June 23, 2018
MRFF Demand Forces Immediate End to Illegal Use of Military Emblems by Sectarian Religious Supremacist Organization
First Dallas Baptist scheduled its annual “Freedom Sunday” event for June 24, 2018. In the past, this event has included a sermon by its Pastor Robert Jeffress proclaiming and intending to advance Christian religious supremacy over the United States entitled “America Is A Christian Nation”. Jeffress has also claimed that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that religions other than Christianity should not be treated equally in this country. A brief glimpse at Wikiquotes reveals Jeffress’ long history of making extremely divisive and derogatory religious comments include:
-And here is the deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia – sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl – had sex with her… Around the world today, you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year-old girls, taking them as their brides, because they believe the prophet Muhammad did… I believe, as Christians and conservatives, it’s time to take off the gloves and stand up and tell the truth about this evil, evil religion. (source: “Ask The Pastor”, First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, 2010-08-22, quoted in Blow, Steve (5 September 2010), “Dallas pastor’s broad-brush criticism of Islam goes way too far”, The Dallas Morning News)
-God sends good people to Hell. Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism—not only do they lead people away from from God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in Hell. You know Jesus was very clear: Hell is not only going to be populated by murderers, and drug dealers, and child dealers; Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ. (source:”Politically Incorrect”, First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, 2008-09-06, quoted in Murphy, Tim (11 October 2011), “Perry Endorser Calls Judaism, Catholicism Path to Hell”, Mother Jones)
-Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s Word, it comes from that cult-like, pagan religion. Now you say, “Pastor, how can you say such a thing? That is such an indictment of the Catholic Church. After all the Catholic Church talks about God and the Bible and Jesus and the Blood of Christ and Salvation.” Isn’t that the genius of Satan? If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible. And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion. He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life. (source: The Response, American Family Association prayer rally, Reliant Stadium, Houston, 2011-10-06, quoted in Tashman, Brian (8 October 2011), Jeffress Says Satan Is Behind Roman Catholicism)
Videos/photos from previous “Freedom Sunday” events have included a “Salute to our U.S. Armed Forces” with the official seals of each branch of the military prominently displayed.
Against this glorified backdrop of divisive Christian supremacy, MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein sent a letter on June 21, 2018 to Secretary of Defense James Mattis requesting that the Secretary put an end to Jeffress illicit behavior creating the impression that the U.S. Department of Defense is endorsing their tortured version of revisionist historical Christian primacy. Mikey stated in the letter to Sec. Mattis that the impression of endorsement must end by demanding that Jeffress/FDB immediately cease and desist from the utilization of any and all Department of Defense insignia and logos in the promotion of this sectarian fundamentalist Christian event. A copy of this letter, which was drafted by MRFF Lead Trial Counsel Randal Mathis, was hand delivered personally by Mr. Mathis to Pastor Jeffress office at First Dallas Baptist. Almost immediately after delivery, First Baptist Dallas removed a video and image of the official Military Department Seals from its website promoting the event.
On June 23, 2018, Fox News contributor Todd Starnes reported “The Pentagon has directed one of the nation’s largest churches to remove insignia representing the branches of the military from an upcoming freedom celebration…”. Hemant Mehta on Patheos.com opined on Todd Starnes’ reporting of the Pentagon’s handling of the incident that “It’s like the Pentagon copied and pasted Weinstein’s letter in their own demand to First Baptist Church.