Freedom from religion?????

No such thing as freedom from religion in the Constitution. You can cling to your atheism and falsehoods. I’ll stick to God and guns.

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

Dear (name withheld),
Please be advised that the MRFF does not “cling to atheism and false hoods”. We represent over 50,000 loyal & patriotic military members, veterans & civilians who have requested that their US Constitutional freedom from religion be respected & protected. 96% are Christians who do not want someone else’s version of Christianity imposed upon them. We proudly serve them to insure they are not denied this historic American individual liberty.
 
Your statement “No such thing as freedom from religion in the Constitution” is incredibly ignorant for a 21st Century American adult & contrary to facts, history & law. Attached is a rational explanation in plain language of the factual, historical & lawful relationship between our Constitution, the military & any religion. Hopefully, you will find it enlightening.
 
Most Sincerely,
John Compere*<):) cowboy
MRFF Advisory Board Member & Texas rancher

Again no such thing as freedom from religion in America. You have the right not to participate or purchase something you don’t believe in.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
Your position is wrong & best illustrated by the attached.
John Compere
MRFF Advisory Board Member

OUR CONSTITUTION, THE MILITARY & ANY RELIGION

 

The military mission is to defend our 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 prohibits our secular government or its representatives (which includes the military) from promoting any religion.

 

Military service, funding and pay are public whereas religion is private. 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 other military members. This problem seldom arises when military leaders demonstrate intelligence, integrity and loyalty to the mission, oath, Constitution and regulations.

 

Those who disrespect, disregard or deny our Constitution, their sworn service oath and military regulations subject themselves to disciplinary action. Additionally, a basic Constitution class and briefing on the legal significance of their sworn oath need to be mandatory. Those who choose not to support and defend our Constitution, honor their sworn oath or follow military regulations have the right to seek a career in the civilian sector for private pay.

 

The Constitution (1st Amendment) provides 3 basic religious liberties, respectively, for Americans:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

There should be no misunderstanding of the operative verbs in these first three clauses of the 1st Amendment. All one has to do is first read them and then read the definitions 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, indisputably documented by 3 centuries of public records, acknowledged publicly by every American President since Thomas Jefferson, continuously confirmed by our courts, 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). It is also significant to note there were no public prayers during the 116 days of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. These are self-evident American truths history deniers and religious revisionists intentionally ignore and deceitfully disregard.

 

Simply stated, we Americans have the right to our own religious or non-religious beliefs, but we must respect the right of others to determine and enjoy their beliefs (common sense clue – the same right we cherish for ourselves). This is timeless universal wisdom predating institutional religion known as the “GOLDEN RULE” and preached by Jesus in every New Testament version (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31). The self-righteous obsession of radicalized religionists to publicly force their private religious beliefs on others without extending them this basic human liberty exhibits the height of hypocrisy, rejects all moral teaching and creates continuous conflict.

 

Unfortunately, the observation of the late American humorist Will Rogers is still experienced – “There is no argument in the world that carries the hatred that a religious belief one does.” (The Best of Will Rogers, Bryan Sterling, M. Evans & Company, 1979, page 193).

 

Founder and 3rd President Thomas Jefferson publicly penned the 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 publicly acknowledged 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).

 

Christian evangelist Billy Graham publicly praised constitutional separation of church and state in a sermon – “We enjoy the separation of church and state and no sectarian religion has ever been and we pray God, ever will be imposed upon us.(Washington National Cathedral, 1985).

 

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 MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

freedom OF religion fully includes freedom FROM religion, sport….thx for reaching out…

Mikey Weinstein


 

You can’t be free to practice your religion and free from all others to practice their’s. Very basic logic

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
…wrong, bro…….in the U.S. we are all free to practice our faith or lack thereof as long as it is in a time, place and manner which complies with the United States Constitution, it’s construing Federal an State caselaw and, in the military, all doD directives, instructions and regulations…..if “following your faith’ violates those precepts, you’re an outlaw and, if you do it in the military, you will be a target of MRFF!….”Very basic logic”….
Mikey Weinstein

 Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld),
Separation of church and state is freedom from religion. No laws in our secular government are to be based on religious doctrine.
 
“More than once it has been said, too, that the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered.” George Lincoln Burr
 
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. . .”
 
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.” 
 
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
 
“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
“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
 
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 use our military to advance the Christian religion above all others is in violation of the Constitution (Establishment Clause), Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test, Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12.
 
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 50,300+ soldier clients are mainline Christians and we fight for them more than any other belief or non-belief.
 
We also have many honorable and distinguished military personnel, whom we rely on for their expertise on religion in the military, on our Board and Advisory Board.
 
Check out our Mission Statement
 
No one here is taking your God and guns away from you.
 
The next time someone tries to rile you up by omitting the above laws and facts, rely on this email to tell you the truth.
 
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Let’s see “from” has the same meaning as “of”. And only  the laws of man have any redeeming value. We’ll just have to disagree

 

(name withheld)


Response by MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

“You are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts.” Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

 

You have your opinion and we have the facts and laws to back up our stance.

Joan Slish


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Hi (name withheld),

Since you’ve been searching through the constitution, did you find Jesus in there anywhere?

I’m sorry you don’t understand that the concept of freedom of religion includes, if freedom means anything, the freedom to believe or not believe as one chooses.

