Religious Freedom

Do any of you understand what kind of low life human beings you actually are?

To impose YOUR beliefs on the military is just as much a violation of the “establishment clause” as you complain about all the time. As a matter of FACT it is MORE a violation of the establishment clause since you are attempting to force those in the military to have NO religion whatsoever, which is a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

There is absolutely NOTHING in the Constitution that says that those in the military cannot be allowed access to ANY religious materials just because a few anti-religious bigots don’t want them to. And there is NOTHING in the Constitution that says that a “lodge” can’t have a Bible to the exclusion of any other reading material, or that having a Bible in a lodge is any kind of violation whatsoever, other than to your own personal hatred for those that believe in a God or higher power.

And also, if you would READ the Constitution instead of attacking those that have religious beliefs,, and the First Amendment actually ALLOWS those in the military to have the FREEDOM of religion. Neither the Constitution nor the Uniform Code of Military Justice says that those in the military cannot have access nor speak on their personal religious beliefs, despite the dishonest garbage you put out.

These people are putting their LIVES ON THE LINE for this nation, and unfortunately, for you. And you pieces of garbage actually want to prevent them to have the right to have access to a military Chaplain of their beliefs, to gather with others of their belief, or to even have something as simple as a Bible that YOU don’t believe in anyway. Simply because even though you are too COWARDLY to defend this nation with your life yourself, you feel you have the right to impose YOUR anti-religious beliefs on those that do.

I spent 22 years on active duty with the ABSOLUTE knowledge that if I felt the need for a Chaplain for any reason, be it religious, counselling, get religious material, or simply to speak to privately, that there was one available. You jerks want to take that RIGHT away from everyone because of your own stupid BIGOTRY.

You’re disgusting beyond words with your propaganda, hatred, and trash.

(name withheld)


Oh (name withheld),

I’ve had to wait a bit before attempting a reply to you because I’ve had some things I thought more important to do.

Now, because you’ve shown yourself to be very good at misunderstanding, I want to be sure you don’t misunderstand me. It’s not that I think your message is unimportant, it’s just that I hear so much of this angry, bloated rhetoric from people like you, all hot under the collar and red in the face because you’ve heard a bunch of lies about the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Or maybe, and this would be worse, you’ve read something, not likely but maybe something we’ve actually written, and completely misunderstood it.

Anyway, I do want to take this time to respond because I think it’s important that we make an attempt to be understood, even if the misunderstanding is not our fault in the first place, and especially if it’s intentional. You indicated that you’re retired, and I guess that’s a good thing because your understanding of a number of the points you’ve made reference to here is sadly confused and/or simply lacking. And if you were still in the service you’d be blowing off and someone else might think you knew what you were talking about.

You don’t, (name withheld). And before you start spewing again, let me explain.

I’ll not comment on all the stupid name-calling you’ve chosen to resort to. I’ve come to understand that sort of stuff comes from people who can’t or won’t deal in facts and aren’t willing to hear the truth, but let me try anyway.

First, of course we understand the kind of human beings we are. We are, among other things, the kind of human beings who are deeply concerned that people like you don’t really understand the concept of freedom of religion. You and others like you seem to think that freedom of religion means only the freedom of your religion, not that of others. You also have a problem with understanding that the concept of freedom OF religion allows for the idea, if one chooses to embrace it, of freedom FROM religion.

Now you have decided, for whatever reason, that we want “those in the military to have no religion whatsoever.” I don’t know where people come up with these cockamamie ideas, but IT’S NOT TRUE. It couldn’t be further from the truth, actually, as most of the people associated with the MRFF are Christians, some of them ministers. Some are of other faiths and some do not believe in God, but over 95% of our friends and associates are “believing Christians.” And all of us are in agreement that the freedom of belief of those in the military must be protected. The protection that’s offered under our constitution and subsequent laws has come to be understood as the separation of church and state. This means that the government (the state) cannot and should not be in a position of promoting, or appearing to promote, one religion or religious belief, over another.

So that’s the core of your misunderstanding. And it has caused you to blow a lot of hot air at us.

