business

Dear Mike,
Stop overstepping your bounds and making calls on things that are just not your business. I’m not sure who appointed you judge and jury on matters of God but I can tell you that one day you will stand before that God and have to make account. This is in reference to the historical display that has a flag, appropriate for the display, with the account of a war hero Chaplin. Leave it alone. It truly is non of your business.
Kind Regards,
(name withheld)
Vietnam Vet

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld),
I’m afraid you have been misinformed. Mikey and MRFF do not act on their own but on the complaints we receive from our service members. There were 21 USAF personnel that contacted Mikey about the ludicrous story concerning the Chapel flag from Korea.
First, the flag should have been well-worn after being out in the elements because Korea has harsh winters and typhoon rains for 2 months. Flags made in that era were made out of cotton or wool and would never have survived for 7 years. This Chapel flag looks brand new.
Luke Holcomb was not a Chaplain but an Airman First Class (A1C). 
MRFF’s researcher, Chris Rodda, sent an email to the USAF asking about the accuracy of the story. She received a response from AFEHRI, CMSgt Emily E. Shade:
“As a result of your inquiry and after looking at the framed wording, I concur that the dates and story seem inaccurate. We have removed the photo of the wording from the exhibit, as well as from our Facebook page.”
The story is a fake. 
Contrary to what you may have been told or read 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 (317 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 50,200+ soldier clients are mainline Christians and we fight for them more than any other belief or non-belief.
Our name reflects our mission: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
We are defenders of the Constitution (Separation of Church and State), Supreme Court rulings and the UCMJ.
“…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 (according to the time, place and manner) 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
Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.12, which reads as follows:
“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 entangle the military with religion is a violation of the Constitution, Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test, Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, section 2.12.
I hope this clears up any misinformation you might have heard. For more information please visit our website – www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org – click on “About” and go to “Foundation Voices.” I think you will be surprised to see a former Ambassador, 2 Governors, a Noble Peace Prize winner, religious leaders, distinguished military personnel all the way up to a Brigadier General and those of other walks of life.
 
We have also been nominated 5 times for the Noble Peace Prize.
Mikey has been chosen in the past as one of the 100 Most Influential People by the Department of Defense. http://special.defensenews.com/people/short-list.php
 
As a Jew, Mikey’s hereafter has been sealed by God so you don’t have to worry about him:
 
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”  Romans 11:25-29
Holding the military to our laws and regulations is our “business.”
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

 Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Hi (name withheld),

I suspect it is our business. Maybe you should mind your own. Our business is to support the separation of church and state. In so doing, we protect the right of you and all other members of the military to enjoy the freedom to believe as each of you chooses.

If you’ll look at the record, rather than buying the line some zealot pushes on you, you’ll find that the organization responsible for the display not only recognized that the story attempting to justify the flag’s presence was false, it was moved to take down that part of the display. That left a flag, which was clearly not the flag it had been purported to be, implicitly promoting one particular faith over all others, a violation of our Constitution, our laws and our military regulations.

Contrary to your assertion, it is not “appropriate for the display,” which brings to mind a question for you: what if it was a flag representing the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith or some other belief system? Would you have been sending us a message condemning us for calling for its removal? Somehow I doubt it. I suspect someone has gotten you excited by suggesting that your particular ox has been gored. Well, it hasn’t. You’ve been misled.

For the record, we are people of many different faiths and belief systems, so your admonition about our standing one day “before that God and hav(ing) to make account” assumes a great deal. But let me not bother you with the details because you seem to think you’ve found the answer for everyone.

Be assured that we are perfectly happy for you to embrace the belief of your choice. We are not, however, willing to let you or those responsible for that display, or for that matter the officer in charge at that base, condone the unlawful promotion of one particular belief system over others without being challenged. That’s our business.

Best,

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 


 

Hello Mike,
There is no such thing as separation of church and state. There is however protection to insure a state mandated religion can not be imposed on all. The historical content of the display in question should be allowed some artistic license. Do you really believe people are that upset regardless of religious belief by the flag used to depict an historical event to honor a person. Your group goes for headlines because you have a real ax to grind and that is to remove God from everything you can. That is not the spirit of America. And yes, I do feel I have the answer for all people, Jesus Christ. What kind of Christian would I be if I didn’t believe that. You however are entitled to your belief. There are countless errors in our text books of historical events. Spend time fixing those. By the way, whether you like it or not, this country and our laws are predicated on the fact that the God of the bible is where our moral fiber comes from. Now that is accurate real history.
Kind Regards,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF  Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Well, thanks, (name withheld). We at last get to the bottom of your complaint. Not that I’m surprised, of course.

