Re: U.S. Air Force enforces MRFF stance, Congressman vents

You state, “fighting for our servicemen.” but we both know that’s a lie. If you were truly ‎fighting for us, then you wouldn’t be trying to force the majority of us to loose or  for you to take away our rights. You say, ” religious freedom”. The key word is “freedom “. But, you don’t represent freedom, your trying to  take freedoms away.
(name withheld)

Sadly, you misunderstand what freedom is. Nothing is being ‘taken away’ from you. What is happening is

that everyone’s belief’s are being protected. You may still have your Bible, it just shouldn’t be used as though

it represents everyone’s beliefs.

I thought people in America understood that everyone is not white, everyone is not Christian, everyone is

not male, and yet everyone is equal. That’s why we are who we are. No?

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Sadly,  Mike you don’t know what “freedom” is.  When you take a bible out of a display because it’s not liked by a very small minority, you are in fact stating desire of the majority means nothing.  That’s like saying you have 100 people at a dinner and one person doesn’t like the food….so let’s make the cook throw all the food away because of that one person.  That’s mental.  That one person should go somewhere else.  In the same manner if someone doesn’t like the display they don’t have to look at it especially when the majority wants it there.  If you were interested in “everyone’s” protection, then that would include the majority.
And it has nothing to do with thinking everyone is the same in America, however America was founded on Judah-christian principles.  And the bible has been apart of our country from the beginning.  It is part of our countries very fabric.
(name withheld)

Ah, (name withheld),

Such foolishness makes me sad. That’s really one of the primary dangers of watching Fox News. Have you not heard of
the “tyranny of the majority”? You might look it up,
And you might also look up John Adams: “The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded
on the Christian religion.” Or may I suggest George Washington’s mention of “spiritual tyranny”? Perhaps you prefer
James Madison: “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the
State.”
You needn’t bother lecturing one about freedom until you better understand it.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Dear (name withheld),
Thanks for writing to the MRFF to express your thoughts. I’d like to offer a response, which I hope you are open to considering.  In addition to being a volunteer supporter of the MRFF, I’m a lifelong Christian, a USAF Academy graduate (’85) and a USAF veteran.

Yes, we are actually fighting for service members — for ALL service members of ALL manner of belief, including non-belief.  We do not, nor have we ever, oppose the individual rights of service members to hold and practice whatever religious belief they choose.  I assume from your comments that you have a military background.  If so, then you as well as I do that our military is comprised of brave individuals who hold a variety of beliefs about God and religion. Every one of those members is entitled to the same rights and privileges as every other member.  The fact that a majority of members align with the Judeo-Christian beliefs of people like you and me does not mean that our beliefs are entitled to a more prominent position.
You suggest that protecting the rights of the minority means that the majority loses in some way. That is simply not the case.  This is not a zero-sum game, meaning that this is not a case where protecting the rights of one means that someone else has to lose rights.  There is room enough for the rights of everyone to be equally protected.  That does mean, though, that the time, place and manner of the expression of any particular religious belief must be appropriate.
So no, we are not trying to take away anyone’s freedom.  But we do challenge those who expect any particular religious belief, including Christianity, to be expressly favored over all other beliefs by our military or government organizations. We prod those who feel that way to consider how this misguided expectation causes harm to both core American principles AND to real people; non-Christian military members and veterans who deserve our respect and support, and who should not be relegated to a second-class status merely for not believing as we believe.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

I’m glad you wrote back, giving an attempt to clarify your position.  I’d like to respond myself.  You claim a lifelong christian, as your identity.  It is not up to me to judge this is between you and God.  However, as a christian our first allegiance is to the “great commission.”  This is above country.  A lifelong christian would fight for that cause.  John 3:16 states, “for God so loved the world that He gave us His son…”  Jesus, made it clear the only path to God is thru Him.  This makes all other religions to be false paths.  Again it is not for me to judge if you are a christian or not.  But, a christian would not be fighting against a public display of a bible.
For your statement, “the fact that a majority of members align with the Judea-Christian beliefs of people like you and me does not mean that out beliefs are entitled to a more prominent position.”  The United States of American is a Christian Country.  It has alwaYS BEEN SO.  We have chaplains in the military, hospitals, courts, government, congress, and the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court chambers is full of depictions from the bible.  The president places his hand on the bible when he is sworn in.  We have in God we trust on our money.  In the revolutionary war the local militias were led by pastors and the members were the men of their congregations.  No one has had. Problem the entire time since our conception.  James Madison in his address to Virginia 1785, second article states, “the majority must rule over the minority” he states that is the definition of democracy.
You are in a dream world to expect the majority to comply with the desire of the minority.  The few forcing their will on the many is tyranny.  The people vote and we go with the majority….democracy.  If for example you have a banquet. And you invite 100 people and you give them a choice between chicken and fish.  99 say chicken and only. 1 says fish….you can only have one entrée. What do you do?  You make chicken.  But you would have the cook prepare fish and force it down the 99 people’s throats because of one person.  That’s insane.  There are places in the world that do this…..Cuba, North Korea, China….take your pick.  But in America we are a democracy.
If you read the founding fathers memoirs at the time of the constitution, you will find that the first amendment was designed to keep government out of religion NOT religion out of government.
I wasn’t a christian going into to military like many…however, it was in the military that I found God.  None forced it.  The Christians meet in the dorms to have bible study and the rest of us met to drink.  But, when your in the field and you know your next breath could be your last…you start thing about more…God and salvation life after death.  It’s not being forced we were looking for it……
(name withheld)

