To Michael L. Weinstein please

Dear Mr Michael L.  Weinstein
The constitution says that Congress can make NO law of the FREE exercise of religion or faith.
That includes the government AND military! You can’t bar them from
This freedom!
You have a mislead views of the constitution.  The separation of church and state is not a law.The original intent was so that the government can’t force any particular denomination on the people!
That came from when England would force all to belong to a church of their choosing. The USA has no right to bar the FREE exercise if ones faith!
You are fighting against the Lord God
And I would not do this if I were you because God is a God of righteousness and justice!

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Feb 17, 2020, at 4:56 PM, John Compere  wrote:

(name withheld),
 
For your information, the US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations prohibit our military, as part of the US government, from officially promoting or endorsing a religion except in military chapels or military chaplain channels. Our government, which includes the military, is required by law to remain neutral regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion, but religion-neutral). The US Supreme Court’s “righteousness and justice” has continually confirmed this constitutional prohibition.
 
The 1st Amendment & Article VI of the Constitution lawfully separates government from religion & religion from government (aka: separation of church & state). Its genesis was Virginia’s 1785 Statute of Religious Freedom separating church & state in Virginia & mandating “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.” Jesus even separated religion & government (see Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17).
 
Your absurd attempt to threaten fellow-Americans you do not even know with your vengeful deity version is both hateful & hypocritical. It may not have occurred to you, but others have their own deity versions & some have no version. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wisely wrote “God enters by private door into every individual.”
 
Your message is misdirected & would be more morally directed at those who disrespect & disregard laws & regulations rather than those who respect & request compliance with them.
 
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)

Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (composed of over 80% Christians)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Feb 17, 2020, at 6:11 PM, Mike  wrote:

Dear (name withheld),
I’m afraid you misunderstand.
You are correct that the Founders didn’t want a particular religion to be forced on the people of the United States. But I’m afraid you’re a bit confused about the rest.
You see, the point of the First Amendment’s admonition has been examined and tested in the courts and what is known as the separation of church and state is the result. It has been determined that the best way to protect the freedom of religious or non-religious choice for Americans is to have the government stay out of the religion business. You see, in order to protect every person’s right to believe as she or he chooses, it has been determined that the government shall not promote or express a preference for any religion or faith or belief system. That is known in law as the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. For the government (and the military is part of the government) to express a preference for one would, in effect, be an endorsement of that particular faith and suggest that one religion is better than the others.
So you are free to believe as you choose and so is everyone else. We are not, as you suggest, “fighting against the Lord God,” we are protecting the right to each person to believe as she or he chooses.
That’s the way the Founders intended it and the way the laws have developed through the years.
I hope that helps you better understand.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

The military is not endorsing a religion.

Wearing those tags have been a personal and individual choice and request.They have the right to that.
Did you not know that those in America originally came here to escape persecution and yet you are denying them the right to have freedom to express their faith after all their service to America can include death and it’s intruding on their right to be prepared for death if necessary
God gave us this nation under God
And in Him we trust.
They are not compelled – they request them. No one should be compelled to give up their right of freedom of their faith.
Do you know your actions are like the Pharisees that persecuted Jesus when He healed on the sabbath.
Or gave him a hard time for preaching the gospel. They thought they should be in charge not Him. Yet He was the son that f God. He called them hypocrites because they faked their devotion to God. By your own response you have not read the scriptures.
You are not working with God but attempting to work against him.
There is only one true God. The one this nation was founded on.
All others are false gods and founded by Satan.
Why do you do you persecute me? Jesus asked Saul in the book of Acts.  You are doing the same.  If you choose to reject Jesus Christ why do you war with those who have not?
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On Feb 17, 2020, at 7:34 PM, John Compere  wrote:
Please be advised that military members may purchase & possess any religious verses they want, but a private commercial business cannot profit off of them by illegally misrepresenting & mismanufacturing their souvenir merchandise as official government issued military identification tags in violation of its licensing agreement with the Department of Defense & applicable regulatory laws. That is the reason why the military ceased the unlawful practice.
 
“The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who lost the power of reasoning.” – VOLTAIRE  Enlighten Philosopher

The people that work and live in and around the government should not be deprived of their faith as they work in the government or any other place. Our founders fasted and prayed and sought God together for guidance to run the nation. God is love. Why would that be something to run from and fight to stop? He created mankind.

People who hate him try to manipulate the original intent of the content. That no law should be made for that free exercise that faith. They do not force anyone to believe .
Which was the point.

It’s been twisted to try to stop those in government to stop their freedom to exercise that faith .

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Feb 17, 2020, at 11:46 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Madam,
No one is being deprived of their faith. People are free to fast and pray, but not to promote or proselytize for their belief when in a position of authority and implicitly speaking for the government. Why is that so hard for you to understand?
Not all of our Founders fasted and prayed. They were of different beliefs. As you’ve said, it is your belief that God created Mankind. Others have the right to believe as you do or think otherwise. People who believe differently from you and I deserve to have their beliefs protected; that’s what America stands for.
To suggest, as you seem to, that people who do not believe as you do “hate God.” That is an incredibly arrogant and incorrect judgment and one that doesn’t seem to me to reflect a belief in a loving God.
I’m sorry, but your understanding of the meaning of the U.S. Constitution does not comport with the law as read and understood today.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

