Fundamentalist Christianity over all????

You really are taking the ball and running with it!! It seems you’re the extremist.  Your comments are ridiculous. General Olson has done nothing that even remotely smacks of extremism.  Do you know anything about ISIS??? They are extremists-look at their actions. Is General Olson running around beheading people, chopping them up, crucifying them etc. The 3rd grade answer is “NO.” He is a man who attended a prayer meeting in his uniform on a day that was instituted by his government.
It apparently upset little Mikey, and now Mikey is having a tantrum, and wants to exact Mikey’s wrath. Poor Mikey!!
You should take all that energy and use it for something worthwhile.  This 3rd grade circus your running is a waste of time and money. However, I am happy for you that you clearly have absolutely nothing going on in your life right now, which allows you ample time to pursue stupid things.
My advice, watch the news. There’s plenty going on right now in the US that’s worth putting all your energy towards. I’ll even give you a list:
1. Radical Islam
2. Joblessness
3. Poor Economy
4. A Presidential Election is coming up in 2016
5. Changes in education
These are real issues. Taking decorated generals and trying to destroy their lives is counterproductive.

(name withheld)


 

 

Dear Ms. (name withheld):

 

I am writing in response to your May 19, 2015 email Mikey Weinstein.  While Mr. Weinstein would like to have the time to personally respond to each of the many emails he receives each day, he is very busy assisting service members throughout the country who have suffered religious discrimination or persecution at the hands of their superiors.  Responding to correspondence is one of the tasks we volunteers sometimes assume so that the mission of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”) can be effectively pursued.

 

MRFF’s mission is to protect and defend the religious freedom of all soldiers, sailors, Marines, cadets, and veterans.  You claim that Mikey is “the extremist,” but I assure you that the only thing about which he has “extreme” feelings is the protection of Constitutional rights for all the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our rights.  He receives calls from service members throughout the country who have suffered religious discrimination or persecution at the hands of their superiors and he does everything in his power to correct the wrongs inflicted on these individuals.

 

You state that Major General Olson “has done nothing that even remotely smacks of extremism” and ask whether Mikey knows “anything about ISIS.”  Of course, Mikey is aware of ISIS!  Not only is he an educated graduate of the United States Air Force Academy who assists members of our military, he actually referred to the dangers of ISIS/ISIL in his demand letter regarding Maj. Gen. Olson.  Since you clearly did not bother reading letter before making accusations regarding its content, I will share the portion regarding ISIS:

 

Can you even IMAGINE the essentially limitless propaganda bonanza this speech by Olson has ALREADY likely provided the sinister likes of ISIS/ISIL, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Taliban and a horde of other terrorist organizations that universally depend on painting the United States military as “Crusaders” for a virtual galaxy of nefarious reasons?

 

While I am not sure that any third-grader knows who Maj. Gen. Olson is, I agree with you that he is plainly not beheading, chopping up, or crucifying people.  Neither Mikey Weinstein nor anyone else with MRFF has accused him of committing any murder, let alone anything so violent.  There is no doubt that ISIS is an extremist group, which is exactly why Maj. Gen. Olson’s endorsement of Christianity within the military is a threat to national security.  As stated in Mikey’s demand letter, ISIS/ISIL and similar groups falsely claim that the U.S. military fights for Christianity – and they will seize on anything to convince themselves that this lie justifies their horrific actions.  Therefore, ensuring that military leaders do not endorse any religion over another is not a matter of being “upset” or “having a tantrum,” but a very serious issue concerning the safety of our troops.

 

You also claim that Maj. Gen. Olson “is a man who attended a prayer meeting in his uniform on a day that was instituted by his government.”  This statement over-simplifies and, frankly, misrepresents the facts of the situation.  Allow me to share some additional information demonstrating that his remarks actually constituted a violation of both the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and Air Force Regulations:

 

Maj. Gen. Olson is the Program Executive Officer for C31 and Networks at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.  He is also the highest-ranking officer there, leading 2,200 subordinate Air Force personnel.  In his speech, he admitted that he has neither the ability nor the training to perform his job:

 

He put me in charge of failing programs worth billions of dollars.  I have no ability to do that – NO TRAINING TO DO THAT – God did all of that.

 

“He sent me to Iraq to negotiate foreign military sales; deals through an Arabic interpreter.  I have no ability to do that – I WAS NOT TRAINED TO DO THAT – God did all of that.

 

“I also went in as a very self-sufficient person.  I thought if you work hard you’ll do fine and that was working great in high school.  Did not work very well at the Air Force Academy.  That’s where I realized I had a very limited intellectual ability.

 

“I still carry in this pocket my transcript from the Air Force Academy – as Exhibit A in the court of law – that you’re not a gifted intellect; you have no real academic skills.

