Opinion

Dear Mikey & MRFF,
 
This organization is the most pitiful I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying something. I have absolutely no compassion or respect for anything you do. Despicable and abhorrent are apt adjectives for what your mission is.
 
I find it intriguing that your main goal in life is to offend and dismiss those who recognize a Sovereign God –  One you don’t acknowledge. What a waste of your time and energy in the pursuit of futility. Why do you care about what people believe and how exactly does that affect you? So childlike!!
 
Thanks for listening – I feel better!
 
Extremely Disgusted,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member  John Compere

Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)

 

Dear (name withheld)

Attached is a rational explanation in plain language of the factual, historical & lawful relationship between our Constitution, any religion and the military. Hopefully, you will find it information.
 
John Compere
Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

 

OUR CONSTITUTION, ANY RELIGION & THE MILITARY

 

The secular mission of the military is to defend our diverse nation against its enemies – not promote a religion. The sworn military service oath is to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States…and bear true faith and allegiance to the same” – not to any religion or its writings. The Constitution 1st Amendment expressly prohibits our secular government or its representatives (which includes the military) from “respecting”  a religion. Religion is private, military service and pay are public. Military personnel may privately practice a religion or no religion, but they may not lawfully use their military service, office or position to publicly promote private religious beliefs or impose them on fellow military members.

 

Those who disrespect, disregard or deny our Constitution and their sworn service oath subject themselves to disciplinary action. Additionally, a Constitution 101 class and briefing on the legal significance of their sworn oath needs to be mandatory. Those who choose not to support and defend our Constitution or honor their sworn oath have the right to seek a career in the civilian sector for private pay. This problem does not occur when military leadership demonstrates intelligence, integrity and loyalty to their military mission and oath.

 

The United States Constitution 1st Amendment provides, respectively, 3 basic religious liberties for all Americans:

 

Freedom from religion – our secular government is prevented from “respecting ” an establishment of religion (supporting, favoring, endorsing or promoting any religion). It is the right of all Americans to be free from  religion imposed by the government or its representatives.

 

Freedom of religion – our secular government is prevented from “prohibiting”  free exercise of religion. It is the right of all Americans to privately practice any religion or no religion provided it does not violate the rights of other Americans. It does not include the right of the government or its representatives to impose religion on Americans.

 

Freedom to speak about religion – our secular government is prevented from “abridging”  freedom of speech. It is the right of all Americans to speak publicly about religion provided it does not violate the rights of other Americans. It does not include the right of the government or its representatives to impose religion (including religious speech) on Americans.

 

There should be no misunderstanding about the operative verbs of these first 3 clauses of the 1st Amendment. All one has to do is first read them and then look up the definition of “respecting ”, “prohibiting ” or “abridging ” in any American dictionary.

 

Historic separation of church and state is a fundamental liberty of free people that keeps private religion out of public government and public government out of private religion. It is clearly the intent of our Founders as confirmed by the Constitution and its 1st Amendment, indisputably documented by countless historic public records over 3 centuries, publicly acknowledged by every American President since Thomas Jefferson, continuously confirmed by our US Supreme Court, and permanently embedded in the established law of our land. The Constitution pointedly provides “no religious test ” shall ever be required as a qualification to any public office or public trust (Article VI). These are inconvenient truths history deniers and revisionists intentionally ignore and deceitfully dispute.

 

Simply stated, we Americans have the right to our own private religious or non-religious beliefs, but we must respect the right of others to determine and enjoy their beliefs (the same right we demand for ourselves). This is a timeless universal principle known as the “GOLDEN RULE” and even commanded by Jesus in every New Testament version (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). The obsession of self-righteous religionists to publicly force their private religious beliefs on others without extending them this basic human right exhibits the height of hypocrisy and violates all moral teaching.

 

Founder and 3rd President Thomas Jefferson publicly penned this classic confirmation – “Believing…religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God…legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion’…thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” (Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress, January 1, 1802).

 

The late Republican President Ronald Reagan acknowledged, accepted and applauded this critical Constitutional liberty in a public speech – “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.” (Valley Stream, New York, October 26, 1984).

 

Unfortunately, the wisdom of the late American humorist Will Rogers is too often applicable these days – “There is no argument in the world that carries the hatred that a religious belief one does.” (“The Best of Will Rogers – A Collection of Rogers’ Wit & Wisdom Astonishingly Relevant for Today’s World”, Bryan Sterling, M. Evans & Company, 1979, page 193).

 

John Compere

Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired); former Chief Judge, US Army Court of Military Review; disabled American veteran (Vietnam); Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member; and Texas rancher.

