Why?

From: (name withheld)
Date: September 1, 2019 at 6:11:38 PM MDT
To: [email protected]org
Subject: Why?

I am a 12yr veteran, and I guess you would call me an atheist. My question is why do you feel that christianity needs to be removed from military life? Why the concern that a bible was on a display table? I’m sure someone could have added a quran if they felt the need. I have had my issues with christianity and some christians, but I stand by their right to observe their religion as they deem fit. A bible on a table does not offend me, nor should it offend any well adjusted individual. But there are many people who just want a fight, and a bible on a table seems like an easy one. Aren’t there far more important issues that an organization could attack? 

Please explain to me why I should donate, what are you doing other than trying to get christianity removed from the military, that deserves my donation? 
I am proud of my service, having chaplains, church service, or a bible on a table never drove me to anger, nor should it to anyone else. As long as all religions are given the same attention what harm is there, or is it just an attack on christianity that we see from liberals? 
 
(name withheld)
SSGT  USAF

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going. — Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Travel
Ordained Dudeist Priest at Dudeism, the Church of the Latter-Day Dude

<POWMIA table image.jpg>


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 1, 2019, at 8:59 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

SSGT (name withheld),

 
What is wrong with fundamentalist Christians putting their religious scripture in the middle of non-religious POW/MIA remembrance displays to proselytize their private religious beliefs in the public foyers of government facilities?
 
Originated in 1967 by a group of Vietnam combat pilots, the River Rats, WITHOUT religious scripture and continued thereafter by the American Legion WITHOUT religious scripture, the POW/MIA display historic purpose was & is to leave a place at the dinner table for our missing comrades & never forget them. It has always been about their remembrance and not religion.
 
It is wrong because –
 
(1) disobeys the US Constitution 1st Amendment prohibiting our secular government from endorsing or promoting a religion & requiring government neutrality regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion but religion-neutral),
 
(2) distorts the original secular remembrance tradition by imposing religion,
 
(3) distracts from remembrance by promoting religion not shared by all POWs, MIAs & veterans,
 
(4) disrespects millions of Americans who are not fundamentalist Christians, and
 
(5) disregards common dinner table settings which do not include dominant religious scripture.
[see attached photo]
 
“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.” – 1st Commander-in-Chief & President GEORGE WASHINGTON
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Advisory Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Sep 1, 2019, at 8:39 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),

 

There’s a lot you apparently don’t understand about this situation, so let me try to explain.

 

We too stand by the right of people to have and practice their religious or non-religious views as they see fit. But that’s a private thing and cannot be foist on others. We’re not trying to remove Christianity from anything. What we are doing is defending the Constitution and the freedom of religious choice. For chaplains or individuals to have Bibles or the artifacts of their own faith is not a problem for us. Turning a POW/MIA table into a Christian shrine is.

 

Our organization is made of people with all sorts of belief systems, but as it happens, over 95% of them are Christians. However, there are Christians and Christians. By that I mean there are Christians who not only insist theirs is the one and only true faith, but disparage any belief system that doesn’t comport with what they believe Christianity is about. And that includes disparaging other Christians. They are largely a fundamentalist sect known as Dominionists. The Christians who work with and support the MRFF are certainly devout, believing Christians, but they don’t believe those of other faiths or no faith are infidels doomed to the fires of hell as the Dominionists do.

 

Having experienced pro-Christian religious bias in the military, the MRFF was formed to support the U.S. Constitution and its intention that our government not promote one religion or belief system over others, as urged by the Founders in separating the church from the state.

 

Separation of church and state is a fundamental premise of America for that reason. As long as the government does not show preference for one faith over others it allows all to believe as they choose. But the Dominionists want ours to be a Christian country and the military to be Jesus’ Army.

 

As regards the POW/MIA tables, the “display table” you made reference to, these were established years ago and they specifically avoided including any religious artifacts because, as we know, those who served and were lost or captured were Americans of many beliefs or no belief. But in setting these tables up at VA hospitals, someone often wants to make it a Christian observation without consideration of the fact that those being honored are of many faiths or beliefs. That is inappropriate.

