I am a “Messianic Jew” originally from Boston, MA. I have lived in GA for 9-years and am a retired Boston District Fire Chief. I served for 32-years and am still in the world of firefighting doing my part helping folks who are in trouble. I am staunchly a Conservative and believe in God, family and Patriotism. 
What you all are doing robs the USA of what is good. You try your hardest to destroy FREEDOMS! I feel no sorrow for all of you in this hateful group. You are part of what is hurting America and this world. Why don’t you all just STOP it and live & let live.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
I applaud your service as a firefighter.
My daughter and her fiancé are volunteer firemen and both are also EMS personnel for our town. I know the selfless dedication, hard work and sleepless nights it takes to save a home and life.
His father is a full-time Boston Firefighter and you might know him.
We are not out to destroy anyone’s freedom but to protect the freedom of all of our soldiers.
Contrary to what you may have heard, we are not an atheist organization.
If you are writing us about the Christmas shoeboxes, the story concerning them – based on information given to them from Christians – is full of lies, omissions and distortions.
We DID NOT stop anyone who wanted to pack the shoeboxes and those who said or hinted that we did are lairs.
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 (250 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.
We also rely on our MRFF military personnel for their expertise in religious neutrality in the military:
Board Member – Major William E. Barker
Board Member – Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV
Advisory Board Member – Lawrence Wilkerson – Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05).
Advisory Board Members (Past and present military personnel):
Edie Disler– PhD, Lt Col (Ret), is a 25 year veteran of the Air Force who served as an ICBM crewmember, an Executive Support Officer to the Secretary of Defense, a conventional arms control inspector, a speechwriter, and USAFA faculty professor.

Robert S. Dotson–Retired brigadier general.

Robert T. Herres– A Naval Academy graduate with a 36 year career in the United States Air Force, he also served a three-year assignment as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first to hold that position. (December 1, 1932 – July 24, 2008)

Kristen Leslie – An Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Yale Divinity School and consultant to the United States Air Force Academy on religious matters.

Eagle Man, Ed McGaa – Is an enrolled Oglala Sioux tribal member, OST 15287. After serving in Korea, he earned an undergraduate degree from St. Johns University, MN. He then later rejoined the Marine Corps to become a fighter pilot.

Rev. MeLinda Morton – An ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She is a former Chaplain in the United States Air Force, most recently serving at the United States Air Force Academy.

George Reed – A faculty member in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. Before joining the faculty in 2007 he served for 27 years as a military police officer including six as the Director of Command and Leadership Studies at the U.S. Army War College.

AA “Tony” Verrengia  – A retired Air Force Brigadier General, He was a Master Navigator that served in air transport operations positions for many years.

John Whiteside – He is one of only a few military aviators to possess both Senior Command Air Force wings and aircraft carrier qualified Naval Aviator wings, in addition to having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism in combat during Operation Desert Storm.

Lawrence Wilkerson – Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. His last position in government was as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05).

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.

The media and Christians lied by saying no laws were broken when the Air Force broke their own rules, the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, Reynolds vs. U.S., the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy (all of which they failed to mention).
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)”

“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 ofthemselvesand 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 jurisprudenceinReynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, thecourtexamined 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.
If the military would obey the laws and regulations they know exist concerning religious neutrality, they wouldn’t have to feel the full force of Mikey and MRFF.
It would be even better if Christians would stop being so deceitful.
Mikey is NOT the Grinch that stole Christmas as the media is portraying him. The kids are still getting their shoeboxes because Operation Christmas Child is now in the hands of the chaplain(s) on base, where it always belonged, and is moving forward. We have no problem with this.
I hope this clears up any misinformation you have heard.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear (name withheld),
You are welcome to your views. That’s one of the beauties of this society.

Our work is protecting the freedom of religious or non-religious choice of the women and men in our military.

Contrary to your opinion, we are not robbing the USA of anything, we are protecting what is great about it. Your assertion that we want to destroy freedoms for anyone it just flat wrong, unless of course you are talking about your freedom to insist your religious view on others. In that case, you’d be right. We are intent on protecting the freedom of belief of the women and men in the military from those who would foist what they consider the “one true faith” on those who have a different view.

As said, you are welcome to your view. In our opinion, so is everyone else.


Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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