Your religious (or not) affiliations and beliefs

On Feb 18, 2019, at 3:26 AM,  (name withheld) wrote:

 

My apologies if this is listed on your website somewhere…. I must admit I didn’t do a thorough search, but I’d appreciate you sending me the link on your website to the list of each of your staff / writers and their religious (or non-religious) beliefs and the group to which they identify. If it is not listed on your website, then please send me a simple listing back via email.
Thank you for your time and reply,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein
From:Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Sent:Monday, February 18, 2019 7:50 AM
To:(name withheld)
Subject:Re: Your religious (or not) affiliations and beliefs

hi, (name withheld)….sorry, we don’t do that…..about 80% of our paid and volunteer staff of over 430 folks ID as either Protestant or Roman Catholic…..about 95% of our over 61,000 MRFF active duty and veteran clients ID the same way…but we don’t reveal that by name….as for me, I’m Jewish…but not very religious…

On Feb 22, 2019, at 1:29 PM, (name withheld) wrote:

 

Hi Mikey,
Thank you for your response and explanation of what your staff and volunteers believe.
I guess I’m a little confused. Does your organization advocate for people in the Military being able to have the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit? That’s what is seems “Military Religious Freedom” would mean, or does it mean something else?
Let’s take a look at your organization’s stance against a Chick-Fil-A business leader coming to address a non-compulsory leadership meeting for the Air Force. I take it that since the founder of Chick-Fil-A (hereafter simply CFA) maintained a personal belief that homosexuality is a sin (as has been held by the Church since it’s inception, and is specifically condemned in the Bible), and who has since died, that you and your organization believes no one from CFA should be allowed to address a leadership conferenceof military personnel. Does this accurately summarize your position? If not please feel free to correct me / clarify.
There are several issues with your position:
1) The leadership conference was voluntary. No one was required to attend, and thus those who wanted to attend should be allowed to do so. Don’t you agree?
2) The topics the CFA executive was to address were strictly business related, and no evangelism or Christian proselytizing was to occur at the meeting.  Are faithful Christians now second-class citizens who are to be censored and marginalized due to their beliefs? Did the CFA executive have nothing to say about leadership which might have been useful to these airmen?
3) Since everyone has a stance on religious matters, you and me included, then if I find your religious beliefs to be abhorrent, shouldn’t I be able to censor and marginalize your right to speech? If not, then why not?
4) If the Air Force invites a known paganist (for example, Larry Ellison) to speak, is that OK? If so, why?
5) Since you and I both have a guaranteed freedom of speech, and you may not like what I have to say, do you have the right to censor me if you don’t agree with what I believe?
6) Not long ago, Al Gore was compelled, based on his beliefs about the imminent global warming crisis, to speak about “an inconvenient truth.” Many of the things he said in that documentary was upsetting to many people, and many people still disagree with the movies conclusions. Since this movie upsets some people, should it be banned in the US from being shown? If not, then why not?
7) Since everyone expresses themselves from their sincerely held beliefs, and since everyone has a world view, isn’t it true that when an Atheist speaks before men and women of our military, that the Atheist is speaking from their world view, including the fact that they believe there is no God? Since the Atheist is giving a speech from the perspective that there is not a God, and since the guidance, direction and opinions he/she gives is based in their beliefs, should the Atheist be allowed to speak to our Military?  If so, why is it OK for the Atheist, coming from an atheistic world-view, to present to our military?
8) Is it OK for a devout Muslim (who also believe homosexuality is a sin) or an Orthodox Jew (who likewise hold homosexuality to be a sin) to present to our military, when attendance is non-compulsory? If so, why?
9) Please name (with dates and a URL if possible) any time that any CFA restaurant has ever turn away any homosexual or transvestite from being served.
The point here Mickey is that the standard for what we allow in public speech is not determined by me or you, and it’s not determined by if you insult me or hurt my feelings. Rather, the standard of freedom of speech is exactly that; we all get to speak our minds, and no one, even Faithful, Bible-believing Christians with whom you disagree, are “second class citizens.”
I hope you agree, and I look forward to your next reply.
Sincerely Yours,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein
From:Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Sent:Friday, February 22, 2019 1:56 PM
To:(name withheld)
Subject:Re: Your religious (or not) affiliations and belief
look (name withheld), I don’t have the time to reply to you at this moment…kind of busy…you took your time to get back to my initial response to you (over 4 DAYS, and then you misspelled my name??!!)…….to start with, however, let me make it clear to you that members of the U.S. armed forces do NOT have the same First Amendment rights as civilians do….not at ALL…you seem ignorant of that basic fact??!!….…by SCOTUS caselaw (Parker v. Levy;1974) and regulation, especially by USAF regs….see AFI 1-1, section 2.12…..since you seem to know who I am, who are YOU?!…are you in the military?…..ever been in?….maybe you can reply faster than 4 days this time and spell my name correctly with to boot??…..Mikey

