Wright-Patterson AFB removes Bible from POW display

Regarding the removal of the Bible from the POW/MIA display at WPAFB, I noticed a wine glass in the picture of the display. It is my understanding that several religions do not believe in the consumption of alcohol in any form and so some might take offense at the implication of supporting alcohol consumption represented by a wine glass.  I would think the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) would demand that the wine glass also be removed from the display. Why have they not done so?  And while we’re at it, the silhouette of the person on the POW/MIA picture appears to be a man.  Some women might find this to be exclusionary and therefore offensive as well.
 
Humor aside, the purpose of the display is to honor actual POWs and MIAs, the persons they were and the things they either believed in or took comfort from, regardless of what it was.  The MRFF objection to the Bible being in the display is merely another example of a small group of people with an agenda who want to ignore any aspect of history that back then might have been different from today’s obsession with political correctness. 
 
The Latin cross (also referred to as the “Christian cross”) has been the symbol for all Christian chaplains, regardless of denomination, although in some other nation’s military forces, separate symbols are used for some Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Chaplains, and sometimes for specific groups within the larger Protestant faith group, such as Calvinist Chaplains, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs includes a number of different denominational versions of the cross on gravestones in veterans cemeteries. Today, despite the fact that the shepherd’s crook is no longer used as an insignia for individual chaplains, it is included in the design of the in Corps regimental insignia in honor of its place in Army Chaplain Corps history.  For Jewish chaplains the army opted for a separate Jewish chaplain insignia that included an image of the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, using Roman numerals to indicate the commandments, with a small six-pointed Jewish star on top of the tablets.  Insignia decisions for chaplains representing faith groups other than Christianity and Judaism have not been made unilaterally by the army, but instead have been joint decisions for all military chaplains.  
 
 

(name withheld)

 

 
PS:  Some military installation with names that reference the Christian religion:
 
Los Alamos Demolition Range
Camp San Luis Obispo 
Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training
San Joaquin Depot
Joint Base San Antonio
Corpus Christi Army Depot
Los Angeles Air Force Base

Rep. Mike Turner sent a letter to the Commander of AFMC objecting to the removal of the Bible from the POW/MIA display at the medical center. Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) says Turner’s letter is ridiculous grandstanding in an election year.  Weinstein says the Bible is an example of elevating one faith over all others in violation of the separation of church and state.  Yet when asked to comment on why the MRFF had no objection to the wine glass in the display when clearly some religions are strictly opposed to consuming alcohol, the MRFF gave no response.  For example, Islam and Buddhism are staunchly against the use of alcohol.  Clearly, the MRFF must recognize just how pathetically petty their grievances are, whether it be the Bible, a wine glass or anything else.  Theirs is not a concern about freedom from religion, but rather an expression of distain for the obvious connection between religion and the history of this country and the principles/traditions upon which this country was founded and has thrived under for 240 years.  Some people merely want to call attention to themselves, present an in-your-face mentality to the overwhelming majority who don’t agree with them and then pat themselves on the back when they succeed in getting some public officials to bow to one of their pathetically petty agenda items.  Unfortunately, base officials allowed them to get away with it.
(name withheld)

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 (300 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 45,500+ soldier clients (1 can represent many) 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.
One of the reasons that were taken into consideration was that the bible was never included in the original POW/MIA table.
Also, it is against our laws.
Col. John M. Devillier is the installation commander and his spokesman paraphrased AFI (Air Force Instruction) 1-1, Sections 2.11.and 2.12, which are based on the laws below:
 “Our leaders and personnel are encouraged to accommodate the free exercise of religion and other personal beliefs, including freedom of expression unless it has an adverse impact on mission accomplishment,” he wrote. “Air Force leaders must carefully balance constitutional protections of individuals’ free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs with the constitutional separation of church and stateThey must ensure their actions cannot reasonably be construed to officially endorse, disapprove of, or extend preferential treatment to any faith or absence of faith.”
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 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
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 violates AFI 1-1, sections 2.11 and 2.12, the Constitution, Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878), Lemon v. Kurtzman and Parker v. Levy.
Plus, the Christian bible on the table does not represent all of the POW/MIA’s.
The original table setting for the POW/MIA table states that it a glass – not a wine glass and these types of glasses are also used for water and any other non-alcoholic beverages. I’ve used this type of glass filled with water to toast the bride and groom at a wedding.
Because the bible is on the table, the assumption is that it is a wine glass because Jesus drank wine during the traditional Passover before his crucifixion.
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20
Our only “agenda” is to make our military abide by their own regulations, the Constitution and subsequent Supreme Court rulings.
I hope this cleared up any confusion you have.
Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Joan
Hopefully your organization is fighting with equal zeal the US Army decision to allow an Army Sikh captain to wear a turban and beard while on active duty.
(name withheld)

The exemption is only for one year and can be terminated under certain circumstances. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2016/04/01/3765707/sikh-soldier-turban-finally/
This came after a U.S. Federal Court Judge ruled last year that a student Sikh could enroll in the ROTC without having to shave his beard and could wear his turban. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/06/17/3670767/court-upholds-military-exemption-sikh-student/
It’s now a Federal Law and something no one can fight against.
Pastor Joan

Hi (name withheld),

You do go on.

