Go suck an egg !!!

Mr. Weinstein,

As a US Naval veteran, you are an affront to my senses. You have no understanding of what “Freedom of Religion” means and you are working to degrade our military. I’m sure you have already been enlightened concerning the term “wall of separation” and its source (not the Constitution).
I served for your right to speak and support your ridiculous notions. You may continue to do so but not without my undying opposition and that of my worldwide family.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),
,
As a US Army veteran, you are an affront to my senses.  You have no understanding of what “Freedom of Religion” means and you are not working to defend our military.  I’m sure you have been enlightened concerning the term “wall of separation” and its source (multiple US Presidents, drafters of the US Constitution, opinions of the SCOTUS, etc.)
   I served for your right to speak and support your ridiculous notions that religion should be allowed to rule our country.  You may continue to do so, but not without my undying opposition, that of our worldwide family, and the obnoxious repetition of the failure of theocratic campaigns over time.
Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs

 

Dear (name withheld),
Seeing as you are an expert on the Constitution, then you also know that there is no mention of God or Jesus in it.
The only place religion is even mentioned is in the Bill of Rights:
“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.
When one takes the Oath of Enlistment they swear to defend and support the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic – not the bible.
The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797; a mere 8 years since our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

If what was written here was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.
This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause.
“Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, the court examined the history of religious liberty in the US, determining that while the constitution guarantees religious freedom, “The word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.” The court found that the leaders in advocating and formulating the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty were James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.”
Religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity; the less they are mixed together. – James Madison Letter to Edward Livingston (1822-07-10)
Go to our website, click on About and then click on Foundation Voices. Scroll through the names and you will see that we are very much ‘enlightened’ on our laws.
After that, go to our Mission statement. You will see that we are not anti-Christian in any way.
I thank you for your service as I also thank my family (past and present), Mikey, those involved with MRFF, active duty and non-active duty soldiers of ALL religions and those of non-belief. Honor and Duty is not reserved or claimed by only Christians.
Isn’t America great!
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member.

Dear (name withheld),

You and your worldwide family are operating under a serious misconception, but I doubt you’re willing to open your incredibly narrow perspective

to allow in a little light.

As regards the clearly established separation of church and state, your “undying opposition” will avail you naught. It is sad, though, to see one who
energizes oneself into launching an attack based on a failure to comprehend the facts so embarrass himself. Misunderstanding is a fairly common

human failing, so please don’t be too hard on yourself.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Good Afternoon, (name withheld) —

Thanks for writing to the MRFF.  I am a volunteer who supports the organization’s efforts in a number of ways, including email correspondence.  Mikey Weinstein has asked if I’d be willing to reply to your email, and I’m happy to do so.  Like you, I am a veteran (USAF)….. I’m also a USAF Academy graduate (’85)…. and most importantly, I’m a lifelong and active Christian.
Rest assured, both Mikey and the rest of us who support MRFF have a very good understanding of what “Freedom of Religion” means.  Our very existence is based on advocating for the religious freedom of military members.  More specifically, MRFF 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 just what it says — ALL members of the Armed Forces of EVERY conceivable religious belief (including non-belief).  That means that we support the religious freedom rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, Druids, and every other manner of belief or creed.
What we oppose is any effort on the part of any military leader of any sectarian belief (or non-belief), to misuse his position or the color of his authority to promote or give preference to those personal beliefs.  To do so violates both the US Constitution and governing military regulation.  Even more so, it does a grave disservice to honorable men and women who have chosen to serve our country, and who are entitled to serve without unwelcome pressure or promotion of someone else’s sectarian beliefs.
So you see, we are neither anti-Christian specifically nor anti-religion generally.  Instead, we are pro-Constitution.
Thank you for your service.  There are many veterans, in addition to Mikey and myself, who are involved with MRFF.  Frankly, I’d rather have your support than your opposition — but if you choose to remain opposed, at least be opposed to an accurate understanding of our purpose and mission, and not as a result of an inaccurate understanding.  There is really no need for anyone to suck any eggs — there is room enough for intelligent and informed discussion and debate.  If you’d like to continue this dialogue, I’d be happy to do so.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, AF veteran, MRFF supporter

Dear (name withheld),
You and your worldwide family are operating under a serious misconception, but I doubt you’re willing to open your incredibly narrow perspective

to allow in a little light.

