Air Force Academy – (name withheld)

Mikey,

 

Please drop your actions and ranting against your alma mater the Air force Academy. I can assure you that if you move ahead with any kind of action against the freedom of religion there, the courtroom will be full of first amendment supporters (the steps and street too). So please drop you actions and ranting. I’m really tired of hearing of them. Thank you, I’d appreciate that.

 (name withheld)


 

Good Afternoon, (name withheld) –

Thanks for your email to the MRFF. Every email is read, and the thoughts of every correspondent are considered; such is the case with your own note. I’d like to take an opportunity to respond to you, as I have a vested interest of my own in both the Air Force Academy and the US Constitution. In addition to being a staunch MRFF supporter, I am also a lifelong, committed, and active Christian; a USAF Academy graduate (’85); and a veteran USAF officer.
You don’t mention the nature of your connection to USAFA. But if you are anything like me then USAFA holds an important place in your heart. I’d wager that all of my fellow graduates feel the same way, and that includes Mikey Weinstein. So I can say without equivocation that neither Mikey, nor I, nor anyone else affiliated with MRFF, has any desire to tear down our alma mater.
Because so many of us are either former or current military members, we also share a strong desire to see the US Constitution supported and defended at all times and in all places.  And the sad fact is, there have been some very real, and very troubling, incidents at USAFA which suggest perhaps a lack of appreciation for the correct application of both the Establishment Clause and the individual religious freedom rights of cadets and permanent party.
As long as we believe, in good conscience, that such inappropriate actions have occurred at USAFA, then we will speak out. We will not, nor have we ever, spoken out against the specific beliefs of any individual; but we will speak loudly and unapologetically against actions that represent an inappropriate time, place, or manner for sharing or promoting any particular religious belief.  If you consider that to be “ranting” then so be it — our commitment to challenging what we believe to be un-Constitutional actions is unwavering.
You are absolutely right about one thing, though — at whatever point the MRFF might find itself in court (with USAFA or any other party), there definitely will be First Amendment supporters present… and those ‘true believers’ will include EVERYONE on the MRFF side of the issue.
Thanks again for writing.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

>Dear (name withheld),
> I would like to reply to your recent e-mail to the MRFF.
>
> I am a graduate of the Air Force Academy and classmate of Mikey Weinstein.
>
> Like Mikey, I am distressed by the state of affairs in the US military, and in particular the Air Force and Air Force Academy, with regards to the unwelcome proselytization of superiors to their subordinates.
>
> I cannot tell from your e-mail if you ever served in the military, so I will provide a little background that may help you understand what the MRFF is all about.  I am approaching this from the viewpoint that you are uninformed as opposed to misinformed and will therefore respond to logic and reason.
>
> First, a service academy is not like any other college or university.  It is an arm of the government and all staff members are employees of the government.  All cadets have taken an oath of office to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.
>
> Members of the military are not protected by all the First Amendment freedoms – a fact well established in constitutional law and backed by U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
>
> There is a simple reason for this – members of the military will be asked, in the performance of their duties, to put their lives at risk to defend the country and the Constitution.  It is imperative that members of the military act as a team to perform their duties.  Devisiveness is not tolerated as it puts mission success at risk.  Common sources of devisiveness are race, religion and gender preference.  Differences in beliefs must be tolerated and accepted.
>
> That’s why there are protections in U.S. military regulations that restrict the airing of personal beliefs in “public”, which is defined as most anywhere except in one’s home or place of worship.  And due to the hierarchical structure of the military, superiors are expressing forbidden to force their views on their subordinates.
>
> There can be no doubt, that the MRFF is totally in the right in trying to protect U.S. servicemen from unwanted proselytization and displays.  The Constitution and U.S. law totally back the MRFF up in their actions.
>
> Second, given the profound correctness of the MRFF mission, why do you want to silence their protests?  Given the trending of U.S. politics, I find many parallels with the persecution of Jews over the centuries and current xenophobia and cries (mainly by the Christian right) of their rights being trampled upon.  I imagine if you were living in Munich, Germany in the early 1940s, you would have been uncomfortable with the rumors about the ovens at Dachau.  Much easier to squelch things that make you uncomfortable even if that is the absolute wrong thing to do!  Another parallel is to have been a citizen of the “North” U.S. in the 1800s and getting tired of hearing all those people protest about slavery.  And were you tired of people protesting for their civil rights in the 1960s?
>
> Too bad that you are tired of hearing about injustice.  Why don’t you do something about it?  Get involved on the side of right.  Write letters to your government leaders, your newspapers in support of the MRFF and against all the abusers of their position in forcing their religious beliefs on their fellow servicemen.  At the very least, why don’t you contribute to the MRFF (taxable deduction)?
>
> Quite frankly, I am appalled at what is allowed to go on in the U.S. military and I’m doing something about it.
(name withheld)

 

 

 

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