 


Response from Military Religious Freedom Foundation Special Assistant to the President, Director of US Army Affairs, Blake Page

Dear (name withheld),

 

It seems you’ve received some bad information about what it is our organization does.  If I knew of anyone’s who main goal in life were to offend and dismiss people I’d be extremely disgusted right along side you.
Fortunately that’s got nothing to do with our mission.  The MRFF doesn’t take a stance on religion.  We do, however, take a stance on the use of our government to advance or hinder religion.  There’s an important distinction there that isn’t honestly nuanced or difficult to see, but there’s a large enough population out there broadcasting the message that “secular” means “anti-religion” that your confusion is understandable.  We don’t care about what people believe.  We care about what people do.  Specifically, what people do when it crosses the boundary of using government authority to advance or inhibit religion.
Blake Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President
Director of US Army Affairs

Response from MRFF Supporter Rael Nidess, MD

Dear (name withheld),

Mikey asked if I would respond to your e-mail since he was busy protecting Christian (and other) service members from persecution by the ultra-religious fanatical Christian wrong (they’re certainly not ‘right’).  Please be advised, that I’m not an employee or functionary of the MRFF, merely a supporter, and as such, my views are my own and do not necessarily represent either Mikey or MRFF.

That said, it appears that, in your haste to vent your considerable spleen on Mikey (consider Ephesians 29-32?), you evidently failed to think far enough ahead to investigate & understand what he & MRFF actually do.  Perhaps though, you harbor sufficient rage that directing it accurately and usefully isn’t really a consideration. 

At this point I turn to your 2nd paragraph in which your ignorance of Mikey & MRFF is on full display. Contrary to your rant, Mikey’s main goal in life is not “to offend and dismiss those who recognize a Sovereign God” he is, in fact Jewish (kind of like your own god-figure was) and does pray daily at least (full disclosure; I think religion’s a crock and that praying’s a waste of time, but that’s just me).  So, he personally does acknowledge & ‘recognize a Sovereign God; contrary to your strident, but erroneous assertion.  [Aside:  Ambrose Birce, in his ‘Devil’s Dictionary’ defined ‘Positive’ as ‘mistaken in a loud voice’.  Seems apropos, doesn’t it?].  Unstated, but implied is that you believe he & MRFF are on a ‘crusade’ (the most used term by Christian’s offended my Mikey’s activities as they paradoxically deny the religious nature of their outrage) to remove Christianity from all aspect of the military and social society.

Allow me to remind you that those Christian’s who fled the ‘Old World’ to establish colonies in the ‘new world’ did so to escape religious persecution by Christians of differing flavors who established ‘state religions’ in which being the wrong kind of Christian – forget about being Jewish or Muslim – just being Catholic or Protestant in the wrong country was sufficient to justify official state persecution, torture, and murder or ‘execution’.  Thus, when it came time for the new nation to write a constitution, the founders understood (also having the abortive attempt at a Christian state in the Massachusetts Bay Colony as another bad example) that the only means of preventing a Christian dictatorship (I’d describe it as Christo-fascism) was to make any governmental recognition or endorsement of any religion unconstitutional; thus the ‘Establishment Clause’ and the 1st Amendment.

Contrary to the assertions by those who fear the loss of the power and prestige of their white Christian patriarchal catbird seat in society (held for far too many years without resistance) and thus squeal like stuck pigs when their idiosyncratic religious iconography is found to be displayed in the wrong time, place, and manner, it’s Mikey’s & MRFF’s pursuit of those founding principles that insures that all are given the same opportunities in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness (to coin a phrase) in government service absent any consideration of their personal beliefs.  Thus, Mikey & MRFF vigorously defend any person’s right to pray & believe as they wish (or to not do so at all) the concern is to insure that their ‘right to swing their arms does not impinge on someone else’s nose’ (to paraphrase Lincoln).  In the military that’s especially important since religious squabbles can easily escalate to destroy the ‘good order & discipline’ needed to be an effective organization as was so well demonstrated in the near riot that occurred in the Phoenix VAMC over the unauthorized, and unconstitutional, bible distribution table.

To sum up… although you write well, and under your own name (I presume, as I have also done with you, trusting you will not ‘troll’ me in return), yours qualifies as one of the more ignorant e-mails written by someone with an education I’ve read in a long time.  I strongly suggest you visit the MRFF website and familiarize yourself with what Mikey & MRFF are really about (rather than obtain your education second-hand from those more ignorant than yourself who use people like you to grind their own axes).  Pay special attention to the biographies of the board members; most of whom identify as Christians (as do >95% of MRFF’s clients).

If you wish to reply in a reasoned fashion, fine.  If you’re inclined to send me the kind of crap you sent Mikey; spare me, it’s childlike.