 

The POW/MIA tables are a small front in a large conflict. Christian supremacists try in many ways to foist their personal religious viewpoint onto those in the military and the MRFF is intent on seeing to it that they don’t succeed.

 

A case in point: you mentioned that someone might sometime put a Quran on such a table. Imagine, if you will, the fur that would fly if such a thing were done. We have, in fact, suggested that if they want to put a Bible on a POW/MIA table they should also put artifacts of all faiths and beliefs – or no belief – so as to properly honor ALL those who were lost, not just the Christians.

 

In our view, the tables serve their purpose perfectly when laid out as originally intended, without including any religious artifacts.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Best,

 

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Response from MRFF Supporter Sandra Bell

On Sep 1, 2019, at 8:14 PM, Sandra  wrote:

 Dear (name withheld),
You genuinely seem interested in why this is going on. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate that. I only read the first two questions and I stopped there because I want to make sure feelings stay out of this. You would be surprised at the amount of hate mail we receive.
My name is Sandra Bell, I am a USAF Veteran and Military Freedom From Religion supporter. It has to do with a history of exceptionalism, brutality within the armed forces, bigotry, harassment, abuse, etc. We represent those who do not have a voice or feel that they do not. We have many personal stories from soldiers and veterans and all people affected by religion in the military.
Mikey was an Officer. He was brutalized and experienced the FULL BRUNT of anti-semitism. Sadly, his children did, as well. He has two sons, both in the military, both with the last name Weinstein, and this sadly, gut-wrenchedly, experienced similar brutalities from those in authority.
Mikey served in the White House under Regan. This is a human rights civil rights organization of which 85% or something are practicing Christians, oddly enough. It is about FREEDOM of Religion which means FREEDOM FROM religion.
Did you know that the reason why that bible is in the VA is based on a TOTAL LIE??? I would love to tell you more. A Union Leader journalist interviewed the person who claimed that alter-sized bible was with him at a POW camp, to us – the leader of the POW group told us that – no. Nope. His mother gave it to him when he got home. It’s a lie.
That table is meant to be secular.
I identify as an atheist, as well.
There is so much more to this story.
I am one of the 16 who complained. I am one of the 16 vets who go to that VA facility. And the person who sued was NOT Mikey, rather it was a practicing Christian who was inflamed enough to press charges since we are the ONLY nation that in black and white states no government should give rise to ONE religion. Shall NOT promote ONE religion. And YET. And here it comes….we are told all the time that this is a Christian Nation. Get out of the country. You aren’t American because you aren’t Christian.
Did you know that Pence just tweeted that VAs will NOT be religious-free zones?
Did you know that Trump supports Christian bible literacy in public schools?
Have you read Hitler Youth?
Big Brother?
I welcome you to make an appointment with me if you would like to ask any questions or if you have any further concerns that I can be of assistance with.
Take care,
Sandra Bell
USAF Vet and MRFF Contributor

On Sunday, September 1, 2019, 10:12:14 PM CDT, (name withheld) wrote:
Well, now I know why decisions at the top were always f’d up. Putting a bible on that table does not break constitutional law, that has been proven in court many times now. If they wouldn’t allow a quran or a menorah or a buddha, then they break the law. Your arguments are absurd and as an atheist I find your tantrum to be childish. A book has your panties all twisted up and I’m guessing your speaking an octave higher right now. This is a childish endeavor by a group trying to make a few bucks creating problems. I don’t give a rats ass if your a general or damn king, stupid is stupid.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 1, 2019, at 10:07 PM, John Compere wrote:

 

Your opinion regarding constitutional law is as frivolous as it is false. It would be interesting to know your legal or judicial qualifications to render such opinions – if you would care to disclose them.

