Bibles are being removed from Missing Man tributes at VA clinics and military bases. Why?

While I wasn’t in the military I did work with USAF pilots for 34-years.
And they told me they got really FUCKING RELIGIOUS before a sortie into enemy territory.
You guys SUCK!!!
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
Getting “really FUCKING RELIGIOUS before a sortie into enemy territory” is an individual act. Hyping them up by any military commanding officer is against the law.
“You guys SUCK!!
You couldn’t be more wrong.
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 for you that the media – especially Christian media – 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 ClauseSubsequent 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
The people who “suck” concerning the removal of the bible are the military branches that don’t abide by our laws. It never should have been there in the first place.
The other people who” suck” are the Christians who LIE and OMIT our pertinent laws to further their agenda.
Check out the honorable and distinguished military personnel that we rely on for their expertise regarding religion in the military:
Check out Our Mission:
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Hi (name withheld),

I know it’s hard for folks like you to understand, but just because Fox News says

it doesn’t make it true.

While you weren’t in the military, lots of others were. And lots of them were not Christians

and many may not have been believers at all. But every one of them has the right to his

own belief and doesn’t have to have yours imposed on him. That’s why it’s called

Freedom of Religion. And that’s why the military doesn’t want one belief system being

promoted over others.

So tell your friends at Fox News they are, once again, missing the point.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear (name withheld) –


I am writing in response to your April 12, 2016 email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (“MRFF”).


You clearly misunderstand the mission of MRFF.  We have absolutely no problem with anyone turning to his or her personal religion for strength during battle.  However, the fact that your friends became “really fucking religious” at times, does not mean that every service member turns to the same religion during similar situations.  There are, indeed, Atheists in foxholes – as well as Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, Catholics, Buddhists, Christians of various denominations, and people practicing numerous other faiths.


You and your friends do not get to decide that all these brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines can only be honored by the presence of a Bible.  To the contrary, that is an insult to the sacrifices these men and women have made for this great country.


Blessed be,


Tobanna Barker

MRFF Legal Affairs Coordinator



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