Bible

From:  (name withheld)
Subject: Bible
Date: September 24, 2019 at 4:38:33 AM MDT

 

I’m writing to tell you that while protecting peoples religious freedom you are stomping all over others. How fair is that?

 A bible displayed is not going to hurt anyone and if non Christians have a problem with that then they can find their own religious documents (that were carried during deployment!)  And display those!!! I promise I won’t be OFFENDED!
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 24, 2019, at 8:14 AM, John Compere  wrote:
(name withheld),
 
You are questioning what is wrong with the US Department of Veteran Affairs putting a religious scripture version in the middle of non-religious POW/MIA dinner table displays at government facilities to publicly promote one version of religion.
 
Originated in 1967 by a group of Vietnam War combat pilots without religious scripture and continued thereafter by the American Legion without religious scripture, the POW/MIA dinner table display purpose was (and is) to leave a place at the table for those military comrades and not forget them. It has always been about remembrance – not religion. Religious scriptures can be placed in government chapels for those who want to see, read, use or worship them.
 
The DVA is wrong because it:
 
(1) disobeys the US Constitution 1st Amendment prohibiting our government from endorsing or promoting a religion & requiring government neutrality regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion but religion-neutral);
 
(2) distorts the non-religious remembrance tradition with the intrusion of religion;
 
(3) distracts from non-religious remembrance by promoting religion not shared by all POWs, MIAs & veterans;
 
(4) disrespects millions of Americans who are not publicly proselytizing Christians; and
 
(5) disregards normal dinner table settings that do not include dominate religious scripture in the middle of them (see attached photo).
 
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation supports the original & historic POW/MIA tradition of remembrance & opposes its alteration to exclusively promote one version of religion.
 
Even 1st President & Commander-in-Chief George Washington recognized the problem – “It has been suggested that [the military chaplaincy] has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.”
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Former Chief Judge, US Army Legal Services Agency & US Army Court of Military Review
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Advisory Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Sep 24, 2019, at 11:41 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),
 
No ma’am. We’re not stomping on anyone’s religious freedom, except, of course, for those who believe theirs is the only one that matters. Could that include you, by any chance?
 
The Bible being displayed assumes that everyone, or at last everyone being honored, is a Christian. That’s not the case, as I assume you might understand if you’d think about it.
 
As far as everyone providing “their own religious documents” is concerned, your adding the sly parenthetical sarcasm about “carried during employment” exposes not only your hypocrisy but your ignorance as well. It has been made known that the Bible on the table was not carried during deployment,
but you evidently missed that in your selective reading.
 
And I certainly hope you’re not OFFENDED by anything I’ve said here.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

From:  (name withheld)
Subject: Bible
Date: September 25, 2019 at 3:23:52 PM MDT

 

I am offended by every thing you do. My question is why is your offense more important than my offense. You do not have a clue what constitutes an endorsement. You do know that church services were held in the capital building for over 100 years. Our founding fathers never held the dumbass ideas that you hold! You and your opinions are simply not more important than mine I am offended by you!
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 25, 2019, at 4:49 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

Mr. Offended,
 
It is strange you are offended because the Military Religious Freedom Foundation supports the original & historic non-religious POW/MIA display tradition of POW/MIA remembrance & opposes changing the purpose to predominately & publicly promote a version of religion.
 
For your offended information, a group of Vietnam combat pilots originated the POW/MIA remembrance display without religious scripture in 1967 to leave a place at the dinner table for missing comrades & not forget them. It was continued thereafter by the American Legion without religious scripture. It has always been about remembrance – never religion. Religious scripture versions can be placed in the chapels for those who wish to see, read, use or worship them.
It is also strange you are offended by those of us who respect & support the US Constitution 1st Amendment & long established American law prohibiting our government, which includes the Department of Veteran Affairs, from promoting or endorsing a religion & requiring government neutrality regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion but religion neutral).
 
It is even stranger you would ignorantly invoke the founding fathers who supported separation of government & religion. This particular problem was even addressed by our 1st President & Commander-in-Chief George Washington “It has been suggested that [the military chaplaincy] has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess”.
 
