You are nothing but a travesty.

You are nothing but a travesty.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Jan 14, 2020, at 11:40 AM, John Compere  wrote:

The US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations prohibit our government from promoting or endorsing a religion. The Constitution also provides for secular oaths with no religious test (Article VI). Even Jesus & his brother opposed sworn oaths (Matthew 5:34&37; James 5:12).
 
Your travesty accusation is morally misdirected. It should be directed at 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 (80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Jan 14, 2020, at 4:11 PM, Mike  wrote:


It depends upon the way one sees things, (name withheld). For us, the travesty is when zealots turn a perfectly fine religious belief into a cult and attempt to infiltrate it into our government despite the Founders intention that we separate the church from the state.
 
I think Colonel Wilkerson has it about right. See below.
 
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.

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