From: (name withheld)
Date: September 1, 2019 at 6:30:21 PM MDT
To: [email protected]org
Subject: One thing

I’m sorry, I forgot this in my other email. You use John Adams declaration in the Treaty of Tripoli that the US is not a christian country. Either you do not know and understand that treaty, or you purposefully are trying to fib to people. The treaty was very important in getting the pirates, who were muslim, to stop taking US goods from ships sailing in the region. We did not have much of a navy at that point and didn’t have a strong response So a treaty was negotiated and a sticking point was the US being a christian nation could not be trusted. So Adams made a point to call out that religion is not a government sanction. I can add that at this same time the bible was routinely taught in every school in America. So Your use as a justification is deceptive

(name withheld)
SSGT  USAF

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere
On Sep 1, 2019, at 9:52 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

SSGT (name withheld),
 
It is fact, history & law our Constitution established a secular republic & not one based on religion. The Preamble states 6 secular reasons our nation was founded. The Constitution contains no deity reference & commands “no religious test” shall ever be required as a qualification to any public office. The USA was the first government in history established without acknowledging dependency on a higher authority (monarch, deity, religion, etc). The many other early documents created by our Founders clearly established the secular intent.
 
One of these documents created by our Founders confirming their secular intent was the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli which publicly proclaimed to the world “…The United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion”. It was a one page international legal document negotiated & prepared during 1st President Washington’s administration, unanimously ratified by the US Senate & signed by 2d President Adams. The Arabic version was signed in Tripoli during Washington’s presidency. The English version was signed during Adams’ presidency & is available in the Department of State historic treaty archives.
 
History deniers & religious revisionists with self-serving sectarian agendas deliberately & dishonestly disregard our secular founding. Their unqualified & ill-conceived viewpoints are based on their personal ideology & not on facts, history, law or our founding & governing documents.
 
John Compere
Brigadier General, Judges Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
Former Chief Judge, 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 Martin France

On Sep 2, 2019, at 11:43 AM, Martin France wrote:

(name withheld),
Thanks for your 12 years of service and for writing to the MRFF.  As a member of the MRFF’s Advisory Board, I occasionally respond to mail to relieve Mikey of some of that burden–he gets a LOT of mail.  So, here’s my response with your comments annotated, responding to each.
“why do you feel that christianity needs to be removed from military life?”
Let me start by turning your question back to you.  What legal basis do you have for assuming that christianity should be an integral part of “military life,” especially the “military life” of ALL members of the military?  The US Constitution states that no law should be made with regard to the establishment of a national religion (I paraphrase).  The exact words are ““Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  Moreover, Article 6 of the Constitution states that there should be no religious tests for those holding government positions of responsibility.  Therefore, while the First Amendment says that all members of the military may practice their religion as they see fit, the government CANNOT make christianity an integral or mandatory part of military life, nor can it expect members of the military to practice or even need to tolerate christianity rites and traditions as part of their military duty.  You can practice your religion, but you must do so off-duty and in a manner that does not cause harm to the good order and discipline required of any military unit.
Why the concern that a bible was on a display table?
 
Because by putting only one religious text on the table, the implicit message is that this text is more important than others or that the solace and strength that christians find in the Bible is somehow more valuable or should be valued more than any other religious or non-religious text.  We know that not all members of the military are christians, even if christians are in the majority or maybe a plurality.  Do we only think that our POWs survived their imprisonment if they depended on the Bible?  Did only Christians make it through this difficult time?  I doubt it.
 
I’m sure someone could have added a quran if they felt the need.
 
That’s entirely possible, but we can never know because no one (to my knowledge) has tried.  It might be a good experiment.  But then, we might need another table as we add a Torah and then a Book of Mormon, then the sacred texts of Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, etc, etc.  There is historical basis for over 3000 religions practiced by humans and then there are billions of humans who practice no religion at all.  Maybe if we just left a card on the table that says, “All of our POWs/MIAs gained strength during their trials by referring to aspects of and writings that inform their cultural and/or religious heritage.  More more information on these, please refer to your nearest public library.”
I have had my issues with christianity and some christians, but I stand by their right to observe their religion as they deem fit. A bible on a table does not offend me, nor should it offend any well adjusted individual. 
 
