SoS

Leave our military soldiers alone…

Just as it is anyone’s right to not want to have a dog tag with a Christian verse it is everyone else’s right to have a dog tag with a Christian verse.!

No one is forcing anyone to wear these dog tags it is by personal choice.

Stop discriminating against our Christian men and women who serve to protect our country and our rights and lay their life on the line. They have the right to profess their belief whether they are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.

Stop discriminating against our men and women in uniform by trying to impose your atheistic beliefs upon them, wherein you limit their ability to profess their own beliefs. This is reverse discrimination!

Dust off your lawbooks! Separation of church and state was not written by our founders the way you interpret it!

Merry Christmas!

God bless you!

May God turn your heart the way he did turn Stalin’s and Stalin raised his fist at heaven and shook it at heaven on his deathbed as he took his last breath!

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Dec 4, 2019, at 4:53 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

Dear (name withheld),
 
Military members have the right to pursue any belief & possess any scripture they desire, but one version of religion cannot be officially promoted or endorsed by our secular government by placing its scripture on government issue property (military identification tags) at taxpayer expense because that violates the US Constitution, established American law, Department of Defense regulatory law & military regulations.
 
Our troops do not have the right or authority to determine what is or is not on their official government issue military identification tags any more than they have the right or authority to determine what is or is not on their official government issue military identification cards.
 
Please redirect your anger toward those who disrespect & disregard our laws rather than those of us who respect & request compliance with our laws.
 
For your information, even Jesus separated religion and government (see Mark 12:17).
 
Most Sincerely & Happy Holidays,
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (80% Christians)

