MRFF’s Space Force announcement

Dear Mikey:

I was appalled to read about your foundation, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, expressing outrage and contemplating the idea of attempting to sue the Government over the use of a Bible during the swearing-in of the Space Force. After reading that, and before forming this opinion since I too am one of America’s sons and served its military proudly, I decided to do some research; on your foundation’s reason for existence, your  personal history documented there, and to try to find the basis of why your approach regarding the Bible’s presence in governmental process is and was so hateful.

I read your likely self-penned “About Us” page describing your life and accomplishments, and as I completed each paragraph, could not help but become more confused to the roots of your hatred. You appear to be well-educated, or at least have attended institutions that have produced intelligent people and are held in high public esteem. You have completed military service, so I do thank you for your sacrifice during that time. It appears you have also devoted considerable time during your life to serving politicians and the “one-percenters”, so your disconnect with what the United States of America was founded on and has stood up to defend for over two centuries is a little more understandable now. You seem to consider all of the derogatory names you’ve been called for your divisive tactics as badges of honor, rather than using them as internal contemplation as to why others would use those terms while describing you. You’ve been rubbing elbows with people who are disconnected from the working people, the moms-and-pops, and other citizens who dearly love this country and the sacrifices that have been made.

Your website prominently displays a snippet from the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”. The Constitution is our founding document that immediately set this nation apart from all others in the history of the world; a Constitution that brought 13 colonies together into a conglomeration of both federal and national ideas of government. All of these men were undoubtably well-versed in the knowledge and understanding of the Bible, as it was one of the few widely available printed books at the time. But of course, you probably know that. And, from the implications of your education and experience as a lawyer, you are aware that words have different meanings depending on the context they are used. In regards to the word “respecting”, a phrase substitute for this word is “in regards to” or “avoid harming or interfering with” and it likely fits the spirit of the document much more than your implicit interpretation of “admire deeply” or “have a high regard for”.

When read in this manner, the Amendment can be read as “Congress shall make no law harming or interfering with an establishment of religion…”, and nowhere does the Amendment describe any restrictions on religion being present in Congress. Congress can only make laws with regards to those subjects under its jurisdiction, and the First Amendment clearly states that Congress cannot do this. It also strikes me as appalling and superbly hypocritical, that given your apparent vigor to interpret the First Amendment in a different way than mine, that your foundation has taken offense to two government officials (the President and the Space Force director) taking their oaths with the Bible present in exercise of their First Amendment rights. Since I understand that you are taking the literal understanding of the word “respect” as defined by Thomas Jefferson to a church regarding the “Separation of Church and State” comment, I posit that it is offset fully, if not even turned farther away from your argument by another Jefferson quote: “For the use of … reason… every one is responsible to the God who has planted it in his breast, as a light for his guidance, and that, by which alone he will be judged,”. One cannot separate the man from his execution of his appointed public office; a man’s right is to have and practice his religion and therefore, one may choose to personally swear to his Higher Power that he will faithfully discharge the responsibilities of that public office and support and defend the Constitution. George Washington even performed the first Inauguration in such a manner- and people present in that time understood that it was not a governmental endorsement of any religion, but the man’s protected, personal beliefs that he felt deep conviction on.

On a different tack, yet probably one you will also dismiss while reading this, even if you do: the Constitution explicitly forbids “Congress” from making any laws respecting an establishment of religion; it implicitly leaves out any mention of the Judicial or Executive branches regarding religion. Yes, I understand that only Congress can make laws; I am not ignorant of this fact. But the Constitution is the explicit groundwork for how the government is to be operated, “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, and there is scant evidence to show the Founding Fathers were so reckless during its laborious proofing that they forgot to include restrictions on the other two branches of their fledgling government, if that had been their intent.

So I will get to the point and ask my question: since your foundation’s website is highly devoid of any historical basis justifying the grounds for its existence or its mission and its hateful attack against Christianity, why do you claim to promote “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” as a beacon of “free choice in religion” out of one side of your mouth, while vehemently attacking and belittling Christians in government for exercising their God-given rights out of the other side of it? Have you persecuted for your Jewish beliefs in this country? Would you have similarly hounded and belittled Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, and Johnson because they did not publicly divulge which God they prayed upon?  Since you have been educated in military and legal history, you are certainly aware of the term “precedent”. Once established, a precedent carries weight in future decisions because it has been agreed to, usually after much debate, in a large enough forum to be widely accepted among the people. And therefore, I should not have to share the fact that, outside of Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, and Johnson, every single one of the 42 Presidents in the United States’ history has publicly acknowledged their Christian faith. That’s a historical precedent of over 200 years of publicly acknowledged Christian leadership, sir. It is unparalleled in world history. Is not the fact that your foundation even exists proof that the religious freedom you claim others to be so deprived of is already in existence without your foundation’s “help”?

