Exceptionalism

Hey Mickey, you know what exceptionalism is, it is forcing someone to refrain from doing what is guaranteed by God and the constitution.

The American flag is a idol for pagan worshipers. God and prayer is the only good in this world – what does that make you Mikey Weinstein?

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

I don’t think I’ve ever come across someone with your particular stance on what exceptionalism is and is not.  It’s strange that you have put a schism between religious fervor and American exceptionalism since the two are historically (and presently) so closely tied.  For example, it was Manifest Destiny, the belief that God favored the United States as an exceptional state, which motivated the conquest of this continent by our ancestors.  It was a belief that the United States was God’s favored state during the cold war scare that lead to McCarthyism and the debasement of our national motto from it’s original “E Pluribus Unum” to “In God We Trust.”  And today we have political candidates who openly and plainly state that they intend to bring their god’s will into the forefront of politics, in order to make America great again (read: exceptional).  Your question is nonsensical, and doesn’t have an answer.

Your god and your prayers may very well be the only good things in your life.  Enjoy them.  But recognize that there are other people with free will of their own that don’t have a need to subscribe to your beliefs to be happy.

Cheers,

Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs


Mr. Page,

Atheism is the schism I fight against with such fervor, which is what you battle for; McCarthyism was named for a man and misused. The United States was well blessed by God, but Israel is God’s nation. Christians should have the same rights as the atheist religion according to the constitution.

(name withheld)


Atheism isn’t a schism, and your word salad doesn’t have any clear message in it.

No one here contests that Christians have the same rights as atheists.  What we do contest is the idea that Christians have more rights than atheists (they do not).  Loss of privilege, while no doubt painful, is not equivalent to persecution.

Blake Page


Let me puts some dressing on my salad.

My point is that there is an attack on Christians that pray at public events that are supported by taxpayers. The secular/atheist want to be able to worship the public event which is their idol while the Christian should be removed. The constitution states freedom of religion and that constitution was written by government officials with taxpayer money and it is not honored.

(name withheld)


I’m an atheist myself, and fairly active in the atheist community.  I have never known an atheist who wanted to worship events.  We do support and defend the constitution, which demands government neutrality on religion.  If atheists had the same power in government that religionists do, public events would be opened with explicit statements about the non existence of any gods.  You’re railing against a straw man.  I’ll say it again.  As loss of privilege, while painful, is not persecution.

Blake Page


So what do you worship, your car, iPhone or the MRFF; anything that you worship should be banned from all taxpayer funded events; the made up laws that you worship should be applied to all if the lie is going to be used.

(name withheld)

I don’t worship anything.  There’s no need for me to.  I can see that you have some trouble imagining the existence of world views unlike your own.
Blake Page

Dear (name withheld),

“Hey Mickey, you know what exceptionalism is, it is forcing someone to refrain from doing what is guaranteed by God and the constitution.”

 

Nope…you’re wrong.

 

“Exceptionalism is the perception that a country, society, institution, movement, or time period is “exceptional” (i.e., unusual or extraordinary) in some way and thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles.” Wikipedia

 

Exceptionalism in Government, Politics & Diplomacy is an attitude to other countries, cultures, etc based on the idea of being quite distinct from, and often superior to, them in vital ways.” The Free Dictionary

 

“The American flag is a idol for pagan worshipers.”

 

Wrong again. If this were so then America is full of pagan worshipers every time we recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

The first thing I need to clear up is that we are not founded on Christianity.

 

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.

 

The Constitution and subsequent Supreme Court rulings uphold the separation of church and state and prohibits any government entity – which includes our military – from supporting or advancing any religion.

 

AFI (Air Force Instruction) 1-1 Section 2.12 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 Lemon Test under the Establishment Clause. Plus it violates AFI 1-1 and Parker v. Levy.

 

Read these articles 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

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-b-wilkerson/religion-in-iraq-syria-af_b_8711724.html

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/12/10/ex-chaplain-criticizes-tebow-prayer-at-air-force-football-home.html

 

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.

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/about/our-mission/

 

Check out the honorable and distinguished military personnel and people from all walks of life that support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/about/foundation-voices/

 

For any religious leader to state that we are trying to take prayer from civilians is ludicrous. If that were the case, there would be a mass exodus from the MRFF.

 

We are neither 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 43,300 soldier clients (1 can represent many) are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, etc. We fight for the rights of these Christians more than any other religion but it never makes 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.

 

I hope I cleared up any misconceptions about our stance concerning religious neutrality in the military – based on our laws.

 

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


 

I didn't mean to start such a fire storm, just wanted to get my point of
view in. I wish everyone of you the best and truth be your guide.
 
In Christ Jesus,
(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no
authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist
have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the
authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so
will bring judgment on themselves." Romans 13:1-2
 
Go back and read the laws that were broken by the Christian football players
and the military that condoned it. 
 
"You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own
facts." Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
 
You are entitled to your own opinion while we have the facts to back up our
stance.
 
In Christ Jesus,
 
Pastor Joan


Don't give up do you, they broke no law: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

Did you know that schools were started to teach children to read the Bible and no other reason? Did you know that church was held in congress? Did you know that congress passed out Bibles?

Matt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matt 22:21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Matt 23:3 “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, [that] observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

In your case, you love Caesar.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray tothy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
 
Matthew 6: 19-24 has to do with greed “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
 
Matthew 22:21 has to do with taxes
“Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, yehypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. Matthew 22:17-2
 
Matthew 23:3-8 has to do with self-righteousness“All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, evenChrist; and all ye are brethren.
Joan Slish

I agree with you completely that we should go into our closets to pray and that we should wash our face and not appear as fasting – you apparently know the scriptures. My point to this whole thing was that, and as you have partially said, we are to obey God first, then the law of man. You will not find that coach or any person in the military were praying to make a hypocritical statement, they pray in earnest to God for His love and protection and to stop them is – I will let Jesus finish this when the time comes to separate the sheep from the goats.I can’t help it:
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.Pretty strong statement when you think about the laws of men. God gave us ten laws to live by, we don’t need any more.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
I have spent a lot of precious time away from preparing for a family Christmas party here tonight and I am done. You go live your life the way God wants you to and I will live mine the way He wants me to.
Joan Slish

Dear (name withheld),
It’s a bit hard to follow you, but I’ll try.

On second thought, it’s too hard. And it’s not helped by your grammar, which goes some distance in proving Bonnie’s point. “… is a idol…” “God and prayer is…” Please give some thought to going back to school.

If you actually believe “God and prayer is (sic) the only good in this world,” what are mom and apple pie?

Or, if “God and prayer is (sic) the only good in this world,” what does that make you?

Sorry.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Is that all you have is insults, grow up child.
(name withheld)

Again, can’t follow you.

Sorry.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

What kind, British? You sure don’t know American. May you are an illegal and speak broken languages.

(name withheld)


 

I’m sure you didn’t. I’m used to English.

Mike Farrell


 

You started this round by intruding on Mikey with your ungrammatical nonsense and have chosen to continue with the same juvenalia, it clearly being the dunce-cap level at which you are capable of operating.

You are clearly both a fool and a creep, so I won’t bother with you any more.

Mike Farrell

 

 



 

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