Shoeboxes

First of all let’s get right down to it. Those sh I eboxes are a good sumaritan act like stories in the bible.

Although it is in the new testament. The book you don’t recognize. Jesus tell us to help otgers. Have compassion on one another. Whether you believe in Jesus or not is totally up to you.

As is a letter asking people to help make shoeboxes for the poor. It is still a choice to say yes or no.

Please stop harassing the rest of us and hurting others because of your beliefs!

When did it become so incredibly intolerable to help others.

Saying yes or no should suffice. No one was beaten or chastised for not complying with the memo.

Have some integrity “Mikey Weinstein ” !

May jesus save your soul! Leave the rest of us alone that can answer for ourselves!!

(name withheld)


Hello (name withheld),

Integrity is a wonderful thing. You might try developing some. Clarity would be of value to you as well.

You arrogate to yourself the right to claim to know what book of the Bible Mikey recognizes; you suggest he is harassing and hurting you and others

because of his beliefs; you suggest he believes it is not tolerable to help others; and you know nothing. Jesus, whom you claim to follow and whose

teachings you pretend to understand, must weep at your insolence, your bias, your judgment and your arrogance.

If you had only taken the trouble to find out the truth you would not have so embarrassed yourself. But those who are so quick to wrap themselves

in the comfort of having come to what they consider “the one true faith” tend to put on blinders that shut out what is a viable reality for many just

as deserving of respect.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear (name withheld),

First of all, let’s get right down to it: what you’re hearing is a false, biased narrative and no website will allow the truth to be written under their comment sections. They are deleted immediately so you only get a one-sided dialogue.

 

We have not stopped nor are we against the soldiers packing Christmas shoeboxes.

 

We are not an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish (and prays to the same Father we do 3 times a day) 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.

 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) does NOT act on its own but at the request of our soldiers’ and their complaints of the blatant disregard and trampling of the Constitution and the Military Code of Justice; blurring the lines between the separation of church and state. Every complaint is vetted by Mikey who was a JAG lawyer at the Air Force Academy for 10 years; worked in the West Wing under Ronald Reagan; and held positions in private practice.

Our military is secular – which includes those of other faiths or no belief system – and it must not advance one religion over another according to the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and the Unified Code of Military Justice. Religious activities must be in the hands of the Chaplains on Chapel grounds, not in the hands of the Commander on base-wide grounds.

What we are against is the Air Force breaking their own rules, the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, Reynolds vs. US, the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy.

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.”

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/docs/gen_schwartz_letter_religion_neutralilty.pdf
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)”

 

“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320.

 

This is his second known use of the term “wall of separation,” here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter.

 

This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause.

 

Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S.98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, the court examined the history of religious liberty in the US, determining that while the constitution guarantees religious freedom, “The word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.” The court found that the leaders in advocating and formulating the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty were James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.

 

In 1878 “separation of church and state” became part of the Establishment Clause BY LAW.

 

The Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause.

 

Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the Lemon Test.

 

Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. Has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. Does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion,
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and 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

 

We fought the total disregard for the laws and regulations stated above and that’s what we won.

Operation Christmas Child is now in the hands of the chaplain(s) on base, where it always belonged, and is moving forward.

When the military regains its “integrity” by adhering to the laws of our land, we wouldn’t have to come against them with the full force of Mikey and the MRFF.

You’re preaching to the choir here and I’m getting a little tired of self-righteous people – who haven’t done one tiny bit of research on who we are and what we do or the laws affecting religious neutrality in the military – emailing us and spewing out the lies, omissions and distortions that has been fed to them.

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


 

Dear (name withheld)

I am writing at Mikey’s request since he’s preoccupied preventing Christaliban fundamentalists from trampling roughshod over the rights of those who also consider themselves ‘’Christians’  but who do not feel that gives them the right to force their beliefs on others.

He extends that  same concern to those who identify as something other than “Christian” whose rights don’t seem to have any weight with those so-called “Christian” extremists attempting to exert total control over society with the passive aggressive maneuver of claiming “discrimination”.

Now, ‘getting down to it’ let’s look at your assertions:

“Charity” is the act of giving without expecting anything in return.  Since the shoe-boxes under consideration are specifically said (in the e-mail under discussion) to be a means of being able to proselytize the recipients, they don’t qualify as ‘charity’.  They are bribes.  No more, no less.  The ‘charity’ is only a frosting on the real cake. So, let’s get real, call things what they are and stop violating that ‘false witness’ think y’all seem to ignore when it suits you..

As far as “harassing & hurting others” – as you assert – kindly describe how Mikey’s or MRFF’s actions have harassed or hurt anyone who was acting within the constraints of our national ethic; the U.S. Constitution.  You can’t because he hasn’t.  Naturally, those whose agenda extends beyond Constitutional limits howl like stuck pigs when they’re called to account… but that doesn’t count as ‘hurt’; that’s justice.

Finally, your hypocritical plea to be left alone completely ignores the fact that an e-mail from the base commander’s secretary, sent by official government means asserts an ‘establishment of religion’ which is barred by our Constitution and constitutes bullying since the source cannot be ignored by the recipients without fear of retribution.  Had the e-mail called for Hindu, or Muslim, or Buddhist shoeboxes I have no doubt that you’d be writing someone in high dudgeon about the insertion of religion into official government communications.  What you’re actually asking is “please leave us alone to do as we please, regardless of what’s right”.  Sorry Angela, no way!

That said, please – as you say – leave us alone that we can answer for those oppressed by the Christofascists  attempting to subvert our Constitution and create a state religion contrary to the express wishes of our founders and the overwhelming majority of our population.

But, let me congratulate you though, since your grammar & syntax certainly qualifies you for consideration for inclusion in the next edition of Bonnie Weinstein’s next edition if “To the Far Right Christian Hater…You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism from critics of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation”.

Last, I apologize for writing under a pseudonym but I have no desire to end up being trolled by religious extremists.

Marshalldoc.

 

 

 

Share this page:

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*