If the Military is so Afraid of the Open Bible….

If the military is so afraid of the open  Bible, how are they ever going to face the enemy on the battlefield?!  “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  
 (name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld),
No one is afraid of the bible in the military but there are laws that are in effect and they must be followed.
“…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 Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause.
Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the Lemon Test:
Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion
3. does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion
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
AFI (Air Force Instruction) 1-1, Section 2.12:
2.12. Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.
To place the opened, highlighted, underlined Christian Bible on a military desk 24/7 for other service members to see elevates the Christian God above all others and is in violation of the Constitution, Separation of Church and State under the Establishment Clause, Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test, Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12. These are the laws in effect today and must be followed.
There are means within the military to ask for religious exemptions. Maj. Lewis never asked for one like Monifa Sterling who was court-martialed for having Bible verses at her desk and refusing to take them down. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/11/monifa-sterlings-bad-conduct-discharge-from-marine/
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 47,000+ 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.
Check out our Mission statement:
Check out the distinguished military personnel we rely on for their expertise on religious neutrality in the military:
We are defenders of the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and military law. When the military oversteps these bounds, we step in to force them to obey.
To compare fear of the bible (which is non-existent) to combat is ludicrous.
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

No, Josh, wrong again (or should I say “still”). In typical, anti-Christ fashion, you and the millions of other non-believers in the truth of the Word of God (which, by the way, matters not since it still judges you in the end) twist words, meanings, and truth to explain away your actions and beliefs. You are probably also the type who will rally to save whales, yet kill the unborn. You and Hillary have a good time, but let me warn you about a coming event:  “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Do not bother me again with your human opinions and limited intelligence…they do not stand against the Lord of Glory.

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

I was ordained in the Assemblies of God many years ago and I am not a non-believer. I gave you the laws that must be obeyed concerning religious neutrality in the military and government. The bible tells us in Romans 13:1-2 that we must obey our authorities.


This is America where there is freedom for all religions. We do not live in a Christian theocracy.


It is you who is wrong.

Joan Slish

“Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.”  What is incorrect about that?! I also know that if the officer in question had a copy of the Muslim “holy” book, which, by the way, commands them to chop your head off too when they take over, you and others would praise him to the skies. No, with the truth of the Word of God on my side, I am never wrong.

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

Dear (name withheld),

I didn’t say there was anything wrong with “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD” and I am not denying that. What I’m saying is that there are laws that must be followed in America set down by the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and military laws. If you don’t like these laws then I suggest you contact your Congressman to have them changed.


You said “I also know that if the officer in question had a copy of the Muslim “holy” book, which, by the way, commands them to chop your head off too when they take over, you and others would praise him to the skies.”


You know nothing about what we’d do. In fact, we’d go after him, too, under our laws.


Again, you are wrong about us.

Joan Slish

You know you and I are going to become best friends if we keep this up?!

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish


I am a Christian and 240 of those involved with MRFF are Christians and over 45,000 of our clients are Christians. If we thought that MRFF was anti-Christian there would be a mass exodus. All we do is force the military to obey the religious neutrality in the military set down by law – not us. We have no problem with the Major reading his bible on break times and putting it in his desk or on a bookshelf. In the past we have gone after an atheist’s bumper sticker on his car on base that offended Christians and had it removed. We have fought for the rights of Christians more than any other religion.

Your friend, Joan 🙂














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  1. Convivencia

    Dear (name withheld)
    Who the enemy is on the battlefield that you mention?
    Which of the worlds’ battlefields do you mean?
    What leads you to believe that the military is afraid of an open bible?

  2. Convivencia

    A quick addendum to Dear (name withheld)
    Are there multiple enemies on multiple battlefields?
    Who, what, when, where and why?
    Please educate me: “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Which particular bible version, chapter and verse are you referring to?
    What is the specific name of your religion? Do you aspire to a theocracy in the U.S.? If you do, you may want to consider finding a different country.

  3. Connie

    Why is it Domionist types assume no one has heard their message? Why do they insist everyone has to believe just as they do, exactly like a religion they malign?

    Here is a clue – I’ve heard your Domionist message and I don’t like what you have to say. If Domionists would play fair and share the world there wouldn’t be all this fuss and muss. I already know fair and share are blasphemies in their world. To them sharing is not caring.

  4. G

    ‘If the military is so afraid of the open Bible, how are they ever going to face the enemy on the battlefield?’

    Well, a soldier is going to have to face the enemy on the battlefield whether he/she likes it or not and if he/she refuses to do so, he/she will be court-martial, so your life is over anyway whether you are dead on the battlefield or rotting in a military prison.

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