And it’s surprising that one with your relative intelligence doesn’t understand the difference between

the placement of a religious icon, the use of which not only excludes many whose beliefs are not in
harmony with its teaching or its significance, and a wine glass. And it’s a source of further surprise

that you, like the headline-seeking Congressman, don’t realize, as those in authority do, that there

are military regulations involved here.

Your tiresome listing of religious symbols that are found in cemeteries and on chaplains uniforms, etc.,

does, however, further clarify your lack of comprehension as to what is at issue.

Our Constitution, our laws and our military regulations make clear that in order to protect the freedom

of choice of religious belief or non-belief of the women and men in the military, and to honor everyone’s
right in that area, our government will not align itself with, promote or appear to promote, one belief
system over another. Everyone’s belief system is welcome and can be practiced as seen fit, but

must be done in the proper time, place and manner per regulations. Thus chaplains are allowed to
wear their chosen insignia or vestments and services can take place, but official actions and/or
displays that appear to represent all, cannot include an icon of one faith.

And that’s true even if it is the dominant faith.
Contrary to your rather perverse assumption about our motives, we are well aware of the “connection
between religion and the history of this country.” We are proud to represent “the principles/traditions
upon which this country was founded” as articulated by, for example, John Adams when he
signed the Treaty of Tripoli, stating, “The Government of the United States of America is not
in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” And James Madison comes to mind, as when he
wrote, “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church
from the State.”
So please feel free to re-think this matter and find another target for your next attack of high dudgeon.
Oh, and don’t forget to copy all those on your original message when you send your apology.
Best,
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of  Advisors)

So, indeed, the “law”  is somewhat arbitrary and inconsistent.  In this case a Muslim can be treated differently than other simply because of their religion, whereas the law wouldn’t certainly would not allow someone to wear a rosary around their neck. Special treatment for Muslims, but Christians????? No!
(name withheld)

I suggest you contact a Christian organization that has lawyers to answer your question.
I responded to your original email and (name withheld) email because we can’t do what he asked. There will be no further correspondence from me.
Joan Slish

Mike,

 

I can understand you position about the difference between the Bible and the wine glass and that comment was mostly made in sarcasm, although technically, someone could try to make a case about it being offensive to Muslims for instance.

 

I also understand the law and that technically your group can make that point, regardless of how petty and silly it is.  Technically, you can get a speeding ticket for going over the limit by 1 mph, but common sense, logic, tradition, values and other considerations employed means rarely does anyone get ticketed for that offense.

 

Your group is simply hanging on tight to a technicality to get attention, make a name for its self and satisfy a hand full of people with a petty personal agenda, sort of like the LGBTs and the bathroom usage issue.  The intent of the POW/MIA display was solely to honor those people, nothing more. The items placed were simply things that happened to give many, if not most POWs comfort during the time of their imprisonment .  That’s a simple fact, not an endorsement of a religion.  If a picture of Mother Teresa had been available to most POWs, you would have taken offense at that as well because you really aren’t interested in the intent of the display at all.  If the thing that gave many or most POWs comfort was a copy of the Koran, I don’t believe very many Christians would take offense at a copy being in the POW display.

 

If you took a survey of everyone in the USAF or VA or indeed everyone who views the display, I’d be willing to bet you that the overwhelming majority of them (probably 95% or more) would have no objection or concern at all about the Bible being placed there.  Do you disagree?

 

Does the display with a Bible in it impede the freedom to choose a religion?  Does it really signify the gov’ts endorsement or promotion of Christianity over other religions?  I don’t think so.  I does only to the handful of people who are just out there looking for something to offended by.

 

As I said, you may have a legal technicality to back you up, but you don’t have common sense, logic, understanding or feelings about what was intended here.   Frankly, I don’t really care too much about this, but when I see an in-your-face, agenda-driven group that is out to get recognition, make some point and doesn’t care about what 98% of the people think, I like to let them know that some of see what they are doing when it’s petty and much ado about very little,  as this seems to be.

 

Sincerely,

(name withheld)


 

Well, (name withheld), you’re stuck with being yourself while we continue to do our work.