 

If Maj. Gen. Olson admits that he is unqualified for the position he holds, why should he be allowed to continue holding that position?  I have never been terminated from a job, but I can guarantee that if I made a public announcement declaring that I lacked the capability to perform my job duties – whether as military leader commanding over 2,000 people or a burger-flipper with no authority whatsoever – I would lose that job faster than you are about to lose all of your arguments.

 

In addition to confessing that he is not qualified for his own job, Maj. Gen. Olson requested that the audience pray for Defense Department leaders and for troops preparing to re-deploy.  While this request might be a perfectly acceptable expression of religion under some circumstances, he specifically stated that Defense Department leaders “need to humbly depend on Christ” and requested prayers for the troops so they can “bear through that by depending on Christ.”  Moreover, he made these statements in his official capacity as a military leader while wearing his uniform, thus giving the impression that his statements clearly endorsing Christianity over other religious beliefs were made on behalf of the Air Force.  This situation does not involve a service member merely expressing his own personal religious beliefs in support of God, which might have little or no impact on those under his command.

 

It should also be noted that Maj. Gen. Olson was speaking at a National Day of Prayer Task Force event.  The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize the Christian Community “to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: government, military, media, business, education, church, and family.”  Therefore, he was speaking in his official capacity for a group whose sole purpose is to inject its own Christian beliefs into all areas of government, in direct violation of the Establishment Clause.

 

Maj. Gen. not only violated the Establishment Clause, he also violated USAF Instruction 1-1, Sec. 2.12: “Leaders at all levels…must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.”  Pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the violation of a lawful regulation “shall be punished as a court martial may direct” (emphasis added).

 

As you can see, MRFF’s demand that Maj. Gen. Olson be discipline was made pursuant to Air Force Regulations, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the mandates of the Establishment Clause.  MRFF does not seek censorship of religion in the military.  To the contrary, it works tirelessly to protect the religious freedom of all soldiers, sailors, Marines, cadets, and veterans.  One of the ways it fights to protect this freedom is to prevent the wrongful endorsement of any particular religion.  To the extent you believe this work is a “waste of time and money,” I respectfully submit that the thousands of clients assisted by MRFF to stop religious discrimination inflicted upon them by their superiors would disagree.  You may be surprised to learn that over 95% of MRFF clients are Christians!

 

I am dismayed that you believe that protecting the Constitutional rights of the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our rights is not worthwhile and pursuing “stupid things.”  You even compare the atrocious violence of ISIS to Mikey’s devotion to Constitutional rights by calling both “extremist!”  I assure you that Mikey Weinstein not only watches the news, which you accuse him of failing to do, but also seeks out additional information in order to ensure he is aware of all the facts before he takes any action – rather than blindly following a single news story without thinking about whether it is misinformed or simply false, as you apparently do.

 

I hope I have clarified for you the mission of MRFF, as well as the facts forming the basis for MRFF’s action concerning Maj. Gen. Olson.

 

Blessed be,

Tobanna Barker


 

 As far as Mikey and his time, he spent more than a day responding to every email I sent.  This leads me to believe the only battle he’s fighting is his own personal war on Christianity.  He doesn’t speak for me or anyone else in this great country of ours.
(name withheld)

Your organization has nothing to do with religious freedom.  It has everything to do with persecuting Christians.  We have real enemies.  Stop tying up the military with this nonsense.  There’s a real war going on. Your fantasies are a sideshow. I hope you lose.
 (name withheld)

You’ve only clarified the fact that you and your “organization” are on some pathetic misguided mission to punish a man who has committed no crime.  He prayed for all of us in his uniform on a day sanctioned by our own government. Now he should be punished for exercising the very freedoms our military fights for. Our enemies love people like you.  They sit and laugh while Americans seek to destroy their own countrymen during a time of war.  You’re ridiculous. This little circus of yours is ridiculous. Put your energy towards something worthwhile.  Revisit the list I sent.
(name withheld)

 I see you lost your case against General Olson. The Air Force has refused to courtmartial him. I think Mikey and Tobanna represent Mikey and Tobanna. Try supporting this country and the fine men and women who fight for it
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld):

I gave you a very detailed explanation as to how your accusations regarding MRFF and Maj. Gen. Olson’s actions are incorrect. If you prefer to cover your ears and sing “la la la” when confronted with facts and logic, I simply cannot help you.

I find it interesting that you claim MRFF should “put its energy toward something worthwhile,” yet you sent me four angry, rambling emails within an hour. If you enjoy feeling angry and shouting at windmills, that is certainly your choice. However, I sincerely suggest that you are the one who may benefit from finding something better to do.
Blessed be,
Tobanna Barker
MRFF Volunteer

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