I don’t, given your apparent inability to think expansively, expect you to understand that our protection of the freedom of religious (or non-religious) choice of the women and men in the military does not suggest we are atheists or that we promote atheism. On the contrary, most of those associated with the MRFF are Christians. They’re just not the kind of Christians that want to shove their beliefs down the throat of those who believe differently. Nor are they the kind of Christians who assume because someone supports the concept of the separation of church and state they must be atheists.

Think about it. You might decide to become unstuck.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. Joshua Rownd

    Dear MRFF people listed above,

    No where does the Constitution say that there is a freedom from religion anywhere, and to assume so is to assume facts that are not in evidence. Nor, is there anywhere in the Constitution, that Mikey seems to think there is, it says that and I quote Mikey, “.in the U.S. we are all free to practice our faith or lack thereof as long as it is in a time, place and manner which complies with the United States Constitution.” The Constitution does not say that I can only practice my religion at specified times, I can practice my faith and share my faith, anytime or anywhere I so seem to choose, and what Mikey is saying puts confines on my expression of religion which you will not find in the Constitution, Also, what is against some common opinions is that my religion does not have to only be practiced inside a church, synagogue or mosque, but it can be practiced outside as well at any time or place of my choosing.

    Here some other interesting notes about the First Amendment I found on the Cornell University Law School website and I quote – “The Free Exercise Clause reserves the right of American citizens to accept any religious belief and engage in religious rituals. The wording in the free-exercise clauses of state constitutions that religious “[o]pinion, expression of opinion, and practice were all expressly protected” by the Free Exercise Clause.[1] The clause protects not just religious beliefs but actions made on behalf of those beliefs. More importantly, the wording of state constitutions suggest that “free exercise envisions religiously compelled exemptions from at least some generally applicable laws.”[2] The Free Exercise Clause not only protects religious belief and expression; it also seems to allow for violation of laws, as long as that violation is made for religious reasons. In the terms of economc theory, the Free Exercise Clause promotes a free religious market by precluding taxation of religious activities by minority sects.[3]

    Constitutional scholars and even Supreme Court opinions have contended that the two religion clauses are in conflict. E.g., Thomas v. Review Board, 450 U.S. 707 (1981). As mentioned previously, the Free Exercise Clause implies special accommodation of religious ideas and actions, even to the point of exemptions to generally applicable laws. Such a special benefit seems to violate the neutrality between “religion and non-religion” mandated by the Establishment Clause. McConnell explains:

    If there is a constitutional requirement for accommodation of religious conduct, it will most likely be found in the Free Exercise Clause. Some say, though, that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause for the government to give any special benefit or recognition of religion. In that case, we have a First Amendment in conflict with itself—the Establishment Clause forbidding what the Free Exercise Clause requires.[4]”

  2. Joshua Rownd

    I would suggest that Mikey go back to McGeorge School of Law and retake his course in the Constitution and First Amendment, okay Sport!! I guess McGeorge is the only law school that would take Mikey or the Air Force would pay for.

  3. G

    JR, those military lawyers need to go back to law school and retake refresher courses in the Consitution and the First Amendment since they are the ones losing to Weinstein and what a waste of taxpayer money when it came to educating those lawyers.

    “I’ll stick to God and guns”

    Yeah and guns did not protect those people who were murdered by fanatic Christians and pro-life people. BTW, the Second Amendment came about because the Southern states needed an armed militia to keep the slaves under control. This talk about an armed militia to protect us from a tyrannical government is a myth and smoke screen.

  4. “I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.”
    — John Stuart Mill, English philosopher, political economist and civil servant

  5. Connie

    JR,

    The document you posted talks about state constitutions, not the Federal Constitution. Are you sure you read what you posted?

    There are several concepts you miss when talking about the First Amendment.

    First is your idea that your personal religious rights mean you get to do whatever you want. No! Your rights end where my religious rights begin. You don’t have the right to force me to worship as you believe is correct.

    Second, the military is not civilian, therefore the rules are different. You continue to apply civilian metrics to military issues. It’s a fine line but a black and white line nonetheless.

    Perhaps JR you need to take a remedial reading comprehension class to avoid embarrassing yourself like this again.

  6. Great forum. I agree that religion is a basic right but the Liberal Democrat wants to force others to pay for them to practice their religion and faith of unlimited abortion, free birth control.

    People who save their money for their children, leaving them property, land, tools, and plans. What if the species teach their children in kind to do the same for their children. ?

    Then You end up with more inheritances passed down and responsible families. Instead of an orgy, Bump and Go fatherless and abandoned, misbegotten children who are taught to device and scheme and plan ways to rip off the responsible,

    An orgy society, pumping out billions of babies and using the babies as a welfare money-collecting project for 18 years.

    This rapid rate of a population cannot sustain itself without planning, responsibility, mother / father teamwork and self-control. The more responsible do not need the less responsible to make children for them. They can make their own children.

    But it is not about the irresponsible having a desire to make the children for others to take care of. It is all about the DEMAND that others pay Your sexual adventures and pleasures. While You throw the hungry baby on their path and run off and party and screw some more – knowing that they will pick up the bills and tabs and take care of the baby. While You run off and make more babies. Demanding Free Birth Control, Free Condoms, and unlimited FREE Abortions. And the bills paid for any other complications.

    Free food, Free Obama phones – Free everything.
    Why complain about Your trashy environment, when others are doing better than You ?

    Why don’t they just go to war and take what they want or they could Make a change and set up the next generation in their community for a better chance.

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