH, a lack of wine is viewed as a judgment from God (Jer 48:33; Lam 2:12; Hos 2:9; Joel 1:10; Hag 2:16); while its provision is viewed as a blessing from the Lord (cf. Gen 27:28; Deut 7:13; 11:14; Joel 2:19, 24; 3:18; Amos 9:13-14). Cf. also Isa 55:1; Jer 31:12; Zech 9:17.

Finally, at the wedding at Cana, you will recall that Yehoshua was purported to have turned the water into wine.

The Jewish Passover tradition in the first century AD was that every adult was obliged to have four glasses of wine during the Passover celebration. Yehoshua and his disciples did this in the Last Supper, which was in fact the Passover Seder.

As to your contention that “porn” is prohibited by the Bible, it is again an irrelevancy to this discussion, but for the record, I don’t actually recall any Biblical verses mentioning “porn” specifically per se — though many cover “immorality” and there are certainly a LOT of passages that are pretty racy for the day.

But perhaps the biblical authors were like their modern counterparts, the immoral preachers and clerics mentioned above — they like to talk about “sin” (aLOT) and like to condemn others for their immorality — while secretly committing depravities. In my experience, there seems to be some sort of relationship between how much a person obsesses on this stuff, and how warped they secretly are.

But as always, the various books and verses are so full of contradictory, conflicting, and sometimes downright wrong statements that it is all extremely subject to interpretation — and almost every cleric and even individual believer is quick to tell you the “only TRUE meaning” — as if they had a direct line to a deity. LOL!

As Mr. Jefferson wrote;

“The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” – letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

I agree.

I make no excuses for anyone who calls themselves an evangelical Christian involved in the abuse of these activities

I should hope not, given how many (including clerics) are involved.

but certainly, by default, your position in the particular case of the verse posting cadet

?? I don’t quite grasp what you are driving at here, because even taken in context, this makes no sense. There is absolutely no connection between the use or even abuse of alcohol and the posting of this verse. They’re totally unconnected.

And again, as noted, the MRFF has no official position on alcohol, and your scriptures are not the law of the land — so it is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.

I suppose if he had posted explicatives or the philosophies of a moral pillar of civilization like Fredric Nietzsche who died insane you would not have objected in the least.

Again, your meaning eludes me, sir. Did you mean “expletives” (i.e., obscenities) here, or did you mean “explications” of something?

In either case, the MRFF would have no position, as “expletives” no matter what their nature, would not serve to violate the establishment clause unless they promoted a religion. Likewise, Nietzsche (sane or otherwise), did not, to my knowledge, either start or propound a religion per se.

(Though in the case of expletives, it is possible the Academy has a position in its regulations.)

I suppose if all references to anything that could be construed as religious or philosophical in nature such as verses from the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita

If posted in the same manner, verses from the Koran or the Bhagavad-Gita (and other such religious texts) would most certainly be examples of the kind of case the MRFF might consider, as they would also be considered unconstitutional in that context.

or any reference to naturalistic Darwinian evolution, which is unproven “science” and clearly philosophical in nature,

Like many of your fellow Christians, you seem to lack understanding of scientific terminology.

In everyday laymen’s terms, the word “theory” refers to a speculation based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence. However, the formal scientific definition of theory is quite different, referring to a comprehensive explanation of a natural phenomenon or feature supported by a body of evidence.

There are many scientific “theories” which are so substantially established that no new evidence is likely to demonstrate they are not accurate.
For example, Heliocentric theory states that the Earth orbits around the sun; Cell theory states that matter is composed of atoms; the theory of plate tectonicspostulates that the surface of the Earth is divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales, etc. The theory of gravitation predicted the behavior of objects on the moon and planets long before the activities of spacecraft and astronauts confirmed them.

The evolutionary biologists who discovered Tiktaalik (a monospecific genus of extinct sarcopterygian from the late Devonian, with many features akin to those of tetrapods) had predicted based on evolutionary theory that they would find fossils intermediate between fish and limbed terrestrial animals in sediments that were about 375 million years old. Their discovery confirmed the prediction made on the basis of evolutionary theory. (In science, confirmation of a prediction increases confidence in a theory.)