For the record, if the book placed on that table had been a Koran the Christians we hear from would have gone berserk. And, outside of Fox News, which gets its ratings by misinterpreting and exploiting events like this, they are the ones who have been screaming the loudest about the removal of the Bible.

We don’t happen to believe the Bible is petty or silly, as you suggest. We think it’s important. And we have no problem with the point of the display, but given the complaints we’ve received – from Christians, mind you – we feel its spirit would be better served by including something that is not a religious icon that leaves out, by inference, POWs and MIAs of different faiths or belief systems.

There is a reason for the separation of church and state. As James Madison said, “The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”

You can cling to your opinion about the reason we do what we do. I know otherwise.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Mike,

 

To try to say that allowing a Muslim to maintain his beard and turban, when everyone else in the military are not allowed to do that is exactly a violation of the separation of church and state, every bit as real as the Bible in the display case, in fact more so.   Or, are you saying that in the name of religious freedom, everyone military member should be able to have a beard and wear a hat of their choosing whenever they want?  Have you ever than a course in logic or common sense?  Please explain to me how a Bible sitting in a display case, unopened, behind a glass panel is somehow curtailing anyone beliefs or imposing beliefs on anyone, any more than the beard and turban allowance, which is a very visible expression of belief in a particular religion?   To be blunt, you are not making any sense here and I think you know it.  Apparently, if no one complains, even if they silently disapprove,  then you have no beef, but if one person complains, then you do have a beef, even if 99.9% of others do not complain.  Take a survey all military members and see how many are in favor of Muslims being allowed to wear beards and turbans in the service when others are not.  If you don’t think this is not a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state then you really don’t know what that law means.

 

Again, I will ask you, if a survey was taken of everyone person who views this POW/MIA display, what percentage of them will have no complaint about the Bible sitting in it, even if specifically asked to comment on it.  My guess is that it is 99% or more.

 

Your views are probably in line with those so opposed to the public bathroom use law passed in N. Carolina.  You would probably support the LGBTs, without regard for the civil right to bathroom/shower privacy for everyone else.  This is just how far we have fallen from logic and common sense recently.

(name withheld)


 

Well, (name withheld), you remain stuck with yourself. Like the wine glass earlier in question, the Muslim ROTC cadet’s ability to leave on his beard and turban is irrelevant. It  has nothing to do with curtailing, imposing upon or denying the beliefs of his fellow cadets. That’s a decision for his superiors to make and does not compare with the government promoting one faith over others. For that reason it was not of concern to the MRFF.

You might be interested to know that none of his fellow cadets complained to us.

As far as your dismissal of the “few individuals” who go along with an agenda is concerned, that’s what resulted in the foundation of this country we are both fortunate enough to live in. And another few individuals drew up the documents we are dedicated to protecting. Not one of them declared it unconstitutional to chew gum in public, so the task for those of us who believe in protecting the freedoms they cared about is discerning the difference between what is relevant and what is irrelevant. As did they, we consider the protection of ones right to believe as he or she chooses to be critically important. Wine glasses, chewing gum, beards and turbans, not so much.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Mike,

 

The commander of an ROTC unit’s decision may not be a promotion of one faith over another, but indeed it is an accommodation of one faith over another.  Why is that so hard for you to understand?  Do you think that is “right”?  If the Muslim has a right to have a beard and wear a religious headgear, then so does everyone else. That is pure and simple logic and common sense.  I think you refuse to accept that because it goes against your personal obsession with putting uppity Christians in their place.

 

How many complaints from the thousands of people who see that display does it take for you to feel compelled to act?  One, two, three, five, ten?  How do you arrive at the figure?  Btw, now that you mention it, just what percentage of POWs and MIAs were Christians.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m guessing it was 80% or better.  Do you know?

 

I can certainly understand that if the gov’t were promoting or appearing to promote one religion over another that would not be “right”.  You and I disagree that a copy of a closed Bible, behind a glass panel, intended to honor POWs who got comfort from a Bible, does that.  And unfortunately for you, probably 95-99% of the military population would agree with me and not you.

 

I’m sure there are a few folks out there intent on turning America into a Christian theocracy and our military into Jesus’ Army.  What does that have to do with anything.  As we well know by now, every religion has it’s fanatics.  Just how many people are in this radical Christian group that you refer to?  What percentage of Christians do they represent?   I’d say there is substantially more danger to America originating from the umbrella of a certain other religion than Christianity and that religion is being accommodated more and more every day, including the ROTC guy.

