“Thank You For Fighting For Us” (Re: Akron VA bible display)

Mikey,

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to you and the entire staff of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

I am a patient at a local Akron, Ohio VA medical facility, and they had a missing man table display which prominently displayed a Christian New Testament bible. This had deeply disturbed me, as I strongly felt that the religious demographic of the MIA/POW’s was not exclusively Christian; and that by having the bible representative of faith for all in fact divided and segregated all.

Within 15 minutes of contacting your Foundation, my phone was ringing with your call. 

You displayed great compassion and understanding to my beliefs. 

You did not come across as an Anti-Christian attack dog like so many wrongly make you out to be; you were genuinely interested in bringing equality to all Soldiers, all veterans, of ALL faiths, or even none. 

Realistically the only way to do that is to remain truly neutral, and not show preference towards one religion, or give the appearance of preference of one religion over another.

I did my homework prior- I knew you advocated for Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and many other faiths in the past. Your attitude, logic and passion for equality displayed in our phone call gave me 100% confidence that I had the right advocate.

Within 24 hours, your foundation had contacted the VA. Once again, rather than be a brutish bully many would like to portray you to be, you worked with he VA administration to come to a beneficial understanding that gave equality to the veterans serviced by the outpatient clinic.

Within 72 hours, the bible was removed, and the table was set as it should be. 

Many Christians felt they were persecuted or attacked, and started to cite the National Alliance of MIA/POW Families Website as the authoritative directive on how the table is set, which includes a bible. We know, and the VA administration agreed that the NAOMPF is a private organization. ANYONE can register an organization as non-profit, then create a website and post an “authoritative” list. Unless its a .gov website, it isn’t authoritative.

Next came Chaplain Ron Crews, a fierce Christian agenda propagandist. To understand Chaplains, you must know that they are ordained in their sectarian religion, and their first priority is the conversion of Soldiers. As an afterthought, they attempt to “counsel” all Soldiers. They are also governed by AR 165-1 which forbids many of the opinions Chaplain Crews spouts, yet he is the go to guy for Christian media citation. His credibility is shot.

Every media outlet with a Christian agenda, and some politicians, took your media piece, twisted it, added their own NON-credible sources, and pushed it out as if next you were going to go into their homes, steal their bibles, and physically restrain them from going to their private place of worship.

None of the Christian media outlets dared show your whole article, or have a hyperlink to it, as that would reveal their twists, misquotes, ommitances and they would fall from their false moral high ground.

Lastly, as the Christian attack pieces flooded the media, and thousands of comments were posted online spewing the hate calling us honorable war wounded veterans cowards, and death threats started to be posted, you continuously called on a daily basis to check up on me and see how I was handling things.

I have a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with “V” Device. That means I intentionally and continuously put myself in harms way. I was prepared to take a bullet for my fellow Soldier. ANY fellow Soldier on the battlefield. My sacrifice was for ALL Soldiers, of ALL faiths and beliefs.

I truly believe what you do, fighting religious oppression in its many forms, and getting into the hate, the bitterness, and the threats to bodily harm and life is its own battlefield; and I believe that you are prepared to “take that bullet” for ALL Soldiers of ALL faiths.

After 15 years and 5 deployments, my war is done. I hope that one day we’ll find that equality and yours will be too.

A Republic, if you can keep it – Benjamin Franklin.

(Name, rank, and phone number withheld)

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. Jack Couch

    Sir,
    Let me start by stating that I am not one to start with a phoney “I thank you for your service” as I notice most who say that JUST talk the talk. From the wording and tone of your e-mail thanks to Mr, Weinstein it is obvious that you, besides being a physical warrior for our country are also a social warrior for the inclusion of all. In comparison to so many you have more than gone the extra mile in protecting our country from enemies BOTH foreign AND domestic. I honestly and with a full heart thank you for ALL you have done and are doing. May the wind be always at your back and blessings scattered on the path before you! You deserve it.

Leave a Reply

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

*