Like these and other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.

Likewise, in science, a “fact” refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances, so scientists use the term “fact” to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, the great bulk of reputable scientists (even Christians — other than believers in “creationism” and “inerrancy” ) no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.

Therefore, your uninformed beliefs about science and evolution have no credibility, any more than if you questioned the validity of heliocentric theory or gravitational theory because they were “theories.”

Your religious belief system didn’t create the modern world and the device and systems you are using to exchange E–mails right now, or your auto, or any of the other myriad wonders of technology we use every day. They were created by the same “science” which you so obviously do not understand and despise. The only thing religions have ever done generally speaking is to retard the development of science and technology, and keep humanity in ignorance and subjection — as Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and the rest well knew and were determined to keep from our shores, along with the establishment principle that had caused so much grief in every country that had suffered under its yoke.

But I really haven’t the time or energy to catch you up on how science works — something I would have thought that you would have learned (along with history and the Constitution, etc.) in your seemingly unfortunate academic experience, whatever it may have been.

However, fortunately, as an American, you don’t have to “believe in” science, evolutionary or otherwise. In the first place, you have that right under the Constitution. You can believe whatever you like — that the Earth and universe were created in 7 days, that angels can dance on the head of a pin, that the Earth is flat — which the Church also believed and supported by force for centuries. You can believe (as Christianity forcibly taught for centuries) that the sun and all the planets revolve around an Earth that is the center of the Universe. You can believe that fairy dust and happy thoughts are what keeps aircraft aloft — but despite whatever mythology you choose to believe in, the scientific facts will remain the same — just don’t expect me to agree with you, or discuss such twaddle as though it had any least modicum of scientific validity. As the saying goes, you are entitled to your opinions (however sadly uninformed) — but not to your own facts.

are banned as well as these dangerous bible verses then what you’re doing would sound reasonable.

So what you’re saying is that if all other metaphysical and philosophical and scientific thought were to be banned (which, BTW is not what the MRFF seeks to do unless said philosophies and religions are in violation of the Constitution), then you would think it reasonable? Fascinating.

As John Adams wrote;

“The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning…. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY?

When or where, indeed?

As Jefferson so aptly remarked;

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” – to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

The problem is that there appears to be very selective censorship.

And who do you think is performing this “very selective censorship?” The MRFF? As I have continually tried to point out to you (apparently without success) the great majority of the MRFF’s cases are undertaken for Christians. Less than 4% are undertaken for all other faiths (or those of no faith) combined.

Until I hear that some Muslim has been tortured to change his faith or a Buddhist cadet has been locked in an Iron Maiden for not converting to the Roman Catholic,

You certainly do seem to be obsessed with the notion of torture and violence, and that physical violence is the only criterion of whether or not a violation has occurred. However once again; an act or situation does not need to be violent to be illegal and unconstitutional. I think you need to do a little reading about the rule of law.

despite any ACA 1st amendment violating policies,

Once again, I fear I do not follow you. You seem to have a penchant for non sequitur. I can see no connection between the ACA (which the MRFF has nothing to do with and no position on) and this discussion.

I’ll have to question the motives of an organization like MRFF

That is certainly your right under the First Amendment.

because any ink on a dry erase board hardly seems like an immediate threat when compared to the Muslim at Ft Hood whose clearly religiously motivated shooting is being called workplace violence. I’d not be horribly surprised if the MRFF firmly stands behind his supposed rights.

Once again, your fascination with violence is interesting — from a psychological standpoint.

As to Maj. Hasan, his murders are not approved of by Mr. Weinstein or anyone else at the MRFF — though as a US citizen, he did have a right to a trial and sentencing.

However, I do agree that his actions were ultimately based upon his religious beliefs. When he became too radicalized, he became violent — which, as we have seen in our brief jaunt through Christian history (as well as the history of every other state-established religion) is not situation unique to Islam — but it should be a warning to all that any religious belief when carried to an extreme is dangerous. MAJ Hasan’s crimes are living proof of why someone’s religious beliefs can not be allowed to over-ride their oath and duty to the Constitution.