To see some of the things on your website, one could believe that all of these Christian Presidents (and implicitly, thousands of local, state, and federal officials during this time) would have made America a land of religious intolerance! Yet, that is hardly the case. One can travel around our great country and find churches, synagogues, and mosques quite easily.  Why is this? Because the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, the de facto controller of what this government can and cannot do to “We the People”, as a document of tolerance and unabashed devotion to the principles laid out in it. In stark contrast, the prima facie evidence displayed on your foundation’s website says that you, sir, do not practice tolerance nor does your foundation believe in it or its exercise. It is fairly clear that you and your foundation abhor tolerance and cohabitation among religons, ignoring the Christian precedents set during the past 233 years of blessings and supplication under the Constitution’s providentially-guided restrictions on what this country’s government is allowed to do to its people.

In closing, I hope that if you have read this letter that its words will strike a chord in your heart; because my God is one of grace and mercy, do not take this as an attack but as a caution to your divisive deeds. My God is one of endless, eternal loving discipline when a sin has been committed, and will gladly absolve one of their sins if they accept Jesus as their personal savior and repent of their sins prior to their death, and accept them into their heavenly home with open arms. Since this has been the same public acknowledgement of 93% of this great country’s Presidents and yet we still enjoy individual religious freedom here, I pray that both your personal and foundation’s enmity towards ALL religion would be extinguished. Your website also shares one of your misguided quotes that perfectly proves why this letter is already true: “Finally, there is only one religious faith: American patriotism.” As shown here, sir, the birth of this nation, the guidance of its Founding Fathers, and the freedoms you enjoy today came about by no other way than divine intervention. The preponderance of evidence regarding the impact of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on this nation’s history is irrefutable. Men, apart from Providence, are clearly not so cogent, comprehensive, and able to stand the test of time on their own as the Constitution and this nation have been. The Bible that you clearly oppose the use of clearly states throughout the Gospel, that Jesus saves all who come to Him. That’s about as far from divisiveness as I can possibly imagine, and the best example that we, as flawed humans, can choose to pursue. Good day, sir.

 

Sincerely,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein

….Hi,(name withheld)…well, I read your entire tome…..thx for taking the clearly considerable time to put this together….by the way are you male or female?…”(name withheld)” can be either is why I ask…..I do NOT have the time to reply to all you wrote…or even a small part of it….too busy right now fighting brutal fundamentalist Christian oppression in the U.S. military….but I WILL say that it’s my guess that you suffer mightily from a malady you are likely not even aware of; near fatal presumptuousness….for instance, you ask, rather smugly, if iIve ever been “persecuted” for my Jewish beliefs?.,..as a matter of fact I HAVE been….almost daily for the last 15-plus  years, actually….same for my wife and kids and other family members…see links below….if I HAD to guess, I’d say that you suffer mightily from white, male, straight, Christian privilege…now I don ’t know for sure, obviously, if you ARE in fact caucasian, male and straight but you surely appear to be Christian…(so are about 95% of our now over 66,400 MRFF military and veteran clients and over 80% of our over 450 MRFF paid and volunteer staff)….if I’m wrong on any those suppositions, I apologize in advance but I have dealt with this “disease” of gender, race, religion and sexual orientation privilege many times before, my friend…..you see, (name withheld), fish in an aquarium never see the water…I think YOU, sir or ma’am, ARE that fish!!….…sorry I have no more time….you may hear from other key members of our MRFF staff but I have to go….thank you for taking the time and effort to write but WHAT you wrote is sad to me on a number of levels……anyway, all best, Mikey Weinstein

 


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Jan 14, 2020, at 4:39 PM, John Compere  wrote:

 

For your information, the US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations require our government to refrain from promoting or endorsing a religion. Also, the Constitution provides secular oaths & prohibits religious tests. Even Jesus separated religion & government (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17) & opposed sworn oaths (Matthew 5:34&37). Your excessive epistle is morally misdirected. It would be more rationally directed at those who disrespect & disregard our laws rather than at those of us who respect & request compliance with them.
 
“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” – Chief Joseph, Nez Perez Native American
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (composed of over 80% Christians)

 

 

 

 

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