On Feb 22, 2019, at 3:29 PM,  (name withheld) wrote:

 

Hi Mikey,
Please feel free to take your time. I’m in no hurry. If you need a week, or two, to formulate coherent response to my questions I’ll be happy to wait. I understand what it means to be busy. I’m a busy man also.
Again, my apologies for misspelling your name, I’ll do my best to not do that again. If it does happen again, please be certain that it’s unintentional. 
I’m interested in your deep thoughts about the questions I put to you. I’m sure we could both find various legal scholars to whom we could refer. And yes, I’ll read the SCOTUS decisions you send. But again, I’d like you to think deeply about things like…
Does inviting an executive from a leading national restaurateur to speak to your cadets constitute proselytizing, particularly if the executive is only going to speak on leadership and sound leadership principles? If so, why so? 
I’m not interested in a shouting match. You might get that from others, but not from me. Looking forward to your replies. 
Best Regards,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein
From:Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Sent:Friday, February 22, 2019 3:38 PM
To:(name withheld)
Subject:Re: Your religious (or not) affiliations and beliefs

……”deep thoughts”???…..are you implying that our regular thoughts are pedestrian?….look, (name withheld), please read BGEN Marty France’s reply to the Powells….I sent that to you….Mike Farrell’s reply is equally superb…..BGEN Compere’s reply also very good….read the Op Ed in the COS Gazette by Craig Foster, the USAFA prof…read MRFF Sr. Research Dir. Ms. Chris Rodda’s article….they’ve all been sent to you…..that should suffice…..you can read my demand letter to the USAFA Super…..his bullshit reply and my response to that specious reply…I’ll send that yo ou now…..Im not gonna write a tome back to you on this……just no time…have a speech to give at a rally at the SCOTUS next week….big case….thx for reaching out……


On Feb 22, 2019, at 4:00 PM, (name withheld) wrote:

 

Hi Mikey,
Did I offend you by asking you questions? Do you usually take offense when someone asks for your deep thoughts (as opposed to others)? Your replies to me are less than professional, and I’m wondering why.
Also, I guess I didn’t know I was on some type of timer as to reply to you. Did you mention that in your first post which I missed? Please let me know.
I guess I’m having a hard time understanding why someone who purports to be “for” Military Religious Freedom would castigate another American for holding sincere and Bible based beliefs? Again, are you saying that faithful, Bible believing Christians should be second class citizens and be censored from speaking their beliefs? Should all Americans who believe differently than you do be excluded from the Government? Is holding beliefs contrary to yours enough to invalidate someone from either holding governmental office or presenting information about which he is an expert (i.e. leading large organizations), that has nothing to do with his/her religion? If so, what is that? If I disagree with you about your beliefs, does that mean that I have the right to censor you?
And again, how is it that a very successful executive leader, who has participated in leading thousands of employees successfully for stockholders and provided jobs to these same employees, should be censored when he isn’t even speaking about Christian themes? That’s the real thing I don’t understand. Yes, you sent me what others think. I’m interested in why you think that way, and if you have a reasonable defense for such, or if you feel personally attacked by those who disagree with you.
Best Regards,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein
From: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 4:23 PM
To: (name withheld)
Subject: Your religious (or not) affiliations and beliefs