As a Muslim friend of mine said when we were discussing religious extremism, “Too much religion makes people crazy.” I think that is very true.
In my personal opinion (as opposed to my opinion or comments for the MRFF), I think that all religious radicals need to decide if their oath to the Constitution is or could be over-ruled by their religious duty, and that if so, that they need to resign from the service.

I really don’t think I have any huge misconceptions about the MRFF.

I’m afraid I cannot agree. Your misconceptions continue to be vast, and apparently insuperable, no matter what I have to say. This entire discourse reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw; “Don’t confuse me with facts! My mind is made up.”

However, I no longer have the time or energy to deal with your misconceptions. If any of my colleagues (particularly those of the Christian persuasion) are interested in discoursing with you, or you with them, I will leave it to them.

The Romans and the Jews were fearful of the early Christians as well.

That statement shows a substantial lack of understanding of the time, place, and events. They were hardly fearful of what was then a small, insignificant, and completely impotent local mystery cult.

There is only one near-contemporary Classical source (outside the NT, most of which was written well after the period) which even mentions Yehoshua or his followers. This was by Flavius Josephus, who mentions him briefly in his book “The Jewish War” — and even part of Josephus’ text is suspected of being a later interpolation by Christian redactors. Apparently neither the Jews (who were very literate and recorded many events) nor the record-obsessed Romans of the time thought him or his cult worthy of mention.

However, from what we can gain from the (obviously a tad biased) NT story, the Jews objected to the claim that Yehoshua was the literal son of Yahweh, which was and is considered blasphemous to pious Jews. The punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning. However, it appears the Sanhedrin was not anxious to do the job themselves for various reasons, so they foisted it off on the Romans, who were concerned because some of Yehoshua’s followers were proclaiming him king — which was illegal under Roman law, as Rome had already established a puppet king in the region, Herod Antipas (ca. 20 BC – ca. 39 AD).

However, the Romans eventually seem to have decided Yehoshua was a potentially dangerous nuisance, and with the apparent blessing of the Sanhedrin, he was executed.

Yehoshua’s followers slowly expanded, mainly among the slave and poor classes originally, as it was (and remains) a religion with strong appeal to the slave and under-classes. Despite its lowly origins, it spread slowly (like other trends we see today, such as hip-hop) to the upper classes. Coinciding as it did with the “Third Servile War” of 73 BC – 71 BC in mainland Italy (led by Spartacus), it came to be considered to be a dangerous cult that inspired rebellion among the under-classes. Therefore the Romans dealt harshly with it (albeit intermittently) for several centuries, with some of the rulers tolerating or ignoring it, while others (like Nero) attempting to quell it violently.

When it finally became a widespread movement, the Emperor Constantinius decided it was easier to work with it than to fight it, and probably seeing the futility of trying to eradicate it, and its utility for controlling a populace, first granted tolerance and then adopted it as the new state religion. While this didn’t end the story, it was the beginning of a new era for the Christians who eventually found themselves in power, with the still full (albeit declining) might of the Roman legions behind them. We’ve seen above what they and their successors did with that power.

As to the MRFF, nobody that I am aware of “fears” Christians generically, particularly since about 75% of the MRFF (and 96% of their clientele) are Christians — who by logical extension aren’t likely to be afraid of themselves. Nobody else I am aware of fears Christians as such. The only “Christians” we are concerned about are those Dominionists and Reconstructionists that are actively violating the Constitution.

Despite the few cases you point out where there has been misapplication and abuse,

I pointed out only a “few cases” because I have neither time, energy, nor interest in going into the subject more deeply. I could’ve quoted a great many more, and there are numerous books and many studies by many fine scholars (some of them Christians who are not afraid to admit the failings of their co-religionists) which have been done over the years that conclusively demonstrate the huge numbers of people imprisoned, tortured, and murdered, and the great destruction and many evils over the centuries and into modern times (e.g. Northern Ireland, Bosnia and elsewhere) committed in the name of Christianity in all its 41,000 or so sects and denominations world-wide. (And to be fair, in the history of every other established religion that I’m aware of.)