You’re right that there’s nothing in the Constitution that says people in the military can’t have access to religious material of their choosing. No one here opposes allowing people access to their own religious material; what we oppose is having people imposing their own religious beliefs on others. In particular, we think it’s a violation of the freedom of religion when people in superior positions impose their religious beliefs on those beneath them in status, which is why we insist on complete freedom of religion in the military. That means there can be no proselytizing, no matter how zealous the faith of the individual who believes that everyone must adhere to his or her belief system or be damned to hell. He or she is welcome to that belief but MAY NOT impose it on others.

You see, we’re pretty familiar with the Constitution, and unlike some others I can think of, we believe what it says about all of our freedoms: that they have to be honored, trusted and protected from those who would subvert them. Because Christianity is the predominant religion in this country of ours, some seem to believe it’s OK for part of the government, like the military, to promote Christianity and/or look the other way when others choose to promote it. But no can do.

In the case of the “lodge” you chose to rant about, a domicile run by the military should not be providing a book about a specific religious belief. Period. The implied propagation of that religion should be obvious, and obviously wrong, I would think. But apparently you don’t understand that; apparently you find it perfectly proper because it is the religion of your choice. But what if the book placed in the lodge was the Koran, or the Book of Mormon? Would you be bellowing because it was removed?

Of course you wouldn’t. You’d be applauding. You see, that’s why we have to be scrupulous in our work to separate church and state.

You make another error in your name-calling that I want to point out. Many of the members and supporters of the MRFF are active duty military and many, many of them are veterans, all of whom understand and appreciate the work of the organization. Just to give you something to think about, many of the men and women you’ve chosen to slur are not only present or former career military, but are also decorated combat veterans.

So I’d advise you to give some thought to your ugly missive and consider taking a look at the MRFF website and reading the mission statement there. You probably won’t, but if you do, check out some of the other ugly letters sent our way, mostly by people who claim to be followers of Christ. See how they make you feel.

Yours in understanding,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

(


Go READ the Constitution of the United States of America.

There is absolutely NOTHING in there that says there is a “separation of church and state” and there is absolutely NOTHING in there that says that we are required to have “Freedom from Religion”. There is NOTHING in UCMJ that says that we can’t have Chaplains, and as a matter of fact that Gideons can’t put a Bible in a desk in a hotel room on a military base.

As a matter of FACT, the Bibles went BACK into those desks in military lodging, which I’m sure galls you to no end.

Simply because YOU and your ilk think something should be does not give you ANY right to bully others, although you will keep on doing so I’m sure.

You say the “concept of freedom OF religion allows for the idea, if one chooses to embrace it, of freedom FROM religion”

I would point out to you that your statement does NOT allow you to attempt to force others to toe YOUR political line though.

And as for “name calling”, simply calling you what you are isn’t “name calling”, it’s telling the TRUTH.

As for you condescending attitude toward me with your reply, you actually think that YOU are “smarter” than anyone and everyone else, which shows how ignorant you really are.

(name withheld)


Well, (name withheld), you’ve done it again…

I understand that when one blows a lot of hot air, calls people names and acts all sanctimonious it’s kind of hard to accept the fact that he’s stuck his foot in his mouth. But actual grownups tend to sit back, take a long, hard look and accept the reality when they’re wrong. Usually, but we’re talking grownups here, they learn something and profit by the experience.

Some, unfortunately, just double down, stick to their positions and lash out again. That’s always a disappointment.

Anyway, let me try once again to clear things up for you.

When one reads the Constitution one finds that many things are not overtly stated in the initial writing but are clarified in law and sometimes even articulated in amendments. I trust I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but because you have this fixation on the separation of church and state not being written in the Constitution, I thought I’d remind you.

As history books will tell you, the Constitution was written by slave-holding men, in significant part, and they were about separating from a monarchy and setting up a society that worked for them. Women, minorities and the poor really didn’t figure much into their consideration. So, you see, there are many aspects of the Constitution that have had to be expanded upon, rethought and, in some cases, amended. And they have been. And often the seeds for that expansion were clearly planted by the original intentions of the Founders. For example, Tom Jefferson – you remember him – wrote to a religious group just after the turn of the century, saying “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people build a wall of separation between Church & State.”

So you may not like it, but there is a lot of case law clearly delineating a separation of church and state, all of which has been argued and held to stand as the law of the land.