Hi (name withheld) –
Thanks for your reply. You touch on several areas where I’d like to offer a response.  For organizational purposes, I’ll quote the particular item from your email, followed by my thoughts on that topic.
You said – “As a christian [sic] our first allegiance is to the ‘great commission.’”
My response – That is one interpretation of the “first allegiance” of Christians, but it’s not the only one. Others such as myself believe that our first allegiance is to the Great Commandment, from which every other aspect of our relationship with God flows, including being able to fulfill the Great Commission.
You said – “A christian [sic] would not be fighting against a public display of a bible.”
My response – It is not the general concept of the “public display of a bible” that is at issue here.  Rather, it is the time, place, and manner of any sectarian religious subject matter being displayed within a government building, which creates Constitutional issues that have nothing to do with the specific content of the religious statement.  The same problem would be created, for example, if a VA facility housed a display which highlighted the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Torah, or any other sectarian religious book (or atheist book, for that matter). In each of those cases, the objection would be the same because it’s a Constitutional matter, not a sectarian one.
You said – “The United States of American [sic] is a Christian Country. It has alwaYS BEEN SO [sic].”
My response – That is a very common argument offered by many Christians, but it is untrue. A more accurate statement might be to say that the US population has historically included a Christian majority, but that is not at all the same thing as contending that the US is a “Christian Country”.  There are some (David Barton comes to mind) who practice revisionist history by either arguing that the Constitution says things it does not say, or who rely on snippets from other words or writings of the founders to bolster a claim about the Constitution. The truth is that our founding generation was prescient in crafting a Constitution which prevents any particular sectarian religious belief from holding sway over our governmental institutions. More on that in the next section.
You said – “If you read the founding fathers memoirs at the time of the constitution, you will find that the first amendment was designed to keep government out of religion NOT religion out of government.”
My response – With respect, that sounds like more revisionist history and cherry-picking.  For the clearest evidence of what our founders intended with regard to keeping “religion out of government”, I’d direct your attention to Article VI of the Constitution – “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  It’s particularly important to note that this Article was written, debated, and accepted by Congress before a single Amendment had been created. And even when the Bill of Rights did become part of the Constitution, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment did indeed serve a dual purpose — to keep government out of religion AND to keep religion out of government.
You said – “James Madison in his address to Virginia 1785, second article states, ‘the majority must rule over the minority’ he states that is the definition of democracy.”
You further said – “The few forcing their will on the many is tyranny.”
My response – I post these two comments of yours together because there is a strong connection between them.  Madison is an important reference point in any discussion about the Constitution; even more so in our discussion because of your references to democracy and tyranny.  With all due respect, you have Madison’s position completely backward.  I am unaware of the context of his “address to Virginia 1785”, but every other thing I’ve read of him strongly indicates that he was never as quick as you suggest to subjugate the rights of the minority.  Rather, he would find much more favor with the notion that “Democracy… requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule.”  Similarly, when he spoke of the threat of tyranny within a democracy, what he fretted over is quite the opposite of what you describe. He, along with Hamilton, Jay, and others, was concerned about the Tyranny of the Majority.  Specifically, the threat that a majority can simply disregard the rights of a minority, in effect becoming as tyrannical as any despotic king.  The bottom line is this — I’d ask you to consider that Christians such as you and me, being part of the majority in America, have a great responsibility to ensure the rights of minority groups are respected.
You shared – A parable about banquet requests for chicken or fish.
My response – An interesting approach, and I understand what you mean to convey.  You say that one person demanding fish should not completely trump 99 others who want chicken.  And I agree.  But that is not really a great analogy for what is happening here, and I’d ask that you think of it a bit differently.  The menu at our ‘banquet’ is not limited to allowing just one entrée or another — it offers everyone the option of choosing chicken or fish, regardless of what others may be having.  That doesn’t give the chicken-eating majority the right to unilaterally decide that it would be so much easier to simply do away with fish since they don’t eat it.  So it is, too, with the religious rights afforded to all Americans under the Constitution.  It promises equal rights to everyone, regardless of whether they are in the majority or the minority… even if they are just 1 of 100. That doesn’t mean the 99 have to agree with the 1, but it does mean they have to ensure they don’t strip the one of his rights just because there are so many more of them.  Being the majority doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want — rather, it means we must take even greater care to ensure we don’t squash the rights of others.
Thanks again for the dialogue.
Peace,
Mike Challman

