I want to give you a piece of my mind

Dear Mister Weinstein
    I am a retired US Army Sergeant of twenty five years service in the National Guard and Regular Army. I want you to know at the very outset that I am not writing to you because I admire or respect you (the “dear” is formality only). I want you to know that I consider the MRFF to be just a hate group and nothing else. You are not about freedom at all and I consider you nothing more then a bully and a coward who wants to push a selfish agenda. I cannot believe that they let someone like you in the military.
    Listen mister we are one nation UNDER GOD. You wanted to punish a poor cadet at a service academy because he had a Bible verse written on a board outside his room that didn’t hurt a thing. You wanted an officer court martialled because he had a Bible on his desk and another because he mentioned in a speech that he believed in God. I cannot believe that ANYONE takes you seriously. The only time that I have every liked Bill O’Reilly was when he called you a jerk and turned off your mic. You even objected to having Bibles at a MIA display. If I had been one of those commanders you had sent a threatning letter to I would just have told you to stick it! I have read books by so many Vietnam POWs who spent years in hell and talked about how only their faith in God kept them sane and saw them thru. When Admiral Jeremiah Denton was released from captivity at Clark Air Base he said “God bless America”. 
    A Soldier swears to defend his country and his God. I love to write to World War II veterans as a hobby and so many of them told me that faith in God got them through the war. Joe Louis said that we would win because we were on God’s side. General Washington prayed at Valley Forge and Lincoln regularly sought God’s guidance and help during the Civil War. Gee would you have filed complaints against them? I was a chaplains assistant in Operation Desert Storm and let me tell you something moron there are no such things as athiests in foxholes. Of course you wouldn’t know because you’ve never been to war.
    I have read the letters you have written threatning people and so often you use overblown words like “disgraceful” and “disgusting” to describe people you want to hurt. I want you to know that you are one of the most despicable, disgraceful people I have ever read about. I cannot believe that they let someone like you wear a uniform. Bullies are basically cowards at heart because they attack people who don’t fight back and someone should have told you off a long time ago. I await your reply if you have the guts COWARD
 
SGT US Army (Retired) and someone who loves the Lord and proudly serves him
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
SGT (name withheld),
 
This is in response to your classless personal attack on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) Founder & President, a former USAF officer, military veteran & patriotic American you do not even know.
 
Your diatribe proudly proclaims your private religious beliefs. Apparently, you believe you have the right to determine, enjoy & practice your own religious beliefs. Obviously, you do not realize the MRFF represents over 52,000 military members, veterans & civilians (96% of whom are Christians) who have requested their right to determine, enjoy & practice their own religious beliefs be respected & protected. All want freedom from imposition of someone else’s version of religion, especially superiors, in the military work place so they can perform their military duties without unwanted interference. Surely you would not hypocritical deny the same right you demand for yourself to others serving our Country.
 
Your declaration “A Soldier swears to defend his country and his God” is wrong & indicates you do not know or remember the military mission & sworn military service oath. The military mission is to defend our country 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 deity or religion. The Constitution lawfully prohibits our government or its representatives (which includes the military) from promoting a religion. Simply stated, military members have the right to privately practice their own religious beliefs, but not publicly on other military members.
 
It has been my experience that a man who resorts to hateful name-calling does so because he cannot address a subject matter with intelligence & integrity. Your malicious message reflects only on yourself and not on the MRFF or its leader.
 
1st Commander-in-Chief GEORGE WASHINGTON publicly acknowledged military freedom of belief when he wrote the military chaplaincy “has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of worship which they do not profess.”
40th Commander-in-Chief RONALD REAGAN affirmed this fundamental liberty in a public speech “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever.”
 
Most Sincerely,
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member

Response by MRFF Supporter
While I appreciate Mr (name withheld) offering to give you a “piece of his mind”, judging by his ignorant reply, it is a piece he cannot afford to lose. 

