Bible display at the VA hospital

From: (name withheld)
Date: May 10, 2019 at 7:21:20 PM MDT
To:[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org” <[email protected]militaryreligiousfreedom.org>
Subject: Bible display at the VA hospital
Reply-To: (name withheld)

Mikey,

You and your “foundation” are not protecting me or millions of veterans and active military from anything. If you are an atheist, why would you concern yourself with ANYTHING having to do with God? You can spend your time more productively helping homeless veterans or raising funds for the education of children whose parents have died defending our country. Talk with Gary Sinise if you need help figuring out worthwhile projects. If you continue with a lawsuit against the VA, I have to say, on behalf of all God-fearing veterans and active military people, you can go pound sand!
(name withheld)
USAF Veteran

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 11, 2019, at 12:08 AM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),

You’ve been getting the wrong information. You might reconsider your source.

The MRFF is not an atheist organization, it’s made up of people of all different faiths and some non-believers, all Americans who believe in the constitutionally mandated freedom of religious or non-religious choice.

What you apparently don’t understand, probably because of the source from which you get your information, is that U.S. law and military regulations require that government units, institutions, hospitals and bases ensure the freedom of religion by disallowing any promotion of one religion or belief system over others.

So please understand. Nobody here is opposed to Christianity. Most of those associated with the MRFF are Christians. But they understand it is not appropriate to pretend all servicemen and women or all POWs and MIAs are or were Christians. The original POW/MIA tables were designed by River Rats in Vietnam, you may remember them. There was NO Bible on the table. The American Legion understood and there were NO Bibles on their POW/MIA tables.

The MRFF has been pointing this out to every unit, hospital or other institution that has inadvertently put a Bible on their tables and they’ve all understood and have taken them off. Except for this outfit. They initially agreed, and then someone decided to make an issue of it. This is what the fundamentalists want. They want everyone to think we’re anti-Christian so they can push their own agenda. We’re not having it.

Hope that helps you better understand.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

On Sat, May 11, 2019 at 9:02 AM  (name withheld) wrote:

Since when is the display of a Bible endorsing or attempting to proselytize a particular religion.  If that were the case, then a corner newsstand displaying a Playboy magazine would be “endorsing” hedonism! I, for one, am very tired of any organization which tries to remove any reminder that our nation is one founded on Biblical principles and trusting in God! You may recall our national motto, “In God We Trust”! That is not an endorsement of a particular religion. As I stated previously, use your resources for worthwhile projects and stop trying to defend your actions in the name of religious freedom.

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 11, 2019, at 12:54 PM, Mike wrote:

Really? What do you suppose the implication of placing a Bible on a display honoring wounded or fallen heroes is?
Sorry, Dave, but you’re missing the point. A corner newsstand can display anything it wants because it’s not a government installation. That’s called free speech, which the very same constitution protects for individuals. But when it comes to our government, the founders went to great lengths to ensure that our freedom of belief, our religious or non-religious choice, was protected by building in the “wall” of separation of church and state.

The Founders, by the way, were not all Christians, and the ones who were did not all subscribe to the same faith tradition. So if you look, you’ll find that the nation is founded on principles of the Enlightenment, as it is known.

And if you’ll bother to check, “In God We Trust” on our coins was the result of a compromise by President Lincoln, who was trying to keep the nation together and struggling with religious zealots who wanted to declare America a “Christian Nation,” which it is not and never has been. The national motto, you might enjoy learning, is “e pluribus unum,” “Out of many, one.”

Per your ‘previous statement,’ we consider the protection of the freedom of religious or non-religious choice of the women and men in our armed forces to be quite worthwhile. There are so many, you being a case in point, who simply don’t understand its importance.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


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