Mike,
I’m sorry if the only thing you walked away with was some verbiage.  Somehow you want to accuse me of revising, when I use original source documents. And when I bring to your attention what you actually do, and in doing so I used certain verbiage that helped me describe what I was trying to communicate and you walk away offended.   I am truly sorry for your offense.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
You do make me chuckle, “Reverend”, I will give you that.  Your unapologetic apology is a classic – you are sorry that I am offended? How nice of you.

But in all seriousness, and with respect, you do need to expand your vocabulary a bit. “Revisionist history” does not mean I am accusing you of revising quotes — it refers to a particular methodology for assessing past events. Not even my term, it’s in common usage. On the other hand, though, you did directly accuse me of “making up quotes” and I have no clue of the basis for that specious claim. (Sorry, another big word).
Peace, Mike

Greetings, Mike
Thanks for your thoughts.  I understand what you are trying to say, however, it doesn’t make it correct.  I’m not sure if you are trying to deceive people or you believe the cool aide.
Your response – is, “Others such as myself believe that our first allegiance is to the great commandment,”
Yes, I would agree.  Jesus was asked out of the “law and the prophets” what is the most important?  Jesus answered to love God with all your heart soul and mind, and to love others as your self.”  We love God by private and public worship we love other Christians by uplifting them, and we love the lost (non Christians) by sharing Christ (the great commission).  
 
Your response – “it is the time, place, and manner of any sectarian religious subject matter being displayed within a government building, which creates Constitutionalissues that have nothing to do with the specific content of the religious statement.”
You say “constitutional issues”, only they creat NO, issues at all.  Your comparison doesn’t even make sense.  We are a Christian Country.  There have been Christian symbolism in government sense its origins.  Prayers start every Congressional meeting, prayer starts the Supreme Court.  The Christian bible is what the president places his hand to be sworn in from Washington til now.  There are Christian bible themes in federal courts.  So, your response is wrong.
 
Your response – “sounds like more revisionist history”
This just would make me laugh if it wasn’t so sad.  It’s like you have a narcissistic tendency. You desire to accuse me of what you do.  I take my quotes from the authors themselves unrevised untouched as they wrote them and as recorded in the library of congress.  You on the other hand use revised quotes and made up quotes.  Sooooo, who is the revisionist…not me…that would be you.
 
Your response – Article 6 of the Constitution. “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
 
This statement really has no barring on anything.  There will be no religious test agreed no one ever said that , because that would make a theocracy….we are a democracy.  We vote and the most votes win…democracy.
 
Your response – “AND to keep religion out of government”
 
Only you cannot find this in anything the founding fathers wrote.  And just because you are ignorant of all the founding fathers writings doesn’t change what they wrote.  Another example is in Washington DC there is a museum of the very first public school.  Now in that museum is the book list of that first public school.  The first book of the list is the Christian bible.
 
Your response – “Democracy – requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule.”
 
It’s true everyone has equal rights.  That is what the framers wanted.  But, the process of a democracy is we get an equal vote and the most votes win….that is the process that the founding fathers set up.  You falsely claim to represent equality….but that is a misleading statement.  You are not after equality…because the rights of the majority and Christians would matter.  
 
Your response – “The menu at our banquet is not limited to allowing just one entree or another–it offers everyone the option of choosing chicken or fish, regardless of what others may be having.”
 
Now that is a nice ideal, however, that is not even close to what you support.  You are pushing the desire of the few and force feeding it to the many.  You may think you are allowing everyone to have what they want.  But, like in the example what you are Truely doing is calling the fish chicken and hoping the people that wanted chicken are to stupid to realize it’s really fish. When you want to take away what the majority of this country wants just to make a few people happy that really are not harmed at all….that is not democracy you are really supporting tyranny….it’s really a shame.  If you Truely want equality then I hope you start searching for truth.  
 