As regards the display, I know some are offended by it, and that matters. But more to the point it is the camel’s nose under the tent, an attempt by those, like you, who believe they not only have the answer for all people but want to go a step further and declare this country a Christian nation and its military the Army of the Lord. Whether or not that’s your goal is up to you to know, but the zealots I made reference to earlier make no secret of their intention. And when they come after us, they sound a lot like you.

For you, who claims to be a follower of Jesus, to determine for yourself that I and those in the MRFF “want to remove God from everything (we) can” is a leap to a false judgment that gives you away. “Oh, fie on those who do not have the understanding to believe as I do, they must be anti-God.” And, I think you suggested, anti-American to boot. You might want to take a seat and commune as bit with whomever you rely on, because your judgments betray you.

What kind of Christian would you be if you didn’t feel you have the answer for all people? I think the answer is more in the doing than the believing. I think of Pope Francis who washes the feet of Muslim immigrants. I think of my friend the Episcopalian Rector who married the first gay couple in his community. I think of my friend the rabbi who, though not a Christian and unsure if there really was a God, nevertheless lived a life of loving goodness, providing warmth and comfort to all who felt a need. I think of my friend, a Muslim leader, who stands up to vicious bigotry every day without falling into either hatred or despair. And then I hear from you, the self-professed Christian, who so lacks the ability to celebrate his relationship with a loving God by being open to human difference that he resorts to impugning the integrity of people he doesn’t know on the basis of his own warped perception of the way of Jesus.

Your Biblically-inspired moral fiber can use a tune-up.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Hello Mike,
You have read far too much between the lines and assume you know me way better then you can. You have a world view which is no surprise. You think because a person does a good deed that buys them something. I can’t answer for those examples of what you feel is the real deal like the pope and all but God knows their heart. Most have a personal agenda, political agenda, etc. There is only one truth. All those examples you give just may be the people that the bible speaks of where Jesus said, “yes you did all these things but, I never knew you” and they end up in hell. The devil is the subtlest of all beings and he is selling the world his bill of goods. The truth is, without Jesus, there is no righteous way. You see, I am open to human difference. I am a loving person to all. I spend my time working for Christ. I also have to spread the good news of Christ without compromise. Jesus said, “the world will hate you because they hated me” and I except that. To love is the act of doing to someone what is right regardless of how one feels. “Right” is defined in the bible. Telling the truth is love.
And yes, I want to call America a Christian nation, why not. It is our roots. You see what the world view is doing to our nation, the world, the family structure. Not a pretty picture. “In God We Trust” is everywhere. The halls of all our government building are filled with God. The moral fiber of who we are came straight from the bible. And yes, I feel a personal attack on God in our nation. If you and your organization are a part of it or not, I can’t say for sure because truth is, I just responded to a petition and maybe I did get excited and called your organization on the carpet without merit. I let God be the judge. I will pray in all seriousness that the truth of who God is be revealed to you and your organization in a mighty way. I know to you I sound so typical and narrow-minded. Please don’t be angry, take all I say as someone who really does care about all men and their salvation.
All tuned up and ready to go,
With kind regards,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Hello (name withheld),
I don’t actually ‘know you’ at all. What I know about you is what you’ve made plainly evident in the messages you’ve elected to send our way.
You assume a lot. You’ve made a judgment, apparently a recurring theme with you, about my “world view,” that is incorrect. I do not believe, as you suggest, that “because a person does a good deed that buys them something.” I do, however, believe that when people lead good, decent, generous, thoughtful, loving lives, it says something meaningful about their character. YOUR BELIEF HERE IS THE BIG LIE FROM SATAN. THERE IS NO GOOD THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH WITHOUT THE SAVING GRACE OF CHRIST.
Given the examples I cited, you may choose to ascribe ulterior motives, such as your “personal agenda, political agenda, etc.” swipe, to the Pope, the rector and the rabbi. I can’t help you with that. As far as I’m concerned it simply demonstrates a kind of poverty of spirit and makes me sad for you.
What saddens me more is your notion that “there is only one truth” and you are its keeper, and “without Jesus, there is no righteous way.” Your pretense at being “open to human difference” and your self description as “a loving person to all” fails to account for the judgments you are so quick to ascribe, unless one is to believe, as you apparently do, that nothing is lovable, valuable, worthwhile or meaningful unless it is accompanied by an acceptance of and devotion to your particular interpretation of Jesus and his teachings. THESE ARE NOT MY JUDGEMENTS AND CERTAINLY NOT MY INTERPRETATIONS BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO REVELED THIS TO THE AUTORS OF THE BIBLE
As to the rest of your diatribe about the wily devil, the value of words being defined by the bible, your ahistorical view of the founding of our nation, your paranoia about attacks on God, spare me. I’ve heard enough of that sanctimonious crap to make me despair. When devoted, God-touched so-called Christians can rationalize child molestation in order to serve their personal needs, you’ve got plenty of work to do in your own community. THIS PARAGRAPH IS YOUR OWN ACCUSER.
I find a shred of hope in your acknowledgment that you may have acted impetuously and may have judged us incorrectly. You did and you have. I DON’T NEED YOUR, MINE COMES FROM THE LORD.
You plead that I not be angry. I am, a bit, but I’m more sad than angry. You’d have me take all you’ve said “as someone who really does care about all men and their salvation,” while mouthing pieties and condemning those who, to you, have not yet seen the light. SAYS THE WORD OF THE LORD, NOT ME.
If you want to actually be what you’ve claimed above, I’d suggest you open your eyes, your arms, your mind and your heart to include not only women but the billions of people in this world who may never know Jesus, who may have no interest in knowing YOUR Jesus, yet who somehow manage to be good, decent, thoughtful human beings even without the benefit of what you infer is the special insight you have somehow managed to achieve.
I wish you less self-righteousness and more insight.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

