The Air Force video on facebook

To the MRFF
    Even though I am a retired Army Sergeant I have nothing but the highest respect for the men and women of the US Air Force and I want you to know this old Soldiers blood is boiling over your childish “demand” that video on spiritual resialiancy be removed from facebook. I watched it and it was a beautiful video showing these fine young men and women (any one of them is worth more then all of you because they really SERVE) I had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat watching it. How dare you call is odious, wretched, disgraceful and shocking! To me those words describe you and what you do. I read that letter you wrote and it made me angry that you demand and threaten. That is how a terrorist talks do you know that. Every serviceperson should view that video because they talked of faith in God and how our ultimate Judge is God and how we are saved through Jesus. Yes I was a Soldier who is also proud to say he is God’s servant and Mister Weinstein I don’t need you or General Compere or some washed up two bit actor from an overrated dumb tv show to lecture me on the word of the law over God’s word. You have gone too far. We have a terrible disease that could kill countless people and your worried about something like this! We need God now more then ever
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Mar 22, 2020, at 9:34 PM, Mike wrote:

 

(name withheld),
 
Can’t say it’s nice to hear from you again; it isn’t. What you’ve made even more clear, though, with this latest missive, is that you just don’t get it.
 
It’s nice that you have the “highest respect for the men and women of the US Air Force.” So do we. Where we apparently differ is that we also respect the US Constitution and the Founders’ intention that one’s belief system is a private matter and the government does not take a position in favor of one belief system over others.
 
Is that really so hard for you to understand? It’s really pretty simple. In America, people can believe as they choose and the government cannot endorse, promote or show favoritism toward any one faith, religion or belief system.
 
What is it that bothers you so much about that?
 
What we find is that there are those, let’s call them ‘Christian supremacists,’ who are so zealous in their belief that theirs is the one and only true faith that they’re sure anyone who doesn’t believe exactly as they do is damned to hell. So, along with condemning everyone who doesn’t buy into their belief system, they want to convince everyone that America is a Christian nation and our government should be promoting their version of Jesus and the US Army, of which you were part, should be seen as Jesus’ Army.
 
That is contrary to history, rather narrow-minded, and, in my personal view, nuts.
 
So, the “beautiful video” that you watched with a tear in your eye and a lump in your throat would be fine if it were produced privately and done in a church – and then shown to members of that church or those who wanted to see it, but to have it intentionally done by people in uniform, tied as it is to military leadership, produced by Air Force Reserve Public Affairs and posted on the Air Force Reserve FaceBook page is a direct violation of Air Force regulations.
 
Wouldn’t you agree it strains the imagination to believe the people responsible for this little adventure weren’t aware that they were sneaking some overt Christian proselytizing into the world of the Air Force Reserve?
 
Now, I’m not suggesting those responsible aren’t expressing their true beliefs. That’s not the point. They are welcome to their beliefs, but they may not use the U.S. Government to promote them.
 
As to the rest of your rant, it is clear you feel entitled to say some pretty rude things while attempting to justify them by the conceit that you’re somehow defending God or a belief in God. You clearly have arrogated to yourself the right to determine who we are and what we believe. You do so in the depths of ignorance.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
…hi there (name withheld)…thx for reaching out……we totally reject your views here…..perhaps you did not see this part of our MRFF demand letter?

“Look, Secretary Barrett, there IS most assuredly a time, place, and manner for personal religious expression by USAF active duty, reserve, and national guard airmen. However, the shocking placement of this noxious Christian triumphalism proselytizing video on the official Facebook page of the Air Force Reserve is ABSOLUTELY the literal poster child of the WRONG time, place, and manner of such religious expression!
…and the USAF clearly AGREES with us because they JUST took that TOTALLY unconstitutional video down off of their AF Reserve Facebook page and their You Tube channel yesterday to comply with our demands!!!!….please try to understand that America is NOT a “Christian Nation” but, quite on the contrary, the USA is a secular democratic republic where NO one faith or non-faith tradition is allowed governmental supremacy over any other faith or non-faith tradition and all are accorded equal status and respect….this Constitutional mandate is especially true in our U.S. armed forces….It’s nice that YOU feel that “we need God now more then (sic) ever.”…..but whose “God”, David, as there are thousands of them??!!…..there is NO  one and only “American God”, brother…FYI: we at MRFF currently represent well more than 67,000 military personnel and veterans and about 95% of them identify as Christians….we have a paid and volunteer MRFF staff of well over 450 individuals…..and well in excess of 80% of them identify as Christians ……and, lastly  David, comparing us at MRFF to “terrorists” is both inaccurate, shameful, rude and terribly defamatory…….I will ask you to now please kindly apologize for that terrible thing you said, sir……Mikey Weinstein…..Founder and Pres., MRFF

Response by MRFF Board Member John Compere
Sergeant (name withheld),
 
First & foremost, thank you for your military service.
 
For your information, the US Constitution separates religion from government (Article VI) & government from religion (1st Amendment) prohibiting our secular government, which includes the secular military, from promoting or endorsing a religion. US Armed Forces regulations prohibit the military from proselytizing a religion (except in military chapels). Our government & its military are required by law to remain neutral regarding religion (neither anti-religion nor pro-religion, but religion-neutral). American Founder & 2nd President John Adams reminded us we are “…a nation of laws and not of man.” (“Thoughts on Government”, 1776). Even Jesus separated religion and government (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17).
 
The World Christian Encyclopedia, a Christian publication, reports over 10,000 very distinct religions worldwide and at least 2,000 vastly different American Christianities. The US Department of Defense recognizes military religious belief diversity with its official list currently including 221 different belief groups. The US Department of Veteran Affairs official list for military grave emblems currently includes 70 different religious belief groups. There is belief diversity & no belief uniformity.
 
American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely wrote “God enters by private door into every individual.” Your private door of belief is different from others. If you demand your belief be respected, then you must respect the beliefs of others. This is commonly known as the universal Reciprocity Ethic and sacred Golden Rule.
 
“Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them.” – American Humorist Mark Twain
 
“When any human group decides they can define God, the outcome is always predictable. The ‘true faith’…must then be forced upon all people…” – Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong
 
Most Sincerely,
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)


 

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1 Comment

  1. Grey One talks sass

    For all those who follow who will insist there is only one TWUE faith, here is my favorite joke (this version is from Emo Phillips):

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What denomination?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”
    Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

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