Senior Air Force Officer Responds For MRFF To General’s Questions RE: Mikey Weinstein

On April 12, 2017, at 10:41pm General (name withheld) wrote:

M,

That was an informative and interesting debate last night.

You do a great job of presenting your positions in a thought provoking and entertaining manner.

It is evident that you are strongly opposed to any form of Christian evangelization.  

Out of curiosity, are you an atheist or is it just that you are against the divinity-idea of Jesus?

In other words, do you hold to the belief that life arose by chance, or was there a Designer/designer, however labeled?

As a biologist, let me share one of the strongest pieces of evidence that persuades me there had to be a designer:

    Life, of any kind, is composed of cells (as you recall from your Life Science classes).

    Humans are composed of 50 to 100 trillion cells (So reports Google).

    These cells all originated from one completed cell (an egg cell from     your mother and a sperm cell from your father).

    Now here’s the remarkable fact: That single completed-cell has within it the design for all the other trillions of cells (organized into the myriad different bodily systems)!

For all of that to occur against what we know about entropy is, to me, pretty miraculous!

So, regardless of what you might call “Him” (God, Son, Holy Spirit, or Whatever), wouldn’t you say that’s more than reasonable?

Your fan


Response from a Senior Active-Duty Air Force Officer:

Dear Gen (name withheld),

I know who you are–thank you for your service to USAFA and the Air Force over these many years.  I’ve volunteered to respond to your e-mail on Mikey’s behalf.  I, too, attended the event last night and was glad you got to see it.  I was very impressed with the points Theresa made, MUCH less so by Alex.

Let me try to address your points one-by-one.  I’m passing this through Mikey, so he can edit/amend anything with which he disagrees or finds inaccurate.

It is evident that you are strongly opposed to any form of Christian evangelization.  

This is absolutely untrue.  Both Mikey and I have lifelong friends and family who are Christians–even many evangelical Christians–whom we love and respect, even if we disagree with them on some fundamental subjects.  I have no problem with Christian evangelizing, either, so long as it is conducted in the proper venue and under the proper conditions.  In the civilian world that’s almost anywhere that isn’t part of a government operation (like a public school).  Even there, it’s all about the relationship.  A high school sophomore can “recruit” a classmate to go to church with him or her through a conversation in the hallways, but a teacher at a government-funded public or charter school can’t recruit their students for their Christian church any more than they should for a Madrassah.  Likewise, they should never denigrate a student for the student’s beliefs if the teacher happens to be an atheist or of a different religious bent.  I have been “evangelized” by many.  When they are my peers and it’s a social situation, I have no problem with that.

Within the military, though, the issues get MUCH more complex.  A military officer, such as yourself, can put on civilian clothes and evangelize on a street corner or go door-to-door handing out pamphlets or even deliver a sermon at Sunday service, so long as they’re doing so on their own time and in no way referring to or using their military position and rank in a coercive manner.  On the job, they may THINK that their subordinates would be better off if they accepted Christ as their lord and savior, but (n the interest of morale, unit cohesion and good order and discipline) the guidance is quite clear that they cannot evangelize in the workplace nor should they create an environment in which their subordinates feel like their religious beliefs MIGHT be a basis for performance evaluations (good or bad), promotion recommendations, or follow-on jobs.  My brother-in-law is a naval officer and commander.  He told me long ago that the rule in the officers’ mess is that they NEVER discuss religion, politics, or sex.  I think that’s a good rule.  At the Academy, at the end of the semester, a cadet should have no more idea what their instructor’s religion is than whom they voted for or with him they spend their Saturday nights.

Out of curiosity, are you an atheist or is it just that you are against the divinity-idea of Jesus?

I, personally, am an atheist.  I won’t speak for Mikey.  I was raised Lutheran, but was a doubter from a very early age and never really “bought it.”  My wife is the same–raised in the church, but never accepted the mythology.  My children were happily allowed to go to church with friends, never dissuaded from investigating religion, but are both atheists.  I’ve read the bible cover-to-cover.  It contains great examples of moral behavior and standards that any human should strive to emulate–but it also has an enormous number of silly, demonstrably false, illogical, and misogynistic passages that are absolutely irrelevant (if not anathema) to modern life.  I do not believe it is divinely inspired, but rather a compilation of tribal legend, poetry, historical fiction, allegory, moral guidance, incoherent prophecy, and tools used by generations to subjugate a wide variety of victims and justify power for a few.  To me, the idea that Jesus was the Son of God (if he even existed and wasn’t just a moral construct/allegory made up almost a Century later) is laughable.  Where’s the sacrifice in dying if you know you’re the son of God and will rise again to live forever?  That’s just a bad weekend IMHO.