So Mike, the real you shines clear. The mention of Jesus changes your posture in a way that make Jesus’s claims very true. The one really obvious point you overlook is that it isn’t my righteousness at all but the God I serves righteousness. I can’t make any claim other then what the word of God says. The very fact of your anger, now loud and clear, tells of a person who wants to be his own God. The world view you deny is evident in your message. As for insight, you chose worldly insight, I chose Godly insight. In the end, if I am wrong, nothing lost. BUT, in the end if you are wrong, you lose everything. 
About all those people who don’t know Jesus you talk of, God has made provision for them. Also, that is one of a Christians task to bring the gospel to all. It appears that people like you take great offense to that task. 
As far as the child molester, if they are truly Christians (which in may cases they are users of the Word and not Christ followers at all), they have a savior which will accept them with opens arms with true repentance. 
I have spent 5 years working in an inner city homeless shelter, I have taken care of an elderly man who has no living relatives for the last 7 years (washed him and his clothes, paid his bills, taken care of his property, cut his toe nails, taken care of all his medical needs etc). Not to gain anything but just to serve a God I believe has asked this of me. His hands and feet. I say this only to make a point that if all those that claim Christianity were Christians, you wouldn’t be so bitter but truth is, the road is narrow and few who claim are. SAD!
I don’t condemn anyone, they condemn themselves. My insight comes from the Holy Spirit. It’s not special but available to anyone who asks. Many very intelligent people over many years have researched the bible to prove it false and most have come to Christ. My prayers are with you Mike, that your eyes be open to the truth of who Christ is.
Kind Regards,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Hi (name withheld),

Good for you for your good works in the inner city. That’s nice to hear and is appreciated.

I take no offense at anyone who chooses to live out her or his faith. It’s when doing so involves
judging and condemning those who don’t see it their way that the basic fallacy of it becomes so
pathetic.

As far as what you deem “worldly insight” and its inferiority to your self-described “Godly insight,”
I’ll leave you to your enjoyment. The way you’ve laid it out sounds more like you’ve made a wager
than a leap of faith, but either way, you’re welcome to it.

Like everything else about us and the work we do, you’re quite wrong to ascribe my attitude about
so-called Christians who are in fact pompous, self-satisfied, dishonest hypocrites as “bitter.” I’m
not bitter about them at all, I’m simply disgusted by sanctimony.

Do take care.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*