As regards the clearly established separation of church and state, your “undying opposition” will avail you naught. It is sad, though, to see one who
energizes oneself into launching an attack based on a failure to comprehend the facts so embarrass himself. Misunderstanding is a fairly common

human failing, so please don’t be too hard on yourself.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Mike,

If it makes you feel better to tell yourself that; then go right ahead. I don’t know what the term Christian means to you but I’m betting we would not agree on the interpretation of God’s Word or even the definition of Christian.
I support the Constitution as well. I do not support the mythical separation of church and state. Feel free to show me that term in the Constitution. Do not show me the Freedom of Religion clause because they are different animals. You are working to take away Freedom of Religion in the military. It was already going on when I served from 1985-1995 and it is only getting worse.

Praying for your absolute failure,

(name withheld)


 

Hi (name withheld) –

Thanks for responding to my note. It gives me an opportunity to take another shot at correcting your misunderstanding of the MRFF (and based upon some of your comments, apparently some misunderstandings about me, as well). I’ll start by saying that I don’t do the things I do just so that I can “feel better”. Rather, in all things I strive to love and serve God.
As for my beliefs about the interpretation of Scripture and what it means to be a Christian, I’m happy to share those thoughts with you.  Perhaps by doing so, whatever judgement you wish to make can at least be informed, even if it remains a less-than-Christian act on your part.
I believe that Holy Scripture, in the form of the Old and New Testaments, is the divinely-inspired, inerrant word of God.
I believe that a Christian is one who believes in, and worships, the Triune God, and believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of many, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will return again. I believe that a Christian is to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And as I already said, I believe that a Christian makes a sincere effort each day to love and serve God, and that one of the best ways to do that is by loving and serving others. It is that belief that informs virtually everything I do, including my support of the MRFF. The work that we do to advocate for the Constitutional rights of all military members, particularly those who often are not in a position to advocate for themselves, is good and honorable work.
If you support the Constitution as you’ve asserted, then you must support the absolute right of every American citizen, including members of the US Armed Forces, to hold whatever belief (including non-belief) that they choose to hold. But if you don’t believe that every citizen shares that right, or if you believe that your particular religious beliefs are entitled to be given prominence over those of other citizens, then you don’t really support the Constitution at all. Further, if you truly believe that the principle of a wall of separation between church and state is a ‘myth’, and is not what our founding generation intended with the Constitution, then you are terribly mistaken about that, as well. I encourage you to read the vast amount of commentary that is available from the founders on this topic, by which one is assured that such a separation is exactly what they intended. Specific to the US military, I’d encourage you to study up on Article VI and its requirement that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’
So you’re mistaken to insist that the MRFF is “working to take away Freedom of Religion in the military”, which is the opposite of the truth. Of course, if you define “Freedom of Religion” as applying only to your own particular beliefs, then you should really think about calling it something else… because that stance is not about “Freedom” at all.
Peace,
Mike

Dear Blake,

Proud of your nice little title? You may continue to go suck eggs.Glad that Jesus will one day rule the entire world and we will no longer have to suffer your hatred,
(name withheld)

