Bible for Space Force

Mike,

 
I have trouble with your objection to using a Bible to swear in the new Commanding Officer. 
 
What gives you any right?  I could care less what religious text they use other than the Koran 
 
People like you and your organization are what is decaying this country. You act like a spoiled baby. 
 
I see you served in the military as did I. You as an officer, me as enlisted.  Knowing this about you, I would never have saluted you. To me you are a disgrace.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
 As an Advisory Board Member for the MRFF, I often answer inane emails like yours–often for my own entertainment and therapy.  You say, “Imagine what the world would be like if everyone could just take a breath, relax, and leave everybody else the fuck alone.”  That’s a nice thought–until it intersects with your rights.  Let’s do a little thought exercise.  What would cause you to complain about something you view as contrary to your rights and privileges as an fully enfranchised American citizen (and I’m assuming here)?  If a senior member of the company you worked for decided that they wanted to have an Imam-blessed Koran placed in your front lobby and then tweeted that all future supervisors at your company (or county, or school board, or state, or military unit) would be sworn in using that Koran, would that bother you or would you just “…take a breath, relax, and leave everybody else the fuck alone?”  As a 35+ year Air Force veteran, that’s how I feel about the tweet in question and the “Space Force Bible.”  I can’t, in good conscience, let ignore this.  I served the United States and the Constitution and still do.  I swore an oath to protect and defend both.  At no time was I required to hold a Bible or any text when I was commissioned, promoted, or took command of an organization.  I wasn’t even required to say “So help me god” at the end of my oath.  Why?  Because the Constitution (and by extension our military) defend the rights of all citizens to believe as they see fit.  We are guaranteed to not face ANY religious test to hold public office and we’re told that the government will take no steps to ESTABLISH a state religion (or discriminate against religion by referring no religion).
The commander of the Space Force can own a bible (or koran or any other book) as part of her or his personal book collection, but they can’t proclaim that bible to be THE spiritual text representing the views or values of those who serve under them.  I know the Chief of Space Operations.  Personally.  He’s a good man.  I do not know his religious beliefs whatsoever, even though I’ve known him for over 20 years.  I think that’s WONDERFUL.  He doesn’t know mine, either.  Instead of discussing personal matters like that or letting those issues trickle into the workplace, we’ve always decided that it’s better to  “…take a breath, relax, and leave everybody else the fuck alone” to believe as they see fit and not IMPOSE our beliefs on anyone underneath us in the command hierarchy–because that’s what the Constitution requires of us.
So, in the end, I BLESS your heart, dear ma’am/sir.  I don’t know what your first name is other than it may begin with an “R”.  I’ll assume that it’s the non-gender-specific “Ricki” for now.  I will not presume based solely on how you choose to spell your name or be called by your friends or that you live in your Mom’s basement–that would be an ad hominem attack (as you well know) and indicative of a feeble mind that reverts to this sort of attack when they cannot fall back on sound logic and arguments.
Martin France

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Jan 14, 2020, at 11:54 AM, John Compere  wrote:

First & foremost, thank you for your military service.
 
For your information, the US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations require our government to refrain from promoting or endorsing a religion. The Constitution also provides for secular oaths & prohibits any religious test. Even Jesus separated religion & government (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17) & opposed sworn oaths (Matthew 5:34&37).
 
Your acrimonious attack would be more appropriately directed toward those who disrespect & disregard our laws rather than at those of us who respect & request compliance with them.
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

I have to say, that was very well written and I appreciate the thought and context. 

 
Not that you need any attaboy but this would be well served to be put out in MSM in conjunction with the article. 
 
I did fail to Thank everyone for their service and I do regret my comment about not saluting. 
 
My naive brain got the best of me. My sincerest apologizes. 
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Jan 14, 2020, at 6:05 PM, Mike wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),
 
You have trouble? You certainly do. The below piece from Col. Wilkerson will explain, if you’ll take the time to read it. But first, let me point out a couple of things:
 
What gives us “any right?” The U.S. Constitution, which if you knew a bit more about it would have kept you from embarrassing yourself by exposing your narrow mind.
 
That you “could care less what religious text they use other than the Koran” says more about the state of your brain and your heart than you probably realize. Bigots who prattle about “decaying this country” and acting “like a spoiled baby” display an arrogance borne out of ignorance and it serves them not well at all.
 
The only “disgrace” evident in this message is your woeful lack of character.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)
 
The USAF Is At It Again by Col. Lawrence WilkersonMRFF Advisory Board Member, January 14, 2020
This was a Washington National Cathedral tweet on Monday:
Today @WNCathedral blessed the official Bible for the new @SpaceForceDoD, which will be used to swear in all commanders of America’s newest military branch.
 