Response by MRFF Blake Page, Special Assistant to the President of MRFF
SGT (name withheld),
Merry Christmas.  Or rather, I wish that you could find a way to your own peace this time of year.
  I understand you’re very upset by the work of the MRFF.  Seems that it’s got your stockings in a bunch.  If I understand you correctly, you think the United States is your god’s favorite country and you are scared witless at the thought of Mikey undoing his handiwork.
On the theological end of the argument: is your god so impotent that the work of one man’s mission could do more than give him a good laugh?  If so, he’s not the slaughterer of millions of innocent children and master boat engineer that I remember from the bible.  If yes, well….I guess you are right to be scared.  Keep quaking.
Historically, there’s the easy points about the Treaty of Tripoli, the letters to the Danbury Baptists, hell…the original national motto (you DO know that our nation wasn’t founded “under god”, right?), but how about we look at the guts of the argument.  You think this is a Christian nation.  That’s nice.  I don’t.  I’m not Christian, and I’m a US citizen by birth.  Also a veteran.  Also a business owner. Generally a productive member of society when not on hiatus doing my Zen thing.  However, should I encounter someone in a position of power that says I have fewer rights than they do because I disagree with their philosophy I usually become about 10% as irate as you, and about 9000x as effective in doing something about it.
You want your god to be respected by our government.  So…you’re a traitor to the constitution.  I can’t stop you from being a traitor.  You fundamentally believe that the first amendment is a typo and that those words don’t mean what the OED and each 5th grader and beyond think that they mean.  Fine.  So what are the consequences of a “God with Us” national identify?  If your god is number 1, what about people who practice other faiths?  Will my water fountain be refrigerated in your fantasy, or is it gray water for the humanists?  Do we get our own special neighborhoods away from the clean picket fences?  Yes, that’s hyperbolic from today’s situation, but if you look to our left and right across oceans and history you’ll see that when one religion is given supremacy, suffering follows.  Right now it’s people getting passed over for promotion, harassed, perhaps being compulsed to participate in religious counseling after a family member died violently and unexpectedly, but these 999 papercuts have had their toll.  The mission of the MRFF is to do everything possible to stop that next one.
 They haven’t come for you yet, maybe you’re the right type of believer.  Good for you buddy.
And good night,
Blake A. Page
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Special Assistant to the President

Response by MRFF Advisory Board Member Quentin D. Collins

Dear (name withheld),
I felt compelled to respond to your letter (below) that you felt that needed to be written to Mr Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).  First off, let me thank you for the many years you devoted to preserving this great nation along with its constitutional form of government.  As a retired Chaplain, I appreciate your role as a Chaplain Assistant, since I spent a total of forty-seven (47) months in combat and bear the dubious distinction of being one of nine Chaplains to receive a Purple Heart (PH).  I am the only one to receive two (PH) and two Bronze Stars one with a Combat V – all while serving as a Chaplain. I had some great Chaplain Assistants as well as a coward or two, so I know cowardice.  Let me assure you Mikey is no coward.
Before you discount what I say as “pablum” or “diluted Christianity” let me illucidate a few items.  You see I am a Born Again, Spirit-filled, Pentecostal, Evangelical Pastor who happens to have been given the opportunity to serve as an Air Force and Army Chaplain.  When I was a young Chaplain I heard of this man named Mikey who was anathema to Christianity and had I just taken what I was told then I never would have learned the value of questioning why.  Why is it okay to kill people of differing faiths? Why is a person less of a human being because of beliefs.  Yes, in Afghanistan and Iraq we called (I did it too, to whit I am not proud) the indigenous population Haji’s, as a derogatory term (in reality it was a term reserved for those Muslims on a pilgrimage).  This was done to dehumanize them.  It is easier to kill an animal than a human.  You see I read in the Bible that Jesus is love.  He told us to love our neighbors, to help those in need, to clothe the orphans and widows, does this exclude those who do not believe what you do?  Mikey, unfortunately does have a role to play, that of standing up to domionists.  You know them, they are the ones who, as commanders or senior NCO’s compel or require subordinates to align their beliefs with them in order to be good Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.  You say it does not happen, then why of the sixty-thousand (or so) clients of MRFF are the overwhelming majority professing Christians?
Back to my own pilgrimage, I have not only been blessed to know Mikey and the MRFF; but, I know some of the advisors and they are Spiritual Giants in their own arenas of which I am not worthy to stand on the same podiums.  We all; however, know the reality of unfettered religious fanaticism (can you say suicide bombers, or abortionist killings?) that is prevalent in so many circles to include, Muslims, Christians and Jews.  When we seek to trounce others beliefs for the betterment of our own we are wrong.  You know, I preached to crowds of over ten thousand believers, I personally assisted Billy Graham and later Franklin Graham in Crusades, I graduated from a Southern Baptist Seminary, yet no satisfaction matches that of loving my Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in their worst.  Seeing seething anger and abject fear; but, being there for them all the same.  All of this to be afforded the privilege of being a guide in their Spiritual Journey.  Oh and you made a false statement “there are no Atheists in foxholes”, the reality is, there are and will be so long as we fight battles.  I know many of them.
Finally, if you truly believe in your interpretation of Christianity as the way to win souls, do you think it is effective?  How is it that you can love your “enemies”?  Who is the judge?  Think carefully about those two questions.  You can engage me anytime; but, come prepared because as the definition you used on Mikey as “coward” I too would be in your net as one (pay no mind to being in combat without a weapon).  Oh, and there are a whole lot of people out there that only give part of the stories (be it for money or fame) like the Bible on the desk or the MIA Table, or the verse on the board.  Research on your own, you may be surprised.
Respectfully,
Quentin D Collins, US Army Chaplain (Colonel-Retired), PhD, CPC, ELI-MP
Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) National Advisory Board Member

