Separation of church and state

You need to learn the meaning of separation of church and state. It means the government cannot establish an official religion. That is, it opposes official state religions such as Norway’s official religion is Lutheranism. If you examine the countries of the Middle East and some places in the Pacific or SE Asia, you’ll find many governments that have Islam as the official religion.

Moreover, the first amendment allows freedom of religion and speech, which means freedom to talk about any and all religions.
You don’t like it, try living where you are beheaded or stoned to death for preaching about something other than the government defined religion.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Apr 26, 2020, at 1:41 AM, Mike  wrote:
Hi (name withheld),
We know the meaning of the separation of church and state, thanks. You almost have it right. It means we must be careful to separate the church and the state so no one can infiltrate government and impose an official religion. Some want to do that, even here in America. Maintaining vigilance is a requirement because there are many who believe theirs is the one and only true faith and all others must be delegitimized or extinguished.
The First Amendment provides protections for us to speak freely and believe as we choose. Both of these freedoms require vigilance, as mentioned above. Part of that is understanding the law and part of it is being aware of how many people want to undermine those freedoms.
For example, being in the military is different from being a civilian when it comes to First Amendment rights. It was made clear in a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Parker v. Levy, that the hierarchichal nature of the military means that certain limits on the right of one’s speech for those in the military do not violate an individual’s constitutional rights.
Your suggestion that we don’t like these rights makes no sense as our organization is dedicated to their protection. Your animus toward us comes, I’d suggest, from a misunderstanding of what we have done. That misunderstanding was created by a dishonest attack on the MRFF and a misrepresentation of something that recently happened.
First, Bill Donohue, writing for his own Catholic organization, said Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the MRFF, is an “anti-Christian activist.” That is a lie. Second, he intentionally left out pertinent facts about the circumstances of the matter in which he accused us of taking away the free speech of two military chaplains.
If you care about the truth, let me explain.
Contrary to Donohue’s assertions, 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. The commander’s 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.
Donohue would have you believe the U.S. Military caved to our apparently incredible power and took down the chaplain’s videos. What actually happened is that we received complaints about inappropriate proselytizing on the commander’s page, looked at the situation, agreed, and wrote a letter to the base authorities who investigated, agreed with us and took the videos down.
I hope this helps you better understand the situation about which you contacted us.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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