I am so against what your group is supporting, You are trying to destroy what made this country strong.

This comment is to your founder, I will not attack you.
Mikey,
Your attacks against the recruiting poster has upset me as totally illogical.  I am supposing you are against the Pledge of Allegiance because it mentions God.  This country was founded on the belief of God, if you and your people do not believe in the Christian God maybe you should move to Iran or Syria where your shallow thoughts will last but minutes since you will be but an infidel, soon to be stoned for your beliefs.  You should be thankful we don’t carry rocks, but you live in a free country.  Where you are allow to be an idiot and can express thoughtless ideas.
To you and your thoughtless brethren,
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
Thanks for writing to MRFF. Mikey Weinstein has read your email and asked me to offer a reply. I’m a lifelong, committed Christian and an Air Force veteran, in addition to being a volunteer who supports the efforts of MRFF.
I’m sorry that you have been upset by the recent news about the Arizona recruiting poster. And I’m even more sorry to hear that you have concluded that we are ‘thoughtless’, because nothing could be further from the truth.  I’ve been involved with MRFF for a few years now, and I can tell you unequivocally that this organization is comprised of some of the most thoughtful, intelligent and committed people I know… as well as some of the most patriotic.
MRFF is neither anti-religion generally nor anti-Christianity specifically. Rather, we are a pro-Constitution group that is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces 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.  And that means exactly what it says — we support the Constitutional right of religious freedom for every military member of every belief (including non-belief).
Interestingly, the majority of MRFF supporters, as well as its many clients in the Armed Forces, are people of faith — mostly Christians.  What binds us to each other and to people of other beliefs, including honorable people who do not believe in God, is the ideal that the US Constitution provides religious freedom to every member of the US military — and if it doesn’t, then it means nothing.  And that means that we must be willing to vigorously defend the rights of others, even those with whom we may not agree.
In the case of the Arizona recruiting poster, the issue is that the recruiting office and the Army Recruiting Command are held to the same Constitutional standards as all other governmental and military agencies — namely, that there can be no prominence or preference given to any specific sectarian belief over other beliefs or over non-belief.  No one is suggesting that individuals cannot enlist for whatever reason they wish, including a religious one.  The sole issue here is the promotion of one particular belief — and again, as a Christian myself, I happen to share the belief in this case.  But I still recognize that our military organizations must maintain neutrality in the area of religion. Individuals have a right to religious freedom — not military organizations, not recruiting offices or its marketing efforts, and certainly not sandwich boards. Recognition of the need for organizational neutrality doesn’t make one less of a Christian.
America is a vastly diverse, multicultural, pluralistic society comprised of good people of all manner of belief and non-belief.  Our military reflects that diversity, and it needs to be equally respectful of all members. MRFF is committed to supporting the rights of all military members, including Christians.
So rather than conclude that the challenge to the recruiting poster was anti-Christian, I’d ask you to consider this — if the poster had said “For Allah and country”, or “For Vishnu and country”, the response from MRFF would have been exactly the same. The issue is constitutionality, not specific religious beliefs.  We are not trying to destroy what makes this country great, we are trying to protect it — and what makes Americas great is the liberty afforded by a Constitution that respects the rights of every American, even those who don’t believe what the majority believes.
Thanks again for writing.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, AF veteran, MRFF supporter

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey is busy helping our soldiers and asked me to respond to you.

 

You may be “upset” and think it’s “totally illogical” but it’s the law of our land under the Establishment Clause.

 

You seem to be missing the point: the poster – as worded – is unconstitutional and the articles written say so. Even the Army Recruiting Command said that if the person, who went outside of the 47 accepted wordings for that poster, had requested permission to use it, he would have been denied…under the Constitution.

 

Our military is secular and must remain that way. Any person, who wants to defend our country against all enemies foreign and domestic, is free to do so regardless of their religious beliefs or non-belief in a deity.

