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 Board Member John Compere

On Apr 24, 2020, at 4:51 PM, John Compere  wrote:

For your information, the US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations prohibit our secular military, as part of our secular government, from promoting or endorsing a religion except in military chapels or military chapel channels. Military chaplains may not proselytize their religion version as official military religion on official military channels. That is why the unlawful practice was stopped by the military itself after complaints by military members, including Christians.
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (80% Christians)

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