And the MRFF agrees that all christian members of the military should be able to observe their religion as they see fit, too, within the legal constraints set by rules, regulations, and court decisions.  A Bible on a table doesn’t offend any of us, but context and perspective changes this sense of offense.  When a GOVERNMENT building displays only a Bible on a memorial representing MANY, they are ESTABLISHING a standard of religious observance that violates the Constitution.  A Bible on a table at a church?  No prob.  In a chaplain’s office?  Fine.  On the bookshelf of a commander or soldier or in their home.  Good for them.  On a table displayed as part of memorial to ALL POWs/MIAs in a taxpayer-funded building, part of a cabinet-level organization?  Absolutely not.
 
But there are many people who just want a fight, and a bible on a table seems like an easy one. Aren’t there far more important issues that an organization could attack?
Yes, there probably are more important issues to attack, like commanders forcibly proselytizing their troops or the Vice President skewing government action towards establishment of a national religion, etc, but this is important to the veterans that are offended by this presumption, so we will defend them.  We’ll choose our battles–you can choose your own.
 
Please explain to me why I should donate, what are you doing other than trying to get christianity removed from the military, that deserves my donation? 
 
First, thanks for considering a donation.  Second, you should donate because the MRFF defends christians more than any other group (>90% of our clients identify as christians).  They’re mostly christians of one sect that feel as though their christian perspective is being superseded by commanders from another sect (e.g., Catholics repressed by Evangelical Protestants, Baptists treated poorly by Mormons, 7th Day Adventists disrespected by more mainstream Christians).  A good example occurred a few years ago when a christian military member sent us a note stating that he felt offended and his beliefs belittled because his commander (or a high-ranking member of his organization (I forget which, but it doesn’t matter) had a bumper sticker that degraded christian and religious belief in general–the senior officer was Atheist.  We contacted that base and made sure that the commander realized that, while he was free to hold this belief, driving his car on-base with this offensive message was totally unacceptable.  We won that case and the sticker was removed.
 
The fact is that the MRFF wants to help support an effective, lethal, unbiased, diverse, and representative military force in which one specific religious perspective (typically, in our history, that would be evangelical, fundamentalist christianity, but we’ve faced others) is considered a necessary or sufficient condition for honorable service–including being a prerequisite for promotion and career success.  I’ve personally faced this sort of bias and I know how professionally lethal it can be.  In fact, it is toxic to the culture and leadership environment of EVERY military organization. You should contribute to the MRFF because we want to make sure that no young woman or man decides NOT to enlist in the military because they think that, as an Atheist (for example) they would be treated like a second-class citizen in a christian-dominated military.
 
I’m glad you never felt discriminated against.  I did throughout my 37+ year active duty career.  My son did as a cadet and officer.  Mikey did.  Many members of his family did.  Literally TENS of THOUSANDS of military members have contacted the MRFF as clients since its founding because they did, too.  Support them.  Support Mikey.  Support me.
 
Thanks again for your note.
Marty France
Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France

On Sep 2, 2019, at 1:19 PM, Martin France wrote:

(name withheld), a quick addendum to my previous note:. It’s come to my attention that we (the MRFF) DID have one of our Manchester, New Hampshire VAMC clients put a number of other religious books on that table including the Koran…  VA officials quickly confiscated those other religious books leaving ONLY the Bible as the only one book there–bolted down to the table itself.  Their desire to make the Bible a permanent fixture at the memorial should inform your judgment of their ultimate intent and motivate your contribution, just as it motivates us in our mission to protect and defend the US Constitution and its values for ALL members of the military.

All the Best,
Marty

Response from MRFF Non-Religious Affairs Advisor Dustin Chalker

On Sep 2, 2019, at 2:41 PM, Dustin Chalker wrote:

Good afternoon (name withheld),

 

Thanks for writing.

 

I’m sure we can both agree that theocracy is a bad thing, right? We probably just disagree a little about the definition. I’m sure you oppose the most extreme forms of church/state entanglement, same as I do. Where we seem to differ is in the less extreme stuff. You seem willing to tolerate it, but I oppose all church/state entanglement to any degree.

