Why removed the bible verses ?

Why removed the bible verses ?
If you call the organisation MRF with the freedom in the phrase, then why removed the bible verses?????
Stopped being a hypocrite …..Stop bullshitting by calling yourselves MRF…remove the Freedom from your organisation.

(name withheld)


Hi (name withheld),

Which Bible verses are you making reference to? I ask because I need some clarity. You see, we get complaints from many

fanatics and idiots who have their own agenda. I assume you’re not one of them, but it will help me to know just what it is

you’re concerned about.

If, for example, its the removal of the Bible, not Bible verses, from an official poster in a V.A. clinic, that was done at the request

of some of the vets who felt it was not appropriate and against military regulations for the organization to be promoting one

religion over others when people who go through there are of many faiths.

If it’s something else that concerns you, please let us know.

We are dedicated to promoting freedom of religion, but you see, that means all religions, not just one, freedom to believe in
all faiths or no faith, and all belief systems. That’s the American way.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear (name withheld),


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 43,500+ soldier clients are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc. We fight for the rights of these Christians more than any other religion but it never makes the news.

It is not our view that the Bible has no place on a POW/MIA table but the Constitution and subsequent Supreme Court rulings that we must obey.

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


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 Bible on the table does not represent all of the 83,000+ POW/MIA’s. Within the missing are soldiers of other beliefs or of no belief system and to deny this is ludicrous, especially since my uncle was an atheist and is MIA.


In other words, if you want a Bible on the POW/MIA table you have to include the Tanakh, Koran, representations of other religions and atheism in order to be in compliance with the Constitution, Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy. It’s either all religions or none but because some Christians don’t want to share the table, the Bible had to be removed.


The blame is placed squarely at their feet…not ours.


“I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect above another.”

Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Elbridge Gerry January 26, 1799


Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


Dear (name withheld) –


I am writing in response to your February 29, 2016 email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).  As an initial matter, we do not call our organization “MRF.”  The acronym is “MRFF.”  If you insist on challenging our actions, please have the courtesy to at least know the name of our organization.


You ask why we “removed the bible verses.”  It is unclear what you are accusing us of doing, since we have not removed verses from any text.  I assume that you are truly asking why we acted to remove the Bible from a recent POW/MIA display at an Ohio VA clinic.  We took action after receiving multiple complaints about the display from veterans who receive care from that clinic.  Incidentally, the majority of complaints came from veterans who identify as Christians.


Including the Bible in a display intended to honor veterans constitutes the wrongful endorsement of Christianity over other religions, or no religion.  This endorsement violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment because it creates the impression that the military sanctions Christianity as superior to other religious beliefs.  Including the Bible is neither necessary for Christian service members to practice their chosen faith, nor to properly honor all veterans.


Our use of “freedom” in the title of our organization is not hypocritical, as we fight to ensure the religious freedom of all soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, cadets, and veterans.  It may surprise you to learn that over 96% of our more than, 45,000 clients are Christians who suffer religious discrimination or persecution.  However, we also protect the religious freedom of service members practicing other religious faiths, or no faith at all.  You seem to only care about the freedom to practice Christianity, but the Constitution does not protect the practice of only one belief.




Tobanna Barker

MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator






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1 Comment

  1. Ed Ball

    One nation founded under Christian principals, does not historically appear to warrant a separation of church and state based upon tradition and symbolism. Why else would our elected officials warrant Chaplains, or the Supreme Court a sculpture of Moses and the 10 Commandments, etc..

    We Christians all understand the rulings of man and their interpretation, but I guess the Pharisees and Sadducees had similar problems with discernment/interpretation in implementing laws in their own societies.

    As a believer, will continue to support symbols of faith, and as a 20 1/2 year veteran of the U.S. Navy will ensure there is a Bible on every table for our POW/MIA that I encounter, those that don’t like it, can ignore its presence, it’s that simple.

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