In other words, do you hold to the belief that life arose by chance, or was there a Designer/designer, however labeled?

I can come up with no better explanation on how life arose on Earth than by chance and physics.  I can’t PROVE that it wasn’t designed by someone or something any more than you can prove that it was.  In all of my reading, though, I have not heard any convincing evidence to suggest that, billions of years ago, someone planted the amino acids that became simple life that became cells that became animals that became us and that this development was guided along the way by some unseen force or loving hand.  Biblical creation is, to me, an explanation created to make sense to simple illiterate shepherds by a few slightly more intelligent priests or village mystics who needed some sort of power over the locals (magic) to control them.  That there are similarly bizarre and ludicrous creation accounts in almost all other religions (though unrelated) tells me that that’s how the ignorant powerful explain things to the ignorant powerless.  I see no Hand of God in the Platypus, the Man, or the Paramecium.  If that makes us a hunk of meat that will disappear upon death, then that also tells me that I’d better squeeze every bit out of the life I have and not waste any of it a church on Sunday, a Mosque on Saturday, or trying to determine if there’s life after death–I don’t think there is.  

As a biologist, let me share one of the strongest pieces of evidence that persuades me there had to be a designer:

    Life, of any kind, is composed of cells (as you recall from your Life Science classes).

    Humans are composed of 50 to 100 trillion cells (So reports Google).

    These cells all originated from one completed cell (an egg cell from your mother and a sperm cell from your father).

    Now here’s the remarkable fact: That single completed-cell has within it the design for all the other trillions of cells (organized into the myriad different bodily systems)!

For all of that to occur against what we know about entropy is, to me, pretty miraculous!

So, regardless of what you might call “Him” (God, Son, Holy Spirit, or Whatever), wouldn’t you say that’s more than reasonable?

That’s a nice story, but it’s unrelated completely to Christianity and evangelism.  Even if I granted you the point that something created life on Earth, and I can’t absolutely PROVE that evolution and natural selection shaped the development of the species over the last few billion years, that’s still no justification for believing the specifically CHRISTIAN story told in the Bible any more than I should believe the scribblings of those that followed the Prophet Mohammed, The Buddha, Confucius, Janism, Zoroastrianism, Ba’hai, or any of the other thousands of religions that were created by tribes and peoples over the millenia to explain things they had no ability to understand.   The preponderance of the scientific evidence available to us TODAY supports evolution and directly contradicts whole biblical tracts.  If more evidence is found to contradict evolution and come up with a better theory that more closely conforms to the evidence–even if it’s biblical–then I’ll reconsider.  Your argument, though, is certainly no reason to try to pressure the people that work for me to believe as I do just so that I can bask in the warmth of I’m knowing that I’ve saved their immortal souls based upon the legends taught me as a child.

Now, let me ask you a question:  If the only way to eternal life is through acceptance of Jesus, then why does your Creator allow people to live out their whole lives without any chance of ever hearing about Jesus–in the jungles of the Amazon, highest Tibet, and most of the world outside of Europe until well past the 1500s?  Only to die and not have the chance at Salvation because someone didn’t come to their door and hand them a pamphlet or a Bible and offer to save them?  Also, it sure seems to me that the religion to which most of the world adheres is the one that was available when they were raised.  Children of Muslims become Muslims, same with Buddhists and Christians.  There really isn’t much conversion going on out there relative to the raw numbers of adherents that just stay with what they’ve always found comfortable–and the only evangelizing done, in reality, is to spread their religion so that there are really just more people in the world around which the evangelizer will feel more comfortable (less threatened).

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed this little exercise.  Thanks again for attending last night.  I’m sure I’ll see you again before too long.

A Senior Active-Duty Air Force Officer

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1 Comment

  1. G

    That Senior Active Duty Air Force office has given the most logical answer about whether a god does exist or not, his thoughts about the Bible, and the acceptance of Jesus.

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