We want Tolerance and Liberty!

From: (name withheld)
Date: August 17, 2018 at 2:14:44 PM MDT
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: We want Tolerance and Liberty!
Reply-To: (name withheld)

I honestly don’t expect you to read this because, well, the truth can sting. See if you can read with an open mind.

Looks like a history lesson is in order. Tolerance – you need some.

The following is taken verbatim from the Constitution of the United State of America. Neither your opinion nor mine has any relevance to the law.

Article [I] (Amendment 1 – Freedom of expression and religion)

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

“Article [IX] (Amendment 9 – Unenumerated Rights)

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The following is taken verbatim from The Declaration of Independence. One’s disbelief in God has No relevance to the law.

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Your ignorance is ridiculous. You are acting like a 2 year old laying in the floor kicking and screaming because he isn’t getting his way. Quit trying to force Your beliefs on everyone else. One day we will all die and then we will all know who was right. Until then stop the bigotry and hatred. You have no right (see above) to force your beliefs on anyone. Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert isn’t forcing you to believe what he believes. Your intolerance/proselytizing is really pitiful. If you’re this miserable with your own life do something about it and quit trying to make everyone else miserable with you. Seriously, grow up. If anyone should be behind prison bars that would be you for wasting tax payer dollars on your whining. Someone will always be offended (cry, cry) at something. You should be glad that Gen. Teichert wants to make wise decisions and have understanding. But since this is ‘criminal’ I guess you want him to  make … stupid decisions? I look at his resume against yours and … well … what have you done for our country. If you aren’t happy here, by all means please leave. The majority of us enjoy Freedom.

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish

On Aug 17, 2018, at 4:40 PM, Joan Slish  wrote:

Dear (name withheld)

Let me give YOU a history lesson.
“I honestly don’t expect you to read this because, well, the truth can sting. See if you can read with anopen mind.”
The Declaration of Independence was concerning the breaking from England and the Anglican church and has nothing to do with our Constitution.
Many years ago I did an in-depth research on the separation of church and state and it was posted. It was fact-checked and turned out to be accurate. It has been incorporated into the teachings on separation of church and state at two military academies and many universities. When your “history lesson” can do the same, let me know.
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 hisNotes 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 byPresidentJohn Adams, receiving ratificationunanimouslyfrom 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 yearssince 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 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 tothe 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, EcclesiasticalEndowments
“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 Memorialand 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)
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 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.
The following is taken verbatim.
“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
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.
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.
                                                                                          
Mikey and those of us involved with MRFF are not “miserable”and “acting like a 2 year old laying in the floor kicking and screaming because he isn’t getting his way.”
Your email shows that YOU are the one kicking and screaming because you’re not getting your way.
Any true historian reading your rant and “history lesson” would be rolling over in laughter.
“If you aren’t happy here (living with the above laws and regulations), by all means please leave.”
It’s YOUR ignorance of the history of our country since the Constitution was ratified that is ludicrous.
What have you done for your country besides firing off this missive full of pompous arrogance?
Joan Slish
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein

On Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 1:29 PM, Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org> wrote:

Hello (name withheld)… Well you seem to be quite wrong… I am personally responding to you here and I am the head person of the foundation… I’m not gonna waste any time in communicating with you if you have not carefully reviewed the 22 page demand letter we sent in to the Pentagon late this past Sunday… It lays everything out extremely well… If you can’t find that letter on the Internet or on our website I will personally send it to you… Thank you and have a nice weekend… Mikey Weinstein/MRFF

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Aug 17, 2018, at 6:16 PM, Mike  wrote:

Hi Ms. (name withheld),

It appears Mikey has already responded to your ill-informed, rather smug and self-righteous complaint, so let me only add that you’re way off base, ignorant of the actual facts of the matter and your attitude doesn’t serve you or your position well.

Discussion is always possible and “open minds” are welcome. Lecturing from a position of ignorance and barely veiled contempt is a waste of time.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Aug 17, 2018, at 8:48 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

Ms (name withheld),
 
Please be advised the US Constitution prohibits our government or its representatives (which includes the military) from promoting or endorsing a religion. The US Supreme Court has continuously confirmed this as the law of our law. US Armed Forces regulations also prohibit the military from promoting or endorsing a religion. The 1st Amendment provides our historic trinity of religious freedoms – (1) freedom from public religion, (2) freedom of private religion, and (3) freedom for religious speech. These freedoms cannot be used to violate the freedom of others.
 
Please be advised the Declaration of Independence is not law & contains universal terms not exclusive to any religion. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author was a Deist & drafted the language to be inclusion of all beliefs. Moreover, it proclaims government derives its “…just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” – not from religion. Only 17% of colonists belong to religious congregations in 1776. 
 
For your information, the secular military mission is to defend our nation against its enemies – not promote or endorse a religion. The secular sworn military service oath is to bear true faith & allegiance to the Constitution – not to a religion. Military chapels are available for those who choose to worship & military chaplains are available for those who seek spiritual support. Military persons wanting to publicly preach & promote their private version of religion to others may request transfer to the Chaplain Corps or leave the military & become civilian clergy. No military person, except military chaplains, may use his or her office, position or rank to presumptuously promote private religious beliefs. That is the law as well as mandatory military policy. No military person of any religious belief is above the law (that includes Christians). Those who choose not to respect & obey the Constitution, military regulations & military service oath have the right to seek civilian careers.
 
