Thank you!

Thank you for your banner over downtown Colorado Spring promoting Jesus as commander in chief! Obviously, from the content on your website the intent was the opposite. But you got people to recognize the name of Jesus, Who is above every name.

In your ‘about’ statement you claim thatmembers of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of both freedom of religion and freedom from religion, to which they and all Americans are entitled.” I wasn’t aware there was a Constitutional guarantee of freedom FROM religion. I would be very interested in the wording that states this. I’m not interested in a special interest group interpretation, just the wording. I’ve looked for it for myself and couldn’t find anything. 

Also, if you could provide direct instances of when the AFA or any other military installation actively promoted or stated their servicemen need to follow Jesus, please respond with those. As a Christian, I love America and our servicemen and women and I love our constitution which states in the original language….

N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

And also in the 1st Amendment….
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
I don’t know of any instances where our military installations have instituted anything resembling the above constitutional statements. I’ll continue to pray for our military installations, as is my right to practice my religion, as it is the right of our service members to practice their religion, whatever that may be.
Again, thank you for the banner!

(name withheld)

Thank you for confirming that you have seen our banner, Amy!… You just MADE our day!… May I suggest you consider buying the two books I have written about all of this… Not very hard to find… You might also want to buy my wife’s book, “to the far right Christian hater: you can be a good speller or a hater but you can’t be both”… have a wonderful day and thank you so VERY much for confirming that you saw our beautiful banner! 🙂

Mikey Weinstein

Dear (name withheld),
Thanks for noticing the flying banner!  I’d like to explain my perspective on the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom FROM religion.  I do not consider myself part of a special interest group, except maybe the US Air Force, in which I have served actively for nearly 40 years–around the world, in some places that you probably wouldn’t visit even protected by a bomb and germ-proof bubble.  I’m sorry that you couldn’t find the guarantee of freedom from religion in the passage you cite:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  That means that one cannot declare the US to be a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Pastafarian State, even with a vote of 300,000,000 to Zero–government must be independent of religion and unbiased towards all religious viewpoints.  That means that (at least in a government job–and in most civilian jobs) an atheist can’t bar you from practicing your religion in your off-work time, but you can sue her if she says that she will only hire fellow atheists.  The counter examples applies as well.
You ask for specific examples where members of the military have violated the passages you cite.  Well, there are literally thousands, but I’ll pick a few.  The problem here is that many of these rules are violated quietly.  For example, while it’s perfectly acceptably in most offices to display a bible or declare that you are a Christian, I know of ZERO overt atheists in the military.  Why?  Because declaring oneself an atheist causes some to doubt one’s commitment and patriotism for reasons I don’t understand.  (Hint:  I’m an atheist–and a happily married one, for more than 35 years!)  Promote religion?  USAFA puts up a Christmas Tree at taxpayer expense every year–so do many bases.  Where’s my pastafarian collander display?  Why not a Mennorah?  Where’s the full-fledged mosque at USAFA?
Why am I forced to attend meetings that start and/or end with Christian prayer?  Isn’t that endorsement and establishment?  If I choose not to say “So help me god” when I take my oath of office am I any less committed to the Constitution or service?  (I am not)  But if I do fail to say those words, I risk my career–I know because I did it and my commander referred hate mail he’d received directly to me.  He did nothing about the mail.  I have not since been promoted.  (That sounds a LOT like a de facto religious test to me)
I’ve got to run now–it’s a busy time where I work, protecting your right to pray and worship.  Most of the people that work for me are religious, too.  But that’s not my business.  They do not know (truly) how I feel about religion and I don’t judge them or anyone else on anything besides how well they do their job.  That’s all we’re asking.
Your Jesus is not the commander in chief of this nation nor of USAFA.  He may be the lord of the universe to you and I’m fine with that.  To me, though, he’s just another (probably mythical) itinerant street preacher with a few good publicists.
A 35 Year Air Force Veteran

Thank you very much, this is what I was hoping to receive info on. And for this officer, thank you for your service to our country, and yours as well Mickey. Truly grateful for our freedom, although at the cost of many many lives. 

I appreciate the little bit of info to help me understand, especially as busy as you are. 

(name withheld)

ok…thank YOU, Amy for being open-minded enough to see the other side of this story…..all best, Mikey W.







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1 Comment

  1. Connie

    This exchange gives me hope for the future. Thank you to all.

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