New Hampshire V.A.

On Mar 1, 2019, at 7:04 AM,  (name withheld) wrote:

 

I would like to go on record, that you are a bunch if hypocrites.

The display of a soldiers Bible from when they we’re a P.O.W. is a totally acceptable display.
It is not forcing any individual to walk the Lord’s path.
You all are in New Mexico, worry about thing out your way and leave our Veterans alone.
22 year veteran
Combat veteran
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
Hi, there, (name withheld)…..first off, MRFF is actually chartered in Wash. DC but is HQ’ed in NMEX because I live here….but I travel frequently…just got back less than 24 hours ago from a major SCOTUS rally in front of the Supreme Court regarding a critical church/state separation case argued Feb 27th at the SCOTUS…MRFF filed an Amicus brief in that SCOTUS case and one of the most prominent signers was a retired 3 Star general who LIVES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE!!….we have almost 62,000 armed forces and veteran clients and about 95% are practicing Christians…..we have about 450 staff (paid and volunteer) and about 80% are Christians…our MRFF research staff is HQ’ed in NJ, our media folks in LA and our lawyers are in many US locations….our MRFF clients, staff, donors and supporters are located in almost every zip code and part of America and all over the place abroad as well….we currently represent 14 NH vets who are also patients at that Manchester NM VA who came to US asking for help…..so your premise about MRFF being ONLY from NMEX, and thus having no connection to New Hampshire, is as totally WRONG as your silly and specious statements about “not forcing anyone to walk the Lord’s path”……thx for taking the time to reach out however…..have a nice day…Mikey Weinstein…Founder and Pres., MRFF  (phone number withheld)…feel free to call me, (name withheld)…..all best….

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

From: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>

Subject: Re: New Hampshire V.A.
Date: March 1, 2019 at 7:23:46 AM MST
To:  (name withheld)
Cc: Michael L Weinstein <[email protected]>

 

…**P.S.: hey, (name withheld)…..one of our 14 New Hampshire vets just sent me this below to pass onto you after first reading your e-mail: 
 
“Let him (meaning YOU, (name withheld)) know that this particular NH veteran is still ‘on the job’ and works at the State Military Reservation in Concord, NH with the 197th Fires Brigade, Brigade Support Battalion; deploying in OIF2 and OND.  The reason that we don’t want to be known is the exact UN-Christian hatred and disparaging remarks by people like him.  I use the Manchester VA, as do my fellow veterans.  Not all are ‘white christian straight’ males like myself… so try seeing it from their eyes.”

On Mar 1, 2019, at 7:46 AM,  (name withheld) wrote:

 

This is my last comment, after my comments please do not email me again!

Clearly your views and that of your 14 individuals in New Hampshire about what a Christian is, is considerably different.
I am a Christian, I have accepted the Lord as my savior. I do not force my views about my individual religious beliefs on anyone. A Bible no matter what version or a cross is and are a matter of personal interpretation.
You, your group, and your 14 people in New Hampshire, do not have the right either moral or legal….to dictate what a cross represent or a closed Bible represents. 
What I do know to be fact is some place at some time that Bible provided strength and hope to a soldier who was a P.O.W.
Any attempt to remove that is only saying that person’s thoughts, fears, feeling, and ability to survive, just don’t matter… As it is a historical statement…..just like Democrats, failing to acknowledge our past.
Good Bye

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Re: New Hampshire V.A.
Date: March 1, 2019 at 7:55:16 AM MST
To: (name withheld)

 

…….hey, it is YOU who threw the first rock at US, (name withheld)…..you’re afraid to open a dialogue, eh??…well, that’s fine, brother…but we will NOT fail to EVER reply to your repugnant Christian religious extremism, exceptionalism and supremacy….you’ll not hear from me-Mikey- again, unless you keep replying back to me….YOU have NO “right” to the last word….seriously, man??!!….now you’re slamming ALL Democrats??….for what it’s worth, I’m still a registered REPUBLICAN….and worked for 3 plus years as a lawyer in the Reagan White House!!…..you seem so very fearful and ignorant….such a pity…..farewell, (name withheld)….Mikey W…

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France

On Mar 1, 2019, at 8:31 AM, Martin France (email address withheld) wrote:

(name withheld),

First, thanks for your service in combat and over your 22 years.  Your commitment to supporting and defending our Constitution has clearly been active and sincere in the most personal way possible.  I’m an advisory board member of the MRFF and recently retired after 37+ years of active duty service in the US Air Force–none in direct combat, but four times in areas that warranted hazardous duty pay and as the subject of two attacks that I witnessed first hand.  Occasionally, I choose to respond to some of the emails that come to the MRFF and Mikey.
With respect to the MRFF’s support of the effort to remove the Bible from the POW display, I’d like to discuss the Golden Rule–one of the most common tenets found across all virtually all religions and an near-universal call for empathy and understanding…
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Let’s now ask how you, as (apparently) a devout Christian would want to be treated by those of other faiths.  If you lived in a neighborhood or worked in a unit in which the vast majority of the others with you were NOT Christian–possibly Muslim, Jewish, LDS, or even Atheist.  My guess is that you would be very happy to be in the United States where our Constitution would specifically prevent those others from imposing their views on you or coercing you to practice or believe as you do.  You’d also be happy  that they could no insinuate their views on you or your family by forcing the unit or neighborhood to adopt and display symbology unique to their views in common areas in which you conduct your daily business.  My guess is that any actions such as I describe would be taken very negatively by you and your fellow minority members and that you would search for a way to assert your rights to not only practice your religion, but also to be free from the daily drumbeat of their coercive efforts.  Please, just TRY to put yourself in those combat boots for a few minutes.
The Golden Rule.  You would ask and request that those “others” respect your rights and allow you to do your job without being judged based on your personal, private, and Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.
The Bible on the POW table (or the Bladensburg Cross currently in the news) violates your (and virtually everyone’s) Golden Rule.  It assumes that all who honor POWs and ALL POWs and MIAs believe that the Bible and Christianity are necessary and sufficient conditions for honorable service and veneration–that this religious perspective is superior to all others and the sole representative written artifact validating service and sacrifice.  My guess is that Muslim veterans would disagree with this and find such an assumption abhorrent.  As an Atheist myself, I find that view demeaning and discriminatory because I know of many great “Atheists in Foxholes” with whom I have served.
So, what should we do?  We can’t practically put a full bookshelf of ALL available religious texts on the table.  We shouldn’t completely ignore the spiritual aspect of strength that some find critical to their service either.  So, I’d suggest the following…  Let’s put a blank, untitled journal or diary on the table, with a pen nearby.  The journal can serve as a symbol of the strength of ideas and words that sustain us all.  Those that would choose to honor the table, could also leave their own personal message of tribute in the journal–religious or not according to their own tradition.  Then, in my view, none would be offended, excluded, or diminished–and all could honor our POWs/MIAs.  And, if that is not acceptable, then by far the best possible compromise would be to simply put a bound copy of our Constitution on table, for THAT is the written document and set of ideas for which all those that serve sacrifice, and for which our POWs and MIAs have ALL given so much.
And, thanks again for your service and the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Sincerely,
Marty France
Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

On Mar 1, 2019, at 8:07 AM, John Compere  wrote:

(name withheld),
 
The historic tradition of the American POW/MIA dinner table display was originated by the River Rats, an American group of Vietnam War combat pilots, who began this military tradition of remembrance without religious books. Thereafter, the American Legion continued this tradition without religious books. A few fundamentalist Christians have disregarded & disrespected this historic military tradition by placing their religious books on the display & forcing their choice of religion on others without lawful authorization.
 
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation represents military men & women who have requested religious books be removed from POW/MIA displays because it (1) disobeys the US Constitution, military regulations & established law of our land by promoting a version of religion, (2) distracts from the display purpose of POW/MIA remembrance by proselytizing a religion version, (3) distorts the original, traditional & non-religious meaning of POW/MIA remembrance, (4) disregards common dinner table settings that do not include religious books, & (5) disrespects all military members & all Americans who are not fundamentalist Christians.
 
The purpose of the POW/MIA dinner table display is to leave a place at the table for our military comrades who are prisoners of war & missing in action for when they return. It is intended to be a respectful remembrance of THEM. It is not & has never been about one’s choice of religion.
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Advisory Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% are Christians)

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1 Comment

  1. Grey One talks sass

    Letter writer who likes to start the fight but whines when their derrière is handed back in a sling said:

    “I do not force my views about my individual religious beliefs on anyone. A Bible no matter what version or a cross is and are a matter of personal interpretation.”

    So the letter writer is ok with my interpretation which is one of indoctrination, repression, bigotry, and genocide.

    Why would anyone want such negative literature on an alter for missing and fallen warriors? Oh yeah, because the letter writer lied. They totally want to force their religious beliefs on everyone who doesn’t beleive as they do.

    Hmmm letter writer. Doesn’t your holy book have some specific instructions as to bearing falsehoods? And please, spare me the talking point where it’s not lying if you say it to a nonbeliever. That’s not what the book says.

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