Date: July 3, 2018 at 5:59:17 PM MDT
Subject: You are
Hi after ready your information and what you stand for One Question You and your organization are denieing my right to practice my religious rights and the Constitution say the government will make no law against the free practice of religion which they way you are doing things you are in violation the the Constitution and the very ideas that founded this country. Your latest efforts against Chaplains is in clear violation of there Constitutional rights.
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
Dear (name withheld),
We are happy when we receive emails like yours who are misinformed due to distortions, omissions and outright lies by the media, about our mission and the fight for all of our service members rights in the military under the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings and the UCMJ.
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. You will see that we are not trying to get rid of Chaplains or deny you your right to practice your religion in the civilian world. But, in the military the rules and laws are different.
Jefferson wrote the Statute of Religious Freedom, whose preamble indicted state religion, noting that “false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time” have been maintained through the church-state. To “compell a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”
In his Notes on Virginia (1782), Jefferson wrote: “Millions of innocent men, women and children since the introduction of Christianity have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned. Yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. . .”
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 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
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.
When a service member contacts Mikey because the military oversteps the bounds of these Supreme Court rulings and UCMJ, we step in.
If the military obeyed the above laws, we wouldn’t need to fight for the rights of all.
As retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said “We don’t count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.”
MRFF Advisory Board Member
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
Please be advised the Military Religious Freedom Foundation does not deny you or anyone the right to privately practice religious beliefs.
For your information, our Constitution prohibits the government or its representatives (which includes the military) from publicly promoting or endorsing a religion. Military regulations also prohibit the military or its representatives from publicly promoting or endorsing a religion. Military installations provide chapels for those who chose to worship & chaplains for those who seek spiritual support. However, military members cannot be lawfully required to participate in religious activities. The military mission is to defend our nation against its enemies – not promote or endorse a religion.
Our 56,000+ military clients do not want others, especially superiors, imposing their private religious beliefs on them in the military workplace during military duty interfering with military mission & responsibilities. They object to such coercive conduct & request their constitutional right to determine, enjoy & practice their own religious or non-religious beliefs be respected & protected (like all Americans). We represent them with patriotic pride & will continue to do so.
(name withheld), you want the right to determine, enjoy & practice your own religious beliefs without unwanted interference from others. Our military men & women want & deserve the same.
Brigadier General John Compere, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member
Response by MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
Hi (name withheld),
Apparently you don’t understand the issue here. Neither you nor anyone else is being denied the right to practice any
religion by dint of our organization’s work. In fact, the point of our work is to ensure everyone’s right to practice whatever
belief system she or he chooses, and that includes all faiths and no faith at all.
What we do object to is the imposition, by anyone, of one religion or belief system on others who may not share that
belief (or even if they do) when the imposing party is acting in an official, government-related capacity. That sort
of behavior violates the separation of church and state, and I know you wouldn’t want to be responsible for that.
So if I understood you correctly as having claimed to read our information – you said “after ready (sic) your information,”
so I wasn’t clear – I’d urge you to go back and read our information once more, but do it more carefully this time.
Thanks for your query.
(MRFF Board of Avisors)
Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
(name withheld), you are badly misinformed about our foundation… We have over 56,500 clients here & about 96% of them are practicing Christians… Our staff of over 420 is over 80% Christian… We represent many Christian chaplains to say the very least… Check your sources and try not to come out of the gate with such ignorant ill-informed venom in your mouth…