 

Personally, I do believe there is a sort of war on Christianity by certain groups who want to act like traditions and some history never existed.  Just consider Christmas (trees, songs, and everything that goes with it), traditionally celebrated for hundreds of years as such and now being slowly forced in “holiday” trees, songs, etc.). Totally stupid.  Without Christianity there would be no Christmas, no Easter, no St Patrick day, no Halloween, no Valentine’s day, no Mardi Gras, etc.  Numerous cities would have to be renamed.  Numerous buildings would have to be modified.  If Catholic schools, hospitals and charities were to suddenly disappear, the impact on this country would be astounding.

 

And you call yourself impartial?  Laughing out loud now!  I guess you see no liberal bias or bloviating on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Huffington Post, Moveon.org, New York Times, SALON, and many, many more.  Sharpton, Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell, to name a few.  Then there’s the likes of Roland Martin, E.J. Dionne, Robert Reich, Leonard Pitts, Michael Moore and Bill Maher.

 

As for the N. Carolina LGBT issue.  Please read below and try to use logic and common sense to refute what I said about it if you think you can:

 

Do you believe everyone should have the right to use whatever bathroom, shower or locker room facility they choose, whenever they want to?  If so, is there is no need for separate facilities for men and women and the existing right to privacy in such facilities should be removed.  I’m sure many teenage boys would agree with that and love to be perfectly free to go into the girls facilities whenever they choose.  If confronted, they can simply say they felt feminine that day.

 

If not, why not?  My view is that they should not be allowed because if men were allowed in the ladies’ facilities, the women’s right to privacy would be violated.  Am I wrong about that?  So, if LGBT’s are allowed to use whatever bathroom and shower facility they choose, whenever they want, are they, and their sexual preferences, not violating the rights of the people in those facilities who have the opposite sexual preferences?  So, whose rights are being violated?  The small minority LGBT community or the rest of the entire population?

 

Fact is that most people could care less if LGBTs use their facilities if they adhere to the principle of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; but, that principle was not acceptable or good enough for some LGBTs and has been overturned and discarded.  Some LGBTs and their supporters insist  LGBTs be able to express their pride in being LGBT, be recognized by others as such and essentially flaunt their LGBT status in parades and gay pride events. Fine, but when you insist on being recognized as LGBT, then your presence in bathroom facilities, inconsistent with your sexual preferences (or consistent with them depending on how you want to word it), becomes a violation of others’ right to privacy.

It wasn’t N. Carolina that first started making a big issue out of things like this, it was the in-your-face LGBTs themselves.

(name withheld)


 

(name withheld),
It really doesn’t take long in these discussions for the fear at the root of the argument comes out, does it?
Supporting the constitutional requirement of the separation of church and state isn’t about politics, it’s about freedom and fairness. I’m sorry that you have such a problem with that, but your comments about gay people’s rights explain a lot.
Elections are decided by majority vote, (name withheld). Rights are not. If it were true that most of the people walking by the display wouldn’t notice or be bothered by the Bible, that doesn’t make its presence there right.
I get that this is hard for you and I’m sorry that is so. But the commander of an ROTC unit’s decision has nothing to do with the promotion of one faith over others; nor does it have to do with the position of our government vis-a-vis the separation of church and state.
We didn’t say the Bible on the table was curtailing anyone’s rights. We said, because we were asked to intervene by a number of servicemen and women, many of them Christian, that it was inappropriate to have it there because all the POWs and MIAs were not Christian. How hard is it for you to understand that the government cannot be seen to be promoting or appearing to promote one faith over others?
The vast majority of those who profess a religious belief in this country are Christians. But only a certain sect of Christians is convinced that anyone, including other Christians, who doesn’t believe and practice the belief in exactly their way is doomed to the fires of hell. Further, these folks are intent on turning America into a Christian theocracy and our military into Jesus’ Army.
This fact, and it is a fact, is to me a danger. It is a danger because many people, you included, think it’s not a big deal when someone casually assumes that the Bible represents everyone’s religious belief. But that is not true and it insults many, some of whom are non-believers and others who have their own faith which is important to them. And the MRFF was formed when it became clear that this insidious group had had great success selling the idea that Christianity was in danger, that there was a war on it, and that a little religious over-reach was necessary and would do no harm. After all, aren’t most of us Christians?
Well it’s doing harm.They are making inroads in the military, which is our concern. But outside the military as well, because people like the bloviators on Fox News, who will champion anything to the right of Attila the Hun that, more importantly, gets them ratings, stir up their devotees with all their ‘America is falling’ nonsense.
So you can go ahead and get hot under the collar about what you take as “political correctness” or trodding on your rights as a Christian or yet another sign of the degradation of the morals of this country or an indication of “how far we have fallen from logic and common sense recently.”
We’ll just continue to protect the freedom of belief or non-belief of the women and men in the military.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Dear (name withheld),

See below (in red).

