Get a  life, better yet get a job. Your intrusion into the Marine Corps decision to show support to their Marines and civilian employees is nothing short of narrow minded politically correct schizophrenic pettiness. When u start to really work for a living this juvenile behavior should cease.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
Our “intrustion” was made at the request of dozens of Marines.  Not all Marines want your god be the only one formally supported by their military.
Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs

Dear (name withheld),
Mikey – and we who are involved with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation – have a life and a very important job protecting the rights of ALL of our soldiers.
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.
As defenders of the Constitution we fight for the separation of church and state.
Do you consider the following “nothing short of narrow minded politically correct schizophrenic pettiness?”
“…but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” (Article I, III)
This means that from the President to Congress to the military – no one’s job is based on their religion.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (Establishment Clause), or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (Free Exercise Clause).”(First Amendment)
The Establishment Clause means that you cannot favor one religion over another even though it is in the majority. This clause respects the RIGHTS of all religions. Our military is SECULAR and there are people of other faiths that don the uniform that love this country.
The Free Exercise Clause means that our soldiers are free to exercise any religion they want or no religion at all but cannot elevate one God above others.
“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, and
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion.
The sign fits into all 3 and therefore it is a violation of the Establishment Clause
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 sign broke both the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy and is constitutionally unprotected.
Under the aforementioned laws, the sign must be moved to chapel grounds or allow signs of other religions and those of no faith, to be placed beside the “God Bless” sign currently standing.
Under your thinking the Supreme Court should “start to really work for a living (and) this (their) juvenile behavior should cease.”
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

To think that it takes an entire page of written rhetoric to back your point and establish your claim of “righteous” legal precedent reminds me of a military colloquialism: if you don’t know the truth, dazzle em with bull-shit.  Well joan, the amount of bull-shit your response has generated can grow a large crop of mushrooms; another part of a similar statement regarding spinning of the truth. The plain fact of the matter is that our nation has a long precedent with the use of God in its history, and nothing in your dazzling pages of spin can alter that fact. I don’t know your backgnd as a military person but I am willing to bet that u have never seen or been in combat. With that said, it is no wonder that u hide behind legalisms to justify your actions. Establishing a Blessing, be it on one individual or an entire military and civilian organization, gives those who are going in Harms Way a sense of Hope and reassures them of a homebody that is thinking of them and praying for their safe return. For you and your spurious organization to take away those feelings is nothing short of selfishness and absolute self righteousness.
How pathetic,
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

“You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan


I like mushrooms especially sautéed in butter.


Obviously, you don’t care about our laws.


Here are some more facts or in your mind – dazzle you with bullshit.


The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797;a mere 8 yearssince our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief.


The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “The idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.”


“The Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered”. George Lincoln Burr (1857 – 1938), Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University


Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history. 

James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, EcclesiasticalEndowments


“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”

Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773


During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.


What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.

James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments


Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom


According to our Founding Fathers the Constitution is not based on Christianity or biblical law.

Joan Slish



What in hell does any of your verbiage have to do with the simple fact that a sign invokes a blessing of thanks for difficult work past present or future. U just don’t get it do u?

your attempts to hide behind legal precedents does not address that issue; however, your statements do validate my belief in the self righteousness of your cause.
in other words, u haven’t addressed my response.

(name withheld)

 Dear (name withheld),
I gave you the “legal precedents” for having the sign removed. You chose to ignore them.I answered your original response and I don’t have to give you anything about my personal life.


Asking isn’t getting.

Joan Slish



Why in the world would I give a damn about your personal life? In reviewing my email, there is nothing in it requesting any of your personal background. i doubt seriously that my musing regarding your lack of military experience constitutes a request for personal backgnd info. I do find it hilarious that you hide behind legal precedents and use them as justification for your vendetta regarding a simple sign containing an inauspicious blessing on men and women going into harms way. All the “legal precedents” you site pertain to the constitutionality of religion as part of our form of government. There is nothing in those statements that pertain to a simple sign invoking a blessing by a god. You choose to interpret the morality of that action based on your interpretation of those legal statements that justify your actions. As i stated earlier, you hide behind the the use of selective precedents to justify your self-righteousness. No matter the writing by our forefathers , who were primarily Diets, we as a nation frame our morality on Christian values, so of course we invoke a Christian God to bestow a blessing, what part of that do you not understand?
In God We Trust,

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

Get over yourself.


“Forced worship stink’s in God’s nostrils.” Roger Williams


Joan Slish



nothing original just platitudes from other men’s musings. You are an intellectual wasteland intent on forcing your beliefs on the majority…how sad.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

If I were you I would stop sending me emails. We have liaisons on almost every base in the world. Once sent to them they disperse them to the soldiers, military personnel and volunteers and supporters in their respective areas.


We also post every email and their response(s) on our website.


Besides that, we have some of the most brilliant minds the military ever had on our Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters. We rely on them for their expertise on religious neutrality in the military.


The Constitution was written to protect the minority from the majority.


“We don’t count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.” Former Supreme Court Judge


You’re acting like the self-righteous, arrogant bullies we fight against.


Stop before you make a bigger fool of yourself to the world and the military personnel who follow the rules.

Joan Slish


Hey (name withheld),

Got a job, thanks. You might consider getting some manners. Have you been to the base? Are the Marines and Sailors stationed there wrong about the Christian proselytizing that’s going on, or don’t you know? Do you care?

The MRFF acts to protect the right of religious choice, the right of people to believe or not, as they choose, and to not have those in a superior position foisting his or her religious view on them. Do you have a problem with that? If you do, take it up with the courts and see if they agree with having the government of the United States in the business of pushing a particular religion on vulnerable people.

Aside from that, try to find something more productive to do than hassling people you don’t know for doing something you don’t understand.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)




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1 Comment

  1. Connie

    Pastor Joan – How do you do it? By ‘it’ I mean continue to provide logical well thought out responses to childish nanny boo-boo accusations?

    The letter writer absolutely brought in your personal life by questioning your military service and doubting what you did in that service. And then in the next breath denied doing so. ARGH!!! I really want to smite such actions by “adults”. Really really want to do some smiting. Especially when people use their religion to bash folks like me (pagan) and then cry persecution when the constitution says nope – play fair or don’t play at all.

    OK – so maybe a little smiting?

    I’m glad you are on the front lines and I am just a believer in what you do. If I was in your shoes I’d be doing some major smiting. Just saying…

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