….plz take no offense, but it’s not really possible for you to offend me….what you may be perceiving as me taking as slights are merely tee ball level…..you should see the Big League shit we get all day and all night…  https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/hatebook/….we have over 450 paid and volunteer staff who work for MRFF….about 80% are practicing Christians……they believe themselves to be every bit as devout as you believe yourself to be….about 95% of our nearly 62,000 armed forces MRFF clients are also practicing Christians…..good God, Greg, let’s NOT 4get that you STARTED this communication by ACTUALLY asking for the religious affiliations of our staff etc. by NAME??!!…by N-A-M-E……!!!??……seriously?!!?…now THAT was pretty FREAKING rude!!  :(…VERY!!……before you keep asking me the same questions over and over again, plz DO your OWN homework and read the material I’ve taken the valuable time to send to you……information is inherently better than no in formation…….don’t waste my time and I’ll not waste yours…

On Feb 22, 2019, at 4:33 PM,  (name withheld) wrote:

 

Hello Mikey,
Thank you for taking the time to put together the links. You’ve sent me a lot of information and I’ll not only read it but also try to understand where you’re coming from.
While I do that, will you please consider some of the questions I’ve put forth, and the natural conclusion of where your beliefs will lead?  Specifically, should all Bible believing Christians (and those of other faiths as well) be excluded from any and all Governmental affairs simply because they believe homosexuality is a sin as defined in the Bible? Is it truly the “American Way” to exclude and silence some people, and intentionally exclude them from serving their community and government, for their religious beliefs?  Didn’t homosexuals face that same challenge recently in their service to our country?  Something to think about.
I’ll be back in touch in a week or two, and I sincerely hope you are safe and sound on your trip to Washington DC, no matter how far you travel to get there.
Best Regards,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and Director Mikey Weinstein
On Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 3:38 PM Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org> wrote:

(name withheld), it would actually be far better to talk on the phone…..too much to type about….you have totally missed the point of MRFF….we don’t give a crap about anyone’s beliefs or lack thereof…..we only care about the time, place and manner in which a DoD employee believes that they can DEPLOY their faith or lack thereof….it’s really not that complex…..we’re a simple meal to make…like a hamburger….not a complex meal like chateaubriand….Mikey  (phone # withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Feb 24, 2019, at 12:57 AM, Mike  wrote:

Dear (name withheld)

 

Mikey asked me to look at your message in the hope I might help clear up your confusion. I’d like to help if I can,

but because I detect a good deal of condescension in your tone I’ll tread carefully and try to be clear.

 

Thank you for your response and explanation of what your staff and volunteers believe. I don’t think he did that.

Mikey simply pointed out, in response to your query, that people of many different belief systems work with,

support and are helped by the MRFF.

 

I guess I’m a little confused.

I don’t believe you actually think you are.

 

Does your organization advocate for people in the Military being able to have the freedom to practice their

religion as they see fit? Yes, as long as doing so remains within the bounds of the law and military regulations.

 

That’s what is seems “Military Religious Freedom” would mean, or does it mean something else? It does not,

despite the implication of the question.

 

Let’s take a look at your organization’s stance against a Chick-Fil-A business leader coming to address a

non-compulsory leadership meeting for the Air Force. Yes, let’s.

