Mikey Weinstein

Good morning!

I recently read the article where Mr. Weinstein ranted about the National Day of Prayer. How can one person be so ignorant and evil?

Do you not know that Christ came to save all? Even Mr. Weinstein.

Christianity is not about forcing religion on someone, it is about love. Plain and simple. It is about acknowledging that God sent his Son Jesus to save us from our sin and to love all people. It is not difficult to understand, nor is it difficult to do.

It is institutions like yours, and people like Mr. Weinstein, who have caused the US Government to fall away from it’s roots (based in Christianity). This is also the reason that Christians are now labeled as terrorists and extremists according to the Pentagon.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/pentagon-classifies-evangelical-christians-catholics-as-extremists.html

Our very forefathers built this land upon the tenants of the Bible. Where do you think our justice system came from?

How, knowing that our forefathers based our laws and land on the Bible and Christianity, can you call a National Day of Prayer an event “to promote their rapaciously exclusivist religion as the quasi-official religion of the nation.” This is plain hate.

I pray that the Lord will cause you to see Him. That you would be brought to the point where you have no choice but to acknowledge Jesus. I pray that you are saved before you die so that you will not be lost in Hell for eternity. The love of Christ is an easy burden to bear. Hatred such as yours weighs you down and ruins your life, and your eternity.

Please, confess your sin and ask Jesus into your heart before it is too late. I pray He will open your eyes.

In Christ’s love,

(name withheld)


Good morning (name withheld),

Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond.

There are actually two distinct and separate National Day of Prayer events; The National Day of Prayer and the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

The National Day of Prayer was signed on April 17, 1952 by President Harry S. Truman and is celebrated by Americans of many religions, including Christians of many denominations, Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, etc. reflecting the demographics of the United States.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force was formed in 1982 by a conservative evangelical Christian organization called the “National Prayer Committee” to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer for the purpose of organizing only evangelical Christian prayer events.

As you can see, these are not the same; the National Day of Prayer is government sanctioned while the National Day of Prayer Task Force is a private, religious entity that is not government sanctioned.

There are strict Department of Defense regulations barring any military personnel or bands from participating in a non-government sanctioned religious event. By allowing the military to participate in a conservative evangelical Christian organization’s event it gives the appearance of endorsement against all other religions.

Joint Ethics Regulation (DoD 5500.7-R) regarding the strictly prohibited DoD endorsement of any non-federal entity, such as the NDP Task Force (Section 3-209);
DoD Instruction 5410.19, Section 6.7.1, which, likewise, prohibits DoD endorsement of any non-federal entity, such as the NDP Task Force;
DoD Instruction 5410.19, Section 6.7.2, which prohibits the providing of a selective benefit or preferential treatment by the DoD to any non-federal entity, such as the NDP Task Force.

4. As stated in DoD Directive 5410.18, Section 4.2.4.2, “Providing support at events sponsored by non-Federal entities by Military Service members in uniform performing in a military band, choral group, or portion thereof, is particularly inappropriate because they convey in that context a strong visual appearance of a DoD endorsement of the non-Federal entity, its event, or its goals.”

Mikey and the MRFF DO NOT act on their own but on the complaints of soldiers who see the blatant disregard for the Constitution and military law where religion is concerned. There were 27 senior officials at the Pentagon who complained to Mikey about the blatant disregard for military law in this instance.

You are complaining to the wrong people and disregarding the DoD directives.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:1-2

You are preaching to the choir because we are neither anti-God nor anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish and prays 3 times a day to the same Father we do. A full 75% or more of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters with the MRFF are Christian. Out of our 37,100+ military clients (1 can represent 50 and 1 represents 100) 96% of them are Christian – Catholic, Episcopalians, Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc. If anything, we represent Christians more than any other religion but that doesn’t make the news.

The history of Christianity trying to force its beliefs in America fills volumes of books and is too long to get into here. Suffice it to say that it was an abysmal failure in making the Colonies a Theocracy. One sect of Christianity was murdering another sect. The Salem Witch Trials, caused by mass hysteria and lies, was the death knell of any attempt to force Christianity on the nation.

“More than once it has been said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered.” George Lincoln Burr (January 30, 1857 – 1938) Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University.

Our Constitution was written explicitly to base America on secular rule free from religious tyranny.

