You Attempted to Stop the AF Cadets from Praying After a Game

As founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation I was surprised that you attempted to stop the Air Force Cadets from praying after a game. As a Christian, I attempt to show love and tolerance to all.  So if people are praying to the God they worship, Jehovah God, they should not be condemned for their actions.  Whether in the military or not, we all have the freedom to pray to the god that we worship.  If a believer in Islam wanted to pray to Allah, or someone to Confucius or even Nature as a god of it’s own, that is their choice.  I may not share their views, but that is their right.

Jesus came as a Jew, manifested as God in the flesh, and His 2 greatest commandments were to love God with your whole heart and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.  And in the Messiah’s teaching, your neighbor is ‘anyone’ you encounter.  As Christians, we are commanded to witness to non-believers, but we are not to be derogatory, criticizing or hateful in our speech.  We pray to the Holy Spirit to open their hearts to the Words of Christ and the bible. You should not believe that a small minority of Christians who do use hate speech speak for all Christians.

As I said, Jesus was a Jew, and therefore our christian heritage comes from the Jewish people.  We cannot turn away from our “family history”.  We support Israel and the Jewish people.

I pray that you have a blessed holiday season.  Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas

(name withheld)


 

Hi (name withheld)u,

Thanks for your message. While I appreciate the open-hearted manner in which you’ve contacted us with your concerns, and especially appreciate your expressed openness to other beliefs, I suspect you don’t fully understand the concern expressed by the MRFF here. Let me explain.

The MRFF has no problem with having cadets pray. Whether football players or other athletes or not, we support their right to their beliefs. However, since they are by dint of their membership in the Academy members of the U.S. military, there are restrictions, both legal and regulatory, on the way in which religious expression can take place. It’s a matter of time, place and manner.

You see, since the military is part of the U.S. Government, it has to adhere to the separation of church and state. No part of the government can be seen to be promoting, adhering to or proselytizing for one religious belief over another. So, in this instance, if the members of the team wanted to pray before or after a game they can certainly do so privately, perhaps together if they so choose, in the locker room. But to make a public display of their faith as a unit abrogates the separation of church and state.

So this objection has nothing to do with the faith expressed being Christian. We’d have the same objection to a public expression associated with any faith or non-faith.

I hope that helps you better understand our position in this matter. Thank you for your concern.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Dear Mr Farrell,
Thanks for your reply.  The only issue that I have is that the Second Amendment does not specifically say that there is a separation of church and state.  What it does say is that the state cannot mandate one religion over another.  Our Supreme Court justices start their sessions with prayer as well as the Congress of the United States.  Our First Amendment does guarantee us the freedom of speech.  When someone prays in public, even if they are in the military or working in the government, they still have the right to free speech, and the exercise of their religious views.  They do not give up that right because they are in the military or part of the government.  And as you suggested, to abrogate them to the locker room is not “free speech”  it is cloaked in secrecy.  Thank you for your opinion, I just don’t share it.

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

 

 

Thanks for your response. While you’re quite correct that many in positions of authority rather casually violate the separation of church and state with prayer and asking or offering God’s blessing, it does not make it right. Nor is it comparable to the formal display demonstrated by the USAFA football team, which is prohibited by both the law and military regulations.

Further, the demonstration in question is opposed by cadets and members of the team because it is their sense that it is imposed not only improperly but with an intention that is at the heart of the MRFF’s concern: intentional proselytizing.

For a fuller understanding of this point, I hope you’ll consider the implications of what is exposed in the attached article.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Yeshua Warrior

    Please tell me where in the Constitution it says that religion must have a “time, place and manner where it can be expressed. You know why no one can tell me that is because those words do not exist in the Constitution anywhere!

    There are also no legal restrictions placed on how or when we can express our religion in this country, no matter whether someone is Christian, Jewish or Muslim, Buddahist, etc etc.

    To bad Mike that you would have an objection to the expression of any faith or non, get over and get used to it, because, frankly Scarlet, we don’t give a darn what you think!

    As far as the separation of church and state is concerned, to hell with it, for that is where Christ will send it, when He returns and sets up his earthly rule and reign on His throne in Jerusalem from where He will judge and rule all the nations of the earth with a rod of iron and justice!

    Maranatha!!

  2. Connie

    I look forward to the day when theocrats like YW are finally silenced, when they understand to the last cell of their being the USA is a secular nation and not subject to the seriously outdated rules in their holy book. I say I look forward as that day is not today. No, theocrats are hidden throughout the government and need to be pulled out by the roots – a lot like a weed.

    No one is saying a person may not pray whenever they feel the need to bend a knee or bow a head. Nope, that’s not it at all. All I want (and I speak for the thousands who don’t want to open themselves up to the crap folks like YW throw with abandon) is for anyone who represents my government to keep their faith to themselves. I have no idea why this concept is so hard to understand. Really, I don’t…

    If religion is so spiffy why aren’t there any successful nations based on it? All the nations I’ve reviewed that have a thriving population are secular in nature, not religious.

    No YW, I will not provide examples as history is loaded with them. Try reading all of history, not just the stuff rewritten to ensure your worldview is not challenged. It’s a funny thing – most historians like to re-write political history to favor themselves but forget music, theater, art, and cooking which explain many things the historians forgot.

  3. Yeshua Warrior

    Dear Connie, Christians like me will never be silenced, so get used to that. Even if we were to be thrown in prison, we like the Apostle Paul will be sharing the gospel of Christ with those who have imprisoned us and those who are in our cell. The only way we will be silenced is for the govt to kill us, bet you would like to see that huh? Even if that were to happen, as the saying goes, “the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.”

    There is no way to pull like a weed, theocrats out of government unless they are voted out. I look forward to the day and pray that Ted Cruz will be elected president, then we will have a bonified born again Christian who will be in the White House. Who will make sure no Muslim refugees come to our shores undocumented or vetted, will restore our relationship to our best ally Israel and give them all they need to defeat radical Islam in their own country, that will see to it that we build a wall on our southern border to keep illegal aliens from crossing out borders.

    You forgot one country that was religious, the ancient biblical nation of Israel, they thrived because they worshiped God and made Him every part of their daily lives. That same nation of Israel will be restored when Christ returns and sets up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem. Christ will rule all the nations from Jerusalem and every knee must bow then and call Him Lord!

    Shalom!

  4. Connie

    Projection is strong in YW.

    By their words (and actions) shall you know them. I know the best way to take away a theocrats fun – call them out on direct lies and misinformation but otherwise ignore their ranting as the tantrums of a child.

    I always read this site and yeah, I’ve ignored you YW.

    Happy New Year.

  5. Yeshua Warrior

    Okay, Connie what lies and misinformation have I said in the posting above yours? It is the truth, Christians will never be silenced unless you kill us all, but we are ready for that, for Jesus said in the last days that some will throw you into prison on My behalf, that we will be brought before courts and some of us would be beheaded for the cause of Christ.

    Are you willing to give up your life for Oden, that mythical Viking warrior???

    Shalom and Happy New Year!

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