FEATURED INBOX POST – An exchange between a detractor and Blake Page, MRFF Director of Army Affairs

Every American rifle should say, as does our currency, “in God we trust.”

You say religion is “personal.” As a former Marine, I can tell you that nothing is more personal than squeezing the trigger on a jihadi while watching his face in the crosshairs. Each time you do that, “in God we Trust” strengthens you for the next shot.

You sound like some Muslim front organization. Or some loser desperate for attention.

At the very least your “movement” to erase Bible verses from military rifles is misguided, and will strengthen the resolve of no one of value to America

There are far more useful causes you could put your time and money into.

And do not pretend to honor our fallen with your BS. Not a one I’ve ever known would find anything but anger and sadness in what you are doing. You merely dishonor those upon whose sacrifice your freedom depends.

(name withheld)


I’m sure killing jihadis is easier when you are waging war for your God…which is jihad.  Why would you have any animosity towards someone who does precisely what you do but names a different deity?

Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs


Blake,

I’m surprised you took the time to respond personally. I appreciate that.

But, you know, there are those who use their religion to deliberately destroy civilians in suicide  bombings, deliberately kidnap and torture innocents, deliberately demean women, and deliberately seek to impose a vicious brand of Islam on the whole world in a new Caliphate.

And then there are those for whom  religion helps give them the strength to oppose such needlessly brutal people, their hatred of the US, and their commitment to destroy the very freedom for which all peoples hunger.

Though mistakes have certainly been made by the US, no nation in history has ever worked so hard to support and preserve the freedom of others, and to avoid as much collateral damage as possible in war.

You present a moral equivalency between the two groups. I honestly don’t understand how clear-thinking individuals could do such a thing.

Best,

(name withheld)


(withheld),

The moral equivalency that I present is not between the U.S. and jihadists, it is between individuals.  Fortunately the United States is not a theocratic country and does not engage in wars (overtly anyway) based on religious principles.  However there do exist many people within this country and our armed forces that go to war with the intent of furthering a religious mission.  Those individuals who plainly state that killing or converting non Christians overseas motivates them to serve are not better our more moral than terrorists simply because they come from a more developed nation.

Our military is not an arm of Christianity or any other religion.  To imagine it to be one army under God is a clear perversion of its mission.

Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs


Mr. Weinstein asked me to respond to you.

First, you must be masquerading as a Marine.  Otherwise you would know that there is no such thing as “a former Marine”, as you claim to be.  I was deputy director and director of the Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia for four years (1993-1997), and I know that real Marines never consider themselves “former” but always Marines.  As a soldier, that’s the way I look at them too.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend you are a Marine for a moment and let’s destroy your point of view.

“In God We Trust” on our paper currency was NOT on our paper currency for the first 180 years of our national existence and for the more than 150 years of our colonial existence.  It was only put on our paper bills in 1956.  Admittedly, some coins displayed it from the Civil War (1864) forward because of the intense religious sentiments generated by almost a million casualties.  The entire affair of putting it on our currency is still under debate, but seems to be a done deal as people with intense religious beliefs overwhelm the secular beliefs of most of our Founding Fathers (their motto was E Pluribus Unum, or Out of many, One — a much more appropriate motto for a secular democracy such as the one our Founders created).  Incidentally too, the motto “In God We Trust” did not appear in an uninterrupted fashion even after 1864 on our coins.  There were long periods where no coin displayed it.  I refer you to the report of the US Treasury on the motto for the full details.

So, the motto is not as sacrosanct as you seem to think and, frankly smacks of a theocracy such as Iran rather than a democracy such as America.  Moreover, putting it on our armed forces’ weapons would be tantamount to lunacy.   That is why it is strictly forbidden to do so by military law and customary practice.  Were you to try it in my unit, I would ask you to erase it and if you did not I would court martial you.  While most civilizations do indeed believe in some divine providence, or god, the divisions in the world over the identity of that entity and over the proper ways to recognize and worship her, are so rife with passion, hatred, and division, that any armed force that did so so visibly and–let’s face it–profanely, would be insane, much the way, for example, the forces of the Islamic State are viewed today, or the Pakistani Taliban.

Now we arrive at your truly disgusting description of the delight you derive from killing another human being.  I was a soldier for 31 years, through several wars, several conflicts less than war, and many, many trials and tribulations.  I NEVER TOOK DELIGHT FROM THE TAKING OF ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE.  Like most of my buddies, I knew I had been called by the State to kill in its name; but I took no pleasure from doing so.  If I had, I would have been no better than the enemy against whom I fought and, worse, I would have been less than an American, much less than a Christian, and subhuman to boot.  Sadly, you seem to fit each of these categories rather well.

You are also dead wrong with regard to the actions of the MRFF.  Its actions do in fact give hope to thousands of Christians and others in the U.S. Armed Forces because they know that through the MRFF their religious rights, or beliefs of no religion, are defended and upheld–in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.  People such as you are their enemies–and they know it.  Combating you and your type is worth every single penny and dollar we put into the effort.

Finally, please don’t pretend to speak for those who have fallen, sacrificed in the name of America, or otherwise been harmed while serving America. I will put my 31 years of service up against yours any day, any time, and so will tens of thousands of others like me.  Our service was to the nation, to its Constitution, and to its elected leadership under that Constitution.  I suspect, at the end of the day, my Christian God, as described in the New Testament, was and is appalled at the travesty of human warfare and very much wishes that we would cease killing one another.  There is no other conclusion one can come to if one ACTUALLY READS the New Testament, or, for that matter, the fundamental text of almost any extant and globally-recognized religion.

I will not thank you for your input to the debate because your input is so dead wrong.  But I will pray for you.

Lawrence B. Wilkerson
Colonel, US Army (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

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