 

I’ll tell you why: these displays aren’t at a church or a Wal-Mart, they’re in government facilities. While it’s nice to be socially tolerant, being politically tolerant of even the smallest church/state entanglements inevitably becomes a “give them an inch and they try to take a mile” situation. Are you familiar with the concept of power creep? Religious infiltration into government institutions doesn’t stop with symbolic displays. It grows like a cancer. MRFF gets hundreds of complaints every day from all over the spectrum: exclusionary sectarian displays, forced head-bowing at ceremonial prayers, mandatory attendance at chapel events, refusing to accommodate other faiths, commanders bullying subordinates into attending services, and so on.

 

It’s fine if you think big fish are the only ones worth frying, and also it’s fine if you don’t think a Bible display is a big fish. We can agree to disagree. Religious bullies who abuse their power typically believe we’re a “Christian nation.” They are told to believe that by our unconstitutional theism-establishing motto, a perverted pledge with “under God” added, unconstitutional government-sanctioned sectarian prayers in government ceremonies, monumental government crosses on government land, and a government Bible right out there on the government table honoring a favored subset of veterans. Those might be little fish to you, but a lot of case experience tells us that those little fish feed the bigger ones.

 

Our position is that government displays of theocratic symbolism create an environment that enables, empowers, and emboldens greater offenses. Therefore, we’re taking an absolute and principled stand against every size and shape of church/state entanglement in military settings.

 

And we are not an anti-religious organization, but an anti-theocratic one. We absolutely support free exercise of religion, as long as it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights.

 

Regards,

Dustin Chalker

MRFF Non-Religious Affairs Advisor


 

On Mon, Sep 2, 2019 at 7:44 PM  wrote:(name withheld)

My responses:

 
1. In 12yrs I was never forced to go to church, seek confession, be baptized, or talk with a pastor. There were times when you could go to service and get out of a duty, or stay and do the dirty work. I never was forced to listen to any religion, made to feel inferior as a nonbeliever, and no one I know ever was forced either. Never even heard a rumor that someone was forced. It’s there on base for those who desire or need it. When it comes to separation of church and state, there have been many court cases to test the limits, and not all went against religion. I’ll just give you one that I like to use as most people find it distasteful. It was Illinois vs Satanic Church of Chicago. The satanists sued and won the right to install their statue in the rotunda of the state capitol. So, separation of church and state is not cut and dry.
 
2. You’re right, it shouldn’t be just the one. So why not sue to get other important religious texts? There is a very long history of christianity in the military, it’s not something new. If a quran, or the Hindu Vedas had been denied, it would be a problem.
 
3. I’ll point you back to the Satanist vs Illinois case. Government can meld with religion, the court said so.
 
4. When did the Vice President attempt to establish a national religion? What bit of legislation are you talking about? Your hyperbole demeans any valid argument you may have. No one in their right mind believes the VP tried to make the country officially christian. And you all are just looking for any excuse to fight.
 
5. If getting some guy to remove a bumper sticker is a big fight to you, well I don’t even know what to say. Personally, I would have instructed the offended party to put their own bumper sticker on and stop being a snowflake. Did that officer use his position to injure anyone due to religious beliefs?? If not it’s a case gone way too far. 
 
I’m sorry, unless people are being physically hurt, professionally hurt, or publicly humiliated you are overreaching and abusing the law. If someones feelings are hurt because there was a bumper sticker that made them cry, they need to grow the hell up.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
On Sep 3, 2019, at 6:07 AM, Martin France wrote:

 

1) glad that you never experienced religious bias in the military.  I don’t know the era in which you served,  However, thousands have.  The lack of bias you experienced does not mitigate what they (and I) saw no more than if a woman lives her entire life without experience sexual assault–that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen to others and isn’t traumatic and life altering.  Denying that something exists or occurs in the face of thousands of reported cases just because YOU didn’t see it in person is, to me, like living in San Diego and denying snowfall occurs or believing the world is only 6000 or so years old.  Cases have been won in civil and military cases reinforcing the separation of church and state.  Again, this doesn’t mean that challenges and threats don’t exist any more.  The fact that the Vice President, in his tweets, claimed that Bibles will not be removed from an exclusive public display in a government building is, in fact, a declaration of establishment as THE endorsed religion at that facility by the second highest office in the land–and then by the highest when DT retweeted it.  Their statements violated the Constitution they are sworn to defend.  Again, a Bible bolted to a table may not offend you, but to the vets who contacted us, it is seen as disrespecting their views, positions, and service and that’s why we defend them.