(name withheld),

Any movement that confuses disinterest with hated is woefully deluded.  Your wet dreams of a blue eyed, blonde haired, Skoal chewing, plaid wearin’ sweet baby Jesus riding down from the clouds on his favorite pet dinosaur to smite me for my wicked ways makes about as much sense as me telling you too watch out for the evil Lord Sauron because little Frodo Baggins hasn’t made it to Mordor with the one ring yet.    To me your religion is a fantasy.  I don’t care if you believe it’s true.  That’s your right.  Have fun with it.  In the same way I wouldn’t go out of my way to find and disrupt the local dungeons and dragons gathering, I don’t care what believers do while believing in the right time, place, and manner.  Now, if one of those dodecahedronites decides to try to order a service member to wear their wizard robes in formation I’d take issue.  Same thing when someone of your persuasion tries to order a service member to partake in that religion.  It’s not right.  Even one of the countless authors of the errant words of your God admits that forced religion stinks in his nostrils.  (Although to be candid I don’t know what forcing religion smells like, but apparently Yahweh finds it offensive)

Anyways, have a great day and may his grand noodly appendage bless you with a bounty of good fortune today on your quest to suck eggs…

-Blake


Joan,
>
>   I feel very sorry for your flock. I imagine they are quite deprived of the Word.
>   Perhaps you should inform those guys who signed the Declaration of Independence that we weren’t endowed by Our Creator?
>   Believe as you wish but stop trying to wipe out my freedom to practice my religion anywhere; including the armed services.
>   My son is serving now and he confirms that the military is degrading from where it stood when I served twenty years ago.
>
>         Praying for your absolute failure,

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),
>
> I feel sorry for your lack of education concerning America’s history, especially regarding our military.
>
> “During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress of the 13 colonies established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army:
> Enlisted: The first oath, voted on 14 June 1775 as part of the act creating the Continental Army, read: “I _____ have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army.” The original wording was effectively replaced by Section 3, Article 1, of the Articles of War approved by Congress on 20 September 1776, which specified that the oath of enlistment read: “I _____ swear (or affirm as the case may be) to be trued to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies opposers whatsoever; and to observe and obey the orders of the Continental Congress, and the orders of the Generals and officers set over me by them.”
>
> Officers: Continental Congress passed two versions of this oath of office, applied to military and civilian national officers. The first, on 21 October 1776, read: “I _____, do acknowledge the Thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, independent, and sovereign states, and declare, that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said United States against the said king, George the third, and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of _____, which I now hold, and in any other office which I may hereafter hold by their appointment, or under their authority, with fidelity and honour, and according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God.” The revised version, voted 3 February 1778, read “I, _____ do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent and sovereign states, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience, to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him: and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said king George the third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of _____ which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God.”
>
> As you can see, the oath for those that ENLISTED did not contain “So help me God” but the oath for OFFICERS did. These were written while we were still under the rule of King George III of Great Britain and the Anglican Church was their state religion.
>
> The Declaration of Independence from Britain was signed on July 4, 1776.
>
> Most of our founders were Deists. Deism is not a specific religion but rather a particular perspective on the Nature of God. Deists believe that a Creator God does exist, but that after the motions of the universe were set in place he retreated, having no further interaction with the created universe or the beings within it. Thus the words:
>
> “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
>
> We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
>
> The Revolutionary War against Britain didn’t end until 1783 when we permanently gained our freedom and became independent.
>
> Those oaths were created by the Continental Congress in 1775 and 1776; not under the Constitution which wasn’t created until September 17, 1787, ratified on June 21, 1788 and went into effect on March 4, 1789.
>
> “The first oath under the Constitution was approved by Act of Congress 29 September 1789 – a mere 6 months after the Constitution went into effect – (Sec. 3, Ch. 25, 1st Congress). It applied to all commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers and privates in the service of the United States. It came in two parts, the first of which read: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States.” The second part read: “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers appointed over me.” The next section of that chapter specified that “the said troops shall be governed by the rules and articles of war, which have been established by the United States in Congress assembled, or by such rules and articles of war as may hereafter by law be established.”
>
> So under our brand new Constitution the words “So help me God” were taken out pursuant to 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 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 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. Where you got the idea that we are stopping Christians from practicing their faith is a stretch of your imagination.
>
> Our military swears an oath to the Constitution – not the bible.
>
> I’m praying that “your absolute failure” of American history is rectified by going to the Library of Congress website and doing some real research.
>
> I’m doing just fine according to the Word.
>
> Pastor Joan
> MRFF Advisory Board Member.