Mike,

The commander of an ROTC unit’s decision may not be a promotion of one faith over another, but indeed it is an accommodation of one faith over another.  Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Not hard at all for me to understand, Joe, except that I don’t see it as putting “one faith over another.” The officer in charge chose to make that accommodation in honor of the beliefs of that cadet. So what? Has anyone else in that unit asked to wear a beard or religious headgear? If so, that would also be up to the officer in charge. But it has nothing to do with promoting one faith over another by the government. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Do you think that is “right”?  Not for me to say. It’s up to the officer in command of that unit.

If the Muslim has a right to have a beard and wear a religious headgear, then so does everyone else. I suppose they could make that claim. That’s up to them.

That is pure and simple logic and common sense. It is you attempting to make a point, and failing.

I think you refuse to accept that because it goes against your personal obsession with putting uppity Christians in their place. You think wrong. I have no “personal obsession” to put Christians or people of any faith in their place. That, I think, is where we differ. You want to put Christians in a place of superiority to other faiths (or of non-belief), and that’s where you run afoul of the Constitution.

How many complaints from the thousands of people who see that display does it take for you to feel compelled to act?  No one here is “compelled to act”.

One, two, three, five, ten?  How do you arrive at the figure?  One would be enough.

Btw, now that you mention it, just what percentage of POWs and MIAs were Christians. What difference does that make?

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m guessing it was 80% or better.  Do you know? Nope. And don’t care.

I can certainly understand that if the gov’t were promoting or appearing to promote one religion over another that would not be “right”.  Bravo!!

You and I disagree that a copy of a closed Bible, behind a glass panel, intended to honor POWs who got comfort from a Bible, does that.  As I recall, it was on a table. Like your wine glass.

And unfortunately for you, probably 95-99% of the military population would agree with me and not you. That’s not unfortunate for me. It’s utterly irrelevant. But given the fact that the majority of those bringing it to our attention were Christians, I suspect you’re wrong. You see, many Christians are not as thin-skinned as you appear to be.

I’m sure there are a few folks out there intent on turning America into a Christian theocracy and our military into Jesus’ Army.  Glad you accept the fact, though you underestimate the number and fail to acknowledge the position some of them hold.

What does that have to do with anything.  Everything.

As we well know by now, every religion has it’s fanatics.  Agreed.

Just how many people are in this radical Christian group that you refer to?  What percentage of Christians do they represent?  That’s for you to find out if you actually care, which I assume you actually don’t. But if did and you actually looked into it you might be surprised. However, even then, my concern is that you wouldn’t be moved to take any action in opposition to it.

I’d say there is substantially more danger to America originating from the umbrella of a certain other religion than Christianity (Oh my…)

and that religion is being accommodated more and more every day, including the ROTC guy. Oh, (name withheld). No bias here, of course. What is the “danger to America” proposed by an ROTC cadet being allowed to wear a beard and turban? And how is “that religion… being accommodated more and more every day”? I suspect you’re trying to somehow insinuate jihadist terrorists into the discussion, which is a pathetic example of the fear at the root of this “War on Christianity” business.

Personally, I do believe there is a sort of war on Christianity Aha! Another case of an overdose of Bill O’Reilly.

by certain groups who want to act like traditions and some history never existed.  Just consider Christmas (trees, songs, and everything that goes with it), traditionally celebrated for hundreds of years as such and now being slowly forced in “holiday” trees, songs, etc.). I’m not aware of anything being “forced,” slowly or otherwise. I am, however, aware that some people, due to a growing awareness of having been more than a bit casually arrogant in their assumptions about other people’s belief systems, are now trying to be somewhat more sensitive about it.

Totally stupid. I’m not at all shocked that you would find it to be so.

Without Christianity there would be no Christmas, no Easter, no St Patrick day, no Halloween, no Valentine’s day, no Mardi Gras, etc.  Numerous cities would have to be renamed.  Numerous buildings would have to be modified.  If Catholic schools, hospitals and charities were to suddenly disappear, the impact on this country would be astounding. So? Is someone suggesting that Christianity doesn’t or shouldn’t exist? If so, I’m unaware of the fact. But the idea it arises from is the logical extension of the utterly ignorant, no, let me say paranoid, notion that someone wants that to be the case.

Fret not, Joe. If there actually were to be such a desire or movement in existence it would obviously be promoting its own belief system. Aside from the fact that such an idea is ridiculous and couldn’t possibly succeed, in the dream world you’ve fantasized here the one thing that you could rely on is that the MRFF would be defending the Constitution against its being promoted by the government in any way, shape or form.

And you call yourself impartial?  Laughing out loud now! I don’t think I said anything about impartial. We are very partial to the Constitution and the separation of church and state.

