Micheals remarks about football prayer

You should resign as you are a coward.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),

A coward probably would resign.  Please hold your breath while you wait for that to happen.


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

Dear (name withheld),
Mikey has no intention of resigning from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that he started over 10 years ago to help our soldiers who are the subject of in-your-face religious proselytizing by an extreme sect of Christianity known as the Fundamental Evangelical Dominionists. It is this sect that has hijacked our military over the past 3 decades.
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 43,021 soldier clients 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. 
. US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”
How would you like it if you were a part of one of the religions above and told this? The chain of command told you that you were going to hell and burn in the lake of fire for eternity if you didn’t convert to the Fundamental Evangelical Dominionist sect? That your performance ratings, advancements, and very career were in jeopardy if you didn’t join their “Team Jesus?”
This is what many of our soldiers deal with on a daily basis and the ONLY one they can turn to for help is Mikey and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
You have been duped by an article that has deliberately left our crucial information and horribly paraphrased the one law it did mention.
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.
Here’s the real Parker v. Levy law that was horribly paraphrased:
 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
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.
If anything, it takes bravery to fight against the strongest military in the world.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear (name withheld),
I am writing in response to your December 7, 2015 email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).  Unfortunately, you didn’t give me much to respond to.  You seem to call Mikey Weinstein a coward, but you don’t include any facts or arguments supporting your assertion that he should resign.
I assure you that fighting for the Constitutional rights of all soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, cadets, and veterans is far from cowardly.  Mikey and his family face daily threats of physical harm and even death as a result of their commitment to protecting the religious freedom of all service members.
While I appreciate the brevity of your email, I sincerely hope that you aren’t on the debate team.  You have demonstrated absolutely no talent for making any sort of point.
Blessed be,
Tobanna Barker
MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator

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1 Comment

  1. Connie

    Said the person hiding behind a keyboard.

    I am Connie but you can call me Capt Obvious. 🙂

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