hmmmm….. (with MRFF responses)

I just don’t understand why the leader of an organization should be so annoyed with Christians I read some more about you folks and I think you  can be a force for good but why is there what sounds almost like a vendetta?  I could almost get behind your cause but I walk away feeling insulted after reading your material and I mean I read it thoroughly.  I’m trying to understand but I don’t quite get it……..

(name withheld)

 I can’t believe I still hear about this guy Mike.  No wonder there’s so much antisemitism around my hometown….I  like Jewish people but now I’m starting to hear a lot about outspoken altruistic Jews and it’s turning me off.  I always sided with Israel over matters in the middle east but I’m not so sure anymore. Thinking about why Jews were so despised in Germany and the middle east, could it be their attitudes?  Maybe Jews suffer from an inferiority complex, the women don’t win many beauty contests and the men aren’t so athletic so they overcompensate by pushing academics to try to make themselves look smarter than other groups and they develop loud personas.  Hence Jewish lawyers, radio personalities, comedians, doctors.  All people who have to be in charge as a compensatory mechanism.  Sorry to be so straightforward and succinct but you folks seem to be a pretty brutal organization so I thought I would give you my  honest opinion garnered from 50 years of living, going to school and working in a community with a large Jewish population.   It’s easy to see Mike has a chip on his shoulder because his son got beat up while in school.  It’s not so easy to see why anyone would support him when his whole cause de celebre is so transparent.  By the way I have Jewish blood in me and I sometimes see it as both a blessing and a curse.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey allowed me to see the messages you’ve sent and I feel the need to respond.

Let me begin by clarifying what you “just don’t understand.” Neither Mikey nor anyone associated with the MRFF is “annoyed with Christians,” as you suggest. Most of those connected with the organization and its important work are themselves Christians, some of them clergy. What we do is protect the freedom of religious or non-religious choice of the women and men in the military by reminding people that ours is not a religious state, but in fact is one in which the freedom of religion is guaranteed by the strict separation of church and state. No one associated with the government and in a position of authority, therefore, may promote, proselytize or suggest a preference for one belief system over another.

I think that should be easy to understand. And it applies to all belief systems.

Because, however, Christianity is the dominant religious belief in this country many people think of it as a Christian nation. It is not. It is a secular nation open to all forms of belief – and that includes non-belief.

 

There are, however, some very zealous members of a certain Christian belief, think of it as a sect, who feel the U.S. is and must be a Christian nation and are intent on making it so. They believe theirs is the only true faith and all others, including that of Christians who do not share their specific view, are heretics, apostates, or are otherwise non-believers who are damned to hell. It is they who, when attempting to insist their view on those in our military, the MRFF opposes. We do the same with anyone, no matter what her or his belief or non-belief may be, who tries to impose it on others.

Because many of these zealots are quite vicious in their condemnation of those who do not conform, the MRFF is often called upon to come to the defense of those under assault. The confrontation that results can often become quite heated or emotional and, unfortunately, many Christians who are not actually aware of the reality of the contest tend to think, as you apparently do, that the MRFF is opposing Christians or Christianity in general when dealing with the depredations of this sub-group. We are not, as I hope you now understand.

Let me now, having dealt with your misunderstanding of our work, respond to your essay on Jewish people. As you might imagine, some of those who fear or are offended by the efforts of the MRFF tend to respond angrily. Some of them lash out in the most obscene manner and accuse Mikey and the rest of us of being atheists, communists, anti-American thugs or any other noxious label they can think of. And they justify all their venom as being in defense of Christianity and insist it’s based on their love of and devotion to Jesus. It’s pretty warped stuff, as you might imagine.

Since Mikey’s last name is Weinstein, much of the slander heaped on him in particular includes the classic form of antisemitism that has been the weapon of bigots down through the ages. A lot of it is the typically sloppy and snarling ugliness one expects from ignorant, frightened boors. But some of it comes from people who pretend to a certain decency and intelligence. It usually begins, as yours does, with “I like Jewish people but…” And then it goes on in an attempt to justify the dehumanization of human beings with a kind of pathetic process that wants to pass as reasoning. It wonders why there is so much antisemitism around and then speculates about possible rationalizations for its existence. It points to people who have achieved a degree of prominence or notoriety in the world and happen to be Jewish, and then determines to analyze their motives only to decide preening self-interest and self-satisfaction or self-promotion are really at work. In another context, it’s very much like the condemnation of “uppity” blacks. The attempt at pop-psych explanations inevitably leads to generalizations about physical features and abilities, a tactic reminiscent of Goering or Josef Mengele, but of course no one would dare to suggest it’s the product of ‘super race’ thinking. Heaven forbid! It’s just the discovery of the need for a compensatory mechanism that explains an inferior race’s push to appear smarter, more capable and more acceptable than they inherently are.
And understand, these types finally offer, there’s no bigotry here, no bias, no prejudice, sometimes they’ll even offer that some of their best friends are Jews. But if they really want to make dirty hands look clean they’ll admit they’re actually partly Jewish. And they insist it’s really only about honest conjecture, a little intellectual exercise. You know, straightforward, out in the open, about an inferior race that yearns to be better than others but actually isn’t really as good as mine.

 

As I said, these types try to separate themselves from the ignorant, frightened boors by attempting to disguise their bigotry with false logic, but it’s really lipstick on a pig.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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