Not a very promising case

From: (name withheld)
Subject: Not a very promising case,
Date: May 7, 2019 at 11:22:55 AM MDT


I don’t understand how people of religion could deny the need to comfort our military by recognizing this Bible as but one symbol among many. So easy for all to say in this time and place the this Bible offends. Next, we will be removing clergy from the battlefield and off the ships and stations. So misguided. Tell all rather don’t feel excluded. Find an artifact from each of the many different faiths that had significance to a service member and put it there. Michael, to create a law respecting religion is to take a belief, a unique belief, not a universal truth, and codify it. Anti-homosexual federal laws come to the mind from Christianity. Blue laws too. Yet, we all know that faith is important to life. It gives many a reason to keep going in the face of insanity. 

So, if you really want to drive the point home, perhaps you would do better to help those of us who were damaged by laws and regulations that did codify religious tenants, like that stupid rule barring homosexuals from service, the one I served under since 1982. At the time of my retirement 2004, I still wasn’t allowed. Imagine how you would feel it you were told you were not fit to serve while you did serve, and honorably. I am disturbed and mentally ill now. I was assaulted on active duty, gaybashed, and locked in a trunk for five hours, kidnapped for another 6, hospitalized, and such, and then treated like a dog by homophobes at the hospital, and locked in a padded cell for another day. No help was given. In 2015, after decades of therapy on and off, I realized what had happened and filed a claim. I was compensated last year, though at 50% service connection, I have to get by on 24% of the income. Maybe you could explain why those numbers don’t compute. I have never recovered and I wake up angry everyday. Why? Things are not getting better for my kind, they are getting worse, with the likes of First Liberty Institute or the shit that just went down in the UMC after I just spent three years preparing for ministry. 
If you want to make a real case, maybe help all the gay veterans claim on the VA to pay 50% compensation for every veteran kicked out of the military for being gay, like a class action.  That will remind these military and VA leaders the cost the next time they think to pull some bullshit out of a religious text and codify it. Such a shame too when Bible is very clear. Romans chapter 1 is an enumerated list of things not to call your brother and sister out in. Only an illiterate could think otherwise. 
Where is the attorney who will take these religious zealots to task and sue them for claiming religious liberty is being infringed upon while they claim the Bible says x when it clearly says y? So many liars. So few attorneys. 
I am sure you will not change your course now. So just think about it for the next time. 
Thank you. (name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On May 7, 2019, at 2:10 PM, John Compere wrote:


(name withheld), thank you for your communication.
Please be advised the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (which is composed of over 80% Christians) opposes evangelical Christians putting their religious scripture version in the middle of non-religious POW/MIA remembrance dinner table displays to publicly proselytize their private religious beliefs for the following reasons.
It is wrong (& illegal) because it (1) disobeys the US Constitution, US Armed Forces regulations & American law, (2) distorts the original non-religious purpose of POW/MIA remembrance by promoting their private religious scripture version, (3) distracts from non-religious POW/MIA remembrance by promoting religious beliefs not shared by all POWs, MIAs, military members & Americans, (4) disregards common dinner table settings that do not include religious scripture, & (5) disrespects millions of American military & civilians who are not evangelical Christians.
Please be also advised the Military Religious Freedom Foundation supports the right of all who are qualified, including homosexuals, to serve our country in the US Armed Forces.
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Military Religious Freedom Foundation Advisory Board Member

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 8, 2019, at 12:10 AM, Mike  wrote:

Hi (name withheld),

The MRFF, like every meaningful organization, was created to address an issue that, if left unattended, would do serious injury to the people of this nation. The constitution is law. And we are working to see it is honored.

The issue that concerns you is another issue with some of the same elements. In fact, aspects of your issue have been adopted and incorporated into the work of our organization, a fact that makes me proud.

It is a disgrace that one’s personal sexuality has been allowed to become a source of contention, an excuse for personal assaults, shunning, character assassination and other forms of social exclusion.

There are organizations working to rectify the problem and that’s where I suggest you direct your attention.


Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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