Nice talking
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
Interesting, “Reverend” —  Since we don’t agree then I am “narcissistic”, “ignorant” and “use made up quotes”, just to highlight a few of your nasty little ad hominem attacks.

Quite the man of God. I just wonder, what god?

Peace,
Mike

I have to admit you make me laugh as well. However, those like unto yourself will use “revisionist history”. Which I am fully aware of the meaning, to label those like me who tell history completely as it occurs as it is recorded by those who lived it.  When in fact you and others like you revise history by removing the things that don’t agree with your narrative.
(name withheld)

I’m still not sure you grasp the concept. You’ve accused me of “making up quotes”. Can you back that up?
Mike

Rather, he would find much more favor with the notion that “Democracy… requires minority rights equally as it does majority rule. – because his address in1785, his statement doesn’t support your assumption.  In fact he never would think that way.
(name withheld)

Can you send me a link to a primary source for the 1785 address to which you have been referring? I’ve been looking for it, but not finding anything. Thanks

Mike

While you are looking for that link to the primary source that you have been quoting, you may also want to read Federalist Paper #51, which was written by James Madison himself.

In case you don’t know the background, the Federalist Papers were the product of three men – Madison, Hamilton, and Jay.
As noted at the Bill of Rights Institute website, they were written “in order to help convince their fellow Americans of their view that the Constitution would not threaten freedom. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay teamed up in 1788 to write a series of essays in defense of the Constitution. The essays, which appeared in newspapers addressed to the people of the state of New York, are known as the Federalist Papers. They are regarded as one of the most authoritative sources on the meaning of the Constitution, including constitutional principles such as checks and balances, federalism, and separation of powers.”
This particular essay (#51) speaks directly to the issues which you and I have been discussing.  You can find the full text in a bazillion places online… I’ve also included a key portion here that is especially pertinent to understanding Madison’s views on majorities, minorities, rights, and tyranny.
Based on what you have claimed to be Madison’s core beliefs, I think you may find it surprising and enlightening.
—————————————————-
From Federalist Paper #51, quoted verbatim:
It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.
There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests, and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.
In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. This view of the subject must particularly recommend a proper federal system to all the sincere and considerate friends of republican government, since it shows that in exact proportion as the territory of the Union may be formed into more circumscribed Confederacies, or States oppressive combinations of a majority will be facilitated: the best security, under the republican forms, for the rights of every class of citizens, will be diminished: and consequently the stability and independence of some member of the government, the only other security, must be proportionately increased. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradnally induced, by a like motive, to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.
Mike

Well, I have been busy…
One must first understand the purpose of the essays.  Federalist papers 44-51 have to do with separation of powers.  As Hamilton and Madison are trying to defend a Republic form of government they first address Imperial rule to republic rule.  By the time we come to these papers They are stating that the only way to control abuse of power is separate powers within the federal and between federal and state.  That is what Madison is talking about when he references Majority and minority.  He states the best way to make sure one form of government doesn’t have too much power is a seperation of power so that everyone (minority) voice is heard…..You and people like you want to twist it into something that it is not.
All you have to do is go to library of congress and search…right there.
(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),
So to be clear (and please correct me if I’m wrong… I certainly don’t want to be misperceived as narcissistic) you are insisting that Madison was referring to federal and state powers when he talked about “different classes of citizens” and how they relate to one another as majority and minority?

Hard to argue with that logic, as is it bereft of any actual logic at all.
That paucity of rational thought, along with your inability to actually produce evidence of a primary source which you have insisted you are quoting from, both are strong indicators that we should bring this effort at debate to a close.
Peace, Mike
 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Tom O

    AGAIN a theocrat writes that “America was founded on Judah-christian principles.”
    AGAIN I ask Can you give us some examples? Principles which are not uniquely Christian or Jewish are NOT a valid answer to that question.
    This is the third time I’ve asked that question on the comment section of an email posted on this website. I didn’t get an answer the other two times, and probably won’t this time either. That won’t stop the theocrats from continuing to make this claim that they don’t seem to be able to substantiate. That’s probably because the theocrats and their supporters are so accustomed to having their assertions blindly accepted as fact that the whole concept of critical thinking barely exists for them.

  2. Connie

    Tom O

    You nailed it.

    I’m not sure theocrats understand anything beyond what they’ve been spoon fed by entertainment sources like Fox News and David Barton. They become foot soldiers believing the USA is a Christian nation which fits their personal bias. No further thought is necessary.

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