 Mike,

What is your motivation in undermining Christianity in the military and attempting to inhibit the free expression of beliefs by members of the military; especially chaplains?
If you believe that the scripture is divinely inspired and inerrant, then certainly you must recognize that evolution is a myth, homosexuality is sin, and abortion is murder.
If you do not, then we have different definitions of inerrant and divinely-inspired.
It is clear that our forefathers did not want the government to dictate their belief system and that they also wanted absolute freedom to express their beliefs; even if other people are offended by that expression.

Here is but one example of your undermining of my faith and its expression: https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/2013/03/usafa-protest-rally-3813-mrffs-colorado-springs-billboard/

P.S. – Secular humanism and atheism are belief systems in every sense of the word.

(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld) –
I’ll do my best to address the various topics in your latest email, although it is kind of all over the map. But I’ll take it part-by-part…..
——————–
Your first question is, “What is your motivation in undermining Christianity in the military and attempting to inhibit the free expression of beliefs by members of the military; especially chaplains?”
I reject the entire premise of your question, which assumes as fact that what I am doing, and what the MRFF is doing, is “undermining Christianity in the military” and working to “inhibit the free expression of beliefs” and challenges me to defend that position.  But that premise is entirely your unsupported opinion and entirely false.
Instead, our motivation is to protect the Constitutional rights of every military member, of every conceivable religious belief (including non-belief), because they are all equally entitled to the same Constitutional protections.  The other side of that coin is that no specific religious belief (including non-belief) can be promoted or sanctioned by the military, and care must be taken to ensure that such personal expressions are done in an appropriate time, place, and manner.
With all due respect, Tom, you see subterfuge where none exists.  You may disagree with our goals, and you may believe that Christianity should be granted a degree of official sanction in our military over all other beliefs. If that is the case, just know that Constitutionally-minded folks like myself and my MRFF colleagues will oppose any actions intended to to advance that agenda. But that is not the same thing as “undermining Christianity”. Rather, it is only requiring a level playing field for all beliefs (including non-belief), as mandated by the US Constitution.
——————–
Your second comment, about Scripture and some topics of belief, departs from our discussion about religious freedom in the military and veers further into the realm of my and your personal convictions. If you want to have that discussion, I’m happy to do so but we should have it apart from our current debate related to the mission of the MRFF, because they are unrelated topics.  The MRFF is comprised of people of many diverse beliefs (including good, honorable people who do not believe in God) — and the organization takes no position on the efficacy or validity of any particular religious belief or non-belief.  So the personal beliefs that I’d relate to you would be strictly my own and not part of the MRFF mission that we are discussing here.As an aside, I’d just point out that the approach that I’m suggesting is the same one that the MRFF believes should be taken by military members, particularly leaders.  Everyone has an absolute right to his personal religious beliefs, but the expression of those beliefs needs to be done at a proper time, place and manner… and done in a way that avoids the misconception that the beliefs are officially sanctioned by the organization the individual represents, be it the MRFF or the US military.
——————–
Your third comment contends that our founding generation’s motivation in crafting of our Constitution and Bill of Rights had something to do with heading off a reaction from people who might be “offended” by someone’s religious expression.  This indicates a lack of understanding, on your part, of the intentions of our founders.  They were not trying to protect any particular religious belief from the reaction of those who might be offended.  Rather, their intent was to protect the rights of ALL Americans, regardless of their specific religious beliefs.  And it’s certainly evident that the founders were not hoping to create a Christian theocracy.  In the Federalist Papers, Madison and Hamilton went so far as to warn that America must guard against a “tyranny of the majority” that would threaten the rights of minority groups and individuals.  When I observe today the actions of some (though not all) Christians who contend that their version of Christianity deserves to be favored because the majority of Americans are Christian, I see that Madison and Hamilton were prescient in highlighting that risk.
——————–
In your final comments, you note an event that the MRFF sponsored a couple of years ago and claim that it is evidence of an effort to undermine your “faith and its expression”. On this one, I have to claim utter bemusement.  First, it seems you didn’t read about what led to the event, or you would know it challenged an action, not a belief — specifically, the continued promotion of an inflammatory website by USAFA leadership, even after it was brought to their attention that the content of the website was inappropriate and that other, more appropriate options existed.  In this case, as in all situations where the MRFF finds itself, the focus of our efforts was on actions, not privately-held beliefs.
Be even more so, I’m mystified by your insistence that this event somehow undermines your own Constitutional rights. In fact, what you seem to be saying  is that it offends you… yet you just got finished arguing that someone else’s “offense” is not a valid reason to prevent the expression of a personal belief. You can’t have it both ways, friend. Either we all have religious liberty, or none of us have religious liberty… and that includes humanists and atheists, as you rightly point out.  America is a big tent when it comes to religious diversity, and room must be made for everyone.
That is what I believe, and that is the position of the MRFF.
Peace,
Mike