You said:
“We are protecting the right to each person to believe as she or he chooses.”
That’s not true. You are trying to pull that right from those who want these dog tags. These soldiers should have the right to choose or not choose scripture on their dog tag. That is their individual right  as citizens. No one is forcing that belief on anyone. But they should have the right to choose.
People die and you pull that freedom that to many comfort and encourage them help them through hard things!
God is real.
The people that work and live in and around the government should not be deprived of their free expression of faith as they work in the government or any other place. They are not exempt from the constitution… for freedom rights. Our founders fasted and prayed and sought God together for guidance to run the nation. God is love. Why would that be something to run from and fight to stop? He created mankind.
People who Hate him try to manipulate the original intent of the content. That no law should be made for that free exercise that faith.  They do not force anyone to believe . Which was the point.
It’s been twisted to try to stop those in government to stop their freedom to exercise  that faith .
Did you not know that those in America originally came here to escape persecution and yet you are denying them the right to have freedom to express their faith after all their service to America can include death and it’s intruding on their right to be prepared for death if necessary . God gave us this nation under God
And in Him we trust.
They are not compelled – they request them. No one should be compelled to give up their right of freedom of their faith.
By the way
My dad was a world war 2 vet.
He made 3 landings on the islands & Imo Jima  and he carried a prayer book.I suppose you would of pulled that out of his hands if you were in his day. The military is not endorsing a religion. Wearing those tags have been a personal and individual choice and request. They have the right to that.
Do you know your actions are like the Pharisees that persecuted Jesus when He healed on the sabbath. Or gave him a hard time for preaching the gospel. They thought they should be in charge not Him. Yet He was the son of God. He called them hypocrites because they faked their devotion to God. By your own response you have not read the scriptures.
You are not working with God but attempting to work against him.
There is only one true God. The one this nation was founded on.All others are false gods and founded by Satan.
Why do you do you persecute me? Jesus asked Saul in the book of Acts.  You are doing the same.  If you choose to reject Jesus Christ why do you war with those who have not?
We will all give an answer to Him.
Please rethink your blocking these soldiers desire to have something that they honor live and respect
The gospel ( the good news of eternal life through Jesus who died to take their sins away) and their love for their nation and service.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Marty France

(name withheld), I occasionally answer emails like yours for Mikey, as a member of the MRFF’s advisory board.  I’m going to put my comments into your note below in purple.  I’ll also admit that these are directly taken from my responses I wrote yesterday to a letter very similar to yours.  I would like to thank you for the civil tone of your note–we get a lot of obscene rants and yours is a welcome respite.  So, see below…
From: (name withheld)
Subject: To Michael L. Weinstein please
Date: February 17, 2020 at 2:10:01 PM MST

 

Dear Mr Michael L.  Weinstein
The constitution says that Congress can make NO law
[restrictive?] of the FREE exercise of religion or faith. That includes the government AND military! You can’t bar them from This freedom!
(name withheld), what you’re missing here is that the Constitution also prohibits the ESTABLISHMENT of a state religion, no matter how large the majority it that supports that one state religion.  There’s also an important part of the Constitution (Article 6) that states that there can be no religious test applied to those holding or aspiring to public offices or positions.  So, that means that we can’t make one religious perspective a necessary or sufficient condition for honorable service in our military.  Again, case law (look up “Parker v Levy”) and military instructions (e.g., Air Force Instruction 1-1 among others) say that senior leaders in the military can speak of religion, but they can’t do so in a manner that would imply endorsement of one perspective over others or discriminate against those that do not believe as they do.  Here’s a VERY important excerpt from paragraph 2.12:  Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.”
 
Additionally, We not only can’t stop people from talking about religion, but realize that doing so would be a violation of the 1st Amendment that many of us have sworn a solemn oath to defend. However, I hope you’d agree that there are some times in the workplace that it’s NOT a good idea to speak about one’s religion.  In fact, recognizing just this, there exists case law, regulations, and instructions designed to help keep the military environment one of respect where good order and discipline are preserved in order to accomplish a (potentially) lethal mission–and that means restrictions on speech and religious proselytizing.  The military workplace is unique in that the command hierarchy and rank structure makes it very easy for senior ranking personnel to exert undue influence on their subordinates in areas (like religion) that are not mission or performance related.  Thus, these rules have long-standing basis and support. 
You have a mislead views of the constitution. [Please use spell/grammar check] The separation of church and state is not a law.The original intent was so that the government can’t force any particular denomination on the people!
In fact, it IS a law as part of Article 6 of the Constitution as described above, something that’s been reinforced by case law over more than two centuries.  It’s why an organized, school-sponsored and school-led prayer is not allowed in public schools, but also why ANY child is free to prayer on their own or with their like-thinking friends during recess or at any time that it doesn’t disrupt class. The way you write “the government can’t force any particular denomination on the people!” reads to me as if you think that Americans are free to pick ANY RELIGION so long as it’s a denomination of Christianity.  Other religions don’t use that terminology.  You don’t read about “denominations” of Hinduism.  Is Atheism a “denomination” or a completely separable system? 
That came from when England would force all to belong to a church of their choosing. The USA has no right to bar the FREE exercise if ones faith!
You are fighting against the Lord God
No, we’re not.  We’re supporting the Constitution of the US and the rights of every member to serve honorably in the US military regardless of their religious views.  Don’t you agree that that’s an admirable goal? 
And I would not do this if I were you because God is a God of righteousness and justice!
We support your right to believe this.  Many (i.e., MOST) of our clients believe like you that “God is a God of righteousness and justice!”  However, we must also support the rights of those that don’t necessarily share that view because Christianity is NOT a necessary or sufficient condition for US military service, and leaders who feel as you do should be allowed to proselytize their subordinates who don’t or act in a biased manner against them.  We also support Christians who feel as though their non-Christian (or different Christian) bosses discriminate against them.
Thanks again for writing. It seems that you don’t have a lot of experience dealing with the military.  In that case, I hope I’ve clarified and educated. (I served in uniform for over 40 years.) 
Sincerely,
Marty France, PhD
Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member 

 

 

 

 

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