Response by MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Dear (name withheld),

 

I saw a copy of your message to Mikey Weinstein and thought I’d take a few minutes to reply. As a member of

the advisory board of the MRFF I sometimes try to respond to the more angry, intemperate, bigoted, ignorant and

often downright loony screeds that come our way because Mikey’s time is mostly spent dealing with military
officers and/or the bureaucracy to help those in the ranks and really doesn’t have the time to defend himself

to cranks and those with a personal bone to pick.

 

Your message, while clearly angry and intemperate, isn’t as unpleasant as most of those I see. Since it primarily
betrays your ignorance of the MRFF, and you seem to have boiled down the bile you’ve stoked up from your

misunderstanding of what we’re about into a head of steam aimed at Mikey, I thought it might be worthwhile to

clarify a few things for you.

 

So. You “cannot believe that they let someone like (Mikey) in the military.” Yet they did. And he served honorably

and with distinction as an officer. He did that after going through the Air Force Academy, from which he also

graduated with honors. I hope those facts, at least, give you a moment’s pause to consider whether those who
are empowered to make those decisions may know more than you do and you, in fact, might be letting your
aforementioned head of steam engage you in, at a minimum, overstatement.


If you choose to believe we are a nation “UNDER GOD,” as you so emphatically put it , no one here at the MRFF,

and certainly not Mikey, would dispute your right to do so.

You see, ours is an organization made up of people of all faiths and no faith at all who support the right of all people
to believe as they choose. As far as we’re concerned, what you believe is your business. To that end, we are primarily intent
on preserving the separation of church and state, the doctrine that protects the right of all Americans to the belief
or non-belief of their choice. That separation is critical to the proper functioning of our government and our society.
Our focus at the MRFF is on the military because that part of the US Government is where Mikey and his children
have had personal experience of some awful aspects of religious bigotry and dealing with it made them come to
grips with the fact that the problem was both deep and growing and it threatened to undermine the proper functioning
of our armed forces. They found it takes the form of insistence on the part of some that one and only one belief system
– that of a certain Christian fundamentalist strain known to some as “Dominionism” – was being foist on members of
the military in sometimes very subtle and at other times very obvious, high-handed and arrogant ways.


So, you see, contrary to your assertion that we are “a hate group and nothing else,” one which is “not about freedom
at all,” we are in fact a group intent on protecting everyone’s right to her or his belief and opposing the attempt to

insist a particular belief on those in our military.

 

The instances you’ve cited in your second paragraph were all resolved by having those in authority agree with us that it
was inappropriate to have people in command over others promoting artifacts of one particular faith or belief system
in a way that excludes some – or, worse, makes those being excluded feel they are not as valued as these “believers.”
As I’m sure you understand, a Muslim or Jewish soldier or an atheist would not feel that she or he was being fairly
represented by the placement of a Christian bible in a display meant to represent and give comfort to all members

of the military. What if it had been a Book of Mormon or a Koran? Some might have been discomfited, no?

 

Per your citing people who have expressed their belief in or appreciation of God’s blessings, we have no problem
with personal assertions of belief, as long as they are not done by those in authority in a manner that promotes or
promulgates that belief in a way that encroaches on the right of others to freely hold a different view. That is made
clear in both law and military regulations.
 
Per your claim that “a soldier swears to defend his country and his God,” you’re quite wrong. Many oaths include a
separate “so help me God” at the end, but that is optional and certainly not required. And the oath absolutely says
nothing about defending God.
I don’t know if any of what I’ve explained here helps take your temperature down a bit, but I hope so. You’ve let
yourself spew a lot of undeserved criticism at a good man who spends a great deal of time and energy trying to
see to it that every American servicemember’s belief system is not only honored but protected. You might consider
re-thinking your ill-advised position and thanking him for being the caring, decent American citizen he is.
 
By the way, your mention of Bill O’Reilly makes me smile, having done a few stints on his show. Bill was a bully and a
loud-mouthed braggart who was great at calling names and shutting off the mic, especially when he was being bested
by his guest.

Best to you.