Joan,
>
>   The lack of an oath to God for enlisted men does not determine the faith of those men.
>   The existence of some Deists, which undoubtedly consisted of people with a large variety of beliefs (not just your specific assertion) does not alter the united acknowledgement of a creator (not evolution).
>   The Declaration of Independence clearly supports their faith in a Creator.
>   You have to go forward to 1971 in an attempt to support your beliefs. All it demonstrates is that America fell away from its Christian heritage in the following 200 years. It continues to deteriorate because of pastors like you.
>   Perhaps you weren’t paying attention when I mentioned that I am a veteran, therefore your secular activism affected me in the past and currently affects my son who is serving in the US Navy.
>   According to the Word, all have sinned, fallen short of God, and destined for hell without Jesus. How is this particular activism helping anybody to know the TRUTH and avoid hell? Why not devote your time to Jesus and His causes?
(name withheld)

Oh (name withheld),
>
> “The lack of an oath to God for enlisted men does not determine the faith of those men.”
>
> Exactly!
>
> I don’t have to fast forward 200 years in an attempt to support my beliefs but go back 2,000 years ago to see what Jesus said about oaths.
>
> “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:33-37)
>
> James reinforced Jesus’ teaching on oaths:
>
> “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, and neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12)
>
> So, according to Jesus and James, any oath that is not a yes or a no is evil and will bring condemnation upon ourselves. There goes “so help me God” out of oaths according to them.
>
> I was paying attention about you being a veteran and that your son is in the Navy.
>
> My father and uncles fought in WWII, my brother fought in the Vietnam War and my son-in-law fought in Iraq. They were never forced to say “so help me God” even though they were Christians.
>
> “AR 601-280 “The Army Retention Program,” Appendix D Paragraph 2k, which states specifically that the reenlisting soldier need not swear to god. Or to USC 512 Title 28 (Revision June 25, 1948 ch. 646, 62 Stat. 925) which clarifies that an oath of affirmation excludes the “so help me god” portion. Air Force should refer to AFI 36-2606 (Ch.3, 2. “Detailed Instructions for Completing the DD Forms 4/1 and 4/2″, Table 3.9, Item Number 15 – Confirmation of (Re)enlistment Oath). Each service has similar alternatives which may be unclear in written policy but should be made clear by any legal advisor.”
>
> “It is illegal and unethical to force someone to swear to god if they do not want to. The governing regulation here is the Constitution Article VI Paragraph 3 “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office”.
> http://militaryatheists.org/about/faqs/do-i-have-to-say-so-help-me-god-during-my-enlistment-oath/
>
> Deism:
> “The belief that God has created the universe (thus the word Creator) but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible, and stresses the importance of ethical conduct.”
> http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deism
>
>
> The history of Christianity trying to force its beliefs in America fills volumes of books and is too long to get into here. Suffice it to say that it was an abysmal failure in making the Colonies a Theocracy. One sect of Christianity was murdering another sect. The Salem Witch Trials, caused by mass hysteria and lies, was the death knell of any attempt to force Christianity on the nation.
>
> “More than once it has been said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered.” George Lincoln Burr (January 30, 1857 – 1938) Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University