As mentioned elsewhere, Jefferson said;

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” – “Notes on Virginia” 1782

I agree entirely.

anyone with even a cursory knowledge of history

With all due respect sir, I believe I have rather better than “a cursory knowledge of history.” If you can find anything which I have written here or elsewhere which is untrue or ahistorical, please be so kind as to point it out to me — with, of course, adequate scholarly references from unbiased sources to back your position.

could understand the huge huge positive contributions that Jesus Christ and His followers have made to civilization.

There is scant historic evidence (outside of your faith’s teachings) that exists of direct contributions by the Jewish rabbi Yehoshua, though I certainly would not deny the positive contributions made by some Christians over the years (such as the abolitionist Christians — who opposed the pro-slavery Christians and eventually prevailed in abolishing slavery in England and America), and other noble works.

How much those positive contributions may outweigh the negatives imposed by other Christians is a matter for debate. But, as with other topics we have covered, there are many volumes discussing those questions, and I would direct your attention to those.

My own personal feelings in that regard (as opposed to those of a commentator for the MRFF) echoes those of some of the principal Framers on these topics.

I especially agree with Thomas Paine, author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and chief propagandist of the Revolution. His “Common Sense” (1776) was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”

Writing in “The Age of Reason” Paine stated;

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

I agree completely. However, my personal point of view is as irrelevant in this matter as is yours, or anyone else’s. The Constitution states clearly that noreligion shall ever be established and that all Americans have equal right in matters of conscience — except, obviously, when they try to force their beliefs on others, as detailed in the SCOTUS decisions mentioned. That means we must all tolerate each other’s beliefs, just as we must tolerate a right to free speech and freedom of the press (no matter how despicable it may seem to us).

While the cadet in question indeed has a right to his beliefs, he does not have the right to push them on others in any way, shape, or form — whether in the form of a verse in a public place on government property (as opposed, say to his parent’s lawn), or whether by getting in their face, beating them, or (to name two of your apparent favorites) water-boarding them or sticking them in an Iron Maiden.

The 20th century was a clear example of the disasterous consequences of the application of secular humanists and Marxist philosophies.

There appears to be a gap in your understanding of 20th century history, politics, and economics.

(BTW, the word is spelled “disastrous” not “disasterous”.)

Some background to assist you; Marxism is a political and economic theory based on the theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels incorporating a worldview and a societal analysis based on class-relations and societal conflict, a materialist interpretation of historical development, and a dialectical view of social transformation, which informs economic and sociopolitical enquiry analysis and critique of the development of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change. This was later developed by followers to form the basis for what is now called communism, and a handful of experiments in applying the various interpretations of these theories to government.

Humanism (whether “secular” or the religious variety) encompasses not only the 20th century but a period of several thousand years in various forms. Humanist movements are now generally secular in nature. However, this was not always the case.

In its modern form, “humanism” is a philosophical and ethical stance that values humans, and generally uses critical thinking and empirical evidence to arrive at conclusions (instead of established doctrine or faith).

Historically, there was little difference between the 20th century and the centuries preceding it — i.e., there were revolutions, wars, rises and falls of government, and all the usual trappings of human stupidity.

What made the 20th century different was the fact that the technology and industry developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries provided the warring nations with the capability of developing weapons of mass destruction with far greater destructive capabilities than those used in the past. The warring nations were only too happy to misuse science in the cause of war, and some scientists were only too happy to sell out or knuckle under to the state and develop them.

As to what caused these various wars and movements, they each need to be examined both individually and collectively to understand the background, and we have neither the time or space to do the subject justice. However, a brief examination of some of the salient points might prove useful.

Looking at the start of the 20th century, neither Marxism nor “secular humanism” had anything to do with the outbreak of World War I, which was essentially a squabble among European Christian monarchs and nations over colonies, combined with nascent nationalist and freedom movements among some European states, in this case, principally Serbia.

