From:  (name withheld)
Date: March 1, 2019 at 8:57:23 AM MST
To: [email protected]org
Subject: POWs

Dear POG,

I’m a devout anti-Christian every bit as much as you are, and I find your pedantic attacks on religious symbols justified if somewhat absurd.  I know they must have brutalized you in unimaginable ways for not being one of them when you sorta served, and your anger is probably righteous about that.  Having said that, having at least passively agreed with your crusade against Christians in uniform, I have to say, demanding a POW’s Bible be removed from a display about POW’s is a new low even for you.  I know you were never a POW, nor was I, but I wonder if you’ve ever had the honor of knowing any?  One of the great privileges and honors of my life was to be considered a friend by gentleman who was shot down over occupied France in 1944 and captured.  He was the most deeply faithful AND patriotic man I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  He was captured and tortured by the Gestapo and spent two years starving in a POW camp.  What kept him alive was his faith.  Now, I may not agree with his faith, it’s not my fantasy novel any more than it is your fantasy novel any more than is a Tolkien novel, but it was what kept him strong and alive in circumstances you and I can barely imagine, much less been forced to endure.  Just as you attempt to speak eloquently about the symbol of our flag, you have to recognize the symbolic power of a POW’s limited number of belongings, whether a Bible, a Crucifix, a Star of David, the American flag, or a damn harmonica, those symbols kept them going.  You are being incredibly presumptuous (as always) in assuming displaying a symbol of resilience is the same thing as advocating for a religion.  Grow the fuck up.  Stop being a pussy.  Get over the fact that the mean old Christians you served with didn’t like you.  It wasn’t your religion that made them hate you; it’s your constant pussified whining that makes even those of us who agree with you disgusted by your pretend claims of victimhood.  Don’t disrespect POWs.  You have not earned that right, POG.
(name withheld

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Mar 1, 2019, at 11:31 AM, Mike  wrote:

Hi (name withheld),

You presume. And, as with most presumptuous people, you’re quite wrong. In this instance, you’re not only wrong, you’re rather childish and deeply rude.

Identifying yourself as a “devout anti-Christian” only describes your own narrow-mindedness. Claiming Mikey and/or those associated with the MRFF are the same is both untrue and stupid. There is no “crusade against Christians in uniform” at the MRFF, nor is there one in existence I know of, unless, that is, you’re running it. And if you are, we oppose it because we believe, unlike you, that everyone in the military has the right to believe as she or he chooses.

Your lack of understanding, based as it is on your false assumption, betrays your entire thesis here, and makes your attempt to natter on in support of it rather pitiful.

Our objection to the cross, a Christian symbol, on a display about POWs is 1) that it is not a about “a POW,” but all POWs, not all of whom are Christians, and 2) that in doing so it not only disregards those who are not Christian but implies a preference for one belief system over others.

We know and have regard for many former POWs, all vets and all those currently in service, and we support them all regardless of their choice of belief or non-belief. As regards your plaint that symbols are important to POWs, we have no quarrel with that but do not agree that the symbol of one belief system serves all equally. Beyond that, a government institution, or one related thereto, should not be implicitly endorsing one faith or belief system over others.

Your friend’s experience as a POW is to be recognized, appreciated and honored, as is his patriotism. We are all glad to know that his belief system and its artifacts were of value to him during that terrible time, but we are also clear that there is nothing about patriotism that requires one to be a Christian. Therefore, as you suggest in your tiresome harangue about symbols, a Christian cross is not the only one meaningful to all POWs and it is inappropriate to suggest it is.

Further, just to enhance your sorely lacking understanding of the subject, the original display table intending to honor POWs contained no Bible. That addition has been made later and is a mistake.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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