Bible Removal

Mr. Weinstein,

It was disingenuous to say that the request to remove the bible from the display was not an attack on Christianity so was the claim that it was an effort to ensure the separation of church and state. Really? It is no secret that there is a movement against Christianity by non believers. The bible speaks for itself and not for the United States Airforce. It’s a stretch to say that the bible was causing a unification of church and state. Christians could turn around and call what your organization is doing a violation of the first amendment. I’m sure there were crowds of non Christians that showed up at your office protesting the bible right?

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

You have been deceived by the media by omission, distortion, lies and fear.

 

Christianity seems to be under attack because it is the ONLY religion that feels they are above our laws when Jesus tells us to obey our authorities:

 

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” Romans 13:1-2

 

They have been told repeatedly the truth about Mikey and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the laws that must be obeyed, but they choose to ignore them.

 

They don’t tell you that all Christians are not created equal. The Christian writers of all the articles out there know the truth and facts but are being deceptive in order to rile up mainline Christians to help the Dominionists ones to make our soldiers “warriors for Christ” and every war a “crusade.”

 

The military is sowing discord toward the mainline Christians (see below) because they refuse to be Dominionists.

 

US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”

 

This is the thinking of the military of today throughout the chain of command all the way to the Pentagon. They believe that the only “true” Christian is one that is “born-again” and has a “spiritual birthday.” All mainline Christians and those Christians born before 1952–when Bill Bright made up the 4 Spiritual Laws–are destined to hell.

 

This thinking is destroying our military from the inside and it is being perpetrated from the Pentagon down to the lowest soldier in a leadership position. It has taken “morale, good order, discipline and unit cohesion” and shredded it beyond recognition, all in the name of Jesus.

 

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 45,200+ 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.

 

Here’s a history lesson that they will never tell you:

 

“…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 Bible on the table violates the “separation of church and state” in the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

 

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

 

The Bible on the table violates the Lemon Test.

 

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 Torah, 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, they removed the Bible.

 

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

 

Check out the honorable and distinguished military personnel that we rely on for their expertise regarding religion in the military:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/about/foundation-voices/

 

Check out Our Mission:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/about/our-mission/

 

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


 

Let me start by reminding you that we have been under attack by radical Muslim jihadist who believe they are above all laws not just ours. They still practice the Muslim faith no matter how you paint it. I don’t need the media to tell me that. Having said that Im not naive enough to believe all Muslims are the same way. You may not have read the entire email tread before writing this one but I appreciate you sticking up for Mikey. I don’t bible edit for my convenience. I’ll pray for you both and if you’d like you may do so for me : )

(name withheld)


 

I’m sticking up for our Constitution and Supreme Court rulings. I’m also sticking up for what the Bible says concerning obeying our authorities. That isn’t Bible editing for my convenience but truth.

Joan


 

Dear (name withheld),

I am writing in response to your April 11, 2016 email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).

 

You claim that our request to remove the Bible from a POW/MIA display in an effort to preserve the separation of church and state was “disingenuous.”  However, you fail to explain how insisting that such a display honor ALL service members – rather than only CHRISTIAN service members – does anything other than preserve this constitutional separation.

 

Instead, you whine that there is some sort of “movement against Christianity.”  Including the Bible in a military display is a clear endorsement of one religion (Christianity) over all other religions or no religion.  This is not a movement against one religion, but a movement toward acceptance of all religions or no religion, as required by the First Amendment.  Therefore, you are incorrect that removal of the Bible could be called a violation of the First Amendment because such removal is necessary to enforce the First Amendment.

 

Blessed be,

 

Tobanna Barker

MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator


 

Wrong, (name withheld), as is the rest of your self-satisfied little rant.

Since over 95% of those associated with the MRFF are themselves Christians, it is the height of absurdity to suggest we are attacking Christianity.

For the more thin-skinned Christians who want to pretend there is “a movement against Christianity by non believers,” we have only sympathy for their martyrdom fantasies.

That “the Bible speaks for itself” is self-evident. The problem is that it does not speak to or for all POWs and MIAs, as is suggested by its improper placement in the display.

A little history for you: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”

Thomas Jefferson.

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”    James Madison

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”

John Adams

Have a nice evening.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Ah, (name withheld),

I’m not sure what qualifies in your mind as writing “like a Christian,” but apparently

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams don’t qualify either. I think that puts me in better

company.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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