The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, ratified June 21, 1788 and went into effect on March 4, 1789.

As for the separation of Church and State not existing in the Constitution, the words may not exist, but the idea is there and those words were used by some of the founding fathers.

The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797; a mere 8 years since our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli:

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 tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] 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.

If what was written here was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity; the less they are mixed together. – James Madison Letter to Edward Livingston (1822-07-10)

“Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.” Thomas Jefferson – Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

“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

“A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source.” Federalist Papers #10

“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320.

This is his second known use of the term “wall of separation,” here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter.

This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause.

“Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, the court examined the history of religious liberty in the US, determining that while the constitution guarantees religious freedom, “The word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.” The court found that the leaders in advocating and formulating the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty were James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.”

A few Christian fundamentalists attempt to convince us to return to the Christianity of early America, yet according to the historian, Robert T. Handy, “No more than 10 percent– probably less– of Americans in 1800 were members of congregations.”

“The Founding Fathers, also, rarely practiced Christian orthodoxy. Although they supported the free exercise of any religion, they understood the dangers of religion. Most of them believed in deism and attended Freemasonry lodges. According to John J. Robinson, “Freemasonry had been a powerful force for religious freedom.” Freemasons took seriously the principle that men should worship according to their own conscience. Masonry welcomed anyone from any religion or non-religion, as long as they believed in a Supreme Being. Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Hamilton, Lafayette, and many others accepted Freemasonry.

The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government, protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “the idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.”

Here are some quotes by our founding fathers:

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

“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.”
~John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

“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 prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

“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.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,
“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
~Founding Father James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
~Founding Father James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

“Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.”
~Founding Father James Madison, letter, 1822

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government 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.”
~Founding Father James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical
Endowments

“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
~Founding Father Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773

“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.”

James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments

“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 “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

Though Christianity is the major religion in America it is not the religion of America according to our Constitution. You have been lied to.

I will pray for you that you obey God’s command to obey our government and that you see that there is a difference between the National Day of Prayer and the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

In Christ,

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board member


Good morning, (name withheld),

You apparently read the article that so confused you rather hurriedly, as Mr. Weinstein neither ranted nor did he criticize the National Day of Prayer. It was quite clearly stated that he “had no issue with the National Day of Prayer,” only with the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The Task Force, which is preparing and promoting an event that will feature not a single religion but in fact a rapacious sect of one single religion, is not only unrepresentative of the majority of the believers in our country, it is unrepresentative of the majority of our country’s Christians. And, in allowing this peculiar sect to proselytize through its choice of spokespeople while being supported and endorsed by an arm of our government, it violates the separation of church and state.

Perhaps a second reading will help you get a more clear understanding.

While I agree with your statement that “Christianity is not about forcing religion on someone,” the Dominionists among them believe otherwise. Your stated interpretation of Christianity suggests you are not in accord with the more intrusive and exclusivist Dominionist view, but I have to say I find a bit of contradiction between your assertion that you believe in a Christianity that is “about love,” and yet practice making judgments. Calling Mr. Weinstein “ignorant and evil,” for example, falls a bit outside the pale, wouldn’t you say?

As to your beliefs about the founding of this country and some of the nonsense you’ve picked up from Fox News, you’re welcome to them, no matter how ill-founded. While our focus is the protection of the freedom of religious (or non-religious) choice of those in the military, we subscribe to the idea that every person is entitled to believe as she or he chooses.

In that regard, while unnecessary and misdirected, your prayers on our behalf are welcome. In turn, I pray that the scales are lifted – I presume you take my meaning. And I can’t help but add that there are no tenants in the Bible.

Best,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Directors)


(name withheld),

Thank you for your recent E-Mail. Mr. Weinstein is up to his Adam’s Apple with MRFF affairs right now and has asked me to answer your mail.

MRFF’s main goal is to ensure religious freedom to each and every member of the Armed Forces. Sadly, there are militant Christians with rank and positions in the military who have been applying command centered and coercive Christian based proselytizing to subordinates. MRFF is currently addressing over 37,000 complaints by our young men and women in the military as to their being subjected to it. The goal was to form a country and government that would encompass all participants. Religious and non-religious.

You would also be mistaken about America’s roots being founded on Christianity and the tenets of the Bible. Although there were Christians present during the formation of America there were also those of different faiths and no faith at all.

