Not So Fast,

I appreciate getting your emails, but it seems like you are at war against those that would call themselves evangelicals or fundamentalists.  If you are truly about freedom, why do you want to squelch the freedom of someone just because they differ from you?  Is your aim to make us like China, whose totalitarian ways have made it illegal for parents to take children under 18 to church under threat of losing opportunities for their children to go to college or their military academies (  What is the BIG deal about having a Bible on a desk?  Was the accused preaching or pounding people over the head with it?  Our President and Commander in Chief is sworn in with the Bible and his inauguration is funded by taxpayers.  So is there a double-standard for service men and women? Please answer, as I am on a personal quest to understand the boundaries and limitations of our personal freedom whether in uniform or out.  Thank you.

(name withheld)

Response by Mike Farrell MRFF Advisory Board Member
Dear (name withheld),

We’re not ‘at war’ with anyone unless someone chooses to make war with us. Our mission is to support the Constitution and its derivative laws and regulations that protect freedom of religious or non-religious choice.

When you suggest we oppose “those that would call themselves evangelicals or fundamentalists,’ you are mistaken. We have no quarrel with anyone’s chosen belief. What we oppose is any person, organization or sect that chooses to impose her, his or its belief system on others in the military which, as part of the U.S. Government, must maintain a strict separation of church and state.

As it happens today, there are some who may be “evangelicals or fundamentalists” who subscribe to a “dominionist” theology that appears intent on imposing its belief system on our military and, apparently, our government. That, of course, we oppose.

We have no interest in “squelch(ing) the freedom of someone just because they differ from (us)” unless they interpret that freedom as giving them the right to impose their belief system on others or on the system itself.

For some reason that appears to be hard for some to comprehend. And some who have difficulty with comprehending our position tend, as you do here, to compare our position with that of China or some other totalitarian state without realizing that their insistence that their own theological belief system is the only right and true one are actually the totalitarians.

The BIG deal, as you’d have it, about having a Bible on a desk, is that it was inappropriate of Major Lewis to be using it in his place of business for purposes of proselytization.

Per your wish to understand, I’d suggest there is a double standard and shouldn’t be. A president can and should swear or affirm rather than be sworn in with a Bible, in my view. But the fact that he chooses to do so does not make it any less incorrect or inappropriate for a military officer to brandish his private religious views in a manner that imposes them on those under his authority.

I wish you well.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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