 

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Response by MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld),
Fair warning: We have liaisons on almost every base in the world. We do a blast out email to them whenever we get an email and its response to be distributed by them. We also post them to our website. The whole world is going to see what you wrote.
Mikey and MRFF do not act on our own but only when he receives complaints from our service members.
You are not the first nor will you be the last one to think he has told Mikey off. We just brush them off because of their ignorance of laws and regulations regarding our secular military.
We also have many distinguished and honorable military members on our Board and Advisory Board, who are above your rank and title, whom we rely on for their expertise on religion in the military. 
Contrary to what you may have been told 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 (315 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 53,000+ soldier clients are mainline Christians and we fight for them more than any other belief or non-belief.
I will not stoop to the undignified level you did with the ad hominem attacks on Mikey Weinstein because you are obviously unaware of the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and the UCMJ.
Mikey asked me to reply to you, not because he is a coward, but because I am a retired Pastor from the AoG and a specialist on the Separation of Church and State.
You made many damning remarks and I will clarify them all.
My father and 3 uncles served in WWII and were all atheists. My father was awarded the Soldier’s Medal (amongst others) for saving many soldiers when the cook’s tent blew up.
My brother, also an atheist, fought in Vietnam and was brought to St. Albans Naval Hospital (closed in 1974) in Queens, NY after suffering severe injuries.
My ex-son-in-law (medic), another atheist, fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2004 and was stationed in Balad, Iraq.
My nephew, an atheist, was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. 
So, yes, there are atheists in fox-holes.
I worked for the military under contract from 2003-2004 in the State Headquarters for the State Readiness Office that oversaw all of the FRG’s (Family Readiness Group). I was also part of the FRG my ex-son-in-law was assigned to.
Our office was around the corner from the Rear Detachment and we were notified quickly if a soldier was injured or KIA. Our duties were to:
1.      Assign two Officers to notify the family of the wounding or death
2.      Expedite Passports for the wife or parents to be with their injured loved one in Landstuhl
3.      Find them a Fisher House to stay in if the injured is brought back to the states if the hospital is far away from their home
4.      Assign a Casualty Assistance Officer to be with the family of the deceased 24/7 until the funeral
5.      Offer Psychiatric help to cope with the loss

6.      Offer to bury the loved one in a National Cemetery or they can choose one

Of those injured or KIA many were of other religions or atheists.
Not everyone has to go “to war” to do their patriotic duty.
Buckle up!
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.” 
“The Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered”. George Lincoln Burr (1857 – 1938), Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University
“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
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“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
 
The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
James Madison, letter objecting to the use of government land for churches, 1803.
The Unites States is not a theocracy and according to our Founding Fathers the Constitution is not based on Christianity or biblical law.
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 place the Christian God above all others is in violation of The Separation of Church and State codified in the Constitution (1878), Reynolds v. U.S., Lemon v. Kurtzman, the Lemon Test, Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12
“So help me God” is now optional when taking the oath because we swear allegiance to the Constitution not the Bible.
The Bible clearly tells us not to do this:
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12
“One nation under God” was added in 1954.
“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto in 1956 to replace the unofficial motto E Pluribus Unum, which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.
“In God We Trust” was first put on our paper currency in 1957.
You should have checked out our Mission Statement before firing off this email based on the lies and omissions of others.
Just because Christianity is in the majority in America does not give it the right to elevate itself over all others. As retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said “It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.”
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Response by MRFF Client

Dear (Name Withheld),

Thanks for your service to our nation–your devotion and sense of duty are clear and admirable.  I’ve volunteered to respond to your note to Mikey for several reasons:  because I, too, have served more than 25 years (AF) and I have experience and perspective on these issues that may prove helpful.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to excerpt from your letter and respond to specific comments.

“You are not about freedom at all and I consider you nothing more then a bully and a coward who wants to push a selfish agenda.”

The MRFF’s agenda is simple:  to allow all who choose to serve our nation in the military to do so honorably without bias concerning their religious beliefs or lack thereof.  The oath these soldiers take is to the Constitution of the United States.  And, while some may choose to add the phrase “So help me god,” at the end of their oath, those last four words are not mandatory and there is no clear indication that the “god” to which they are requesting help is the Christian god of one of several available textual translations and compilations, Allah of the Koran, the Jewish god of the Torah, or Odin of Viking legend.  It could even be the spirit of the rocks, springs, and trees of the forest as some active duty pagans believe.

“I cannot believe that they let someone like you in the military.”

Who are you to judge?  Mikey’s family is, in my view a paragon of service.  Several generations of graduates from our service academies and a combined decades of honorable service by his family speak otherwise.  I deeply admire Mikey, his service, and that of his family.

“Listen mister we are one nation UNDER GOD.”

Who’s god?  Heck,if it was that clear, would we have Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim chaplains in the military?  We have chaplains who are Lutherans that disagree with others who are Evangelical Baptists.  In my mind, everyone has a different, individually developed notion of what god is or isn’t or what role spirituality plays in their lives.  You’re welcome to do the same, but you are not welcome to define “GOD” for those around you or to require all serving in the military to define their religious beliefs as you or anyone else do.  That’s the first amendment of our Constitution.