 

We are not anti-God or 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 Christians. Out of our 40,000+ military clients (1 can represent 50 and 1 does represents 100) are Christians. If anything, we represent Christians more than any other religion but you won’t hear about it because that wouldn’t make a Christian angry against us.

 

You wrote:

“You should be thankful we don’t carry rocks”

 

This comes across as a veiled threat.

 

Jesus said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

 

No one did because they recognized the sin in their lives as Paul stated “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

 

I don’t know of any human that walks on water.

 

You should be thankful you and other Christians don’t carry rocks for stoning because you’d be on the same playing field as the extreme fundamental Muslims.

 

The religion of the majority in our military does not rule over other religions or those of no religious preference, under the Constitution:

 

“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.

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:

 

  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.

 

If any government entity’s actions fit into one of these three, then it is a violation of the Establishment Clause.

 

The poster indicates an endorsement of Christianity and would therefore be in violation.

 

The Parker v. Levy case, decided on June 19, 1974, defined under the Uniform Code of Military Justice that “the military constitutes a specialized community governed by a separate discipline from that of the civilian…”

 

The rules that apply to the military do not apply to you or other Christians as civilians.

 

This country was not founded on the Christian religion but was a refuge from religious persecution in Europe.

The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.” 1797, The Treaty of Tripoli, initiated by President Washington, signed by President John Adams, and approved by the Senate of the United States

… 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 prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists, January 1, 1802

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, 1787-88

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, c. 1803

 

 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

 

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.” John Adams

 

I suggest you do a little research on your own on the Constitution and our Founding Fathers using the Library of Congress and other reputable researchers instead of relying on revisionist historians.

 

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


Dear (name withheld),

Are you suggesting that anyone who doesn’t believe “in the Christian God,” as you put it, should move to Iran or Syria? I just want to be clear that you actually mean what you say here. So think about it, please. All Jews should move out? All Muslims? All atheists or agnostics? All Hindus and Buddhists? Anyone else whose religious or non-religious belief doesn’t suit you?
If that’s the case, sir, yours is exactly the kind of mindset we are fighting to protect the women and men in our military from. No matter how deeply and fervently you believe in the rightness of your belief system, Mr. Morin, in this country you remain free to do so only because everyone else has that same right. Everyone else can be as dedicated to their own conception of a religious faith or a higher power or no God at all as you are. And they can do so and be great Americans in spite of the bigoted views of people like you
What you actually are, by these words, is a religious zealot, a totalitarian and a hypocrite, the type of which Jesus scorned.

You have the audacity to claim to find our position illogical when you hold views like these and consider yourself an American?

For your information the Pledge of Allegiance did not mention God until the phrase was inserted in the 1950s. That is not and was not the intention of the founders of this great country. They, in their wisdom, set up this country in a way that would protect its citizenry from people like you. And that’s what we’re trying to do today for the women and men in the military.

Just to give you something else to think about, a great Muslim leader whom I am proud to call friend, said “God does not belong to any religion. All religions belong to God.” And at the memorial service for a great Jewish leader two weeks ago, a Christian minister friend said the same thing.

I respectfully suggest you get over yourself.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 


 

Dear (name withheld),I’m afraid there is no political document in which the United States is founded on Christianity or any other religion. In addition, religion has been the cause of many conflicts over the centuries and continues to act as a barrier between religious groups.

Many, because of their beliefs, tend to commingle secular and religious ideas to validate their particular beliefs.

Except to prohibit religious tests, nowhere in the Constitution is any reference to God, Jesus, Angels, Saints or any other religious theme.

The US Supreme Court in it’s 1971 decision “Lemon Vs. Kurzman” prohibits government, including Public Education and the Armed Forces from favoring a religion or favoring  religion over non-religion.

Rick Baker
Capt. USAF (Ret)
MRFF Volunteer

 


 

Rich,
you and your team have brought up some valid point to consider.
thanks,

(name withheld)

 


 

Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for y0ur follow-up and comments.

Rick

 

 

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