Date: June 29, 2018 at 7:44:21 AM MDT
To:[email protected]” <[email protected]>


Take a long walk off a short cliff.

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

On Jun 29, 2018, at 8:23 AM, John Compere  wrote:
Dear (name withheld)
This is in response to your moronic message.
Please be advised that the 56,000+ loyal military members, veterans & employees who requested their constitutional right to religious freedom to which they & all Americans are entitled be respected & protected do not want to “Take a long walk off a short cliff” nor do they want the MRFF that represents them to do so.
Your childish comment, in reality, only criticizes our United States Constitution & your patriotic fellow Americans. In my experience, a man who resorts to such repugnant remarks only does so because he cannot communicate in any mature or meaningful manner.
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

On Jun 29, 2018, at 10:45 AM, Joan Slish  wrote:

Dear (name withheld),


Thank you for contacting MRFF. We are always happy to give the whole story behind what is cherry-picked by the media.


Mikey and MRFF 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 (415 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 56,300+ soldier clients are mainline Christians and we fight for them more than any other belief or non-belief.


We also have many distinguished and honorable military members on our Board and Advisory Board whom we rely on for their expertise on religion in the military.


Check out our Mission statement.


The Bible on the Missing Man’s table has not always been there.


The Missing Man Table was created by the Red River Fighter Pilots Association, more commonly known in military aviation circles as the “River Rats.”4 They began that tradition in May of 1967 at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, which at the time hosted U.S. Air Force fighter units. There was no Bible or any other religious symbol.


The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia is an American 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is concerned with the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue founded in 1967. It is this non-government entity that started placing the Bible on the table (which has wrongly been embraced) and changed it from one chair to six.


The Navy chose to make the Bible official on the Missing Man’s table in 2014.


Outside of the fact the Bible was not there in the beginning, there are laws and military regulations (see attachment in the beginning) concerning the Separation of Church and State that must be followed.


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.

“Because religious 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


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 and Parker v. Levy.


I have attached the complaint filed on behalf of MRFF by our Attorney Donald J. Rehkopf, Jr. that has more information for your perusal.


Mikey Weinstein Named to List of 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense: MRFF President and Founder, Mikey Weinstein is named to the inaugural 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense on December 17, 2012.  This list was compiled over five months by more than two dozen reporters and editors representing the world’s biggest military newsroom and the award-winning staffs of Gannett Government Media’s sector-leading publications: Defense News, Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times, Armed Forces Journal and Federal Times. Inclusion in this list is based on an individuals’ personal influence, not just the power that comes with their office.   One individual on the list explains the concept of personal influence as “…making change, it’s not just celebrity.”


I hope I have given you the necessary information to see that what MRFF is doing is according to Supreme Court rulings and DoD regulations.


Joan Slish

MRFF Advisory Board Member




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