“You wanted to punish a poor cadet at a service academy because he had a Bible verse written on a board outside his room that didn’t hurt a thing. You wanted an officer court martialled [sic] because he had a Bible on his desk and another because he mentioned in a speech that he believed in God.”

The area outside of a cadet’s room isn’t private.  It’s public and government owned/controlled.  It’s shared by superiors and subordinates and is part of the cadet work environment. Unofficial statements written based upon personal opinion or beliefs on those boards are not appropriate.  The statements he/she writes on that board are not unlike writing graffiti in a public place on a military base.  Any soldier would be rightfully punished for putting a partisan political message or private corporate endorsement on a work-area message board for subordinates to read.  The same is true of religious statements.  Ask yourself this… ‘How would I feel if I was assigned to work FOR someone of different beliefs and everyday when I walked to their office, I had to read, “Religion is the opiate of the masses,” or “Allahu Akbar!”  If a religious (or atheist) statement is important to a cadet or officer, then they can put that in their personal space INSIDE their room or private residence–that’s their right.

As for the officer with the bible on his or her desk, the same rule holds true.  If he or she closes their door for a moment of private reflection, then it’s absolutely appropriate for them to have a bible as reference.  Their bookshelf might contain any religious text or even Mein Kampf.  BUT, if a subordinate reports in to the office, then religious and sectarian texts must be put aside to do business.  An officer can’t have a bible open, facing the subordinate, for example, with highlighted text–which was the case in which the MRFF was engaged.

“I cannot believe that ANYONE takes you seriously.”

The fact that the MRFF has tens of thousands of clients throughout the military that depend on the MRFF’s strength to fight discrimination in the military workplace–including hundreds of cadets at our service academies–argues the opposite.

“The only time that I have every liked Bill O’Reilly was when he called you a jerk and turned off your mic.”

Being called a jerk by a serial sexual harrasser is no insult.

“You even objected to having Bibles at a MIA display. If I had been one of those commanders you had sent a threatning letter to I would just have told you to stick it! I have read books by so many Vietnam POWs who spent years in hell and talked about how only their faith in God kept them sane and saw them thru. When Admiral Jeremiah Denton was released from captivity at Clark Air Base he said “God bless America”.”

While we all admit that many (even most) POWs found solace and strength in their religious beliefs during captivity, one cannot assume that every one did, not that all POWs were Christian or even religious.  The MRFF defends the rights of these brave men to state their personal beliefs, but not to proclaim that religious belief was a necessary or sufficient condition for survival.

“A Soldier swears to defend his country and his God.”

Wrong.  A soldier swears of affirms to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  There can be no religious test for public service or office.  Again, if you feel that you are defending your god when you defend the US, then that’s your right.  I don’t.  That’s my right, too, and my service should be judged on its merits, not the god or belief system I choose to represent in my mind.

“I love to write to World War II veterans as a hobby and so many of them told me that faith in God got them through the war. Joe Louis said that we would win because we were on God’s side. General Washington prayed at Valley Forge and Lincoln regularly sought God’s guidance and help during the Civil War. Gee would you have filed complaints against them?”

If they required me to believe in their god to serve or judged me as inferior for not believing as they do, then you’re damn right that I would.  BTW, the legendary painting of Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge is nothing more than legend, unsubstantiated by any documentation.  You can choose to believe he did not not.  I can’t prove he did or didn’t.  But, there’s no evidence the painting represents any verifiable act.

“I was a chaplains assistant in Operation Desert Storm and let me tell you something moron there are no such things as athiests in foxholes. Of course you wouldn’t know because you’ve never been to war.”

I have have, and I am.  I know MANY others that have been to war and are atheists.  That doesn’t mean they weren’t afraid.  It just means that they didn’t believe that any myth or legend was responsible for their fate or salvation.

I won’t respond to your other ad hominem attacks, other than to say that it is you, with your poorly spelled attacks that is acting the bully today–accusing others of cowardice.

Good Day, Sir

An Air Force Veteran of 30+ years of active duty and 9/11 survivor (Pentagon attack) survivor


Response by MRFF Atheist Affairs Advisor, Dustin Chalker

I am a recipient of the Combat Medical Badge and a former atheist in a foxhole. I served in Iraq as a medic for route clearance and about 20% of our unit consisted of non-religious atheists. This is roughly average for the military as a whole. Your statement that there are “no atheists in foxholes” is false, offensive, and easily disproven. Anyone who actually served in the military would be well aware of our presence, so I have serious doubts that you were ever in the military at all, much less in combat. You are either a liar or a self-absorbed prick oblivious to the people around you. Which is it?
 