 

I take it that since the founder of Chick-Fil-A (hereafter simply CFA) maintained a personal belief (which was

made publicly very clear and demonstrated through legal pursuits and public statements backed up by

significant financial contributions to groups that discriminate on that basis, a practice that continues today)

that homosexuality is a sin (as has been held by the Church (to which “Church” do you refer?) since it’s

inception, and is specifically condemned in the Bible) (This, of course, depends upon one’s interpretation of

what is said in the Bible, e.g. whether one is a ‘Bible literalist,’ and also believes, for example, that disobedient

children should be stoned to death at the gates of the city), and who has since died, (and whose belief system,

along with ongoing financial support for organizations espousing same, continues unabated)

that you and your organization believes no one from CFA should be allowed to address a leadership conference of military

personnel. Does this accurately summarize your position?

No, of course it does not. The specific individual in
question enjoys great authority within CFA and continues to oversee generous donations to discriminatory
groups. The NCLS is not simply a “leadership conference of military personnel,” as you suggest, but is rather
a specific yearly event wherein young, impressionable female and male cadets are introduced to – and, it is
intended, be inspired by = people who, as is implied by the title of the seminar, represent estimable qualities
of character and leadership as well as personal values consistent with those of the Academy, the Air Force,
and the U.S. Government.  If not please feel free to correct me / clarify.  Corrected / clarified.

There are several issues with your position:  Issues for you.

1) The leadership conference was voluntary. No one was required to attend, and thus those who wanted to

attend should be allowed to do so. Don’t you agree?

In a military organization it is naïve or slyly deceitful to claim to believe so. It is our position that the Academy should not propose a speaker who represents the values in question.
2) The topics the CFA executive was to address were strictly business related, and no evangelism or Christian

proselytizing was to occur at the meeting.

Character and leadership, sir, are at question with this speaker and what he represents in toto, not the business model you imply he’ll speak to. Mussolini made the trains run on time.
Are faithful Christians now second-class citizens who are to be censored and marginalized due

to their beliefs?

Of course not. “Faithful Christian” does not, in our experience, equate with homophobe or
bigot
Did the CFA executive have nothing to say about leadership which might have been useful to these
airmen?  Useful? Who knows? See my reference to Mussolini. 
3) Since everyone has a stance on religious matters, you and me included, then if I find your religious beliefs
to be abhorrent, shouldn’t I be able to censor and marginalize your right to speech?  No 

If not, then why not?We believe in the right of free speech. We also, however, believe in the separation of church and state.

4) If the Air Force invites a known paganist (for example, Larry Ellison) to speak, is that OK? If so, why?

I don’t know Mr. Ellison and can’t imagine why he would be invited to speak at the NCLS. If he were to be invited, for
some reason, and his positions, associations and life were widely known for promoting paganism, I believe
we would oppose the invitation.
5) Since you and I both have a guaranteed freedom of speech, and you may not like what I have to say, do
you have the right to censor me if you don’t agree with what I believe?   Of course not.
6) Not long ago, Al Gore was compelled, (I believe he chose) based on his beliefs about the imminent global
warming crisis, to speak about “an inconvenient truth.” Many of the things he said in that documentary was
upsetting to many people, and many people still disagree with the movies conclusions. Since this movie upsets
some people, should it be banned in the US from being shown?   Of course not.
If not, then why not? Former Vice President Gore has the right to speak the truth as he understands it, as does anyone else.

7) Since everyone expresses themselves from their sincerely held beliefs, (That’s not my experience.) and since
everyone has a world view, isn’t it true that when an Atheist speaks before men and women of our military, that
the Atheist is speaking from their world view, including the fact that they believe there is no God? (That may or
may not be the case, but if that belief system is inexorably associated with the person’s presence and so widely
known to be part of his or her character that it colored the substance of the presentation, one might question
her/his appropriateness as a speaker) Since the Atheist is giving a speech from the perspective that there is not
a God, and since the guidance, direction and opinions he/she gives is based in their beliefs, should the Atheist
be allowed to speak to our Military? (In my experience, Atheists do so all the time, but if it is not what they are
known for and their belief system is not the undercurrent of their presentation, there should be no issue.) If so,
why is it OK for the Atheist, coming from an atheistic world-view, to present to our military? Why would it not be?
8) Is it OK for a devout Muslim (who also believe homosexuality is a sin) (If you pretend to speak for Islamic
fundamentalism, may I assume you also speak for Christian fundamentalism?) or an Orthodox Jew (who likewise
hold homosexuality to be a sin) (ditto) to present to our military, when attendance is non-compulsory? (See
the response to Atheists above. Also, see the earlier response regarding non-compulsory attendance) If so,
why? Why not?