I guess you see no liberal bias or bloviating on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Huffington Post, Moveon.org, New York Times, SALON, and many, many more.  Sharpton, Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell, to name a few. Wrong. I certainly see a more liberal analysis in some of them, but when you include CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS I think you’re mistaking a corporate point of view for what you term a “liberal bias.”

Then there’s the likes of Roland Martin, E.J. Dionne, Robert Reich, Leonard Pitts, Michael Moore and Bill Maher. I don’t know who Roland Martin or Leonard Pitts are, but the others tend toward a liberal view. So what? I take it you’re responding to my slam on Fox News and its devotees. I don’t have a problem with having both conservative and liberal viewpoints in the media, I have a problem with fearmongering and voices spewing dishonestly.

As for the N. Carolina LGBT issue.  Please read below and try to use logic and common sense to refute what I said about it if you think you can:

Do you believe everyone should have the right to use whatever bathroom, shower or locker room facility they choose, whenever they want to?

This is simply pathetic. If you want to debate LGBT issues, find someone else to play with. I don’t have any more stomach for your Neanderthal views and your desire to somehow tie them to the question of a Bible in a government display.

The military has spoken on the issue, by the way. They agree with us.

If so, is there is no need for separate facilities for men and women and the existing right to privacy in such facilities should be removed.  I’m sure many teenage boys would agree with that and love to be perfectly free to go into the girls facilities whenever they choose.  If confronted, they can simply say they felt feminine that day.   

If not, why not?  My view is that they should not be allowed because if men were allowed in the ladies’ facilities, the women’s right to privacy would be violated.  Am I wrong about that?  So, if LGBT’s are allowed to use whatever bathroom and shower facility they choose, whenever they want, are they, and their sexual preferences, not violating the rights of the people in those facilities who have the opposite sexual preferences?  So, whose rights are being violated?  The small minority LGBT community or the rest of the entire population? 

Fact is that most people could care less if LGBTs use their facilities if they adhere to the principle of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; but, that principle was not acceptable or good enough for some LGBTs and has been overturned and discarded.  Some LGBTs and their supporters insist  LGBTs be able to express their pride in being LGBT, be recognized by others as such and essentially flaunt their LGBT status in parades and gay pride events. Fine, but when you insist on being recognized as LGBT, then your presence in bathroom facilities, inconsistent with your sexual preferences (or consistent with them depending on how you want to word it), becomes a violation of others’ right to privacy. 

It wasn’t N. Carolina that first started making a big issue out of things like this, it was the in-your-face LGBTs themselves.

 

If so, is there is no need for separate facilities for men and women and the existing right to privacy in such facilities should be removed.  I’m sure many teenage boys would agree with that and love to be perfectly free to go into the girls facilities whenever they choose.  If confronted, they can simply say they felt feminine that day.

If not, why not?  My view is that they should not be allowed because if men were allowed in the ladies’ facilities, the women’s right to privacy would be violated.  Am I wrong about that?  So, if LGBT’s are allowed to use whatever bathroom and shower facility they choose, whenever they want, are they, and their sexual preferences, not violating the rights of the people in those facilities who have the opposite sexual preferences?  So, whose rights are being violated?  The small minority LGBT community or the rest of the entire population?

Fact is that most people could care less if LGBTs use their facilities if they adhere to the principle of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; but, that principle was not acceptable or good enough for some LGBTs and has been overturned and discarded.  Some LGBTs and their supporters insist  LGBTs be able to express their pride in being LGBT, be recognized by others as such and essentially flaunt their LGBT status in parades and gay pride events. Fine, but when you insist on being recognized as LGBT, then your presence in bathroom facilities, inconsistent with your sexual preferences (or consistent with them depending on how you want to word it), becomes a violation of others’ right to privacy.

It wasn’t N. Carolina that first started making a big issue out of things like this, it was the in-your-face LGBTs themselves.


 

Mike,

 

I don’t see it as putting “one faith over another.” The officer in charge chose to make that accommodation in honor of the beliefs of that cadet.

 

Do you actually no see how utterly illogical and stupid that statement is?  People in charge initially chose to allow the Bible in POW/MIA display and it was never intended as an accommodation or honoring of anyone’s beliefs.  It was your petty objection that had the Bible removed, but you made no similar objection to the initial decision to allow the beard and turban.  You simply say that decision was up to the Commander.  It was up to the Commander to allow the Bible in the first place, so if you are using that reason for allowing the beard and turban, why object to the Bible?  You are nothing more than being hypocritical.

 

It is you attempting to make a point, and failing

 

That’s because with you common sense and logic is either missing or is irrelevant.