You should visit the following link and read the United States Constitution.
 
 
This is the document that replaced the Articles of Confederation, establishing the government of the United States. You swore to uphold and defend it, so you may want to understand what’s in it. When you are done reading it, please inform us all where in the Constitution it establishes a nation “under God”? You won’t find any such language to support your claim.
 
Instead, you will find that our government was established on the authority of “We the People”. There is not a single reference to divine authority or establishing a Christian nation. You’ll find that the only time religion is mentioned is to limit religious influence over the People’s government. For instance, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” – Article VI, Section 3. Do you understand what that means? The framers were specifically sending a message to people like you that there is no place in our shared government for religious bigotry. The United States government has no business concerning itself with people’s religious beliefs.
 
We the People are a diverse group who make up a pluralistic society that is most certainly NOT “under God”. That disgusting un-American perversion was added to the pledge during the Cold War era by theocratic traitors in Congress. You are mindlessly parroting the un-American slogan of traitors, not a foundational principle of our Republic.
 
I am a recipient of the Combat Medical Badge and a former atheist in a foxhole. I served in Iraq as a medic for route clearance and about 20% of our unit consisted of non-religious atheists. This is roughly average for the military as a whole. Your statement that there are “no atheists in foxholes” is false, offensive, and easily disproven. Anyone who actually served in the military would be well aware of our presence, so I have serious doubts that you were ever in the military at all, much less in combat. You are either a liar or a self-absorbed prick oblivious to the people around you. Which is it?
 
You should visit the following link and read the United States Constitution.
 
 
This is the document that replaced the Articles of Confederation, establishing the government of the United States. You swore to uphold and defend it, so you may want to understand what’s in it. When you are done reading it, please inform us all where in the Constitution it establishes a nation “under God”? You won’t find any such language to support your claim.
 
Instead, you will find that our government was established on the authority of “We the People”. There is not a single reference to divine authority or establishing a Christian nation. You’ll find that the only time religion is mentioned is to limit religious influence over the People’s government. For instance, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” – Article VI, Section 3. Do you understand what that means? The framers were specifically sending a message to people like you that there is no place in our shared government for religious bigotry. The United States government has no business concerning itself with people’s religious beliefs.
 
We the People are a diverse group who make up a pluralistic society that is most certainly NOT “under God”. That disgusting un-American perversion was added to the pledge during the Cold War era by theocratic traitors in Congress. You are mindlessly parroting the un-American slogan of traitors, not a foundational principle of our Republic.
 
MRFF Atheist Affairs Advisor,
Dustin Chalker
 

Retired US Army Sergeant and Author of Unwarranted Email Apologizes to Mikey Weinstein and MRFF After Onslaught of Responses from MRFF Allies:

All right I apologize for what I said to you. It is the season of good will towards men. Can’t we say that we just agreed to disagree. I do have the character and integrity to apologize if I’ve hurt someone. Now that I’ve done this will you please take my name off your list and not email me anymore?
Best new years wishes and God bless
(name withheld)
Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein:

………roger wilco………you will get no more e-mails from me after this acknowledgment……I’d still like an apology from YOU, (name withheld), for the TOTAL crap you said about me from the get-go….but I doubt you have the integrity and character and class to so apologize?!…..there was NO need to come out at me and mine right at the start by throwing hand grenades of defamation…….

Response to Mikey Weinstein from Retired US Army Sergeant:

Thank you very much for your service and I am proud to count you as a fellow veteran. Now please take me off your list and don’t send me any more emails. My box has been flooded today and enough is enough

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Christian Client
Look dude, I get it. As a Christian, I implore that you read this email thoroughly as you may be surprised at what I have to say.
 
It is my observation that you take the service to your country and your Lord and Savior very seriously; which I’m almost certain is why you felt it your duty to reply to Mikey.
 
I’m a former atheist in a Humvee, and it was my first deployment that kicked what faith I did have into the dirt. I was 20, and angry at the notion that an all powerful God would let children be used as bombs to kill my friends.
 
That was over a decade ago, and I have since regained my faith. I’m a Christian now, for lack of better words. I like Trump a hell of a lot even though it chaps Mikey in a magnificient way. Never thought we’d disagree on that but we do.
 
Let’s take all of that and set it aside for a moment, SGT [name withheld]. None of it matters because what binds you, me, Mikey, and these other guys? It’s the Constitution that restricts government from favoring one religion over another or prohibiting the free exercise and so on.
 
Are you free in the Military? Do you not, per the UCMJ, forfeit certain liberties upon beginning your service to the Greatest Nation on earth? Of course, because we had a duty to protect what made america great in the first place.
 
