Christian Speech Removed From Facebook

You may be fooling some people, but you are not fooling God. May God have mercy on your soul. 
(name withheld)
“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Apr 25, 2020, at 12:31 AM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi  (name withheld)
 
I’m not sure what you’re suggesting about fooling people. Perhaps you can clarify?
 
About the Facebook issue, it might help if you understood it better. We’ve received a lot of email messages from people who have gotten some bad information. I’m going to assume that’s also the case with you.
 
To be clear, we agree that military personnel have every right to pray. We have no objection to prayer. We object to inappropriate proselytizing. You see, chaplains have a face book page whereon they can do all the praying and lecturing and teaching and enlightening they’d like. But that’s a separate page from that of the unit leader or commanding officer. That page may not be used to promote one particular belief system over others because doing so amounts to government endorsement of a particular faith and violates the separation of church and state.
 
I hope that helps.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Thank you for responding, and for doing so respectfully – to your credit. However, I am not deceived with your talk of “inappropriate proselytizing” and the like. I pray for you and other misguided souls.

Sincerely,

(name withheld)


 

I figured our conversation would be brief, and over by now. Not the case, as I thought of you this morning when reading the Scriptures, and felt compelled to write to you. I find the Scriptures most powerful for me when I can insert myself into the narrative. Maybe this reading has some connection for you.

 

God bless,

(name withheld)

Reading 1ACTS 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?”
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.”
But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On May 1, 2020, at 11:00 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Nice to be thought of.
You were in no danger of being “deceived” and I resent the implication. Proselytizing is trying to convert another to one’s belief system. It is inappropriate to do so in the U.S. Military under the cover of authority. The separation of church and state disallows religious proselytizing by the U.S. Government and its constituent parts. Chaplains can do all the proselytizing they want to in the time, place and manner in which it is allowed by military regulations. To do so in a time, at a place or in a manner not allowed by military regulations is inappropriate proselytizing.
Mike Farrel
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Good Morning Mike,

 

Thanks for getting back to me. I did not intend to insult you, but to give you something to consider. Actually, my original note was directed to Mikey Weinstein, about whom the article I was responding to was written. I’m not sure how our conversation grew from that. I do not know you. You may be sincere in your efforts. That is why I felt the scripture reading about Saul was so appropriate. Saul was a leader in his community. He was sincere and approached what he thought was his mission with a passion few could duplicate. God spoke to Saul in the time, place and manner He chose, and helped him to see the error of his ways. I pray that we all listen more intently so we can hear what God is telling us.

 

God bless,

(name withheld)


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

 

On May 3, 2020, at 6:54 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),
To clarify, your original message was indeed to Mikey Weinstein. As you might imagine, he gets a lot of messages of all sorts, so when the barrage of angry emails came his way from misinformed Christians with regard to the chaplain/Facebook issue I, along with others associated with the MRFF, chose to help with the responses. You see, we try to respond to all messages that come our way.
Yours was certainly not  positive, but I chose to assume it was possible you didn’t fully understand the situation due to the biased way in which it was represented, so offered to help you better understand.
You say you did not intend to insult me with your response to that offer, yet you did. Perhaps you might allow that to give you some insight into the position from which you choose to operate. I do not take kindly to the suggestion that I attempted to “deceive” you with what you referred to as my “talk of ‘inappropriate proselytizing’ and the like.” Following that by including me in a group of “misguided souls” for whom you choose to pray simply reeked of self-righteousness.
The implied superiority and evident self-satisfaction in your manner, may I suggest, might give you something to consider. Your most recent response even offers that I “may be sincere” in my efforts.
Should you bother to “listen intently,” as you suggest above, you might just find that God is telling you that smugness is unbecoming in a Christian.
What’s quite clear to me is that you and many of the others who contacted us about this issue had themselves been “deceived” by one in whom you have chosen to place trust. That’s a shame. I’m sorry our offer to clear up the misunderstanding fell on deaf ears.
Best,
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Good Morning Mike,
Thank you again for taking the time to reply. You raise many good points in regarding to how I could have better communicated my concerns to you. In humility and sincerity (and listening intently!), I will work to improve on that while continuing to express concern over the direction our country is being lead by organizations like MRFF. Unfortunately, it appears the tone of my initial email has created conditions that influence how you receive my subsequent messages. I hope this will help change that. I will work to eliminate the tone of smugness and self-righteousness, as you are most definitely correct about them being unbecoming of a Christian.
I continue to pray for you and your organization. This is said in sincerity – as a Christian, if I do not pray for you, I would be guilty of the things you point out below.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 4, 2020, at 1:59 PM, Mike  wrote:
Thank you, (name withheld). I appreciate your thoughtful response.
We, too, will continue our efforts, which are to protect the freedom of religious or non-religious choice for the women and men in our military. As regards your concern over the direction in which our country is being led, it’s really not a secret. All one has to do is read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Best,
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)
On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 6:38 AM Michael L Weinstein  wrote:

 

 

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