Sincerely,

Rael Nidess, M.D.


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Dear (name withheld),

What are you talking about? Your “Opinion,” so described, makes no sense.

Your lack of “compassion or respect” for our organization is sad to read, of course, but is doubly so when it becomes clear that you lack any understanding of who we are or what we do, let alone what we stand for.

“Despicable and abhorrent” are, if anything, “apt adjectives” for a rude and uninvited judgment from a man completely ignorant of the organization he chooses to condemn.

Do you often lash out stupidly at things you don’t understand? Is it your standard practice to boldly condemn people and organizations about whom you know nothing? These are questions you would do well to ask yourself. It may indicate a condition that is, one would hope, curable.

Nowhere in the history, actions or mission of the MRFF is there any evidence to support your offensive charge that our “main goal in life is to offend and dismiss those who recognize a Sovereign God.” If you happen to consider yourself such a person I’d suggest you ask your Sovereign God how she, he or it feels about being represented by an imbecilic, irresponsible slanderer.

In the unlikely event you’d care to deal with verifiable facts rather than the nonsense you’re spouting, we do not care one whit about “what people believe,” only that they are free to do so. And our sole mission is to protect their right to that belief, even it is one as incoherent as your own.

As to your question of how people’s beliefs affect us, the answer is not at all, as we support the right of people in the military to subscribe to the belief or non-belief system of their choice. Belief systems only impact us when they are imposed, in contravention of the separation of church and state, on women and men in the military who do not share and/or are discomfited by having imposed on them, a belief that is not their own or is even perhaps a version of their own, but is being improperly forced or promoted by those in authority.

I hope that’s not too hard for you to understand.
Your in clarity,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 

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5 Comments

  1. Deplorable Patriot

    Dear Dr. Nidress,

    I found articles saying that you are Jewish and gay, well first of all, your sin is an abomination towards God and being Jewish you should be well aware of that, secondly, you have a reprobate mind, and third, your sins will only lead you to hell unless you repent. I also found an article saying that you support the BDS movement, that makes you like Mikey, a self-hating Jew. Finally, Jesus is Jewish and is God and will be returning again!

  2. G

    “Finally, Jesus is Jewish and is God and will be returning again!”

    If Jesus and his father are Jewish, then why do we have a religious organization named Christianity worshipping God and praising Jesus? Maybe God got tired of the Jews of disrespecting him and decide to establish a new religion where the followers will respect and worship him.

    Well, it has been 2,000 years and if God has not shown up by now, he probably never will because he (and his son Christ doesn’t exist}

  3. Rael Nidess, M.D.

    Yo, ‘Deplorable Patriot’ (how well chosen the first name, how counterfactual the second)… I don’t know what neo-Nazi website you patronize (and, since you can’t spell my name correctly – even while looking at it – I doubt you do either) first, haven’t considered myself ‘Jewish’ for a long time (but I know that when folks like you decide the “Jews” are to blame for the fact your ‘saviour’ never will show up – ’cause he’s a myth’ – I’ll be ‘Jewish enough’ for you to try & shove me into an oven). Second, I haven’t been ‘gay’ in a very long time… I’m hardly even ‘cheerful’ anymore. Anything else or does that exhaust your meager ‘arsenal’ of invective? If so, I refer you to ‘The Nose Speech’ in Cyrano de Bergerac [https://youtu.be/nFiLIsMieiQ].

  4. Deplorable Patriot

    Dr. Nidess,

    Jesus or Yeshua is not a myth, there is more historical evidence that He existed than you or I exist! Sad to say, I think you will be very shocked one day to be standing before your Jewish Messiah as you will have to give an account of your life here on earth and why you never accepted Him as your Messiah. There were several people who were guilty of killing Christ, one the Jewish leadership at that time, the Romans who nailed Him to the cross, and the crowd who yelled “crucify” him, and they you and I are guilty as well of nailing Him to the cross because of the sins have committed. Also, I am not anti-Semitic and would have prevented Jews from being gassed or put in ovens if I lived during that historical time. My prayer is that God would remove the veil He has put over the Jewish people’s eyes because they rejected their Messiah when Jesus came, but He is more and more removing that veil today as Jews all around the world are coming to faith and the realization that Jesus is the one and only Jewish Messiah who will return and rule the world from His throne in Jerusalem.

  5. Connie

    Rael –

    Logic is water
    Off a ducks back – drops rolling
    Down into the Sea

    Your reply is beautifully crafted. I noticed DP went for the personal attack instead of discussing your ideas. In this he is a carbon copy of Dominionists I’ve encountered in the past. The blast proselytizing is a bonus.

    Honestly. DP has more evidence of his deities existence than you or me. Priceless!!!

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