SGT, I really do understand your point. It does seem like Mikey is a huge whining bully when you forget why he does what he does- when you forget why we all did what we did as Soldiers for our Constitution.
 
God will not die because a Cadet couldn’t post a scripture publicly, and against the policies set in place. In fact, wasn’t Jesus annoyed greatly with the Pharisees? The ones that had to let everyone see how holy they were? How righteous they were?
 
Jesus had a solution, yes? He went, out into the forest, and sat on a mountain to give his sermons on his own time and with those who volunatarily attended. These are legendary, and Christ has been victorious time and again since, even over death itself.
 
SGT, please ask yourself how Jesus would respond to Mikey. Probably wouldn’t insult him, right? Pray for Mikey if you truly feel his work hurts America or our Military.
 
God’s design is to grant us free will and we must suffer this. God isn’t any less powerful without official endorsement; he works in mysterious ways as he did with me in the end. A very illegal brownie reignited my faith, not a tabled Bible. Isn’t God amazing in that way?
 
What does hurt the God is assuming he is too weak or stupid to get around the UCMJ. Which I’m sure he’d mostly approve of because it ensures that free will is observed by the Nation he indoubtedly has blessed.
 
We swore an oath to the Contistition, and some of us truly need help from God to do that. But did Jesus ever force anyone to kneel to him? Thank you for your service, SGT. Your heart is most definitely in the right place.
(name withheld)

 

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12 Comments

  1. Dodger Blue

    Bravo, I love how this retired US Army Sgt tells it like it is. He can see through all the smoke screens and lovely platitudes Mikey offers to see who Mikey is deep down in his heart. He pegged Mikey very well as a “bully” for that is what he is, probably has been one all his life which could have been a product of his family life or upbringing. I would recommend Mikey go for some anger management counseling, it would do him well to see some therapy from a trained anger management counselor. I have learned over the years that an angry person lashes out of his own hurt and woundedness. From my understanding he is Jewish, thus I would recommend he accept Jesus as his Messiah.

    Dodgers – 2018 World Series Champs

  2. Marshalldoc

    Dodger Blue; You’ve obviously dodged the entire discussion (and back-down) of this ignorant retired sergeant (if indeed he’s even real… vida supra) and clearly don’t wish to read anything that may call your anti-Semitic, passive aggressive, and wrong-headed views of the world, the U.S. Constitution, or Mikey into quesiton. Yet you post here as though you expect thinking people to actually consider your comments in any serious way. Clearly, you’ve no interest in anything other than the narcissistic display of your own ego. Thus, I would suggest you seek counseling from a psychotherapist who would help you deal with your clear-cut (and likely justified) sense of inferiority and the passive-aggressive anger display that is your comment.

    The reasons this retired ‘sergeant’s’ views are derived from where ‘the sun don’t shine’ have been enumerated, in profusion, above.

    And oh, by the way, who gives a f**k about who you like in baseball? Do you think they’d appreciate an endorsement by an idiot?

  3. Dodger Blue

    Well Marshalldoc,
    I am seminary trained in pastoral counseling as well as have friends who have doctorates and masters degrees in clinical counseling who would agree with my assessment.

    Oh, I do not think the Dodgers would care about anyone’s opinions if they are not regarding baseball.

  4. Marshalldoc

    If that’s so, it’s a disturbing commentary on the seminary that ‘trained’ you

    Let me guess:

    “Pastor, I’m so depressed”

    “Pray to Jesus child, he’ll make it all good, oh and don’t read any of that nasty human behavior stuff… only the bible!”

    You’d also better ask your friends with higher degrees before you put them down as endorsing your bigotry & ignorance… you may be surprised (them too!).

    If you still have the receipt, you might as your seminary for a refund; clearly wasted yours & their time.

    Signing off.

  5. Dodger Blue

    Well Marshalldoc,
    Sorry to disappoint you, but those with doctorates in psychology and masters would recommend those with depression to take anti-depressants and they are Christians, but also combine that with reading scripture. Many of the OT prophets and King David suffered from depression and there was no drugs back then to take, so they encouraged themselves in God.

  6. G

    Sounds to me like your education was wasted on you Dodger blue since you are not using your logic and analytical skills when it comes to who has the problems (and it is not Weinstein who has it).

    Do you have any studies that proved that reading scriptures solve people’s depression? In addition, the way medication is being manipulated by the drug companies, it is so easy now to be a drug addict and you can thank the CEOs for worshipping money instead of worshipping the Lord.

  7. G

    Can’t believe that they let this sergeant major enlist in the armed forces, let alone promoted him to even private first class? When you have an NCO like that, that makes him a NinCompOop (bad NCO).

