Prayer before a game

I’ve had enough reading about political correctness and it appears your another start up organization trying to take away our right to pray as a christian. Back in the day when families went to church each week there was less violence and more family values, kindness to all man kind. Your nothing more than another Hate operation out to destroy our freedom of religion in and outside of our homes and community. Are you another Muslim operation trying to infiltrate our homes and families?
Go Away! I don’t need  anyone to speak for me and my beliefs because I can do it myself.

(name withheld)


Dear (name withheld),
We are not “another start up organization trying to take away our right to pray as a christian” but defenders of the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and military regulations.
We’ve been at this a long time and our 10th Anniversary is tomorrow.
We are apolitical. But if you consider us PC by defending our laws, then we are guilty.
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.
Pertinent facts have been omitted – which the media is fully aware of – to keep their followers ignorant and foster anger.
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:
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.
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.
I hope I cleared up any misconceptions about our stance concerning religious neutrality in the military – based on our laws.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear (name withheld),
You are not going to get the last word… You seem like an angry ignorant Islamophobic person?!…what a terrible waste and shame… Now go your own way and try to consider the value of our Constitution and also the similar unique value of ALL people irrespective of their religious faith ethnicity culture or anything else like that…this actually IS Mikey  responding to you, by the way… For the last time…
Mikey Weinstein

Here’s a novel idea…if you don’t want to participate in  prayer….walk away.

I’m not impressed with the Curriculum Vitea of your staff. Just more over educated folks bored with life and trying to press their ideals where common sense should simple handle the situation. Why don’t you try taking your contributions and sending it to our injured vets without legs and arms or those poor souls that have PTSD….or put some food on the table of children that only get a meal at schools. Too much time and money is spent by the likes of organizations such as yourselves that is worthless. Your “Mikey” was pretty quick to send me his snotty reply to my original email. Goes to show what he’s about. How fat is his paycheck?

In God I Trust and please don’t reply.

(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld),

You’re obviously pretty determined to stick to your opinion whether it’s correct or not, so there’s not a lot of hope I can pierce the shield you have erected. But I’d like to try.

You now understand we’re not a “start up organization,” even though you’re not interested in the organization’s CV.

Our mission is not about “political correctness,” it’s about the U.S. Constitution and the protection of the right of people in the military to believe as they choose.

How things were “back in the day,” whether they were as you perceive them now or not, isn’t particularly relevant when dealing with the realities of today. I know change can be frightening, but people of good will can find ways to work things out.

We’re really not a “Hate operation out to destroy” your freedom of religion. We’re trying to protect it.

And no, we’re also not “another Muslim operation,” though we do respect the right of Muslims to their faith, just as we respect the rights of people of all faiths and belief systems to choose what works for them.

So please understand, we’re not trying to speak for you or your beliefs. Unless you’re in the military we have no concern about your beliefs, though we support your right to have them.

I don’t know where you got the idea that we don’t want to “participate in prayer.” As Mikey said above, about 98% of our members and supporters are practicing Christians, some of them clergy, many of whom have been discriminated against, mostly by other Christians.

Anyway, I just wanted to try to make some sense to you so you’d better understand that we’re not trying to harm you or anyone else. We’re simply trying to preserve the freedom of choice of the women and men in the military.

I’m afraid, though, if you insist on believing some people you think of as “over educated” are trying to take something away from you; if you claim to believe in “common sense” but won’t listen to reason; if you actually believe people of the Islamic faith are trying to infiltrate our homes and families; there probably isn’t a lot I can say that will ease your fears and calm your anger.

That’s sad. In reading your words I get the impression that you’re pretty unhappy. I hope you find a way to find the light.


Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


“Mikey”…are you bored today with all your 43,000 followers?

Yes I am angry because people should be able to use their CONSTITUTIONAL right to pray where ever and when ever they please be it jew, christian, Catholic, budist…be it a group of athletes before or after a game. ITS THEIR CONSITUTIONAL RIGHT…and if you don’t want to pray…DONT TRY TO STOP THOSE THAT DO!

You think your some hot shot ex jag attorney…big deal. I worked with numerous law firms in my career so I’m educated with your goals and billing practices…. disgusting.

Keep sending your testy replies so I can keep forwarding to my circle of friends and families. They are appalled as well.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
Wow! I just sent you off a long attempt to make sense to you and here you are again, hollering about things you don’t fully understand.

It’s a shame.

Of course people have a right to pray. But when in the military there are limits that have to be placed on religious expression because we are a secular nation that does not promote one faith over another and we can’t, according to the law and military regulations, make it appear that we are doing so.

It’s really not about taking away anyone’s right to pray or believe. It’s just that in the military it’s a matter of the time, place and manner in which it’s done.

Sorry you don’t, or won’t, understand.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)




Share this page:

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

1 Comment

  1. watchtower

    Not sure where their information comes from, but back when they believe families that went to church each week there was less violence and more family values, kindness to all man YOU are very wrong.

    Back then, there was no internet, cellphones or cable TV for the true flow of information; everything was just as bad, or worse and not many knew about it.

    Small town USA was very much in the dark and big city folk dealt with all kinds of turmoil and despair. Don’t hide in “the good ol’e days” propaganda; that only existed in the news stories and those days sucked too, trust me, I was there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *