Chapel

I will be visiting my alma mater in Annapolis next week!
I cannot wait to attend Mass in that BIG, BEAUTIFUL Chapel when I am there.
Get a life and leave us alone
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld)
It’s wonderful that you will be visiting your Alma Mater and attending Mass in the Chapel. We have no problem with that and if anyone tells you that we are trying to take Christianity out of the military, they are wrong. According to our Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and military law there is a time, place and manner to worship and pray.
What we do have a problem with is forcing all of the football players to pray in the locker room – regardless of their religion.
Coach Monken asked his assistant to lead the team in prayer. He told the players to kneel, touch somebody and a Christian prayer was said.
Mikey received complaints from 44 graduates, 40 staff members and 6 football players on this unlawful act at the academy.
The full video of this was taken down and an extremely edited version was put up – minus the assistant telling everyone to kneel for prayer.
Our military is secular and the academy is a public school paid for with taxpayer money and must obey our laws.
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… Speechthat is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.”  Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974
The mandatory prayer violates the Separation of Church and State under the First Amendment, Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy.
The media and Christian writers fail to mention and ignore these laws – when they are fully aware of them – to speak only of the First Amendment.
In 2005, Major Chaplain James Linzey said on a video “”Remember, the demons believe in Jesus Christ. They believe in the truth — see that’s Jesus Christ — and they tremble… They are as scared as little tiny mice running up and down the curtains in the cathedrals. Now, they’re in the cathedrals. They’re in the churches. They’re controlling pulpits. That’s how mainstream Protestantism has declined. Because they invaded the churches, and the mainstream Protestant churches stopped hearing the truth. So they want to squelch the truth by taking over the church. Now, this is not in my notes, but I was inspired by God because these are demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell, and we need to stomp them out.”
 
Mainline Christians including Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodist, etc. should be stomped out in favor of the Dominionist sect of Christianity (which has hijacked our military all the way to the Pentagon).
If any football player failed to take part in this mandatory prayer, they would have been outed for retaliation.
You are not privy to the emails Mikey has received over the years from the mainline Christians and others who have been told they are not the “right kind of Christian” or not “Christian enough,” harassed, beaten, given poor performance ratings, advancements withheld and some being forced out of the military on trumped up charges, all because they would not give up their faith and become a Dominionist Christian.
We fight for the rights of these Christians more than any other but it never makes the news.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said “We do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.”
In other words, the majority doesn’t rule over the minority where First Amendment rights are concerned.
She also said “The Establishment Clause prohibits government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person’s standing in the political community. Government can run afoul of that prohibition in two principal ways. One is excessive entanglement with religious institutions, which may interfere with the independence of the institutions, give the institutions access to government or governmental powers not fully shared by nonadherents of the religion, and foster the creation of political constituencies defined along religious lines. The second and more direct infringement is government endorsement or disapproval of religion. Endorsement sends a message to nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. Disapproval sends the opposite message.”
Her statement makes clear that one religion is not to be favored over another or some will feel like insiders while others will not feel accepted.
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 47,300 soldier clients are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc.
Check out our mission statement to get to know us better:
Check out the honorable and distinguished military personnel whom we rely on for their expertise in religious neutrality in the military:
Enjoy your time visiting Annapolis and worshiping in the Chapel.
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

 Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
Hi (name withheld),

We hope you enjoy your visit to your alma mater and we certainly trust your word that you’ll enjoy Mass in the big beautiful chapel. Why would you think such an idea would trouble anyone here at the MRFF?

Since you follow your declaration with an admonition to “leave us alone,” it appears that you are under the impression that we have a problem with your attendance at Mass in your chapel. Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s what the chapel is for, isn’t it? And attendance at a Mass held in the chapel certainly falls within the correct time, place and manner for religious expression that the law and military regulations protect.

You see, the only problem we’d have with the situation you describe is if the women and men in the military were required by those who have authority over them to attend Mass in your big, beautiful chapel in spite of their having a different religion, faith or belief system. That would create a problem, as I’m sure you, as a graduate of Annapolis, understand.

So worry not. But it might help if you took the trouble to understand things a bit more clearly.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


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