Perhaps you would not be offended if you took the time & effort to become aware of the issue, its facts & the law.
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Advisory Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 6:31:06 PM CDT,  (name and e mail address withheld)wrote:
 
 
I will reply to your letter in detail shortly. But until then I always find it interesting when in this kind of correspondence you point out your retired military rank as if that makes you right Along with a little bit of your service record we should acquiesce to your point of view. As far as your 80% Christians.  2% of Christians in my opinion know anything about the faith they profess. Jesus Christ as if it’s first and last name! Jesus the Christ, or better yet Yashua.  I do know my history everything is easy to reference now I’ve read the Federalist papers. It’s freedom of religion not freedom from religion. If you want a koran on the table put it there. I take no offense from anyone remembering their faith. I am offended by the suppression of any religion. 
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 25, 2019, at 9:08 PM, John Compere  wrote:

It is very strange you would mention Jesus who even separated religion from government (see Mark 12:17).

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 26, 2019, at 6:43 AM, John Compere  wrote:


It confounds fundamentalistsEmoji to be reminded Jesus separated religion & government. They cannot process it with their closed sectarian minds. Emoji

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18 Comments

  1. Grey One talks sass

    The letter writer brought up a point – “I’m writing to tell you that while protecting peoples religious freedom you are stomping all over others”

    I have a question or two because of course I do – I’m me. Where in the Constitution is it written that anyone gets to force another to worship in a particular way?

    I know there aren’t such words because the founding fathers weren’t idiots.I guess my question isn’t so much for the letter writer but for others who will praise the letter writer’s words as if they are the basis for some clever argument.

    Your rights end where mine begin just as my rights end where yours begin. This is a fact like water is wet and gravity works.

  2. OldSoldier

    Oh Grey One the bane of my existence. A Bible on a table isn’t someone FORCING you to believe anything. Theres no sign that says “THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD BELIEVE OR GO TO HELL”. A Bible on this table is an honorable thing representing faith. There are thousands and thousands of people who walk thru VA hospitals that have a missing man display see the Bible and aren’t offended that don’t say boo about it. I am against these idiots that think they are so special that a simple BIBLE offends them. We are one nation under God.

  3. Grey One talks sass

    Os aka Osmium aka Old Soldier,

    “A Bible on a table isn’t someone FORCING you to believe anything. Theres no sign that says “THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD BELIEVE OR GO TO HELL”. A Bible on this table is an honorable thing representing faith.”

    Is it fair?
    Is it lawful?
    Does it promote sharing?

    No to all three.

    Now I’m not a Christian but I did read the Bible. As I recollect Jesus was a big advocate for Love in all its shades and flavors. He and so many others say sharing is caring. Love is the foundation; taking care of the least of these and all that.

    Curious/Not Curious- Why would Old Soldier, a person who says they love their deity, go against everything the man taught?

    After all my study and research in meaning of life stuff the single universal thread found is this: The only thing anyone can control absolutely is their choosing to be good or evil for that day.

    What choice do you make? Personally I choose grey, but you knew that from my name.

  4. BRP

    Old Grey One,
    One of the things Jesus did said we are to share is the Word of God to others! Do you know that besides talking about love, Jesus also talked about hell as well, that those who will not follow Him will wind up there after they die. Will that be you?

    Why do you want everything to be fair? Do you know that God is not fair, if He was we all would be dead now.

    There is another thing every person has a choice of, is where they will spend eternity after they die, either in heaven with Christ by accepting Him, or in hell for rejecting His free gift of eternal life. Contemplate on that for awhile.

  5. Grey One talks sass

    I’ve read your book. I listened to the promises. I watched as the priest class acted as every other priest class of every other faith. I observed as the Dogma became more important than the message.

    I don’t believe your vision BRP and you have no proof and I’m not accepting your very old book of stories that have defined humans for over two thousand years.

    I don’t want everything to be fair – it’s just a measurement. What I do want is lawfulness. I want equal representation. If the Bible is there then I want my holy scriptures and the holy books of others but equality isn’t the point with the POW/MIA table. It’s all about control and power. It’s a Little Dog move – piss on a thing to prove I own it.

    As for choosing where one ends up after they die, well yes, a person can choose to leave instructions but what happens to the essence which is ourselves or what you would call a soul… No one has come back from the other side with stories of what happens. There’s a lot of conjecture but not one scrap of scientific proof.