 

I do find it interesting that you believe it’s utterly irrelevant if even 99% of the population disagrees with you or anything. They are still supposed to bow to your wishes and accommodate your point of view.  Whereas, I wonder if you support the right of others to have their viewpoint accommodated when it’s different than 99% of the people on a subject other than religion in the military.  For example if a few very overweight people insist that airlines modify all their plane seats to accommodate people who weigh 300 lbs, would you support them?

 

Since you are so informed about such things, please educate me on what percentage of Christians in the U.S. are intent on turning America into a Christian theocracy and our military into Jesus’ Army.  I’d love to know.

 

What is the “danger to America” proposed by an ROTC cadet being allowed to wear a beard and turban? And how is “that religion… being accommodated more and more every day”? I suspect you’re trying to somehow insinuate jihadist terrorists into the discussion, which is a pathetic example of the fear at the root of this “War on Christianity” business

 

Perhaps you’re not too familiar with the military, but discipline, uniformity, protocol, morale, cohesiveness, etc are critical in military operations.  Making exceptions to accommodate one religion goes against those very principles in the military.  Conversely, please explain the similar danger to America because of a Bible in a POW/MIA display case?

 

Regarding Muslims, although hundreds of long-time residents of Hamtramck, MI protested the city allowing the five-times-per-day Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over Hamtramck’s loudspeakers, the city council voted unanimously in April 2004 to allow it. Prior to the city council making its decision, public input from any citizens (except Muslims) had not been allowed.

 

Dearborn’s Fordson High’s head coach Fouad Zaban proposed reversing the clock and moving practice to nighttime after realizing the rotating Ramadan would fall squarely during the start of a two-a-day practice schedule that launches football season.

 

Cutting practice wasn’t an option at football-crazy Fordson, which has won four state titles and three runner-up seasons since it was established in 1928, and is coming off a one-loss season. But no one wanted to lessen the significance of Ramadan at the school in the Detroit suburb widely known as the capital of Arab America.

 

http://lastresistance.com/michigan-public-school-board-allows-muslims-pray/

 

http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/Muslim-Prayer-in-Schools-Religion-Students/2015/03/25/id/634403/

 

 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, published a booklet called “An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” to help employers devise and implement policies that can create a culturally sensitive working environment.  This applies not only to employers, but to schools.  Some of their demands:

 

Provide time for employees to perform five daily prayers and washing before prayer. It takes about 15 minutes to perform the washing and prayer. Muslim employees can pray in their offices and worksite or any other space that is quiet, clean, and dry. Other workers should not walk in front of or interrupt worshippers during prayer.

 

Allot time to attend Friday congregational prayers at the local mosque during a slightly extended lunch break. The prayer takes place at noontime, lasts a total of 45 to 90 minutes, and includes a sermon at the end. Work missed can be made up later in the day or in the early morning.

 

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast (refraining from eating, drinking, and smoking) from sunup to sundown. Work shifts can be shortened if the lunch break is not taken. Muslims break fast after sundown.

 

Muslims take off one day twice a year to celebrate the Eid (festival), which follows the lunar calendar. The first Eid is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and the second is celebrated beginning on the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month. No undue penalty should be given since this is a religious obligation.

 

Muslim employees are demanding accommodations to wear hajibs (regardless of safety issues), to set aside time or space for daily prayer, or to perform ablutions before prayers; or, in meatpacking plants, to abstain from handling pork, often meet with antagonism from employers and co-workers.

 

In October 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing Muslim police officers to wear beards for religious or medical reasons. The case involved the suspension of two New Jersey Muslim police officers for failing to shave their beards. A Muslim employee of Sprint Corporation (NYSE: FON) in Kansas City, Missouri, received a monetary settlement after he was denied the right to attend mandatory Friday Islamic prayers.

(name withheld)


 

Mike,

 

I think we both realize that if it comes down to logic and common sense, you can’t win this debate or the LGBT “rights” debate.  You have no arguments that make sense.  Let’s take two of the major religions you are so worried about being offended by the Bible. First of all, half of the Bible is the Old Testament which I believe is part of the Jewish faith.  Second, The heart and core of the Jewish religion resides in Israel, which has zero separation between church and state.  Their primary goal is expansion, both religion, and geo-political.  They don’t just want to expand the Jewish faith; they want to expand the Jewish Nation.  Try exercising your form of razor-sharp separation of church and state in Israel or other places controlled by Jews.  So, why such nik piking about a Bible here?

 

Now look at Islam.  Please name the country that has a majority Muslim population and see how they handle and tolerate other beliefs.  Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc.  Try exercising your form of razor-sharp separation of church and state in any of those places;  in fact, anywhere Muslims control the government.  Again, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.  They will tolerate other religions until they become the majority.  After that, other religions are distained and barely tolerated, if at all.  Try removing a copy of the Koran from some display in those places.