The ruling governments at the start of the war were almost all Christian monarchies with established Christian religions of various flavors, and the nations involved were Christian, except Muslim Turkey (an ally of the Germans and Central Powers) and Japan, a primarily Shinto / Buddhist nation ruled by their “god-emperor” which was a secondary member of the Triple Entente.

The opposing forces consisted of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria–Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria) and the Allies of the Triple Entente (consisting originally of the French Republic (like the US, technically a secular government, but with an almost exclusively Christian population), the British Empire (Established Anglican and other Christian denominations), and the Tsarist Russian Empire (Eastern Orthodox).

Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and the Czechoslovak legions were secondary members of the Entente. Thus all of the secondary nations (except Japan) were likewise Christian.

(Italy started out as a Central Powers ally, but broke ties with them and re-entered the war on the side of the Entente in 1915.)

The war started in August 1914, following the shooting of the (Christian) heir to the (Christian) assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, a (Christian) Serb nationalist.

The United States (secular, but with an overwhelmingly Christian population at that time) declared war on Germany in 1917 on the grounds that Germany violated U.S. neutrality by attacking international shipping (and because of the Zimmermann Telegram sent to Mexico). The U.S. entered the war as an “associated power” rather than a formal ally of France and the United Kingdom, in order to avoid “foreign entanglements.”

Since there were no Marxist or communist or nominally “secular” governments (other than France and the US) in power at the start of the war, this exceedingly costly and bloody conflict had nothing to do with either.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 came near the end of the war, largely because of the war, combined with the long suffering of the Russian people under the brutal Tsars and aristocracy (all of whom were Christian), combined with the strains the war had placed on the people. The Revolution was started and waged by a mixture of people from differing backgrounds, beginning with a mutiny of the armed forces, who were sick of the war, and included nationalists of varying political factions.

However, the Revolution was ultimately taken over by the Bolsheviks, a branch of Russian Marxist-communists who later gained complete control, and established the Communist Party of Russia. Since the only effect the Revolution had on the war was to take Russia out of the war, and the new government refused to take sides, there was still no effect attributable to “Marxists” who were, whatever their intentions, still not in total control of Russia, and completely unable to exert any direct influence whatsoever, even if they had wanted to, on the war.

So WW I, until then the most destructive war in human history, had nothing whatsoever to do with either Marxism or “secular humanism.” It started, as most wars do, because of a group of the usual wealthy and greedy SOBs, most of them Christian monarchs of Christian nations (most with established national churches) who were seeking to loot and exploit other lands for resources.

We had no real dog in that fight, except for our war profiteers, who realized that if Germany won or even tied (a likely outcome by 1917, when all sides were exhausted by three years of total war), they might not get paid! There was also the warped zealotry of the apparently deranged Woodrow Wilson, who actually stated to an aide that he had been “chosen by God” to lead America and “spread democracy” throughout the world – thus forging the first of the foreign intervention policies that the Framers had all warned against, and which have plagued the US ever since.

Germany’s major defeat in WW I (due mainly to our intervention) led to the onerous terms of the Versailles Treaty, which in turn led to the collapse of the German Kaiser and to the economic and political turmoil which later caused the downfall of the Weimar Republic, which in turn led to the rise of the Nazis – and thus set the stage for the next war. Without the rise of the (Christian) fascist movements in Italy and Germany, WW II might not have happened.

As in WW I, almost all the major players, those who actually started the war (Italy, Germany, the UK, etc.) were self-described Christians with established churches. The sole exception were the Russians, who were by now officially a Communist regime, entered the war only when Hitler broke his treaty with them and attacked them — so once again, neither Marxism nor “humanism” had anything to do with the proximate causes of the war.