America was founded as a secular nation in which all religions could flourish but none dominate. That is why there are no references to God, Jesus or other deities in our constitution. Also, American Law is based on British Common Law. The Ten Commandments is insufficient on which to base the many hundreds of lay articles of law now part of the US Legal system..

Mr. Weinstein has not “ranted” about the NDP itself but rather unconstitutional connection between the NDP and the Pentagon and the participation of uniformed American Military with exclusive Christian groups.

In Lemon Vs. Kurzman, 1971, the US Supreme Court ruled that members of the government, including Public Education and the Armed Forces, may not recommend, advocate, promote or proselytize one religion over another or religion over non-religion. Participation of uniformed military and exclusive Christian organizations together in a prayer breakfast, or other similar event, would be a violation of the US Constitution.

Rick Baker
Capt. USAF (Ret)
MRFF Volunteer.


Good Day (name withheld)-

Mikey Weinstein has read your email and asked if I would provide a response — it’s important to him that everyone who writes to MRFF receives a reply. There is no way that he could do it all himself so he relies on folks like me, a volunteer who supports MRFF in a variety of ways. I am also a Christian and an AF veteran.

I’d wager that, in terms of personal religious beliefs, you and I almost certainly agree more than we disagree. But I’ve also come to appreciate, as I’ve explored how Constitutional limits and protections relate to the US military, how necessary, in fact required, it is for the US military to maintain a position of neutrality with regard to religion. That means that the religious belief of every individual, including non-belief, is treated as equal, and no single religion can be afforded any sort of preferential treatment.

This is an important point with which to begin, because the core concern raised by Mikey and MRFF, about which you’ve read, is NOT a challenge to the general concept of the National Day of Prayer which was established, in its current form, by President Truman in 1952. Rather, the concern that was raised relates specifically to the proposed use of military resources at an event being held by a private, sectarian group, the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

The National Day of Prayer and the National Day of Prayer Task Force are NOT one and the same. However, the private, sectarian nature of the Task Force may not be readily apparent and it’s my impression that the Task Force organizers want that line to be very blurry, even invisible. If you check out their website, you will find the words “Task Force” in incredibly tiny font, really almost unreadable, within their logo.

The stated mission of the Task Force, which is described as follows on their website, points out the clear difference between its sectarian aim, as opposed to the ecumenical aim of the National Day of Prayer itself:

“Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”

As a Christian myself, I personally don’t have any objection to the mission of the Task Force. Of course, ‘objectionable’ and ‘inappropriate’ are not the same thing. Because of the sectarian nature of the group and its event, it is inappropriate for the US military to provide official support in the form of participation by military units. I hope you can agree that such support could easily be construed as a form of endorsement of a particular religious affiliation, something which our military is not supposed to do.

That is the entire basis for the objection raised by MRFF, no more and no less. The concern is neither anti-religion nor anti-Christian —- rather, it is pro-Constitution.

You mention in your note that the ‘roots’ of the US government are in Christianity. This is a common assertion from many Christians, but it’s not actually true. While many of our founding fathers were indeed men of faith (some Christians, some Deists) they intentionally created a governmental structure, guided by the Constitution, which is designed to prevent any specific dogma, including Christianity, from becoming a state-sanctioned religion. That is why there is an Establishment Clause in the Constitution.

Thankfully, our forefathers also established the right of every American to hold his own beliefs, or to choose to believe nothing at all. So the good people behind the Task Force have every right to their beliefs, and to host an event that promotes those beliefs. But they are not entitled to official governmental sanction, nor are they entitled to the support of US military units. To be very frank, and speaking only for myself, I have some discomfort that the Task Force event is being held in a Congressional office building… but that aspect is beyond the scope of MRFF’s mission statement and is not part of the concern raised by MRFF.

Personally, I believe that it’s possible for us to be good, devout Christians and still respect the rights of Americans who don’t share our beliefs. Our society today is incredibly diverse – while it remains predominantly Christian, almost 25% of American are NOT Christian (almost 80 million people). Our military ranks are equally diverse, and that is why MRFF exists – to support efforts to ensure that our military maintains the level of religious neutrality that is required by Constitutional mandate and specific military regulations.

Thanks for writing to MRFF.

Peace,

Mike Challman

Christian, AF Veteran, MRFF Supporter

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