>
> Our Constitution was written explicitly to base America on secular rule free from religious tyranny.
>
> The Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, ratified June 21, 1788 and went into effect on March 4, 1789.
>
> As for the separation of Church and State not existing in the Constitution, the words may not exist (neither do the words Jesus or Christianity), but the idea is there and those words were used by some of the founding fathers.
>
> Let’s go back 218 years, shall we?
>
> The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797; a mere 8 years since our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.
>
> Treaty of Tripoli:
>
> As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
>
> If what was written here was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.
>
> The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government, protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “the idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.”
>
> As far as your belief that the Constitution is based on Christianity this is what our Founding Fathers said:
>
> Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.
> Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
>
> History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
> Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
>
> 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” 1787-1788
>
> If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
> George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
>
> Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
> Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
>
> “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
> James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”
>
> Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.
> James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical
> Endowments
>
> “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.”
> Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773
>
> During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
>
> What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.
> James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments
>
> Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
> As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
>
> These are just a few of the quotes concerning our government as a secular institution; therefore the “secular activism” of our Founding Fathers had nothing to do with your time in the service nor has any effect on your son now.
>
> We are following in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers belief in the necessity of the separation of church and state, so don’t place the blame on Mikey and his organization for your perceived persecution and the false narrative of the Christian moral collapse of our civilization.
>
> Most importantly – for all Christians – is that we obey those put in leadership over us.
>
> Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
>
> To sum it all up, if we don’t follow the teachings of the Bible, then our actions are evil and we will bring condemnation and judgment upon ourselves.
>
> I will obey our governing authorities (particularly the laws) and the teachings of Jesus. Being a part of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation founded by Mikey Weinstein gives me the opportunity to do just that.
>
> My question to you is why don’t you devote your time to Jesus’ teachings and stop trying to shove your version of Christianity (there are over 40,000 different sects in the world) down the throats of those soldiers that don’t want it, when it is illegal to do so?
>
> And, while you’re at it, learn some real history.
>
> Pastor Joan
> MRFF Advisory Board Member