Per another of your very emphatic declarative statements about what is NOT written in the Constitution, you may note that in my original response to you, which you have quoted below, I said nothing about forcing others to toe any political line. In fact, I said nothing about a political line. That’s your interpolation and does not reflect anything I said or intended. You want to insist that someone here is trying to force a religious or political view on others. In fact, that is exactly what we oppose. No one here is trying for force anything on anyone. What we want is fairness. What we’re trying to do is to ensure that the military honors the law and the meaning of the Constitution by not promoting or showing a preference for one religious belief system over another. Period.

Nor did anyone here claim the UCMJ said the military can’t have chaplains. Where do you come up with this stuff? Your point about the Gideons and the Bible, however, is an example of the thoughtlessness and insensitivity of those in charge of that military-controlled housing. You failed to answer my question about how you’d feel if you went in there and found you’d been provided with a copy of the Koran?

As far as your silly assertion about our bullying, I can only suggest you read your first message to the MRFF and perhaps even take a look again at the tone of your second. They are loud and juvenile and kind of pathetic, and they’re written by someone who is in high dudgeon about something he clearly doesn’t understand. Worse, out of this misunderstanding he shouts and blows and acts all high and mighty while accusing those he’s attacking of lying and bullying.

It’s really a tone that makes you seem foolish, and that’s not a quality I expect in a non-com with the time in you claim.

I wish you calmer times.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Let’s get some FACTS straight, alright?

You went after a high school football team because the players were praying for an injured player on the field. You knee jerked your sanctimonious garbage attacking them, accusing “adults” of apparently forcing them to pray when they ON THEIR OWN were praying. You looked like asses.

And you attacked the college and the PLAYERS of a football team because the PLAYERS individually chose to put a cross on their helmets for CHRISTIAN people that had died and they were honoring. Again, knee jerk reaction from the “organizations” that think they can bully everyone into what they want instead of allowing the religious FREEDOM guaranteed by the Constitution. No one forced them to put those crosses on, it was the players’ choice, but you rose up with you usual bullying and of course quoted the non-existent “separation of church and state” mantra you live on.

You’re damn right I’m “fixated” on the Constitution, since it is what this nation is BASED on and what I spent almost my entire adult life defending, not attacking. And the first ten Amendments are called the Bill of Rights. There is NO ambiguity in what they say, despite your attempt to try say it was all about a few men attempting to set up a government just for them and no one else. Let me give you the QUOTE from the first part of the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

“We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.” Thomas Jefferson 1808

What part of that is unclear to you? People like you and your organization are in VIOLATION of the First Amendment every single time you attempt to PROHIBIT THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.

A “grownup” doesn’t sit there and attempt to take away the Constitutional Rights of EVERY American simply because they think their “progressive” mindset is more intelligent or better or more correct than the Constitution itself. You are attempting to impose what YOU think is correct when it comes to religion in this nation and you simply ignore that pesky First Amendment and instead throw out your “Freedom From Religion” title and of course the “separation” clause that does NOT exist.

The Constitution says that Congress shall make no laws respecting a religion. It does NOT say that Congress shall not be recognize any religion. It does NOT say that Congress shall pass laws that separate religion from the state. It does NOT say that organizations are allowed to bully people into not being able to exercise their religion at ANY TIME or ANY PLACE that they want to.

So, how about you “learn something” instead of being just another “I’m smarter than you” elitist that thinks they have the “right” to tell everyone else how they have to live their lives, according to YOUR standard of course?

You say you don’t bully people? Any time you hear of anyone on a school campus or in government or in the military having anything to do with religion, especially Christianity, you have your lawyers out there suing, releasing statement condemning people, and of course jumping in front of any and every reporter you can find DEMANDING that those people stop their religious displays IMMEDIATELY, or else. Of course you don’t call that “bullying”, you call it “fairness”, as long as the “fairness” is what YOU want, right?

And by the way, if I found a Koran in a desk drawer in a hotel room on a military base, I’d leave it there. I would NOT demand that it be removed simply because I’m not a Muslim or because of any “separation of church and state” garbage. I’m sure your INTOLERANCE would have you immediately calling the front desk, and of course your lawyers, to whine and complain.

Thirty seven years I served this nation, defending the RIGHTS of all Americans to practice their religion FREELY, without organizations like the “MRFF” or people like you attacking those Americans for practicing their God given and Constitutional rights to do so.

You want to do some “MRFF” work? Go to Iraq and talk to those people about “freedom from religion” and see what that gets you.