2.  Did you see my follow-up note?  They now have the Bible bolted to the table and have removed all other texts that were attempted to be placed there.  
3.  And I’ll point to Parker vs Levy as well as AF Instruction 1-1 to point out cases in which there are (rightfully) some restrictions placed on the religious activity of members of the military.  They can co-exist and we’re all for that, but time and place/context are critical.
4.  See above comments
5.  Just one illustration.  The fact is, it’s rare that we have a case in which someone other than an evangelical christian is the offender.  So rare that this is about all I can think of.  On the other side, we have THOUSANDS of cases of forced prayer, forced religious service participation, forced donation to religious causes, verbal assaults and debasement.  I’m sure that at some point in the 1930s, a German Jew PROBABLY assaulted a German brown shirt in some situation.  But that does not mean that case would diminish the tragedy of the Holocaust.
6.  Publicly humiliated.  Go to the MRFF web page first and read about some of the cases we’ve taken.  I’ll give you two examples that are personal to us:
a.  During basic training at the AF Academy, my son declined to attend the quasi-mandatory Bible study sessions offered weekly.  In response, he was told that since no one else was doing so, he would stand at attention in his room while the others had sodas and cell phone calls and praised Jesus.  When others joined him declining to attend, he was made commander of “Heathen Flight” and they were marched around during the sessions.
b.  Mikey’s son, while at USAFA, was called a “F’ing Christ Killer” in public and was ridiculed nearly to the point of resignation by other cadets in the fervor leading up to the release of Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of the Christ.”
I realize, however, that unless you saw it first hand and have the bruises to show for it, nothing ever happens.  I accept that I will not be able to convince you that satellites actually orbit the Earth, that there is gravity in space, and that the Easter Bunny does not exist.  I can accept that and live a full and happy life.
Finally, while I do believe that all who are offended should take responsibility and report the offense, that’s not always possible or practical.  Let me give you another example of the sort of thing we deal with virtually every day (even if I am wasting my time).  If I were to go into my commander’s office and ask him to intervene with a group of my fellow airman that continually pressure me to attend their church, tell me that I will burn in hell if I don’t convert to their religion, and that “this is a Christian country and only Christians are truly patriotic and capable of service,” I think I would be within my rights.  What then would I do if, after explaining this bias, the commander says, “Well, I feel your pain, but the easiest way to solve the problem is to do as they say and convert because, in the end, I’m a Christian, too, and ultimately agree with their position?”
Now, you can deny that ever happens, but we have folders and files of this occurring on a routine basis across our military.  Just because they claimed they never smelled smoke from the ovens or saw the trains or the confiscated shoes; because they were never denied a seat on the bus or at the lunch counter, or arrested because of their skin color, or assaulted by police dogs, or raped, or interned in a camp, or denied a promotion doesn’t mean that all of the selectively blind, deaf, and apathetic are innocent or that what they didn’t see didn’t and doesn’t occur.  I, for one, will not stand by and wait for things to reach the point of violence before I act to stop something that is Constitutionally and morally wrong.  You may choose that path, but then you are part of the problem as an enabler and apologist.  Remember, many of them ultimately paid the same price when the Nazis came for them…
 
Good luck with that.
Marty

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 1:42 AM Mike  wrote:
Mr. (name withheld),

I’m not sure if this last was to me as I didn’t say anything about Hitler Youth. I didn’t see your second message, so only responded to your first, which seemed to need some clarification. I tried to provide that, but now understand it was not needed.

It appears you don’t care about the reason for our position, you just want to express your disagreement with it. I wish you’d said that at the outset; it would have saved me a lot of time.