9) Please name (with dates and a URL if possible) any time that any CFA restaurant has ever turn away any

homosexual or transvestite from being served. (I’ve tried to respond in a manner consistent with your tone.

So don’t be silly.)

The point here Mickey (Mikey) is that the standard for what we allow in public speech is not determined by
me or you, and it’s not determined by if you insult me or hurt my feelings. (No it isn’t,(name withheld) But public speech and speech in the military have different standards. In the case of the USAFA and the NCLS, the character and values of the speaker are deeply relevant.) Rather, the standard of freedom of speech is exactly that; we all get
to speak our minds, and no one, even Faithful, Bible-believing Christians with whom you disagree, are “second
class citizens.” As you have so volubly demonstrated here. But, to your point, no one here is determining anyone

to be a second-class citizen. Since, however, you have now revealed the basis of your complaint – that “Faithful,

Bible-believing Christians” are somehow being targeted based on our opposition to the ill-selected speaker – let

me assure you that the MRFF has widened its scope to protect the rights of gay and transgender women and

men in the military, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because an anti-gay agenda is part and

parcel of the fundamentalist Christian, or dominionist, belief system that is attempting to corrupt the Air Force

via the USAFA.

I hope you agree, and I look forward to your next reply. I’m not sure you do.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Beth Zion

    Mr. Farrell – you stated – “Character and leadership, sir, are at question with this speaker” Are you saying that because Mr. Bullard works for Chick fil-a he lacks personal character and leadership abilities, but if he did not worked for them and worked for McDonald’s, he would have character and leadership qualities? Talk about being a bigot, you are the epiptomy of one. Mr. Bullard has more character than Mikey or you have in your little penis’s.

  2. MRFF Admin

    [Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell]

    Hello Beth Zion, or whoever represents her/himself by using that name,

    No. I am saying nothing of the kind.

    I am saying that an executive of Chick-Fil-A, a company known for its open and oft-stated bias against the LGBTQ community and same-sex marriage, and a person responsible for substantial, long-standing and continuing financial contributions to organizations that are openly and apparently proudly anti-gay, should not be selected to lecture to young impressionable cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s National Character and Leadership Seminar. Character and leadership are the understood qualities at question in this seminar and the selection of a person with an association and history that suggests embrace of those bigoted views carries them quite openly into the NCLS, pollutes the discussion and implicitly grants them acceptance by the USAFA, the Air Force and the U. S. Government.

    If, as you suggest, Mr. Bullard worked for McDonald’s and was not known for overseeing and continuing substantial contributions to organizations that openly espouse bigotry, it is unlikely there would be a reason for concern, no matter what his personal feelings may be.

    I don’t believe “epiptomy” is a word, but I understand your point. Your assertion about the quality and degree of Mr. Bullard’s character suggests that you know him personally. If so, I suggest you ask him about his views about homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the continuing financial support of bigoted organizations for which he is responsible.

    Meanwhile, I trust those responsible for choosing speakers for the USAFA NCLS can find a more suitable candidate.

    Mike Farrell
    (MRFF Board of Advisors)

  3. Karen Locke

    Mike Farrell, I am delighted to see that the MRFF is taking up the cause of gay and transgender servicemembers.

    Name Withheld, the term “transvestite” usually refers to a cross-dressing person, and is a slur. I think you were trying to say “transgender person” or simply “trans person”.

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