    That retired Sergeant Major really thought he was a kick-butt person especially because he was once a Sergeant Major until people start kicking back in the emails. I doubt he had never truly apologized to people who he had hurt. You wonder how guys like him ever survive in civilian life when they no longer have the rank anymore and find out that they are now mere mortals instead of gods and no longer can push and/or threaten people anymore?

  8. Grey One talks sass

    The Letter Writer
    Didn’t learn, wanted All to
    Shut up! Go away!

    Dodger sounds a lot like the Dominionist who commented here in the past. Clones – the lot of them.

  9. Mark Sebree

    G,

    Better yet, they people that he now works for will NOT put up with his evangelical nonsense at work, and few of the people that he works with will either. And if he continues those action, it gets HIM into trouble at work. And THEN he find out his new boss (perhaps because of a transfer of himself or his old boss) is not only younger than he is, but is of a “despised” religion like atheist/agnostic or muslim, and will not broke any evangelical nonsense at work. And the management doesn’t either.

  10. G

    To the ex-Sergeant Major.

    Back in 1985, Time Magazine did an article called Vietnam 10 years later and interviewed a platoon of GI. One of the GIs stated that because of his experience in Vietnam, he lost his belief in God and state that you can’t tell him that there was a God that cares about people not after what that GI had gone through.

    Mark Sebree

    We had a retired Air Force guy in my organization and boy, he did not like it when people back talk to him. He is what the British called being “thick” meaning you can’t get anything through his head. He couldn’t comprehend that once you leave the military, you just can’t order people around like if you were still in the military. The problem is with a lot of officers and NCOs, they can get away with stuff due to the rank and the military court system backing them up whether they are right or wrong. Once they are out in the civilian world unless they are high ranking managers and have the labor laws on their side, they have to take stuff from other people if they are rank and file workers.

  11. Hey, Sgt.!

    Secularism is for grownups.

  12. Wojciech Chwilka

    I commend the servicemen for the restrain they show when addressing the matter of god in the military. Is the CEO of the Christian Church meant by word “god”? The current CEO is a man of Saturn race who in early seventies got the job, on my initiative in response to his aggression. His Nazi predecessor lives in United States where I met him in 1998. This change of gods (it’s just an office, a function) followed America’s signing up with Lord Jehovah against me in 1968. The consequence of American-Israeli war cooperation is visible in current state of accounts of this country while it prepares itself for a slap from the other side of the same coin, Islam.

    Thus America stands lower than Jehovah who is subordinated to god as one of the six war lords under god’s command. Americans who “praise the Lord” and “in god trust” are doing the country a disservice in view of the fact that failed attempt to subordinate Lord Apollo to god puts god, his lords and the governments they installed at Apollo’s mercy.

    The long-awaited Reign of Beast (“666”, the global Reich) is getting ready to begin, pending the settlement of my claim to sovereignty over 1.5 million square kilometers of lands east of Odra River in Europe. I intended those lands to become a sanctuary exempted from excesses of the Reich. Qualified people I do business with or have a friendly relationship with may be offered a shelter on lands I own and can protect without use of armies, police or spy organizations. Qualified countries might also be spared under my protectorate. Air space above lands exempted should be made free of hostile satellite transmissions, too.

    Current global situation is reminiscent of pre-WW II Germany, except that top leaders of this Fourth Reich must fall for having come into direct conflict with me. A new leadership may or may not arise once I handle enforcements against me still outstanding and settle down on my lands. I find delays in vacating them particularly annoying, which spells trouble for the Nazi renegades still stationed there. I take the matter of delaying for a personal insult.

    Former Field Marshall Erwin Rommel now lives in United States. When I met him in 1998 he told me that a sustainable population count for a planet Earth size would be about 2 billion (1930 level) when current methods of energy generation are considered, and that air oxygen in cities at the time was dropping down to 14% on bad days. Such people have their sources. Air oxygen content below 10-12% is dangerous to life.

    There is little time for the Reich to unfold its ways. For it to continue, the problems of food production, pollution and oxygen depletion must be addressed. My hydrogen-based technologies are reserved for use on the territories in Eastern Europe and for cosmic travel, but my sovereign (independent of fuels) steam electric generators in tandem configuration just might be made available for terrestrial use. Perhaps the activities planned to sharply reduce population can be postponed or made less gruesome if pressures on environment ease up.

    The above text is an excerpt from a larger technical text I wrote. This data is classified and proprietary to me as intellectual property, but it can be quoted safely if the quoting is cleared with me and credit is given to Lord Apollo as the source. I would advise against publishing critical of this data opinions coming from sources too far apart from mine in credibility.

    Webmaster may contact me for suggestions on a newsletter by which the foregoing might be delivered to those deserving exclusively, bypassing idiots and Goebbels type of contributors.

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