Praying

Dear Sir, May God have mercy on your soul. I will be praying that you wake up before you do more damage to our country that God has blessed(inspite of people like you). In Jesus’ name I will pray for your heart to change.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Mikey has read your email and asked me to respond to you as he is very busy trying to help our soldiers keep their freedom to practice their religious or non-religious beliefs guaranteed to them under our Constitution.

I see that you have been misinformed either by the media or a preacher as to the inner workings of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).

Mikey – who is an agnostic Jew – is the face, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) but Mikey does not work alone. There is the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters of which 75% are Christians. A full 96% of our 38,400+ soldier clients (1 can represent up to 50 and 1 does represent 100) are Christians which makes us the biggest supporter for the rights of Christians in the military.

We are NOT anti-Christian. We are not stopping anyone from practicing their faith in the military. What we are doing is stopping one sect of Christianity (Evangelical/Fundamental/Dominionist) from ruining the careers of our soldiers that practice others sects of Christianity, those of a different religion and those of no religious faith.

US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”

This thinking is pervasive in all branches of the military all the way to the Pentagon.

If you are a Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist or any other mainline Christian then this statement refers to you.

Just imagine how our mainline Christian soldiers feel when they are told they are not the “right kind” of Christian and are going to hell.

We DO NOT act on our own but on the request of our soldiers who are facing religious persecution (mainly to CHRISTIANS) from their military superiors and peers. Each complaint must be vetted before taking any action by Mikey who was a US Air Force JAG for 10 years and he also spent over three years in the West Wing of the Reagan Administration as legal counsel in the White House.

He is no dummy when it comes to the laws of the United States.

The Evangelical/Fundamental/Dominionist sect is what we fight against because our military is secular and must remain that way. No religion – not even Christianity – is allowed to dominate or be the face of our military under the Establishment Clause.

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

The Establishment Clause comes before the Free Exercise Clause for a reason; the Free Exercise Clause is subservient to the Establishment Clause – not the other way around as some Christians would like it to be.

Note that the clause is absolute. It allows no law. It is also noteworthy that the clause forbids more than the establishment of religion by the government. It forbids even laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The Establishment Clause was needed – based on past history – so that our country did not have a government religion based on Christianity and was thusfree from religion.
The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/establishment_clause

The Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause.

Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the “Lemon Test.”

Lemon Test:

1. Any law or policy must have been adopted with a neutral or non-religious purpose.
2. The principle or primary effect of any law or policy must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion.
3. The statute or policy must not result in an “excessive entanglement” of government with religion.

Making a law, statute or policy against just one of the above three violates the “Lemon Test” enacted by the Supreme Court and is thus null and void.

Our military is a government entity that is to remain secular.

Military Chaplains – not Commanders or those in leadership positions – are in charge of the spiritual needs of their soldiers in each denomination and must have tolerance and acceptance for all faiths in deference to their own personal religious convictions. In addition to personal tolerance, military Chaplains must ensure religious freedom or lack thereof for all soldiers according to the 2nd Amendment.

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

As a matter of fact, Jesus spoke about oaths and He does not like using Him in them.

“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven (So help me God) for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:34-37

Do you see that? If our soldiers say “So help me God” after their oath it is from the evil one –SATAN. This is why even CHRISTIANS don’t want to say it!

May God have mercy on any soldier or Christian that says “So help me God” MUST BE at the end of their oath.

You’re taking your anger out on the wrong people. I suggest you pen an email to the Stars and Stripes website and tell the soldiers exactly how you feel.

In Jesus’ name I will pray that you change your heart and follow the teachings of Him.

Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Membe


Dear (name withheld),

I’m not sure what your prayers would have God change in terms of the MRFF’s work, but if you’re worried about “damage to our country” you might want to have him take a look at the harm being done to America by people who claim to be followers of Jesus but contradict his teaching. People who judge and condemn others despite Jesus’ words, people who threaten damnation on anyone who doesn’t bow to their own very constipated version of Christianity, people who live in fear and spew hate despite Jesus’ mandate that we love one another are not only doing “damage to our country,” they are doing damage to the aspirations of the one they claim to worship.

In the meantime, all we at the MRFF are doing is protecting the right to the freedom of belief of the women and men in our military.

Best,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear Joan, It pains me that you felt anger in my email. In my world when I say I will pray for someone it comes from a heart of love. I cannot understand when the platform that your organization stands on is one of tolerance, you feel the need to respond with an email that lashes out. I am sorry. Yes, I will pray even harder now because I see that there is great need for tolerance on your part for the very thing you say you are defending.
In Jesus’ name.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

It pains me that you think I felt anger when I said you were “misinformed.” I actually pity those that don’t have a full grasp of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

It also pains me that you feel I lashed out at you and am intolerant. If that’s the way you feel (or read into) about my fact-filled information on how we operate, the truth on how our mainline Christian soldiers are treated, America’s laws on religious neutrality in any government entity and what Jesus said, then there is nothing more I can do.

I will pray even harder for you that you stop reading into emails things that are not there.

Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member


Dear (name withheld) –

Thanks for your note to MRFF, and thanks for your prayers. Like you, I am a Christian, as well as being a supporter of MRFF and AF veteran.

I’m going to guess that you were inspired to write as a result of either Pat Robertson’s recent attack on Mikey Weinstein, or some of the subsequent reports and opinion pieces that were generated as a result of Mr. Robertson’s public attack. So if that is the case, then in addition to praying I would encourage you to rely less upon sound bites from folks like Mr. Robertson and others, because they misrepresent the mission and goals of MRFF.

MRFF fights for religious freedom in our military. Simple as that.

But that means the freedom of every military members to follow his/her own heart and conscience when it comes to matters of religious belief. Christians such as me and you don’t get to claim a special prominence for our beliefs — the US Constitution provides equal rights to believers of all stripes, including honorable people who choose not to believe in God.

Too many of our fellow Christians call for dominance of our beliefs over all others in our government institutions. While I appreciate the passion, it’s simply not right and has no place in our institutions of public trust, including the US military. We are a diverse country, comprised of people of many faith traditions, beliefs, and non-beliefs. Our military must have room for all of these people, or we do not truly have the freedom that we claim to offer as a nation.

So I would encourage you to continue to pray for everyone on all sides of this debate. But also do your own reading and research, and learn as much as you can about the importance of religious liberty in our military today and the forces which threaten it. That’s what I did, and that is how I came to support MRFF.

Peace,

Mike Challman
Christian, AF veteran, MRFF supporter

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