I’m Sorry

From: (name withheld)
Subject: I’m sorry
Date: August 15, 2018 at 10:32:08 AM MDT

 

To whom it may concern,
I am a Christian minister in the church of God denomination. I love my religion and feel it has saved me. I realize you disagree and that’s ok. Every man has a right to his/her beliefs. I was reading some hate mail you posted on your site and was deeply disappointed in people who claim Christ but surely don’t accept his teachings. I wanted to reach out and say that I am sorry people of my religion have sent such damning emails. This is not right. While I can’t support you I do respect you and accept you. I just wanted you to know not all Christians are judging and hateful. I am actively praying for your organization to prosper and for you to be blessed and of course I pray for Israel.
In Christ’s service
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish
On Aug 15, 2018, at 2:44 PM, Joan Slish  wrote:

 

Dear (name withheld),
Your email is a breath of fresh air amongst the hate mail and sometimes death threats from Christians.
I am a retired ordained Christian minister on the Advisory Board and if I thought Mikey and MRFF were anti-Christian, I wouldn’t be here.
Mikey is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Mikey served for more than 10 years with the Judge Advocate General (“JAG”) Corps and also spent over three years working in, and for, the West Wing of the Reagan Administration as legal counsel in the White House. In his final position there, Mikey was named the Committee Management Officer of the much-publicized Iran-Contra Investigation in his capacity as Assistant General Counsel of The White House Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Mikey was named one of the 50 most influential Jews in America by the Forward, one of the nation’s preeminent Jewish publications. He also has received a nomination for the JFK’s Profile in Courage Award and received the Buzzflash Wings of Justice Award. In addition Mikey was honored by a distinguished civil rights organization, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, with the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taker Award for those who have taken risks in the pursuit of justice.
In December 2012, Defense News named Mikey one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense. As a distinguished “Opinion shaper” exercising a hard-fought influence over the U.S. Armed Forces, Mikey’s influence has been recognized as exceeding that of former General David Petraeus himself by a publication that represents “the world’s biggest military newsroom.”
As a JAG, Mikey is fully aware of the laws and regulations regarding religious neutrality in the military and other government entities, which angers many Christians.
Mikey and MRFFare 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 (420 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 57,000+ 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 (including Christian Chaplains and religious leaders) on our Board and Advisory Board whom we rely on for their expertise on religion in the military.
Check out our mission statement.
We also have liaisons on almost every base in the world.
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)
TheEstablishment Clausemeans 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.
TheFree Exercise Clause(which is subservient to theEstablishment 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 ofthemselvesand 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 ClausejurisprudenceinReynolds v. U.S.,98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, thecourtexamined 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 Clauseby law.
The Supreme Court heard theLemon v. Kurtzmancase in 1971 and ruled in favor of theEstablishment Clause.
Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with theEstablishment Clause, known as theLemon 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 First Amendment by Reynolds v. U.S.; Lemon v. Kurtzman; the Lemon Test; Parker v. Levy and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12.
I have attached the in-depth formal complaint filed by our lawyer Donald G. Rehkopf Jr., with more rules and regulations that have been broken, which has been deliberately left out of the media.
Todd Starnes and others in the Christian media are fully aware of all of the above but withhold it because they don’t want people to know the truth; otherwise their agenda to make our service members “government paid missionaries” and “soldiers for Christ” will fail. They want to bring us back to the days of the Crusaders and make every war a religious one
US Army Chaplain Major James Linzey,who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”
Just imagine serving in our military, being a mainline Christian (not born-again) and knowing this is how they feel about you.
We fight for the religious rights of all of our soldiers under the Constitution, case laws and the UCMJ.
I will keep you in my prayers, too!
In Christ,
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

From: (name withheld)
Subject: MRFF
Date: August 15, 2018 at 4:18:19 PM MDT
To: (name withheld)

Mr. (name withheld),

I am an Air Force veteran, an Evangelical Christian and a friend of Mikey Weinstein.  I support what the MRFF is doing to insure our military personnel are allowed the freedoms the Constitution guarantees.  At times, it appears Mikey and the MRFF are trying to stifle Christianity.  I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.   Unfortunately, many overzealous Christian individuals in the military use their rank or other situation to push their faith on others.  This puts undue pressure on an already tense situation.  People cannot be pressured into believing in Jesus.  They can only be invited.  We can only plant the seed and God will do the rest.  As you stated, Mikey and the MRFF receive terrible hate mail from many who call themselves Christians but are not exhibiting any of the love Jesus would want displayed.  It is good for us to give Mikey and the MRFF our support because he would be in the frontline if any military Christians were being pressured by another faith in the same manner.  My prayers are with you and the MRFF.

Sincerely

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 6:04 PM Mike  wrote:
Dear (name withheld),

Thank you for this kind and thoughtful apology on behalf of some of the more thoughtless of your fellow Christians. It is disturbing and disappointing, I must say, to hear such ugliness from people who claim to follow Jesus.

Please let me be clear. In your message you express the belief your faith has saved you and follow it with the statement that you believe we disagree with that position. No one here would ever take issue with your belief that your faith has saved you, and many would not only agree but make the same claim.

You see, contrary to the assertion that we are anti-Christian or communists or atheists or Satan lovers, we are made up of people of all faiths and no faith, but as it happens over 90% of our staff, support and clients are Christian.

So when you say you “can’t support” our work, I hope you’ll give that some thought and possibly reconsider. Our goal is, very simply, to insist that the freedom of religious or non-religious choice of every member of the armed forces be protected. That is accomplished, per the laws of this country, by separating the church from the state and officially honoring all belief systems equally.

I wish you well.

Best,

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


From: (name withheld)
Date: August 15, 2018 at 6:18:57 PM MDT
To: Mike
Cc: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Subject: Re: I’m sorry

After reading your emails I would like to explain a few things.
Firstly I have rethought my wording in my first email and have found it in error. If I had done more research before emailing instead of just the hate mail wall I believe I would have worded  it differently. I can now say after reading you responses that I fully support the MRFF and agree with you. When I am more financially sound I look forward to giving and it being used to help people of all faiths worship in peace.
May God bless you,
(name withheld)
PS I unfortunately am not a pastor I am a young  credentialed minister

 

 

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