Find a life

Will you please find something else to do. Why can’t someone anyone post or display what they want without someone like you making soooooo wrong. For Christ sake. Yep i said christ!!! Whats the big deal!! 

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Mikey shared your e-mail with me and I’m writing, unrequested and not as a formal representative of MRFF, in hopes that the name & address you gave are authentic and that by writing you ‘in the clear’ rather than via my ‘blind’ mailbox you will respect my privacy and not use my personal information irresponsibly.
 
That said, I find your comment to Mikey either an expression of utter ignorance regarding Mikey & the MRFF’s reasons for their actions, or a willful denial that their reasons are valid; in which case I would have to ask “why do you hate the U.S. Constitution?”, “why do you think it reasonable for a superior to inflict their views on subordinates who would have to risk a charge of insubordination to refuse their superior’s demand – even if couched as a request?”, and “have you visited the MRFF’s website to try and understand what the organization is really about?”.
 
Since you were evidently in the Army and are a Christian, I wonder how you would have felt had your superior been a Hindu (for example) who held a ‘voluntary’ assembly in which you were informed of that person’s deep commitment to the Hindu god Ganesha and how, were you to ‘find Ganesha’ you would find your life (and your time in service) much improved?  I suspect that after about 6 months of such treatment, including daily ‘reminders’ about the benefits of ‘coming to Ganesha’ or that you didn’t attend the last ‘voluntary’ assembly you would be looking for the nearest JAG office.
 
The bottom line is this:  The U.S. Constitution mandates that this nation is a secular nation and that those who serve in its government pass ‘no religious test’ and that any attempt to insert religion (regardless of what brand) into the performance of government service is unconstitutional… full stop!
 
As far as the ‘big deal’ about you writing a personal message to anyone about Jesus, Ganesha, Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter, there isn’t any.  Please take a few moments to explorer the MRFF website and gain a fuller understanding of MRFF’s mission.
 
Best,
 
Rael Nidess, M.D.


Hi (name withheld),
Mikey is too busy protecting the religious freedom of the women and men in our military to respond to all the emails we get, so asks me to help. It’s a bit of a pain when the sender is someone like you who doesn’t seem to get it, but I do my best. Here’s the “big deal.”

Mikey and the MRFF do what they do because the American values you and I served to protect include the freedom of choice of religious or non-religious beliefs. The laws of our country codified that freedom under the concept known as the separation of church and state. Our government cannot and should not be in the business of promoting any religion or belief system. That should have been known by the recruiters who put out that poster, and in my view it probably was. That it was the wrong thing to do is demonstrated by the fact that the minute the officer in charge learned of it, it was taken down.

You, like every woman and man in the military, have the right to believe as you choose. You also have the right to not have someone’s belief system pushed on you. The government, and the military is part of the government, has no business bringing Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jesus, Mohammad, Moses or any other religion or religious figure into the discussion of where, when and how to serve this country.

I hope you get it now.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 


Sorry but further more. What is the pledge of leagues about? I’m in no way trying to imply my faith nor do i even attend and worship place. I’m just a old retired man and can’t understand how or why our country got this way? I never i mean never engaged in any what you call voluntary services nor heard of anyone whom i served with being punished for not. But hey it’s where we are now as a country. Awesome

(name withheld)

 


Dear (name withheld),

This will be my last reply to you.  First, It’s clear you haven’t visited the MRFF’s website (click here to do so) where you’ll find a trove of information that you’re evidently ignorant of and about which I haven’t time to educate you.

Regarding your query about the Pledge of Allegiance, I presume you’re referring to the ‘one nation under Dog…’ line.  You should know that the original pledge written in 1892 (a hundred years after the revolution) didn’t have that line.  It was added in June 1954 as an hyper-patriotic sop to the extreme anti-Communist hysteria sweeping the country during the McCarthy witch-hunts.  Regardless of how it got there, it’s unconstitutional to force anyone to recite it or for it to be there in the first place.

I’m glad your service was not complicated by demands you were unwilling to comply with… but it’s a different world and things that  people used to have to tolerate for fear of ostracism, punishment, or worse are no longer being tolerated in so many respects.  As I said above, there are huge numbers of e-mails from people who haven’t had your good fortune at the MRFF website if you’re interested in learning about it rather then merely ‘blowing off steam’.

As a nation, we’re not ‘awesome’ yet, but people like the MRFF, Mikey Weinstein, the NAACP, ACLU, #Black Lives Matter, and so many others, we’re working to get there.

Goodbye, best of luck,

Rael Nidess, M.D.


Dear (name withheld) –

Mikey Weinstein has read your email and asked me to provide a response.  I’m a Christian and AF veteran who has been involved with MRFF for the past couple of years.  I assume that your email was inspired by the recent reports about a US Army recruiting poster that described the Special Forces, Rangers and Airborne as being “on a mission for God and Country.”

You ask, “Why can’t someone anyone post or display what they want”… and you also ask, “Whats the big deal”.  Easy questions to answer, and I’d ask that you take a moment to consider the validity of the answers and why the recruiting poster actually was, in your words, “so wrong.”

The poster wasn’t displayed by “someone” or “anyone” — it was displayed by a US Army recruiting office.  Every branch, department and office of the US military is proscribed from promoting or favoring any sectarian religious belief over others (including non-belief).  So for the recruiters in that office to propose that elite Army forces are fighting on behalf of God is unconstitutional, simple as that.  Now, that doesn’t mean that individual soldiers, including the recruiters in that office, should be prevented in any way from dedicating their own service to God — I can tell you that is what I did when I was in the Air Force.  But when they act in their official capacity, there is a need to maintain a position of neutrality with regard to religion.  That is the only way to respect the rights of every manner of believer and non-believer.

So is the recruiting poster a “big deal”?  Yes it is, if we’re serious about protecting the religious freedom of all military members. My religious freedom is precious to me, and I’m sure yours is precious to you, too.  But if we want our own right of religious freedom to be fully protected, then we need to be willing to vigorously protect the rights of everyone, including those with whom we don’t agree.  These days, it seems to me that too many Christians misinterpret a lack of preferential treatment as some sort of attack on Christianity. They are not the same thing.

Recognizing that the poster is Constitutionally inappropriate is NOT the same thing as attacking anyone’s individual religious beliefs. Individuals are still able to enlist and serve for whatever reason or motivation they hold, including a religious one, or to serve honorably and NOT believe in God, as is the case for many honorable soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

There is much more that I could share, and I’d be happy to discuss this topic with you further if you desire to do so.  These are important issues that need to be discussed intelligently.

Peace,

Mike Challman
Christian, AF Veteran, MRFF Supporter


It’s all about a choice and your agency protected to protest his choice or belief.

(name withheld)

 

 

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