For the record, no one’s feelings are bruised by the Bible on the table, at least no one here. I suppose the families of some of the POWs or MIAs who were not Christians might have been if they had seen it, but our point is the church/state violation, as explained. And it’s not about you being an atheist who says he didn’t suffer discrimination, nor is it about your hallucination that “the bible was taught in schools, all schools from the founding of this country until the early ’60s” or any of your other blather. It’s about what I explained way back when I thought you were honestly confused and looking for clarity. Clearly, I was wrong.

Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

On Tue, Sep 3, 2019 at 3:41 PM (name withheld) wrote:
It turns out your just an ignorant jerk. If you failed history in college then I could understand not knowing the bible was taught in public schools, or the meaning behind the treaty of Tripoli. I asked a few sincere questions and was assaulted by no less than 5 people making extravagant claims and some general throwing his weight around as if his opinion matters more. Actually all of you are arrogant jerks who are in it for the money, golddiggers

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Sep 4, 2019, at 10:21 AM, Mike wrote:

Man you do prove to be a waste of time.

I guess the ignorance you accuse me of must be the result of my having gone through public school in the period you describe without ever having any of the teachers ever mention anything about the Bible, much less teach about it.

Next time you pick a fight, try knowing what you’re talking about.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. OldSoldier

    I totally agree with what that veteran is saying and what a waste of time it is. The MRFF worrying about a Bible on a table is ridiculous. There are hundreds of people that see it every day and are fine with it and why should it be removed because a few nitwits complain about it. There are so many problems involving veterans that need to be addressed and the MRFF wastes its time on silly little trifles like this. Mister Farrell, General Compare and Mister Weinstein why don’t you do something to really help veterans instead of just making fools of yourself.
    God bless America and all it’s military

  2. Jared Atkinson

    Give a mouse a cookie, it’s going to want a glass of milk. Allow Christians to subvert the law in “trivial” ways, they will be empowered to break it in much greater ways.

  3. BRP

    Preach it Old Soldier

  4. Grey One talks sass

    Old Soldier calls the Constitution frivolous. Again. When called on their lack of understanding they bellow. How dare anyone question Old Soldier? Doesn’t anyone know who they are???

    Per the responses to the letter writer it was interesting to learn literature from other faiths were added to the bolted in bible as per Constitutional right AND ALL WERE REMOVED EXCEPT THE BOLTED IN BIBLE. No subtlety there.

    Christian Nationalists don’t share even though the laws of the USA state specifically they must share. It’s a conundrum.

  5. OldSoldier

    I was doing some research online and found a wonderful piece I want to share with all of you. It is exactly how I feel.

    I don’t believe in Santa Claus, but I’m not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don’t agree with Darwin, but I didn’t go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.
    Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They’re just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.
    “But it’s a Christian prayer,” some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So, what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna? If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn’t be offended. It wouldn’t bother me one bit. When in Rome…
    “But what about the atheists?” is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We’re not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that’s asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer. Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don’t think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world’s foundations.
    Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now, a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us.
    And, if that last sentence offends you, well… just sue me.
    The silent majority has been silent too long. It’s time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don’t care what they want. It is time the majority rules!
    It’s time we tell them, you don’t have to pray. You don’t have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don’t have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right… but, by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back… and we WILL WIN!
    God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him… God bless America, despite all her faults, she is still the greatest nation of all… AND God bless our service men and women who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God!
    May this be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.
    Keep looking up… “In God WE Trust.” We are one nation UNDER GOD Mister Weinstein

  6. Grey One talks sass

    Did anyone else notice that the piece posted by Old Soldier was not attributed nor did have anything to do with the military.

    Old Soldier not only are you wrong, you are wrong using way too many words.

  7. Tom O

    Old Soldier, like so many other theocrats, says “this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles.” Also like so many other theocrats, Old Soldier will be unable to tell us what specific principles that are uniquely Christian he’s referring to.

  8. Tom O

    I see that Old Soldier has been commenting on other Inbox pages since 9/3, but not on this page. Every time a theocrat has said on MRFF comment pages that the USA was founded on Christian principles, I’ve what uniquely “Christian principles” the USA was “founded on,” and have NEVER gotten a response.