Meanwhile, in this country, I and hundreds of millions of Americans will continue to FREELY exercise our religion and you bullies can keep on attempting to stop us.

As someone who has gone through a war where we were told ten percent of us would be casualties within 24 hours of it starting, who has looked across the fence in Korea, who has looked across the wall in Germany, who has been on alert knowing that if a war started I would probably be dead, wounded, or captured within a few hours of that war, you have no idea how calm I am when it comes to people like you. You’re simply a nuisance.

What you call “shouting”, I call emphasis, so you understand what is being told to you. You see it as “shouting” because you of course don’t want to see the emphasis, you just want to see someone “shouting”, “blowing”, and acting all “high and mighty” as you put it.

I can’t think of any moment I’ve been “sanctimonious”, angry, excited, shouting, or “blowing”. If we were face to face the words I capitalize would be the words that I emphasize to you in the conversation. But for course you don’t care to see that.

You’re a pretty pitiful person from what I see in your responses to me. All your comments do is seem to “pity” me for my attitude and of course my mindset that every American has the God given and Constitutional right to freely practice their religion, while you demand that they stop. And you have the ignorant elitist mindset that you are so much better than anyone that doesn’t agree with you of course. I guess that’s how you justify the bullying of children, colleges, and everyone else that doesn’t do what you want.

I actually am pretty sympathetic to your hate filled life. But you seem to enjoy it, somewhat. I’m sure you can spread your message of intolerance toward people practicing their religion to literally thousands. And while that might satisfy you, I doubt you’ll ever be happy. You’ll just be an intolerant bully who feels the need to impose your “beliefs” on everyone else and of course claim how you are trying to have…what did you call it…..oh yeah, “fairness”. With your idea of “fairness” of course being the STOPPING of anyone that attempts to legally and freely practicing their religion.

I on the other hand will enjoy my love filled life, enjoying the fact that ALL people are free to practice their religion freely and peacefully in this nation, along with every other Right they have, except of course when you attempt to stop them.

(name withheld)

(name withheld),

This is truly becoming silly. It appears you are frothing at the mouth in our direction when your beef is with another organization. We had nothing to do with either the complaints about the high school team that prayed for an injured player nor the college players who chose to put a cross on their helmet.

If you enjoy getting your dander up and ranting about the suffering you’re being put through, at least have the intelligence to aim your bile in the proper direction. It appears the FFRF, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is who has so upset you. That’s not us.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Please take your anti-religious religion somewhere else.

(name withheld)


(name withheld),

I worry about your ability to take in information. There is nothing anti-religious about the MRFF. There is an organization, as I’ve indicated to you, that has a problem with religion and was probably the one responsible for the challenges you attributed to us. But let me say it one more time. That was not the MRFF.

So whatever this need is that you seem to have to attack people or organizations that espouse views with which you disagree, you ought to at least pick the right target for your wrath.

Best,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


My apologies on the MRFF thing, I confuse the two of you, since you both seem so intent on suppressing religious activities in this nation.

You don’t seem to want to comment on any of the facts that I sent you, and the history of government and religion in this nation. Including where you dishonestly espouse the “separation of church and state” comment from Jefferson into something that fits your agenda.

However, please feel free to continue to twist “separation of church and state” into whatever you think helps you destroy religious rights in this nation.

Again, my apologies on the MRFF comments, and I’ll try to be more discerning on which one is being more oppressive on the rights of the citizens of this nation to practice their religious beliefs, privately and publicly, in our country.

Oh by the way, I’m not doing anything different than you or your organization. YOU attack people and organizations that espouse views with which you disagree. I simply made an honest mistake by forgetting that your organization and MRFF are different, although the end game seems to be the same.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Your attempt to be “more discerning,” if sincere, can go a long way toward helping you grasp the difference between those who are anti-religious and those who believe in the freedom of religion and oppose the imposition of a particular belief system on those who would rather embrace their own.

As regards the separation of church and state, one can duel all day with quotes from the founders, but the relevant fact is that the law speaks very clearly on the issue and the courts have held for years that the government cannot support or favor one belief system over another. That just seems to trouble some impassioned Christian fundamentalists in this country who want to insist their particular interpretation on everyone. In our organization, which is made up of people of all faiths and no faith, it just so happens that over 95% of our staff, members and supporters are Christians, some of them clergy.

