Religion

Freedom of religion, yes.  Freedom from religion, NO. 
One nation under GOD.  If people do not like Christianity in America, they need to leave.  Our founding fathers stated that without God, this nation would fail. The current administration is removing God from everything.  As a result there is   increasing violence, perversion, immorality, natural disasters, same sex marriage, etc.
Wake up, America needs to get right with God before it is too late. 
You persecute a Christian for having an open Bible but yet, you fight for the equal right of a Muslim’s ability to wear their head dress.  Are Muslims persecuted for having an opened Koran ?
America’s political correctness is pathetic and it is leading us into darkness.  Open a King James Bible and read the Ezekiel, Revelations, and the Gospels of Jesus Christ if you have any doubt.  America is shaking their fist at God and one day, God will put forth His judgement and wrath.
Concerned Christian of America
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
The United States Constitution 1st Amendment provides 3 religious liberties for all Americans:
1. Freedom from religion – our government (which includes the military) is prevented by law from “respecting” any religious establishment. It may not favor or promote any religion.
2. Freedom of religion – our government is prevented by law from “prohibiting” the free exercise of religion. Americans have the right to privately practice the religion (or non-religion) of their choice provided it does not violate the rights of other Americans. It does not include the right of the government or its representatives to publicly impose private religious beliefs on Americans.
3. Freedom of speech – our government is prevented by law from “abridging” religious freedom of speech provided it does not violate the rights of other Americans. It does not include the right of the government or its representatives to publicly impose private religious beliefs on Americans.
 
That was the clearly stated intent of our Founders confirmed by the above and indisputably documented by historic public records. History deniers and revisionists who wish otherwise are sadly misinformed.
 
Simply stated, you have the right to your religious beliefs, but you must respect the right of fellow Americans to determine and enjoy their beliefs (the same right you demand for yourself). It is known as The Golden Rule and taught by Jesus in the New Testament (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31).
 
John Compere (Brigadier General, US Army, Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member
There is no argument in the world that carries the hatred that a religious belief one does.” – American humorist Will Rogers

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Separation of Church and State IS freedom FROM religion.
 
One Nation Under God was added to the Pledge in 1954 – not in the Constitution.
 
In God We Trust was made our Motto in 1956 – not in the Constitution.
 
In God We Trust was put on our paper currency in 1957 – not in our Constitution.
 
The Constitution was ratified in 1788 and we lived between 166-169 years without the mention of God. 
 
Here’s the backdrop for the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is a brief summary and I suggest you research the historical facts listed here.
 
When Virginia was founded it established the Anglican Church as the state’s official religion based on the state sponsored Church of England. In order to hold any official position in the Virginia government you must be a member of the Anglican Church.
 
All citizens of Virginia, regardless of their religious affiliation, had to pay taxes to support the Anglican churches throughout the state. The Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists fought this by petitions but were ignored.
 
Jefferson felt that to make anyone pay a tax to support the Anglican Church or any church was wrong and in 1777 penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. After becoming Governor of Virginia in 1779, he brought the bill – known as Bill No. 82 – before the Virginia Assembly. It didn’t become law until 1785.
 
The following paragraph from the Virginia Statute is the basis for the First Amendment. It didn’t need this whole paragraph written out in the amendment because the people of that time understood what it meant.
 
“We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
 
This bill gave the people freedom FROM religion in all aspects of their lives. No longer were they forced to attend religious services, beaten, placed in jail, pay taxes to the state to fund the state sanctioned religion or kept from holding a job in the government.
 
Jefferson wrote the Statute of Religious Freedom, whose preamble indicted state religion, noting that “false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time” have been maintained through the church-state. To “compell a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”
 
In his Notes on Virginia (1782), Jefferson wrote: “Millions of innocent men, women and children since the introduction of Christianity have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned. Yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. . .”
 
Even in boot camp the soldiers have freedom from religion by not having to attend church but their punishment for staying away is cleaning their barracks. 
 
The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797; a mere 8 years since our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. 
 
The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “The idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.” 
 
“The Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered”. George Lincoln Burr (1857 – 1938), Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University
 
“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
 
“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”
Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788
“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion” 

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” 
James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments
 
“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773
 
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”
James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments
 
“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”
As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
 
The Unites States is not a theocracy and according to our Founding Fathers the Constitution is not based on Christianity or biblical law.
 
As defenders of the Constitution we fight for the separation of church and state.
 
“…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 desk 24/7 in the military for other service members to see elevates the Christian God above all others and is in violation of Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test, Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12
 
No other religion violates the above laws and if they did we would fight against them, too.
 
To say “The current administration is removing God from everything” is ludicrous.
 
No one here is going to leave because of your judgmental attitude and ignorance concerning our laws.
 
Joan Slish (a Christian)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Nevertheless, as a Christian you of all people should realize the importance of God.  Our purpose is to teach the Gospels of Jesus Christ, to bring as many people to Him in faith as possible.  Your organization does the exact opposite.  It is a hindrance to this mission.  After all , Jesus stated in Mathew 28:19 , “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

I am fully aware of the importance of God but there is a time, place and manner for it in the military. We are not stopping anyone from exercising their religious freedom outside of the workplace. How hard is it to say to a co-worker “Can we meet up sometime after work? I have something of importance to discuss with you?”

 

We are not a “hindrance to this mission” but the laws we have governing religious neutrality in the military. We force the military to uphold them when they overstep those bounds.

 

There are means within the military to ask for religious exemptions. Maj. Lewis never asked 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/

 

The bible tells us:

 

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Romans 13:1-2

 

As Christians we must obey our laws.

Joan Slish


 

 

 

 

 

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