This tweet on some websites was accompanied by a photograph of what was supposedly the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains holding a Bible while functionaries from the National Cathedral “blessed” it (as if the supposed word of God needed such blessing).  Unless the purpose was ribald humor – and in even that purpose was abject failure and potential sacrilege – this might be the most ridiculous stunt the USAF has ever staged, and that is saying something given that Service’s record for such affairs, particularly when they relate to religion.
 
Simply the facts destroy the message in the tweet:
First, commanders don’t take oaths as commanders.  They stand at attention while guidons or flags are passed, they exchange salutes – incoming commander to outgoing commander, and perhaps to both’s mutual higher commander – they say a few words, and the command is assumed (and surrendered if a former commander exists).  Operative phrase here is: they don’t take oaths.
Second, no Bible is necessary for assumptions of command or changes of command.  One can be present if one of the officers desires it, but it should not be “on display” because a change of command or an assumption of command is an official event and should not be seen as favoring one religion over another, or religion over none.  That’s regulation; that’s the Constitution – the latter document, by the way, the one that military personnel do in fact swear an oath to support and defend.  Not a Christian Bible.  Not an Islamic Qu’ran.  Not A Jewish Talmud or Torah.  Not anything else.
 
Third, military commanders, of any stripe, type, or kind are not sworn in.  This might seem a mimicking of the first point above, but it’s not.  It is simply a statement of fact separate from oath-taking so there is no mistaking what military commanders do.  They assume command, period.  There is no swearing whatsoever, unless of course in a person’s remarks after the assumption of command he or she wants to swear to do good, or to uphold the law, or some other personal commitment that the individual believes will seem more powerful if he or she swears to it.  But even if this were to occur, no text should be used to make it seem to favor one religion over another, or religion over no religion.  That’s the Constitution and USAF regulation.
 
So, one might rightly inquire, why all the publicity for an act that is wrong at best and absolutely bizarre at worst?  Why stage such a farce in the first place?  And why of all places stage it at the venerated National Cathedral, totally unconnected to the U.S. Armed Forces?
 
For show, of course.  You see, the USAF has an entire group of American taliban in its ranks – commissioned officers, including generals, non-commissioned officers and enlisted ranks.  These people, by self-avowal, want to take over the Armed Forces for Jesus.  And staging and photographing stunts such as this one at the National Cathedral are the way they call attention to themselves. I’m an active member of the Advisory Board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).  Sadly, we at MRFF see these egregious violations of church-state separation on an almost daily basis from all of the DOD branches of service, but especially from the U.S. Air Force.
 
The best recourse for the rest of us who know better is to call them out as the confused, even demented people they are.  But we must also ensure that they don’t succeed – ever.

Mike,

You obviously didn’t see my return email to one of your contemporaries. He explained very well details that I was woefully unaware of

That being said, I need to apologize for my statement that I wouldn’t salute you had we crossed paths. That was extremely irresponsible of me. I truly regret it.

I hope you continue to stand for things that are not truly fully explained in short clips that I failed to educate myself on before I embarrassed myself as you have pointed out.

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

Hi (name withheld),
 
Thanks for your generous response. No, I had not seen your exchange with someone else from the MRFF and I’m sorry I missed it.
 
As you might imagine, we have been deluged with attacks from people who either didn’t fully understand the situation, as in your case, or others who have a different, often hateful, agenda. That fact alone makes your follow-up a pleasure to read.
 
But I don’t want to dismiss it casually. Your thoughtful reconsideration is deeply appreciated. Having taken the time to write back demonstrates great personal integrity on your part.
 
Thank you.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

 

 

 

Share this page:

Commenter Account Access

  • Register for a commenter account
    (Not required to post comments, but will save you time if you're a regular commenter)
  • Log in using your existing account
  • Click here to edit your profile and change your password
  • All comments are subject to our Terms of Use

3 Comments

  1. Jared Atkinson

    “I could care less what religious text they use other than the Koran.” So in other words, “ I could care less what kind of Bible they use as long as it’s the Bible.”

  2. Infidel for Jesus

    I just found this wonderful photo of the new Space Force Commander taking his oath of this new command with one hand on a bible. Praise God!

  3. watchtower

    The response by Martin France was spot on and well received by “name withheld”. Now, if we could only get the other 8 billion to realize that religion is a personal/private thing between the person and their god, we could have nirvana.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*