I hope you have a better day.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Actually the Constitution speaks very clearly on the on the issue. “Congress shall make no respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.

Exactly what part of that do you not understand. Is that sentence to obtuse for you to actually comprehend?

Exactly where in that statement do you think that people are not allowed to practice their religion, even on public grounds?

By the way, if you would check the facts, State governments actually did “establish” State religions. The First Amendment was for CONGRESS establishing a religion, it never said that any local, city, county, or State could not establish a religion. It’s only people like you who say that the word “Congress” is all encompassing for the entire nation and every government in this country.

The trouble is not “some impassioned Christian fundamentalists”, but instead a bunch of “progressives” that feel the need to “interpret” a very clear statement to mean something other than what it states EXACTLY.

I am no “impassioned Christian fundamentalist” myself. I am a believer in Christ and I do my best to obey the Commandments. I do not attempt to impose my beliefs on others.

YOU are the ones that feeling the need to impose YOUR “particular interpretation on everyone” and prevent those who wish to practice their religion from doing so, because Oh My, it might offend someone and violate your “separation of church and state” misinterpretation that you live your life on.

Someday you will realize that despite your twisting the words of the founding fathers to fit your agenda, and despite the decisions of a bunch of “progressive” judges and courts, that there is no such thing as “separation of church and state” as you and your organization define it. Because as you define it is to attack Christians every single time they attempt to publicly practice their religion.

And I don’t need to “have a better day”. EVERY day is excellent to me. I am a citizen of the United States of America, PROTECTED by the Constitution of the United States.

And until you destroy that, I always will be.

(name withheld)


Sorry, (name withheld). You can cling to your interpretation of the laws as long as you’d like, but it won’t help because you refuse to understand the reality. I’m tired of repeating it, but the fact is no one here is attacking Christianity. What we’re doing, and this is the hard part for people like you to understand, is protecting the rights of Christians and all believers and non-believers. Unlike some, we think it’s OK for people to believe what they wish and to practice whatever faith they choose, just as we believe it’s OK for people to choose not to believe in any God or higher power or whatever. And it is this right, protected by the laws of this nation, that the MRFF is determined to defend. In support of the laws of this country, we will not allow the men and women of the U.S. military to have ANY religious belief imposed upon them. Your concern that we are stopping only those who would impose Christianity reeks of defensiveness and is incorrect.

I agree with you that citizens of this country are free to practice the principles of their chosen faith. And that is true of those in the military as well. All of them. BUT, and this is the important thing to understand, because of the law, because of the legally mandated separation of church and state, no one in a position of authority over another in the military can foist his or her belief system on those in inferior positions.

Like it or not, that’s the way it is. And, as you may have noticed, our position has been supported by those in the military leadership. Some, of course, want to continue to proselytize despite the law and the rules because they apparently believe it is their Christian duty. In other parts of the world some of those of other faiths want to do the same thing. But here in the U.S. these folks are learning the hard way that they’re free to believe as they choose and free to practice their religion personally, but they may not impose it on those below them in rank, position or status. Others, apparently like you, simply refuse to understand the limitations the law imposes on those associated with our government. They, like you, continue to rant and rave and argue. And the MRFF is here to stand up to them. Some, however, are so impassioned and so convinced of the rightness of their belief that they wage war (I suppose they consider it spiritual warfare) against any belief system other than their own. These are the zealots, the tyrants, the authoritarians who would impose their own totalitarian belief system on the people in our military. They’d impose it on everyone in our country – in our world – if they could. But they cannot if people stand up to them. And they cannot succeed in our armed forces because of the innate desire for freedom of thought and belief in our people, because of the laws of our land, and because of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

So relax. You’re safe to believe as you choose.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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1 Comment

  1. Carmine Wiggins

    I’m not the smartest, got a GED in 1978, but I certainly understood what Mike Farrell was trying to convey to the fella that just wouldn’t listen to what he was trying to tell him. I made it a point in my life to educate myself beyond the GED and pretty much read everything I could on religion, the Constitution and the bazillion interpretations from around the world. I have concluded that what the MRFF is trying to prevent “Dominionist Christianity” is the right thing to do, especially in our Military. I was beginning to wonder if the ranter in this post was home schooled or something and they forgot to educate him on things like separation of church and states, the establishment clause and freedom of religion.

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