 

So, you believe that a group of radical Christians is a bigger concern than Islam????????

 

All that aside, I be willing to bet that it is reality it is atheists who are the primary drivers behind your group, even if your members themselves are not atheists.  But they aren’t just pushing religion out of the military.  They are trying to push God out of all aspects of American life.  They are offended by a person wearing a gold or silver cross around their neck in public.

(name withheld)


 

Mike,

I think we both realize that if it comes down to logic and common sense, you can’t win this debate or the LGBT “rights” debate.  We have had no “debate” on LGBT rights. If you want such a debate, find someone else to talk to.

You have no arguments that make sense.  You have no idea of what arguments I might have because I’ve offered none. That’s because there is no point in going into the issue with you. I’m responding to your baseless attacks on the MRFF.

Let’s take two of the major religions you are so worried about being offended by the Bible. (name withheld), try to get this through your head. I am not “so worried about” any religion being offended. I am concerned with the stupidity and arrogance of Christian totalitarians who presume the right to push their view (your view) on others who have the right to their own belief or non-belief.

First of all, half of the Bible is the Old Testament which I believe is part of the Jewish faith. You believe? Don’t you know?

Second, The heart and core of the Jewish religion resides in Israel, which has zero separation between church and state. I don’t know about the current laws of the state of Israel with regard to religious freedom, but to assume you may be right for once, what difference can that possibly make to us? Are we supposed to design our laws after those of other nations? Most of the countries in the world have given up the death penalty but we still use it; does that make us wrong and  them right?

Their primary goal is expansion, both religion, and geo-political.  They don’t just want to expand the Jewish faith; they want to expand the Jewish Nation. If you mean by this they want to annex the Occupied Territories, that is not yet an overt government policy. If by this you also mean they want to spread their faith, I think they’re more concerned about ensuring a safe home for their people, but I assume anyone who has a belief system she or he thinks is for the betterment of human existence they probably want to share it with others.

Try exercising your form of razor-sharp separation of church and state in Israel or other places controlled by Jews. Why should I? I’m neither Jewish nor an Israeli. I’m an American concerned with America.

So, why such nik piking about a Bible here? Because I am an American concerned with the rights of Americans, of course. You know you astound me with these asinine attempts to compare the incomparable. Your apparent inability to comprehend the simple facts and deal straightforwardly by using actual examples of the logic and common sense you keep blowing on about is pathetic.

Now look at Islam.  Please name the country that has a majority Muslim population and see how they handle and tolerate other beliefs.  Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc.  Try exercising your form of razor-sharp separation of church and state in any of those places;  in fact, anywhere Muslims control the government.  (name withheld), get ahold of yourself. We aren’t in those countries, we’re here in America. We’re dealing with our own society, our own laws and our own Constitution. If you want to debate about how these issues play out in other countries, I’m sure there are plenty of people you can try to talk to, though if they have any sense they’ll quickly see how intent you are on justifying the unjustifiable.

Again, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.  So?

They will tolerate other religions until they become the majority.  After that, other religions are distained and barely tolerated, if at all. This, of course, is your opinion.

Try removing a copy of the Koran from some display in those places. Why? I don’t live in a Muslim country. You are trying to make a point that is utterly irrelevant to the question of government-sponsored religious displays here in America.

So, you believe that a group of radical Christians is a bigger concern than Islam????????  (name withheld), don’t be a fool, please. You’re truly becoming nonsensical. I believe a group of radical Christians comprise a very real concern to the freedom of religion in the United States, and I believe it is actively involved in attempting to insinuate itself into the government through the military. As far as the religion of Islam is concerned, I do not believe it is a problem for our country or the freedoms we enjoy here. You and others who refuse to seriously appreciate and respect our freedoms are a much bigger threat than anything from the outside.

All that aside, I be willing to bet that it is reality it is atheists who are the primary drivers behind your group, even if your members themselves are not atheists.  How much would you like that bet to be? You would lose.

But they aren’t just pushing religion out of the military. There is no “they” operating behind the curtain, as you would like to believe. The MRFF is an openly described organization; all you have to do is go on the web and look it up. And the MRFF is not pushing religion out of the military, it is trying to ensure that all beliefs are respected and honored equally within the military.

They are trying to push God out of all aspects of American life. You know, this is the kind of garbage people stoop to when they can’t face the fact that their own faith is so insecure they’re not sure what they believe so they lurch out clumsily and attack others out of their own frustration. This is sad, (name withheld), and it is disgusting.

They are offended by a person wearing a gold or silver cross around their neck in public. I’m sorry I’ve wasted all this time with you. Goodbye


 

Sorry, (name withheld), but you are becoming a bore.

Mike Farrell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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