Mike,The link that I posted concerning the protest demonstrates my position, regardless of your bemused dismissal. Reject my premise if you must; but it is accurate.
My example was most definitely concerning offense at a belief. A “protest” over the link to a Jewish website, written by an Orthodox Jewish individual, as a basic reference point concerning Judaism; is really nothing more than homosexual activism. Your organization has tried to shut the mouths of those who correctly recognize homosexuality as a choice and their Constitutional right to faithfully declare it. It is offensive to you that others have the right to believe homosexuality is a sin and denounce it as self-destructive behavior. It is only acceptable to link to sites which do not acknowledge the Torah’s declaration that homosexuality is a sinful choice.
You are fine with supporting the religious belief (atheism as a religion) that homosexuality is a loving behavior; and are opposed to freedom of expression for those who disagree. You maintain the ridiculous notion that any website in existence is devoid of some form of religious bias; no matter what faith system is being exhibited.
Christianity should have the same privileges in our military as all other forms of individual expression. One does not have to accept homosexual behavior as valid and acceptable just because the religion of atheism and secularism declare it. You are simply promoting the faith of atheism over the faith of Christianity.
I must disabuse you of the notion that there are good and honorable people who do not believe in God. Any true Christian knows that good and honorable people simply do not exist. Your alluding to the existence of such says much about your own self-made form of Christianity, which is not based on the words of Jesus. He was the only good and honorable person to have ever existed. It is true, whether you believe it or not; and which side you stand is truly an indicator of the state of your soul.
Apparently, you do not know much about history and the religious persecution which led many of the first Americans to leave Europe and risk their lives in the New World. They wanted a government that recognized their right to hold fast to their beliefs, express them without fear of reprisal, and live them out in peace. Though many of the founding fathers were Christians, they recognized that it is something which must be freely chosen and wanted to create a government which respected people’s right to choose. They accepted that judgment belongs to God and those who reject Him will face the consequence at His hands. They trusted in God’s Word that it was each individual’s responsibility to make the choice which leads to eternal life, rather than eternal punishment.
For the record, I am one of those minorities they sought to protect. There are many who claim to be Christians but only a small few who hold to the TRUTH of God’s Word. It is sad but incredibly obvious when one looks at the majority opinion about behaviors/beliefs and compares them to the scriptures. This country is walking farther and farther away from God; and organizations like yours are leading the exodus.
It isn’t necessary to tell me about your beliefs because they are easily discernible in your defense of atheism.
My son, a currently enlisted sailor, is not free to declare what the bible says about homosexuality in the presence of his co-workers because of activism like MRFF’s. In what way is this not a violation of his Constitutional rights? I faced similar limitations of my freedom when I served but it was better 25 years ago than it is now. A Protestant Chaplain told me about the restrictions he was beginning to encounter and did not plan on staying much longer because of it. When a Christian Chaplain is not allowed to pray in the name of Jesus, then atheism has been awarded a position of privilege above all other faiths.I still stand firmly against MRFF and their desire to make secularism the only acceptable religion in the military,     (name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),
Your comment, re: the event you referenced was that it “undermined your faith and its expression”… I am bemused because I fail to see how that event infringed in any way on your own civil rights.  Perhaps you could clarify what you mean.
Further, you state, “Your organization has tried to shut the mouths of those who correctly recognize homosexuality as a choice and their Constitutional right to faithfully declare it.”  This is a false statement.  Our sole goal at the MRFF is to advocate for the religious rights of all US military members, of all beliefs (including non-belief).  Your qualification about what someone “correctly recognizes” suggests that you believe that there can be no governance of expression so long as you happen to agree with what is being expressed.  Your wrong assertion reveals a gross misunderstanding of how individual expression works in the military. Military members do not share the same unfettered right to express individual opinions that we enjoy as civilians.  Virtually every individual belief that is outside of the specific mission and goals of the military is subject to being restricted to an appropriate time, place and manner.
Lastly, as to my “good and honorable” comment.  You and I are not having a theological debate here — so I will freely concede that, from the perspective of the goodness of God, we all fall short.  But from the perspective of what is required to function in civil society (and in our secular US military), it is entirely appropriate to recognize that there are trustworthy people who don’t happen to share our religious views and beliefs. Every one of those individuals is entitled to the full protection of the US Constitution.
Your musings about the quality of my own faith speaks volumes about your world-view.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears you believe that your own version of Christianity (which I will readily acknowledge seems to differ considerably from my own, and thank God for that) is the only religious belief that is entitled to Constitutional protection.  You are wrong.
You have every right to be wrong, of course…. but when it happens that a military leader shares your same twisted view, that is when the Constitutional rights of subordinates are jeopardized.
Peace, Mike