Like all Americans, military members desire & deserve the right to determine, enjoy & practice their own religious or non-religious beliefs free from another person’s religious beliefs, especially superiors, being imposed upon them in the military. Over 57,000 military men & women (96% are Christians) have requested their right to this religious freedom (to which all Americans are entitled under our Constitution) be respected & protected while they patriotically serve our Country. They are fortunate that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an American non-profit constitutional rights organization (80% are Christians) dedicated solely to ensuring our military members have the constitutional right to religious freedom, is available (when requested) to advocate for them. For this advocacy, the MRFF has been officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 7 times.
 
Please be assured that 57,000+ good military women & men serving our Country, 400+ MRFF dedicated staff, advisors & volunteers advocating for them & thousands of generous financial contributors supporting them do not believe the effort for them is ignorant, ridiculous, bigoted, hateful, intolerant, pitiful or miserable.
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
Former Chief Judge, US Army Court of Military Review
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

On Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 9:13 AM   (name withheld)
Last thing – to be honest I haven’t had time to read the entirety of your emails before my previous responses. Here’s my final response.
1.) Thanks again for the quotes, etc, you have sent. I will add them to my list of facts concerning Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Honestly I didn’t think emailing you would accomplish anything.
2.) You made the assumption that I am a Christian. Why? Do you believe that only Christians have enough common sense to understand the law? That is offensive. Had this man been Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, etc. I would have made the same argument. Freedom of speech and Freedom of Religion apply to all. However, due to your words I now see what I’ve heard Christians speak of concerning, in Christian terms, ‘persecution.’ It makes me wonder why Christians bother you more than anyone else. (Make a chart of different religions and for each one mark how many you have filed suit against.) I am going to study more about the Christian God because if He is the Only One, using another Christian term, ‘convicting’ you there must be a reason. Why else would Christians be the only ones you appear to get Angry with. I love research, hence my interest in law, so I am definitely doing more research into this. Maybe you should do the same. Thank you for showing me Truth here as well.
Sincerely,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Aug 22, 2018, at 5:33 PM, Mike wrote:


Hi,

Good of you to include our quotes, etc., to your list of facts. I hope they’ll be useful.

If anyone assumed you were a Christian, and I see no sign of our having done so, it would have been because those who have read about and responded negatively to our having expressed concerns about Brigadier General Teichert (on behalf of his subordinates who reached out to us) and his inappropriate proselytizing fall into two categories: 1) fundamentalist or dominionist Christians who cheer his attempt to convert his troops; or 2) Christians who have bought into the idea (promoted by those in category 1) that there is some kind of weird campaign going on against Christians in America.

That’s certainly not something we’re aware of.

In answer to your question, despite the error in its premise, we honor all belief systems and therefore certainly do not believe “only Christians have enough common sense to understand the law.”

It’s good to know you’d have put forward the same argument if BGen. Teichert had been “Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, etc.” I trust that would also include Muslim, yes? Atheist? Just want to be clear.

Well, had BGen. Teichert been a passionate proponent of any of those beliefs our response would have been the same. You see, despite your willingness to support the freedoms of speech and religion to all, there are, by law and military regulation, limits to what one in the General’s position is allowed to say with regard to his belief. That’s because the First Amendment’s protections are buttressed by the understanding that the government, which in the military is represented by officers and those with authority over others, cannot promote, promulgate, favor, proselytize or appear to do so in favor of one belief system over others.

You mention above the “persecution” of Christians. The persecution of Christians in America is a fantasy made up by the dominionists and their ilk in order to gain power in the Christian world. Since you’ve “heard Christians speak” of it I’d suggest you get a second opinion from a more level-headed, more mainstream Christian.

Christians don’t “bother” us. In fact, the vast majority of the people who work with and support the MRFF are themselves Christians. Apparently, though, we do “bother” some Christians because we frustrate their desire to destroy the separation of church and state and make America a Christian Nation and the military Jesus’ Army.

And it’s certainly not the Christian God who is “convicting” us. Apparently you’ve found a way to get information on us from too many of the category 1) people mentioned above. I hope the research you plan to do widens the scope of your search a bit. It sounds to me as though you’ve picked your way carefully into a wily briar patch of discontent.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Grey One talks sass

    Quit forcing your beliefs on us says the theocratic Christian Nationalist who intends to force their beliefs on We The People.

    Irony isn’t dead, she was revived and come to life on this site.

  2. Stephen

    The First Amendment grants us Free Speech, of which public prayer and the sharing of the Gospel are certainly included.

  3. Grey One talks sass

    Stephen – Obviously not reading for comprehension. Try reading the responses again. The answers are there. I found them to be enlightening. Why didn’t you?

  4. watchtower

    ….are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights – does not mean GOD, actual or implied…it means “their” the “persons” creator and that can be mom and dad or Hans Solo and Princess Leia!!

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