“Atheist asshole says God Bless sign ‘like a tarantula on a wedding cake'” (with MRFF response)

From: cloudsoaring1
Date: October 1, 2015
To: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Atheist asshole says God Bless sign ‘like a tarantula on a wedding cake’

See you’re continuing to make an ass of yourself.

[This article from GOPUSA was included below cloudsoaring1’s email]


Dear cloudsoaring1 –

Mikey Weinstein has granted me the privilege of responding to your October 1, 2015 email to him and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).  Please allow me this opportunity to show that the only person making an ass out of himself is you.

As an initial matter, because your email includes the text of an article, I will assume that you have adopted the erroneous opinions expressed in the article as your own.  Your claim that Mikey and/or MRFF is “anti-Christian” is simply untrue.  In fact, over 96% of MRFF clients are Christians!  We not only have no objection to Christianity, we protect and defend the religious freedom of thousands of Christian service members.

Do you feel like an ass yet?  No?  I’ll continue…

The opinion that, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong” with the sign stating “God Bless The Military” is not supported by constitutional law.  The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of any particular religion. This prohibition has been held to include actions or policies by state actors if (1) the purpose is not secular; (2) the principal/primary effect either advances or inhibits religion; or (3) it fosters an excessive entanglement with religion.  Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971).

There is no secular purpose for a sign that invokes the blessing of a Christian God, the primary purpose of the sign is plainly to advance religion, and such endorsement of Christianity clearly fosters an entanglement between the military and religion. Only one of these conclusions is necessary for any action to constitute a violation of the Establishment Clause, yet the subject sign satisfies all three.

As you can see, we have a very firm understanding of the First Amendment.  Further, a violation of constitutional rights is never “innocuous” or “uplifting.”  If the police broke into your home, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and searched only one drawer, would you find it harmless?

This brings me to the claim that the military has a “rich Christian tradition.”  First, the argument of “that is the way it has always been” is generally a poor excuse to continue anything.  If it were a valid defense, medical treatment would still consist of bleeding and poultices made of horse dung.  George Washington may have called soldiers to prayer, but the Founders of this country clearly created a government based on democratic principles, rather than religious principles.

Additionally, the drafters of the Constitution plainly created a wall of separation between church and state.  Article 6 states, “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.”  The First Amendment provides for the freedom to practice any religious faith (or no faith at all) and also prohibits the establishment of any particular religion. The original Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892, did not even include the words “under God” – those words were added in 1954.  If our Founding Fathers intended to create a “rich Christian tradition,” they certainly had the means and opportunity to do so, but they declined.

At this point, you are probably feeling fairly ass-like.  Let me assure you, this feeling is perfectly natural.  I doubt it feels pleasant to realize that any fifth-grader with the ability to read the plain language of the Constitution could easily crush you in a debate.

Finally, the idea that removing the sign would violate the Establishment Clause is laughable.  How could moving the sign to the chapel – which is what MRFF demands – possibly show preference for no religion over religion?  I sincerely doubt you would make the same argument if the sign invoked the blessing of Kartikeya, the Hindu god of war, or some other non-Christian deity.  If it referenced Allah, you would come running to MRFF demanding that it be removed and you would have no concern for a “pluralistic military community.”  The only reason you defend this sign is that it expresses your personal religious belief.

This is not a matter of “feeling offense.”  It is a matter of requiring that the mandates of the Constitution be obeyed.  Such mandates include the requirement that any religious faith be expressed in the proper time, place, and manner.

That feeling in the pit of your stomach…that is what it feels like to be proven a complete and utter ass.

Blessed be,

Tobanna Barker
MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator

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5 Comments

  1. EJ Reott

    Wow,
    Tobanna, you must have a lot of time on your hands. First of all, don’t get too carried away with the notion that anyone would ever “run to the MRFF” for any reason. You’re just a small group of sad people would feel the need to demand things that are clearly trivial in nature. Just the fact that it is your “demand” and not “request” makes you look silly and weak. Go back and study the constitution some more so you can pretend to be scholarly and wise. Bottom line, give it a rest.
    PS A little over the top with the super clever “ass” references

  2. Tobanna Barker

    EJ –

    Unfortunately, I don’t have much time on my hands at all – fighting to ensure the religious freedom of all service members, cadets, and veterans is pretty much a 24/7 job. After all, MRFF currently represents over 42,700 men and women in uniform (Small and sad? I don’t think so!).

    Despite my busy schedule, I am taking the time to respond to your comment because something about it stood out to me (like a tarantula on a wedding cake, as Mikey Weinstein might say): You don’t deny that this sign is a Constitutional violation. You claim that it is “trivial” and attempt to personally insult me, but you fail to state a single reason why our demand is not legally sound.

    That’s right – I’m sticking with “demand.” We at MRFF do not politely “request” that the requirements of the Constitution be obeyed. We DEMAND it!

    I assure you that I do not merely “pretend to be scholarly and wise.” I am both – as is every board member and volunteer of MRFF. While you apparently oppose actually knowing what rights the Constitution provides, we do not have the luxury of remaining ignorant of such matters. We have important work to do and we will not apologize for having a firm understanding of the First Amendment.

    I feel that an “over the top,” yet “super clever” ass reference is appropriate here. Instead, I will simply suggest that you remove your head from yours.

    Blessed be,

    Tobanna

  3. Robert Ashman

    EJ,

    I’m a little confused. Tobanna provided a detailed historical and legal analysis of the issue, including citations of actual legal precedent and historical facts, and also identifies the numerous logical fallacies contained in the article being critiqued.

    Do you have a rebuttal to the facts and legal substance of the issue, or just the ad hominems you’ve provided thus far?

    I suspect that those of us more interested in the substance of the matter (and are less interested in general trolling) would prefer a more cogent response.

  4. Gitana

    Read the preamble to the constitution then spout off your ignorance and idiocy some more. http://wp.me/p63Xqe-5

  5. Gitana

    Anyone that doesn’t believe in BLESSINGS of GOD has no right to try to use the constitution as a sword of malice.

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