As to the rest of the wars and other issues in that century, colonization and incursions mainly by foreign Christian nations (such as the UK, France, Holland, Spain, etc.) in Africa, India, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere (many of them begun in the 17th through the 19th centuries) disrupted local government and cultures, and had naturally caused resentment among the subjugated native populations, who turned to a variety of nationalist and political movements (some of which included Marxist elements) to throw off their exploiters and oppressors. For example, in Vietnam, the resistance to the French invaders was originally various groups of nationalists. However, when their attempts were brutally repressed by the French (who imprisoned or guillotined the leadership), more drastic measures were resorted to. The original resistance incorporated a number of nationalist elements, but eventually the communist element gained the upper hand and after decades of war, triumphed.

Although some of these regimes were nominally Communist, none of them ever really practiced “pure” Communism any more than many of your Christian brethren seem to practice “pure” Christianity. They were generally authoritarian, totalitarian regimes run by psychopathic dictators. Not all were even Marxist in nature — many were “anti-communist” fascist puppet regimes sponsored by the US.

Also, though officially “atheist” regimes, none of them were ever “humanist” in any real sense of that term. (I don’t personally know any atheists or humanists who approve of the reprehensible deeds of those regimes, or of totalitarianism in general — though I am sure there may be some.)

Would you prefer they be totally in charge?

I personally do not want any totalitarian regime in power — that includes theocracies and theonomies. I wish to continue to live in a secular Republic with a Constitution and Bill of Rights, and democratically elected representatives — such as the US was designed to be.

When an organization like yours seeks to restrict the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion of any American under the guise of protecting religious liberty

On the contrary, as I have explained numerous times, the MRFF supports the Constitutional guarantee for freedom of religion. But believe what you wish. As Petronius wrote, “Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.”

However, the prohibition on Establishment, especially given the nature of the military, make it necessary that freedom of religion and speech for one individual must be balanced against the rights of all.

As I have cited elsewhere, in SCOTUS decisions such as the case of Allegheny County v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573 (1989) the practice must be examined to see if it unconstitutionally endorses religion by conveying “a message that a particular religion is ‘favored,’ ‘preferred,’ or ‘promoted’ over other beliefs.”

That decision also made it clear that (in the words of the Court);

“Wherein ‘core religious viewpoints’ are contrary to or abrogate other Constitutional protections, ‘ the free exercise clause’ and or freedom of ‘expressive association’ as well as its rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion may be curtailed.”

with the impunity that you appear to enjoy having popular support

I don’t really think the MRFF can be characterized as “enjoying” either “impunity” or “popular support” given that it is a rather small and under-endowed — especially when compared to those the MRFF opposes who possess great wealth and popular support, and is attacked viciously and regularly on radio, TV, the Net (see above) and in print by legions of zealots whenever they address an issue. It is more correct to characterize Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF as David vs. the Goliath of the radical religious far-Right.

However, it has always been thus. As John Adams wrote (in a letter to John Taylor, 1814);

The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning…. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. ”

Things haven’t changed a bit in that regard!

we clearly have some major problems in our “free” republic, certainly much larger than a cadet posting dangerous verses on his door.

We can agree that there are great problems in the Republic. As noted elsewhere, though the verses in this case are relatively small potatoes, they are symptomatic of a much larger problem, as I have been trying (with little apparent effect) to make clear to you — the problem of the plans of the Dominionists and Reconstructionists for the rest of the country and the world.

BTW, I would like to point out that in regard to public prayer, Yehoshua didn’t seem to favor it, as we see in the following verses:

Matthew 6:

5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Matthew 14:23 – And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Matthew 26:36 – Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

Mark 1:35 – And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Mark 6:46 – And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

Luke 5:16 – And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Luke 9:18 – And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

So my question would be; Why would any true Christian want to pray in public (such as in the USAF Academy or anywhere else), when their founder and deity spoke out so often and clearly against it as hypocrisy and ostentation?

(And just for the record, I agree with Yehoshua on that score.)
However, it is clear that you either do not wish to recognize the problem, or are incapable of seeing it for what it is, so I will be signing off here. If you have further questions or comments, please address them to the MRFF staff. Hopefully one of the Christian evangelicals who work with the MRFF will be available to answer them.

Thanks for your time.

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