Free Expression?

Military Religious Freedom Foundation: Have you ever read the FULL text of the First Amendment?
    The exact text of the first amendment of the constitution of the United States:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereofor abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
So how is it that those few who are ‘offended’ by free expression of religion are able to trump the free exercise rights of those who are not (offended)?
It seems obvious to me that a free exercise (of religion) as guaranteed under the First Amendment. I see nothing in the First Amendment which limits who may freely express themselves.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey is in no way ignorant of the First Amendment as you seem to think. He graduated with honors from the United States Air Force Academy in 1977…always on the Superintendent’s List. He earned his juris doctorate degree in three years and served as a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer for ten years. He worked in the west wing of White House under Ronald Reagan for 3 years.

As a JAG Officer, Mikey knows military law better than all of us. We also have many active and retired military officers with ranks all the way to Brigadier General and Chaplains that support our mission.

The real reason is that many laws and military rules and regulations were broken. A byproduct of this is offense to our soldiers who know the military overstepped the bounds that are in place.

Have you kept up with the Supreme Court rulings and the memorandum’s affecting the Air Force? Of course, you haven’t. Nor is anyone telling you about them because they would debunk their false persecution.

September 1, 2011, then-Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, issued a memorandum for all USAF commanders that stated plainly:Although commanders are responsible for these programs, they must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion. Therefore, I expect chaplains, not commanders, to notify Airmen of Chaplain Corps programs.

In Air Force Instruction 1-1, USAF top brass laid down the letter of the law in regards to religious proselytizing:“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 Lemon Test and Parker vs Levy were also broken.
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.
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
The religion of the majority does not take preference over a religion in the minority or those of no religious beliefs. As former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said We don’t count heads when enforcing the First Amendment.
Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils. Roger Williams.
I wish the media would stop withholding these pertinent facts to make us look evil.
We are neither an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish and 80% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters (244 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 42, 711 soldier clients are Christians. We fight for the rights of Christians more than any other religion.
Please read our Mission Statement and you will see that it conforms to the laws, rules and regulations mentioned above.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear (name withheld),
Have you ever heard of military regulations? Here’s one that may interest you, from Gen. Norton Schwartz.

“Although commanders are responsible for these programs, they must refrain from appearing to officially endorse religion generally or any particular religion. Therefore, I expect chaplains, not commanders, to notify Airmen of Chaplain Corps programs.”

Had this program been handled through the base chaplain rather than the military command, no one would have had a problem with it.

You see, people in the military, especially those who have authority over others, have limits on their 1st Amendment rights due to the separation of church and state.


Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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1 Comment

  1. Connie

    “I wish the media would stop withholding these pertinent facts to make us look evil.”

    Is this the same media (Fox News I’m looking at you) that continues to spread lies about the LGBT population using long debunked studies and hysteria about “otherness”? I was naive myself to believe The Age of Aquarius would shut down racism, sexism, and a bunch more isms that escape me right now. Now I look at humanity wondering if they will grow up and leave this childish fear mongering behind them.

    I know you are a person of logic Pastor Joan – in fact while not sharing your faith I solidly support your integrity. However, until there is money to be made in telling the truth the lie will lead every time.

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