Shame on you

Dear MRFF,

don’t know how you could fight against religious freedoms espically through our military me. They have the right to pray just as you have the right to believe what you want to believe. You and your organization, when you limit these religious freedoms are doing the work and promoting the ideas of the same kind that killed your ancestors in german war camps. The freedom of religion and freedom of speech in our country is what makes us unique. It is what our soldiers died for and your restrictions on those beliefs are for your own glorification and nothing to do with rights. I bet you make your family very proud.

(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld),

I don’t know how you get your information on MRFF but I’m afraid you may have misunderstood the tenets of our operation or have received some false and misleading information.

MRFF’s main goal is to insure that each and every member of the Armed Forces receives the religious freedom guaranteed by the US Constitution and to receive freedom from unwanted religious pressures when necessary.

Often, certain militant Christian sects and individuals who have attained rank and position in the military attempt to convert non-Christian personnel and to coercively proselytize Christian subordinates to make them more obedient and to achieve active control of their units.

MRFF intercedes only when such unconstitutional activities are detected. After years of correcting such problems MRFF has come under fire from right-wing religious organizations who seek dominance in the military. Much of the information they put out is false and misleading and is designed to keep them in power over our military.

So any actions you may see on the part of MRFF are designed only to assist our young men and women in the armed forces in protecting themselves from unwanted religious pressures.

MRFF is currently addressing over 37,000 complaints from our young military members as to having experienced such coercive and unconstitutional religious pressures.

To help you understand MRFF better and to see some of the awful mail we receive from religious bullies please visit us at

Thank you for your concern and I hope I have helped you to understand us a little better.

Rick Baker
Capt. USAF (Ret)
MRFF Volunteer.

Dear (name withheld),

Please help me. I’m confused. What gives you the idea that Mr. Weinstein or the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is fighting against religious freedom?
That’s actually what we’re fighting for. We agree with you that our military personnel have the right to pray. What is it that gives you the idea that we want to
limit their religious freedom?

And when you make reference to the work you think we’re doing as “promoting the ideas of the same kind that killed (our) ancestors in german (sic) war
camps,” what exactly do you mean and who do you think you’re addressing?

We agree with you that the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech in our country is extraordinary. Since most of us are active military or veterans,
we’re well aware of what military service means and has meant to maintaining the freedoms we all cherish. What I don’t understand is exactly what you
think we’re doing that is placing restrictions on the beliefs of military personnel.

In answer to your last point, I know my family is quite proud of the work I do with the MRFF. What I don’t know is how you have become so confused about
our work that you could send a message with the intention of criticizing our efforts when you clearly don’t understand what it is we’re doing.

Please do me a favor, if you will, and let me know, specifically, what it is you think we’re doing that is shameful. I fear you’ve been terribly misled by
someone or by something you’ve read and I’d like to clear things up for you.

Thanks very much.

Mike Farrell

I saw an article on face book where they said you were trying to take away soldiers right to pray before battle. It broke my heart but if as you say you are fighting to keep our religious freedom then I am terriably sorry for the harsh reaction to the article. Thank you for replying to my correspondence and setting me straight.

(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld),

Thanks for your kind reply. I know there are a lot of things floating out there on FaceBook and other places that just don’t have
the right information, so I appreciate your willingness to check in and find out the facts.

Please feel free to look up the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. If you have any questions or concerns we’re always
ready to clarify things.

My best to you.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Hi Richard:

My only concern are the rights of all people to pray if they want to pray and anything that prevents that is an infringement on their freedom, a freedom that they are serving thier country to insure I have.

If there are problems of christian bullying then of course I am against that also. My belief is that in this country, so far, we have the freedom of religion and speech. but I also believe that you shouldn’t stuff your beliefs down other people’s throat.

My concern has and always will be that organizations like yours will inadverdently lessen some of the freedoms I have mentioned. It should not be a minority that takes away the rights of all. Just because one person/many doesn’t like christians and their beliefs does not entitle them to take away our freedom of religion.

Anyway before I jump on my bandwagon about freedoms I will let you get back to doing what you do.

Thanks so much, for replying to my email. I better understand your position and I will quit believing everything I read on facebook.

Sincerly, (name withheld)

Hi (name withheld) –

Mikey Weinstein has read your email and shared it with me — I’m a volunteer to supports MRFF in a variety of ways. I’m also a Christian, a USAF Academy graduate and a former AF officer.

Thanks for writing to MRFF to express your concerns. When I first learned about MRFF, I also had very similar thoughts — but after doing some research, I quickly learned that the manner in which MRFF is portrayed in the media (Fox News is one particular source of regular misinformation) is extremely inaccurate. From your email, I can see that you also have some misconceptions about our organization, and I’d like to take this opportunity to try to correct them.

Most importantly, please know that MRFF is not fighting against religious freedom in the military — in fact, our mission is exactly opposite of that, despite what Fox News and others continue to wrongly claim.

Our efforts are to ensure that ALL members of our military fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. But all of us, including Christians such as you and me, must recognize that these Constitutional protections apply to EVERYONE, even those who may not believe the same things that we do. In the eyes of the US Constitution, all beliefs (including non-belief) are entitled to equal status and equal protection — no one gets to claim that their own particular belief is the Truth and is entitled to more protection or favoritism over other beliefs.

Your reference to the German war camps is entirely inappropriate and, from my perspective, quite offensive. The suffering of the Jewish people and others during WWII has no corollary in our own society today. Nothing that any religious group in the US today claims to be experiencing, in terms of restriction or discrimination, will ever come close to what millions of innocent people suffered in the Nazi death camps. So please, I’d ask you not to try to co-opt someone else’s tragedy to advance your own agenda.

Nonetheless, with regard to your primary concern that individuals in our military “have the right to pray just as you have the right to believe what you want to believe” — we are on the same page because that is what MRFF wants, too. In fact, the majority of supporters and clients of MRFF are people of faith. What brings us together as a group with people whose beliefs are not the same as our own, and which includes honorable people who do not hold to any religious creed, is the recognition that not everyone believes that everyone else should have those same rights.

Sadly, there are people in America today, including in our military, who believe so strongly that they possess the Truth that they believe they should have the right to proselytize without restriction, and they also believe that they have the right to special support and favoritism from the US government. This is what happened on the recent National Day of Prayer, when a particular group of religious people asked for, and received, special support from the US military at an event that was sectarian. No one at MRFF said that the group did not have a right to meet and pray together, on the National Day of Prayer or any other day for that matter. But it was inappropriate to seek what amounted to special recognition from the government, in the form of formal participation by military groups, at this sectarian event.

As I said at the start of my note, I am a devout and active Christian. But I am also a staunch believer in the notion that America’s strength comes from our diversity and from our willingness to give ALL citizens equal protection under the law and the US Constitution — including the right to believe whatever they want to believe (or not believe). But that means that people like you and me must be willing to protect the rights of people that we may feel are mistaken in their personal beliefs. Not always easy for people to do, and in particular it seems like an especially tough thing for some of our fellow Christians to do.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Thanks again for writing to MRFF.


Mike Challman
Christian, AF veteran, MRFF supporter

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