From:  (name withheld)
Date: Sun, Mar 3, 2019 at 10:08 AM
Subject: Bible
To: <[email protected]>

I just read an article in the villages daily sun stating that a World War II bible had to be removed from a va hospital because of your religious beliefs
That is your believe from your organizations.
What about about others people’s beliefs.
Some religion you are
You don’t care about us
I read that the origination was founded in 2005
Well after WWII
You wrote what you believe is gospel with no consideration for anyone else
If we had not won WWII we would be speaking German Japan’s or Italian
Think about that and your religious believes would be out the window
From an a ancestry that had relatives that fought in the revolutionary war which we won
We all could be speaking with a British accent
Not very happy about what you did
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Mar 3, 2019, at 12:07 PM, John Compere  wrote:


Dear Ms. (name withheld),
Please be advised the historic tradition of the POW/MIA dinner table display was originated by the River Rats, a group of American combat pilots from the Vietnam Era, who began this military comrade remembrance without religious scripture. The American Legion has continued this military remembrance without religious scripture. A few evangelical Christians are attempting to publicly proselytize their version of religion on the remembrance displays by placing their religious scripture version on them in government facilities without lawful authorization.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation only represents military men & women who have requested the religious scripture of others be removed from these POW/MIA remembrance displays & we are doing so because it (1) disobeys the US Constitution, military regulations & established American law prohibiting government promotion of one version of religion over others, (2) distorts the original non-religious purpose of the displays by promoting a version of religion rather than remembrance, (3) distracts from remembrance by promoting a version of religion not shared by all POWs, MIAs & military members, (4) disregards common dinner table settings that do not include religious scripture, & (5) disrespects all military members & all Americans who do not want someone else’s version of religion publicly proselytize on our government POW/MIA remembrance displays.
The sole purpose of POW/MIA dinner table displays is to remember to leave a place at the table for these military comrades for when they return & not to forget them. It was & is intended to be be about THEM. It is not now & has never been about promoting someone’s version of religion.
Hopefully, this will provide an understanding of the historic & traditional POW/MIA remembrance display purpose & why many military members want it protected & preserved.
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Advisory Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% of whom are Christians)
United Methodist Church certified lay leader, district representative, Stephen minister & biblical history teacher for many years

Response from MRFF Supporter

On Mar 3, 2019, at 7:34 PM,  (name withheld) wrote:

Ms. (name withheld),

 Thank you for your email. Although I had a really tough time understanding it, I think I have the gist of what you are objecting to and will happily respond to your concerns.
 I believe you are upset that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which is not a religion by the way, does not care about people like you, meaning Christians I assume. This is because a Bible was removed from a VA Medical Center which was in a place of honor. Because it was a WW II Bible, it represents to you the winning of that war so that we don’t speak German, Japanese or Italian. Some of your ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War to stop British accents. So, let me see if I can make you a little happier about this situation.
 I am guessing you would not feel this strongly if say, the Koran was removed from a prominent place in the VA Medical Center. I am also guessing that you are a decent person who cares about the feelings of others. Here’s the thing. So did our Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” In other words, no religion, including yours should get special treatment like the Bible was getting at the VA Medical Center. Now, I am sure you believe that your religion is the right one and it is fine to believe that as long as you don’t support burning people at the stake for not believing the way you do. But, the VA Medical Center is a part of our government  and therefore, should not show prejudice in favor of Christianity by having the Bible on display. That goes for any religion, by the way.
 I and many like me who are not Christians have the right to be welcomed into the VA and other government agencies and property without being made to feel that Christians are the only ones who count. So, you see, I don’t feel that you care about us.
I hope I addressed your concerns and have a wonderful week.
(name withheld)

From: (name withheld)
To: John Compere
Sent: Monday, March 4, 2019, 8:23:51 AM CST
Subject: RE: Bible
The exhibit was in a case
The solider had it during the war
The bible was closed
The government had the churches involved in the war for anyone that wanted a prayer or guidance
Your organization took that exhibit away for your beliefs
Rules are made up by human beings
Whose to say that they are right or wrong
Thank you again
(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

(name withheld),
There are at least 10,000 distinct world religions recognized & over 2,000 different Christianities with different scripture versions in America alone (World Christian Encyclopedia). The US Department of Defense official list of recognized religions for the military alone currently includes 221 different belief groups.
Our government, which includes the military, is not & cannot by law (US Constitution, US Armed Forces regulations & US Supreme Court rulings) be in the business of publicly endorsing & promoting one version of religion or religious scripture over all others – even it it is your version.
There are military chapels & chaplains as well as civilian churches & clergy available for all who choose religious worship & religious instruction.
Your beliefs are understood & respected. Hopefully, you will try to understand & respect those of the military men & women serving our country who do not want the religious beliefs of others imposed upon them by the government in government facilities.
Respectfully, John

From:  (name withheld)
To: John Compere
Sent: Monday, March 4, 2019, 12:14:00 PM CST
Subject: Re: Bible
Hello John
Thank you for taking the time for me
Enjoy your day
(name withheld)

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