Mike,Do you truly live inside a bubble? Are you unable to see that any attack against religious freedom is an attack against all religious freedom? The event criticized the military for its use of a link to a website to provide information to those desiring it. It is not an endorsement or commentary of the military’s opinion on the subject. My God teaches that homosexual behavior is sinful and I am free, under the Constitution to express that fact and to have the opportunity to access those with similar beliefs even as a member of the military.
You will find it quite “impossible” to accomplish your task of advocating for the right of all religious beliefs (and non-religious beliefs) as those beliefs contradict each other. Rather than acknowledge your task as impossible, you would rather advocate for only the atheistic belief. My statement was entirely true. It is your perspective that is false; although I suspect that you are incapable of recognizing it.
As a member of the USN, I expected the freedom to exercise my faith in the performance of my duties at all times. It is people like you who want to take away the soldier’s religious freedom. Show me anywhere in the Constitution it is stated.
Those who do not follow my beliefs are free to follow their own. It does not give them the right to prevent the pursuit of mine or to limit my access to resources towards that goal. I am sure that the military probably also includes links to information on Atheism; and I am fine with it.
You also have every right to be wrong; and you show no timidity for exercising that right. It is the responsibility of people with genuine faith to stand up against your inability to see how you are attempting to limit our expression.

Good day sir…

PS – My worldview does not belong to me; it is God’s worldview. I trust that He knows best.

(name withheld)

Hello again, (name withheld) –

Nope, no Bubble Boy here… just a reasonably intelligent, reasonably well-read veteran and Christian who believes that the rights, freedoms and protections of the US Constitution should be available to all Americans equally.
I see several fundamental errors in your email, each of which probably contributes to your misunderstanding of the MRFF and those of us who support its efforts —-
#1 – You wrongly presume that opposition to official favoritism or preference for one particular religious belief is equivalent to attacking that belief.  This is not the case. The MRFF does not attack anyone’s right to individual religious freedom — in fact, our mission is the exact opposite of that.  What we DO challenge are instances where, in an official military setting, any specific sectarian religious belief is improperly favored over all other beliefs (including non-belief).
#2 – You wrongly argue that it is necessary to reconcile all religious beliefs with one another, because “those beliefs contradict each other.”  This, too, is not the case.  The purpose of religious freedom is not to compare or judge the veracity of any particular belief.  Rather, it is to ensure that every American retains the right to believe whatever he wishes, even if other Americans think he is wrong. Said another way, each of us has an absolute right to believe that our own particular dogma is the only true one… but none of us has a right to deny Constitutional rights to others simply because we disagree with them.
#3 – You wrongly imply that my Christian faith is not “genuine” because you disagree with me. That, my friend, is the height of hubris and a telling example of the type of threat that exists if a military leader holds a similar belief about his subordinates and attempts to convert them.  It is that sort of unconstitutional activity that we oppose, not the right of the leader to his own sincerely held religious beliefs.
I wish you a good day, too, sir.
Peace,
Mike
PS –  My trust is in God, too.  I believe that one can be a faithful Christian and also a supporter of Constitutional protections for all Americans, including those who don’t share my Christian faith.

Mike,

It is obvious that you are far more concerned with protecting secularism (atheism) than you are with furthering Christ’s kingdom. You are not even honest in your denial because the link I posted of your protest had nothing to do with the “establishment” favoring one religious view over another. It was just a posting of information, concerning one belief, to those who might be interested.
I see nobody being conformed or brainwashed to any particular belief (except atheism).
Your faith is ingenuine not because you disagree with me; but rather because you disagree with God.
Will God thank you when you stand before Him for your faithfulness in preventing others from hearing His Word?

I will always stand against organizations like yours and their evil inspiration,

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
With all due respect, what seems obvious to me is that you are unable to recognize that respect for the Constitutional rights of all military members is not an anti-God position. It seems equally obvious that you appear quite comfortable judging whether someone else is, or is not, the right kind of Christian according to your own standards… and before you claim that your standards are God’s standards, I’d encourage you to refresh your understanding of Matthew 7:1-5.
As for the MRFF, we will remain dedicated to ensuring that all members of the U.S. Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled. We will not be dissuaded from that important mission just because folks like you either misunderstand it, or believe that their version of Christianity should be promoted above the beliefs of other, equally honorable service members.
Peace,
Mike

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