Hello John,
My week was far too full, of too many other more important things to deal with than our email conversation, so I had to leave my response to the weekend.  Did not want you to think I was not going to favour you with a reply.
I come from a long line of military, dating back to the Civil War.  Our family still serves, as both first responder and active military, as well as numerous veteran’s organizations. My husband’s family also, dating back to the Continental Army and Revolutionary Army under Geo Washington – he is decended from Col Daniel Knowlton (if you know military awards you will know of the Knowlton Award) and Col Robert Knowlton.
Know that I appreciate your service to our country and respect your position and opinion, but disagree vehemently with your stance and that of your organization.
That said, being a Brigadier General does not make or break it.  Neither do any of the titles I can put after my name, of which there are many (see below for just a spattering of them – and there are more I could add, but what would be the point?… just to fluff my feathers?).
First, some clarification, the crux of the debate is that the military has issued a decree that they are pulling the trademark privileges.  That is what is at issue here. This has nothing to do with “military issue” paid for by the government.
To respond to your point of who is paying for what….. SoS tags which are purchased by individuals, as an individual’s free choice, are not paid for by the taxpayer/government and are not pushed upon anyone else who does not want one.  No one is forced to wear an SoS tag, it is freedom of choice and freedom of expression, they are not government issued tags.  The government is not paying for them.  What’s next, tattoos, rings, religious medals, scapulars, pocket Bibles (and OMG you should see the copies I have of government issue WWI and WWII era pocket Bibles and Prayer Books issued to our brave soldiers who fought the horrors in Europe and the Pacific and found much comfort therein).
Since SoS is not government issue, the person buying them at free will is able to have whatever s/he want to have printed on the decorative tag.   Government issued tags have Name, Rank, Serial #, and religious affiliation – still have mine(& my father’s – USAA-Korea & USAF Vietnam – he passed away in 2017 and we laid him at ANC).  What is at issue here is that SoS was issued trademark privileges to use military trademarks on the SoS tags; it has nothing to do with the government paying for the SoS tags because the military is not paying SoS to make the tags.
Even without the “trademarked images”, millions of men and women, military and first responders and families, will STILL purchase the dog tags – with or without the trademarked military images….. and inscribed with their choice of verse or encouragement, whether from the Bible, the Hebrew Old Testament, the Koran, etc..  even if they are Wicken, Vulcan, Viking, or Celt….they still have the freedom of the expression of their religion or belief system.  Even an atheist could request an SoS dog tag with a physics verse indicating their belief in the non-existence of life after life.
Back to the subject of separation……
The true essence of the intentions of our Founding Fathers was that the idea of “separation” was designed to keep the government out of religion, not the other way around, as is so mistakenly believed.  There is tremendous misconception over the First Amendment. So much so in fact, that many (friends and strangers) have tried to explain to me that the First Amendment specifically states “separation”. It does not.  It has been twisted and morphed from its original meaning and context into what part of society today believes it to have always been.
Thomas Jefferson was the first to put forth such an idea in a letter he penned to the Danbury Baptists in 1801. Over 20 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.   The phrase “separation of church and state” is nowhere to be found within the writings of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.  It is not to be found in ANY of our nation’s founding documents. The idea behind Jefferson’s diligent work to separate the Anglican Church from the government began in his home state of Virginia.  His intent was to eliminate the government run religion as it so existed at the time in Virginia, and to establish a protocol wherein all denominations could practice their faith free of governmental interference, penalty, or persecution. It was his fight for religious liberty and religious freedoms that garnered so much of his base support for his election to the position of President of the United States.
Summary:  The First Amendment was intended to keep government out of religion, not to keep religion out of the government.
Summary:  There is no written law that states there shall be a separation of church and state, wherein there is the prohibition of the exercise of the freedom of religious expression by anyone, of any creed, faith, or belief, either employed by government or not.  Thus, the argument of “compliance with” is a moot point.  There is no-one “breaking the law”, thus there is no violation of the Constitution nor of “established law”.  It is merely interpretation.
Summary:  The Bible is FULL of references of church and state, going all the way back into the Old Testament (i.e. Genesis). Ancient Rome. The Reformation. All through history there are examples that may be interpreted as “separation” – interpretation is key.  Be that as it may, while the Bible may reference (and be interpreted differently at different times, for different reasons, in different centuries, by different political climates and different cultures and peoples as well as the context of that interpretation and from which language it is being translated), Old Testament or New Testament, Moses or Jesus, the Bible might have references, but the Constitution and Declaration of Independence do not.
Summary:  SoS tags (with the exception of those donated by SoS) are bought and paid for by an individual consumer.  That individual being in military service does not violate any law, nor does it cost the taxpayer/government any monetary loss.
BTW is the “80% Christians” the product of a true mathematical statistical calcuation? Or, just your approximation?
Respectfully,
(name withheld), BA.ED, Spec, NP, MA. Med Lit,
AG/BCG, CNP, CPTN, FEMA/CERT, CPR, BLS, EFA, CI, NAHA, AIA, INLC, PEC,
FFEA, FCA, ACE, APG, AWAI, FTU, FTW, IGS, INL, IPE, NASM, NIG, NEHGS, TFT
Creative Director
Fine Art Photographer
Artist-in-Residence
Guest Blogger
Writer / Author
Genealogist – Personal Historian – Memoirist
Curator – Librarian – Archivist
Therapeutic Art Coach
Motivational Speaker
Workshop Facilitator
Educational Consultant
Fellow – Academic Focus Committee
Fellow – Curriculum Commission
Fellow – Faculty Council National Honour Society
Fellow – Technology Committee
Fellow – Textbook Committee
Fellow – Leadership Committee
Gifted Specialist
Physicist, Geomorphologist, Paleontologist
Founder, Instructor, & Advisor for Homeschool Consortium & International Educational Services Consultants
And the list goes on…….
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On Dec 7, 2019, at 6:29 PM, John Compere  wrote:
Military members may possess any belief & purchase any scripture they want, but a private civilian business is lawfully prohibited from knowingly & illegally profiting off of them by misrepresenting & mismanufacturing its souvenir merchandise as official government issue military identification tags in clear violation of its own licensing agreement with the Department of Defense & applicable regulatory laws. That is, of course, why the military stopped it.

 

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