Mad Conservative Crimefighter

Dear Mikey Winestein,

You are nothing but an intolerant bigot and fascist whom you are lying out your ass when you claim you’re fighting for civil liberties.  You are wanting to throw people in jail who are Christian because you live your daily life walking around with a flaming hot poker jammed way up your ass and destroy the first amendment for everyone except the hard-left “politically correct”.  You should be forced to go to sensitivity training so you will learn how to tolerate points of view that aren’t your own because I’m extremely offended at your hateful, bigoted demands of criminalization of basic human rights we’ve enjoyed for centuries.  You’re a disgrace and a bully.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),
I’m assuming you’re writing about Major General Craig S. Olson. Let me clear up a few things for you that other places/people will not tell you.
 
We are NOT anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish but 75% or more of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters with the MRFF are Christians. Out of our 41,000+ military clients (1 can represent 50 and 1 represents 100), 96% of them are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc. If anything, we represent Christians more than any other religion but you won’t hear about it because that wouldn’t make Christians angry against us.
 
The issue is that he showed up in uniform at a civilian event.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is not the National Day of Prayer signed into law by President Truman in 1952.
The National Day of Prayer is celebrated by Americans of many religions, including Christians of many denominations, including Protestants and Catholics, as well as SikhsMuslimsHindus, and Jews, reflecting the demographics of the United States. On the National Day of Prayer, many Americans assemble in prayer in front of courthouses, as well as in houses of worship, such as churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples. Luncheons, picnics, and music performances revolving around praying for the nation are also popular observances. Traditionally, the President of the United States issues an official National Day of Prayer proclamation each year as well.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is strictly a conservative evangelical Christian organization called the “National Prayer Committee” that was formed to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer for the purpose of organizing evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal government entities.
The National Day of Prayer is sanctioned by the government where the National Day of Prayer Task Force is not.
If he had showed up in civilian clothes there wouldn’t have been a problem.
Parker v. Levy: 
“This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. … The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech [to include religious speech] that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.” (Emphasis added) Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974
 
Our military consists of those of other beliefs and by giving his speech on Christianity in uniform at a civilian event which gives the impression to the world that we have a Christian military and demeans the morale of those of other faiths. His speech is constitutionally unprotected.
 
Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12:
 
2.12. Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. Leaders
at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of
religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional
prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They 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. (emphasis added)
 
The violation of this – by speaking in uniform – is a potential FELONY under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and a possible court-martial. This is military law not ours.
 
Civilian laws and military rules and regulations are different.
 
Because Major General Craig S. Olson showed up in uniform to give his speech, he is also providing an unlawful endorsement and selective benefit to a non-Federal entity
(the NDPTF, which is a private organization), in violation of both the Joint Ethics Regulation (DoD 5500.7-R) prohibition on endorsement of non-Federal entities and DoD Instruction 5410.19, which prohibits the providing of a selective benefit or preferential treatment to any private organization. 
 
 
 
If you’re going to be mad at anyone it should be the military and the laws they created and the media for being deceptive in its reporting.
 
I hope this clears up any misconceptions you had about us.
 
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear Mad Conservative Crimefighter [sic]:

 

I am writing in response to your May 17, 2015 email to Mikey Weinstein.  Though not specifically stated in your letter, I assume, based on its content, that your accusation that Mr. Weinstein wants “to throw people in jail who are Christian” that you wrote in connection with MRFF’s recent demand that Major General Olson be disciplined as a result of his speech at a National Prayer Day Task Force event.

 

The content of your email also forces me to assume that you did not actually read the demand letter sent by MRFF, but only read or heard about it via some media source.  If you had read the letter or knew anything about MRFF’s work, you would know that MRFF did not demand discipline simply because Maj. Gen. Olson is a Christian or made remarks with which it disagrees.  You would further understand that MRFF would never attempt to punish anyone based solely on religious belief – such an attempt would clearly contradict the very purpose of MRFF’s mission.  I hope I can clear up your confusion regarding the basis for MRFF’s demand and the consequences of Maj. Gen. Olson’s speech.

 

First, it should be noted that 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 superior officer at Hanscom AFB, leading 2,200 subordinate Air Force personnel.  Yet, in his speech he admitted that he has neither the ability nor the training to continue in this position:

 

“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 does not believe that he is qualified to do his job, why should the thousands of Air Force personnel under his command – not to mention every U.S. citizen who depends on our military – be forced to accept his expertise?

 

Second, Maj. Gen. Olson requested that the audience pray for Defense Department leaders and for troops preparing to re-deploy.  While this may be a harmless and Constitutional expression of religion in many circumstances, he made this request in his capacity as a military leader while wearing his uniform, clearly violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  Additionally, he did not request prayers for the safety of these individuals or for general guidance during difficult times.  Instead, he asked that the audience pray for Defense Department leaders because they “need to humbly depend on Christ” and for troops so they can “bear through that by depending on Christ.”  Consequently, his remarks not only violated the Constitution, but also violated Air Force Regulations – specifically, Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12, which states: “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.”

 

Maj. Gen. Olson’s violation of Air Force Regulations is classified as a potential felony under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Thus, MRFF did not demand discipline simply because his remarks were Christian in nature.  Indeed, MRFF would have made the same demand if anyone speaking in the official capacity as a military leader stated that other leaders or troops needed the guidance of Allah or Bellona, the Goddess of War, or any other deity.

 

Contrary to your claim that Mr. Weinstein and MRFF seek to destroy the First Amendment for all except the “hard-left ‘politically correct’,” they work tirelessly to protect the religious freedom of all men and women in uniform.  In fact, more than 95% of MRFF’s clients are Christians!  You accuse Mr. Weinstein of being hateful, bigoted, and fascist and state that he needs sensitivity training to learn to tolerate other points of view.  Yet, while he is fighting to protect the Constitutional rights of those who sacrifice to protect our rights, you decided to spend your time sending an extremely hateful email based on only limited, one-sided, and arguably false information.  It seems to me that if anyone is a disgrace or a bully, it clearly isn’t Mr. Weinstein.

 

Blessed be,

 

Tobanna Barker

MRFF Volunteer

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