  6. Grey One talks sass

    By the way BRP I’m pretty sure Jesus said talk with a person about your faith, don’t stalk, harass, badger, nag, lecture, or scream at a person. Y’all have crossed more than one boundary and when you get bopped on the nose you get all hurty feelings because you crossed a line and someone took exception.

    You aren’t the only faith in the country and studies revealed the only reason you believe as you do is because of where you were born. This is the USA. We have a boatload or two of Christians so being Christianity is the dominant religion statistics say you were raised Christian. Imagine if you’d been born someplace where another religion was the dominant one. Grins. Gives one pause it does.

  7. BRP

    I always get a laugh when John Compere quotes bible verses because they are always taken out of the context which they are in and has nothing to do, in this case with the separation of church and state as he seems Mark 12:17 seems to think it does. The gospel of Mark was written close to 2000 years ago, way before there was a hint of the first amendment. I will give him though 1 point for effort.

  8. Grey One talks sass

    BRP,

    I’m about to Fisk Mark 12 and considered your comment about context.

    In the interests of civility I am curious as to what you mean. What is your context.

  9. G
  10. BRP

    G,

    Well you heard wrong!

  11. Grey One talks sass

    BRP is one of “those” people.

    You know, one who won’t give a clear reply to a question or statement. If anyone other than themselves use a quote from their holy book, it’s out of context – (noun: the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning. Usage: “word processing is affected by the context in which words appear”)

    So, the whole parable in the chapter of Mark 12 from the Christian Bible is this:
    **Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar**
    13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.
    14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?
    15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
    But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”
    16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
    “Caesar’s,” they replied.
    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
    And they were amazed at him.

    Seems to me that John Compere, he of the many accomplishments signified by his military rank at retirement, was correct.

    I asked BRP for their idea of context and I got crickets. This is how I know they are one of “those” people.

    It is possible to be an American and a Christian. “Those” people like to pretend it isn’t possible but the words of their Lord and Savior just proved them wrong.

  12. G

    BRP, prove that I am wrong. Where is your evidence?

  13. BRP

    Grey One,
    The context of that passage is all dealing with whether they are to pay taxes to Rome, and Jesus said that whose name is on this coin, it is Caesar, so Jesus replied pay unto Caesar what is his and then give to God what is His. It is a pretty bad stretch to say this verse is talking about the separation of church and state when the idea of that did come around until 2000 years after the time of Christ on earth.

    One of the laws of hermeneutics (the principles of biblical interpretation) is if the verse makes perfect sense, then seek no other sense.

    Any first year seminary student would know that.

  14. Grey One talks sass

    BRP,

    Hmm, I never claimed to be in the seminary so why would you snark “Any first year seminary student would know that.”

    You also said “One of the laws of hermeneutics (the principles of biblical interpretation) is if the verse makes perfect sense, then seek no other sense.”

    I love how you said one of the laws because that means it’s not the only law. Thank you for the assist – seriously- thanks.

    I looked up the term and there are as many ways to apply hermeneutics as there are schools of thought. I already sort of knew this based on the number of IFB churches with similar names yet totally separate ideologies best expressed as “We IFB’s butter our bread on ‘this’ side and Those IFB’s butter their bread on ‘that’ side.”

    Bottom line, the founding fathers were well read. They lived the dangers of a governing priest class. Jesus also knew the dangers of a governing priest class as this parable illustrates.

    Curious the Christian Nationalists who parade the exact same talking points no matter which ID is saying them miss this point.

  15. Grey One talks sass

    None of the Christian Nationalists stick around when the good questions are presented. Like the vermin they emulate our slippery commentators have no answers, just propaganda.

    Sigh. It’s kinda boring – different names and icons but all presenting the same stinking talking points we’ve heard for freaking years.

    The metaphor I like best is Christian Nationalists are all binary – black/white while the world is an amazing array of grey and color. The CN’s keep stamping their black/white feet and the rest of us color all around their lines.

  16. WFZ

    Grey One,
    God is either black or white, there is no grey area with Him. Either you will obey Him or you won’t. Either it is heaven or hell, there is no in between or purgatory. God says it is either my way or Satan’s way.

  17. Grey One talks sass

    So says the Christian Nationalist (lol); thank you for the assist in proving my point.

  18. G

    WFZ, what about purgatory? I heard that was kind of like being on parole before they send you to heaven? Satan Way? If God was really all-powerful, Satan wouldn’t be coming and going out of Hell like it was revolving door.

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