Bigots and Racist?

So my question for you is this…..Why do you only attack Christians and not any other religions? It looks to me like you have created an organization, so you can be bigots, as well as  racist, but you it hidden behind the organization. How come I do not see any articles relating to Islam, Hindu, etc. It does not effect me either way, but if you truly want to have freedom from religion, you can’t focus all of your energy against christians. Just a thought for ya.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

The reason you don’t see anything about Islam, Hindus, etc. is because they operate within the following laws and the Fundamental Evangelical Dominionists don’t.
We are not racists or bigots but believe in freedom for all religions.
AFI (Air Force Instruction) 1-12.12, which reads in part:
 
“…leaders at all levels in the Air Force must ensure that 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.”
 
“Leaders at all levels” include the football coaches.
 
By allowing public prayer by the football players in Air Force uniform, command is officially endorsing one religion – Christianity.
 
 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 [in any form] 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 football players’ right to public prayer is constitutionally unprotected.
 
As defenders of the Constitution we fight for the separation of church and state.
“…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 (which is subservient to the Establishment 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
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion
Prayer on the field fits into all 3 and therefore it is a violation of the Establishment Clause.
Praying on the field breaks AFI 1-1, the Establishment Clause, the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy.’
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 43,021 soldier clients are Christians. We fight for the rights of Christians more than any other religion but it doesn’t make the news.
Mikey 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.
Read this article to get the full scope of what is truly going on: http://www.csindy.com/IndyBlog/archives/2015/12/02/usafas-tebow-prayer-stirs-controversy
Read our mission statement and see that we are for prayer consistent with time, place and manner under the laws and regulations set forth above.
 
Check out the honorable and distinguished military personnel and people from all walks of life that support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
 
If the military obeyed the laws and regulations listed above, we wouldn’t be having this fight.
Tradition does not trump our laws.
Thanks for asking and I hope this clears up any misconceptions you had about us.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Hi (name withheld),,

It take a bit of time to dig meaning out of your message, but the fact is that you think we “only attack Christians” because that’s all you hear about. You didn’t hear, for example, of the work the MRFF did to stop an atheist officer from promoting his belief system. Nor did you hear about the work the MRFF did to help a service-member who was being persecuted for being a Wiccan. You didn’t hear about the problems a Native American military man was having, so you don’t know about the help we provided.

Our work is not against any particular belief system, it is in support of the freedom of belief of every member of the military and against the promotion of one belief system over others because that is the kind of behavior that is against the law, against military regulations and cannot be allowed.

You think we are anti-Christian, evidently, and that we are bigots and racists, though I’m not sure how race applies. You are wrong on all counts.

The fact is that Christianity is the predominant religion here in America and within Christianity there are many different belief systems. Most of them don’t force their beliefs on others, but something known as fundamentalist or more specifically “dominionist” Christianity does. This Christian sect believes it is the one and only true faith and that all other beliefs, even other Christian beliefs, are wrong and the fools who believe in them are damned to hell. And this Christian sect is intent on infiltrating the power structure of our military in order to create what they think of as “God’s Army,” or the “Army of Jesus Christ.” That, I hope you understand, is not what the United States military is supposed to be about.

Just a thought for ya.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear (name withheld),
I am writing in response to your December 8, 2015 email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).  Based on your conclusion that we are bigots, your question appears to be rhetorical.  However, there is a simple answer, which I am happy to explain.

 

MRFF fights to protect the religious freedom of all soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, cadets, and veterans.  We do not accomplish this mission by searching for actions that we wish to challenge.  Instead, we respond to specific complaints we receive from service members.  Every day, we receive numerous phone calls, emails, and letters from service members throughout the world regarding religious proselytizing or discrimination.  When these complaints involve situations that amount to a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, we take action on behalf of our clients.  It may surprise you to learn that more than 96% of our clients are actually Christians!

 

The answer to your question is this: We simply do not receive complaints of military superiors wrongfully proselytizing in the name of Islam, Hinduism, or any other non-Christian religion.  We have never received a phone call reporting a superior who required participation in a Pagan celebration of Beltane or a sign calling for the blessings of Allah.  Instead, the complaints we receive concern fundamentalist Christians attempting to transform our military from one that protects the U.S. Constitution for all U.S. citizens into one that fights for Christianity.  Even our many Christian clients suffer at the hands of Christian superiors who claim they are either “not Christian enough” or practice the “wrong” Christian faith.

 

We do not focus our energy against Christians, as your claim.  We focus our energy toward enforcing the time, place, and manner requirements of religious expression as mandated by the Establishment Clause.  The fact of the matter is that violations of the Establishment Clause within the military are being committed by fundamentalist Christians.  Our energy is best spent solving the problems of our clients – not seeking imaginary issues concerning other religions just for the sake of appearance.

 

Blessed be,

 

Tobanna Barker
MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator

 

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