Misunderstanding of the U.S. First Amendment

Dear Mr. Weinstein:

 
It has come to my attention that you fomented an anti-Christian response by our military officers against their brothers-in-arms, our military chaplains, who were simply expressing their God-given and U.S. Constitution First Amendment-given rights. News of your apparent appalling self-righteousness in this matter traveled fast through various outlets. In a nutshell, your transgression was summarized by my quote below from a Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights newsletter.
 

Weinstein complained to officers of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and they yielded. Yet they had no need to—they were deceived by the false arguments made by Weinstein. 
 
There is nothing “illicit” about the mere invocation of God by military chaplains. Had an atheist religion-hating member of the armed forces posted a video on Facebook celebrating Lucifer, Weinstein would have defended it as freedom of speech. 
 
Military chaplains do not lose their twin First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech by posting religious commentary on a private media outlet. Moreover, the separation of church and state provision of the First Amendment only applies to what government cannot do. 
 
Every president, acting as commander in chief, has invoked God, beginning with George Washington. To say that military chaplains have no right to identify themselves as officers when they engage in religious commentary is to say they have no public right to exercise their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Only fascists think this way.
 
It would be kind and just of you to retract your statements to the officers of the U.S. Army’s 10th. Mountain Division.  Please consider doing so.
 
Sincerely,
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Apr 25, 2020, at 1:05 PM, Mike  wrote:


The transgression is your own. You and many others have been gulled by Mr. Donohue’s assertion that
Mr. Weinstein is an “anti-Christian activist.” He is not. Our position is clear and consistent. Mr. Donohue is only
consistent in his misrepresentation.
 
Let me explain:
 
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 you better understand.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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1 Comment

  1. Grey One talks sass

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair

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