  9. OldSoldier

    Listen Tom I’m going to give you a response and I’ll make it simple so someone like you who is mercifully free of intelligence understands. The flag and the cross go hand in hand. Our great nation was founded because the colonists were tired of the religious practices of the church of England they wanted to worship God in their own way and that whetted their appetite making them realize that they wanted freedom in general Christianity is a philosophy and not a religion. God loves all of us just the same the best religion is the one that brings you closest to him. The Bible is Gods word and I don’t know why anyone would be offended by it. You sound like a real dummy

  10. Tom O

    You still haven”t told us what specific “principles” that are uniquely Christian the USA was “founded on.”
    The principles on which the US constitution was actually based were an attempt to prevent the repression prevalent in European monarchies.
    Here’s a comparison
    MONARCHY
    All power comes from above: God > king, king > subjects, and it’s unlimited
    Some people are inherently superior to others
    Everyone has to follow the religion the authorities impose on them
    Truth is what the authorities say it is, and no one is allowed to question that
    The people exist to serve their “superiors”
    US CONSTITUTION
    Government derives its power from the consent of the governed
    Everyone has equal rights: no one is inherently “better” than anyone else
    Anyone can believe in whatever religion (or none) they choose, and government can’t favor any religion over another
    Truth is best found by free debate, where anyone can question any belief
    Government exists to serve the people

    Which of those two sets of “principles” is more similar to those of Christianity, or organized religion in general?

  11. Grey One talks sass

    Wow. Old Soldier wrote “Our great nation was founded because the colonists were tired of the religious practices of the church of England they wanted to worship God in their own way and that whetted their appetite making them realize that they wanted freedom in general Christianity is a philosophy and not a religion.”

    Just wow. In one paragraph I saw the Pilgrims, Puritans, and early Colonialists conflated into one event. Yikes. Who taught you History Old Soldier because they did you no favors. And you left out the part where we were a penal colony. That’s totally important to the Revolution narrative. (I’m not addressing the Christianity is a philosophy not a religion thing. Greater minds than mine have debunked that whole kerfuffle so that’s that.)

    The founding fathers had the opportunity to include a government endorsed religion and the motion was voted down. 200+ years later and historical revisionists are spreading falsehoods in order to promote the misguided idea the USA should be a theocracy.

    It could be easy to give in to apathy or despair but we are Americans. Our forefathers were the misfits and rebels from the Old Country. We have survived worse. We will survive the war of the theocrats. We have thinking outside the box on our side. 🙂

    PS Tom O is one of the brightest minds on this site. It is revealing that Old Soldier calls anyone who disagrees with them names. When someone tells you who they are, believe them.

  12. G

    Gee Old Soldier, if Christianity is a philosophy instead of a religion, then I guess we shouldn’t have to go to mass, celebrate Christian holy days, don’t eat fish on Friday, get the mark of the cross Ash Wednesday. and give money to the Church on Sunday. Maybe we should be stripped the Christian churches of their tax-exempt status and make the people live a vow of poverty.

    Here is a definition of philosophy:

    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. I don’t recall the church authorities trying to use logic and reasoning in explaining the Bible or how the world was actually created.

  13. Grey One talks sass

    On 9/3 and 9/6 Tom O asked a simple question “What specific principles are uniquely Christian?” when Old Soldier claimed the constitution of USA is based on Christianity.

    On 9/6 Old Soldier finally replied with an amazing mashup of revisionist history and misdirection with a grand finale of insults.

    Well done Old Soldier, you really hammered the propaganda, such a good foot soldier for the theocracy, aren’t you?

    Spoiler – the Christian Bible had nothing to do with the Constitution and Amendments of the USA.

    It’s not Old Soldiers fault. They’ve been carefully taught the Christian Revisionist History and now they believe up is down and down is up. As they are so very old (at least that’s what they claim) I fear their brain is stuck in the Christian Nationalist cult. Truly very sad.

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