Really???

I am not a religious person. I don’t go to church. I don’t pray. But I just have to ask. Do you people really have nothing better to do than complain about a few football players who, ON THEIR OWN, kneel down and say a prayer? Get a life!!

(name withheld)


 

Hi (name withheld),

Your religious or non-religious view and practice is your own business, of course. And it’s the same for everyone else. However, in the military, since it is part of the government, neither your view nor anyone else’s can be promoted or shown preference in any way. That’s the law and it is also part of military regulations.

Just to bring you up to date, though, your statement that the USAFA team members decided ON THEIR OWN to kneel and pray is not correct. Those who have contacted us feel pressured to take part in this ostentatious religious demonstration because, and if you have experience in the military you’ll understand this, to fail to do so can cause one to be shunned, to lose privileges and/or to suffer other consequences.

In answer to your question, we feel the protection of the constitution and the separation of church and state is an important concern that is well worth our time and energy.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Don’t want to get into a back and forth with you. I just find it interesting that people out there (such as yourself) can spend so much time and energy worrying about something that, at the end of the day, really doesn’t matter that much. Also… I WAS in the military. I spent 13 months in Vietnam back in 1970, dealing with some pretty shitty circumstances. Many, MANY of the guys prayed. Didn’t matter if they were catholic, protestant, jewish or whatever….. They prayed. And, guess what?? Nobody got insulted, angry, resentful or upset…. The separation of church and state does exist, but it certainly does not prohibit anyone from expressing their faith, regardless of how you, or I, feel about it. To sum up, here’s a quote from the first amendment…and please take note of the last 5 words….  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

(name withheld)


 

Oh, (name withheld)…

You don’t want to get into a back and forth and that’s fine with me. But if you don’t understand the difference between what servicewomen and men do privately, whether in combat conditions or not, and the public actions or statements of a unit or individual representing the U.S. military, there’s not a lot I can offer that might help you.

You’re welcome to “find it interesting,” or any other attempt at superiority you’d care to adopt as a way of snidely criticizing the work of the MRFF because, to return the phrase, it really doesn’t matter that much to us. Who it does matter to are the thousands of members of the armed forces who have come to us out of concern that a superior, a unit commander or some other person in authority is abusing that authority by attempting to force a particular religious view on those in his or her command.

So you’re welcome to your opinion and if’s fine if you want to generalize from your personal experience and feel justified in doing so. We’re all very familiar with the words of the First Amendment, thanks, and are even more familiar with the full intention thereof. We also know about the military regulations based on the accepted understanding of the separation of church and state, regulations that restrict the right of free expression of those in positions of authority in the military when dealing with issues of religion.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Director

 

 

 

 

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