Mike Farrell’s On Point Response to Detractor’s “Oxymoron” Alert

On Feb 14, 2019, at 3:00 PM,  (name withheld) wrote:

Oxymoron alert???

 

Confusing, you are for religious freedom and yet wish to censor the potential religious viewpoints of someone?

 

I don’t understand………..

 

(name withheld)

xxxxxx, Ohio

USA


Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

From: Mikey Weinstein [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2019 6:15 PM
To: (name withheld)
Subject: Re: Chick-fil-A

 

(name withheld), I am not sure what your particular objections are but I can tell you that this individual told the Associated Press yesterday that the Chick-fil-A foundation does not contribute to anti-LGBTQ organizations which is a direct lie… That by itself is pretty miserable, brother…


 

From: (name withheld)
Date: February 14, 2019 at 3:29:03 PM PST
To: “‘Mikey Weinstein'” <[email protected]>
Subject: Chick-fil-A

Well hello Mr. Weinstein!

 

I am very surprised to get a reply from someone of your stature – just figured I was sounding off into the great void.

 

My objection (more like confusion of your organizations objectives) is;

 

If your organization is for the support of religious freedom guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution, why would you object to someone that holds the traditional Christian view that marriage is a creation of God meant to only be for a man and a woman and not for homosexuals?

 

How is silencing a person with that viewpoint match up with your objectives – I would think you would be saying go ahead and supporting their right to speak their mind even if you don’t agree???

 

Regards,

(name withheld)

xxxxxxx, Ohio

USA


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

From: Mike MF
Subject: Chick-fil-A
Date: February 15, 2019 at 12:58:16 AM MST

 

Hi Mr. (name withheld),

 

In reading your initial message to Mr. Weinstein and then your follow-up, I sense what I hope is a sincere confusion. Acting on the assumption I am correct, I want to try to clarify a couple of things.

 

Please understand this is my appreciation of the circumstances we face.
 

The mission of the MRFF is clear: it is dedicated to the protection of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religious or non-religious choice of those in the military. It was formed because of the personal experience of Mr. Weinstein and his children, all graduates of the Air Force Academy. During his time at the Academy Mikey, a Jew, experienced the kind of casual bigotry that is unfortunately present in our society. In addition to that, however, he also experienced more serious attacks and ugly expressions of antisemitism and dealt with them privately.

 

When, years later, he found that his sons were experiencing not only the same thing but a much more militant and more widely and openly expressed version of this behavior (his son came to him and said he was going to get into trouble. When Mikey asked why, his son explained that he had taken as much of the grotesque behavior as he could stomach and was going to deal with the harassment head on) Mikey asked him not to and instead went to the leaders of the Academy himself, told them of the problem and expected it to be resolved.

It was not.

 

In time, in the face of what quickly became clear was an attempt on the part of a zealous strain of fundamentalist Christianity to infiltrate both the ranks and the leadership of the Air Force Academy (and others) in order to further a campaign promoting the conversion of our country into a Christian nation and the military into Jesus’ Army, MRFF was born.

 

Today it is one of the leading organizations in the country working to promote and protect the separation of church and state.

 

The current situation that has caused your confusion has to do with the invitation of a man who represents a business that has a history of anti-gay bigotry. While homosexuality is not a religion, the MRFF has widened its scope to include protection of the rights of gay and transgender women and men in the military because it is the right thing to do, but also because an anti-gay agenda is very much part and parcel of the fundamentalist Christian, or dominionist, belief system.

 

When the Academy invites a speaker for its National Character and Leadership Symposium there is, inherent in the invitation, a suggestion of respect and admiration for the speaker and what she or he represents. The young, need I say impressionable, women and men at the Academy who are presented this speaker and what she or he represents are given the clear impression that this is someone whose life, character and viewpoint is consistent with that of the Academy and the Air Force.

 

The man in question has a right to believe as he chooses, but the anti-gay philosophy he represents is not, in the view of the MRFF, a viewpoint that should be given the imprimatur of the Academy, the U.S. Air Force and, by implication the U.S. Government.

 

If I may add a personal note, your suggestion that an anti-gay belief or philosophy is “a traditional Christian view” is certainly no longer the case.

 

Best,

 

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Feb 14, 2019, at 7:04 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

(name withheld),
 
Thank you for your inquiry.
 
The US Constitution prohibits our government (which includes the military) from promoting or endorsing a religion version or viewpoint. The US Supreme Court has continuously & consistently confirmed this constitutional prohibition as the law of our land. US Armed Forces regulations also prohibit the military from promoting or endorsing a religion version or viewpoint.
The Constitution (1st Amendment) provides our historic trinity of religious liberties: (1) freedom from religion; (2) freedom of any religion or no religion; & (3) freedom for religious speech. It prohibits our government from “respecting” a religion & requires its neutrality regarding religion.
 
The secular military mission is to defend our nation against its enemies (not endorse or promote a religion version or viewpoint). The secular sworn service oath is to bear true faith & allegiance to the Constitution (not to a deity or a religion version or viewpoint). The military as an institution is non-religious by law, regulation, custom & necessity (neither anti-religion nor pro-religion).
 
Military members desire & deserve the American constitutional right to determine, enjoy & practice their own religious or non-religious beliefs. They do not want the religious beliefs of others imposed upon them during their military service in their military environment. Military chapels are worship-places and military chaplains are religion instructors for those who choose them. Problems regarding religion seldom arise when military leaders demonstrate intelligence, integrity & insistence on compliance with the law, regulations, oath & neutrality as to religion.
 
Over 61,000 military men & women (95% are Christians) have complained & requested their right to religious freedom, to which all Americans are entitled under the Constitution, be respected & protected (which includes this case). They are fortunate the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a non-profit constitutional rights organization (80% are Christians) dedicated solely to ensuring military members have the right to religious freedom, exists to respond to their requests for representation. Its motto is “Fighting for our service members’ rights, so they can fight for ours.” For this advocacy,the MRFF has been officially nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 7 times.
 
Hopefully, this information will be helpful in understanding the MRFF & its representation of only those military men & women who request it. See also militaryreligiousfreedom.org.
Most Sincerely,
 
Brigadier General John Compere, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member

 

 

 

 

Share this page:

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

1 Comment

  1. Grey One talks sass

    As I understand Mike Farrell’s logic, if the company did not engage in anti-LGBTQA bias then the speaker would be welcome. The personal views of the speaker are their own at that point, not a representation of the company.

    That said, because the company Chick-Fil-A supports anti-LGBTQA groups, having the company represented fails to live up to the code of the symposium. He said it better but sometimes to get the point it needs to restated more than once.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*