Religion Serves Humanity

Mikey—give it a break dude. You’re arm-wrestling the Creator -never a good idea. Unless of course ur in denial about your Maker. Where religious expression is marginalized and threatened ,tyranny inevitably follows.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On May 25, 2020, at 5:34 PM, Mike  wrote:

Hey (name withheld),
Maybe you’d like to make your point a bit more clearly? Beyond an incorrect assumption on your part and some
cryptic pseudo-philosophical word-play, what we have here is a failure to communicate.
I’m happy to help you with whatever your problem is, but you’ll have to try English.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On May 25, 2020, at 5:52 PM, John Compere  wrote:

“Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.” – Roger Williams (American clergy, religious freedom advocate, founder of Rhode Island colony & the first Baptist Church in America).
 
“When any human group decides they can define God, the outcome is always predictable. The ‘true faith’…must then be forced upon all people…” – John Shelby Spong (Retired Episcopal Bishop, best selling author & international lecturer).
 
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
On May 26, 2020, at 7:08 AM, Martin France  wrote:

 

(name withheld), as a member of the MRFF Advisory Board, I occasionally answer emails for Mikey.  I thought I’d take a couple of moments to address your concerns.
1.  You believe in an omnipotent creator.  The Constitution guarantees your right to believe that, but it also protects all of those that do not believe exactly as you do.  Many do not believe in a Creator (remember, the total of “unaffiliateds,” atheists, and agnostics now make up the largest group of Americans, in terms of religions), but they can and do still serve honorably in the military and lead productive lives with integrity and charity.
2.  I disagree with your second point for a variety of reasons.  First, the converse:  in locations in which a theocracy is in place, oppression is absolutely guaranteed (Re:  Iran’s or Saudi Arabia’s theocracies, The Spanish Inquisition, as examples) because only one single, narrow religious view is tolerated.  Remember also, German soldiers wore a belt buckle that said “Gott Mit Uns.”  Next, in Europe today–where democracy and individual rights are prized–religious practice and affiliation is at an all-time low.  I saw no signs of tyranny arising in Norway during a recent visit–and I’ve seen the same in every other European nation I’ve visited.  (Note:  they both amused and shocked by the level of Christian fanaticism they see in the US)
3.  Like it or not, there are plenty of atheists around you, more committed to protecting your rights and those of others that believe differently from them, than you might like to acknowledge.  While you might deny my rights and think I’m wrong, I devoted more than four decades of my life to protect your right to believe in whatever sky fairy (or fairies) you choose.  I did so without really caring what you worshipped or practiced in your private life–because that’s none of my business.  Your freedom–and that of all Americans–was my business.  All I expect, is that you and your ilk treat me and mine in the same way, and allow us to serve and live freely as well, without condemnation or discrimination.
Sincerely,
M France
Brigadier General, USAF (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Dear General—You can believe or not believe what you want. That’s you business not mine . Nobody forces you to believe or participate  . But each time you shut down the minsters you infringe the rights of the MAJORITY in order to impose your non-belief on believers.
We’re not shutting the “minsters” out and we’re not advocating that our military not have access to them–we’re just saying that, in the military and other government service, there’s an appropriate time and place (including the correct place on the official internet presence of military organizations) for religious ministering and a place where it should not be.  Moreover, a particular religious view CANNOT be the official headline presence of a military or government organization, no matter how large the majority may be of practicants in that group. 
You can rationalize that away but that’s the truth of it. It’s called the tyranny of the minority. And you should know of course of the heroic actions of “padres” when these selfless heroes risked life and limb during combat to minister to our boys who desperately needed spiritual support .
I don’t deny that many (or most) “padres” have served honorably.  But, one doesn’t have to be a Christian or a chaplain, or need a chaplain or “ministering to” to serve honorably. To the extent that chaplains can be available and contribute, not detract, from a unit’s effectivenesss, they should be allowed.
To  argue as you do that a theocracy is at risk is an insult to  common sense . The Spanish Inquisition , a vastly exaggerated phenomenon by the way , took place essentially in one country 500 years ago . I believe it’s fair to say that “crisis” has passed. As for Iran and Saudi Arabia , I agree with you. Islam as practiced in those nations is a threat and were you to limit your mission to stamping out militancy in that regard I’d contribute . But to argue that Judaism and Christianity are threats is to engage in fantasy.
Ok, then religious wars in Northern Ireland.  Religious factionalism in the Rwandan and Balkan genocides.  Christians killing Native Americans.  Other religious wars in Europe.  “Christian” Nazis sending millions to their death.  Fundamentalist, Christian extremists in the US lynching African-Americans, persecuting Jews and Muslims, etc, etc.  Christianity–especially when it’s manifested in governmental power hardly has a slate of charity and compassion almost all of the way back to its founding. 
It has always struck me that atheists are not content to be left alone .Rather they pick fights in order to impose on the majority a spiritual vacuum .
No, frankly, we just want to be left alone and treated with equality.  We don’t want to work in an organization in which the boss holds a prayer meeting or there’s a presumption that since most of us are Christian, it’s safe to impose Christian traditions and practices on everyone else.  There aren’t many evangelical atheists out there because we know we’ll pay a severe price to coming “out.”  There are MILLIONS of evangelical Christians in the US that impose their values on me every day and then act as if it’s their RIGHT to harass me with conversion efforts and laws that run counter to my values. 
You’re fortunate that the military is exceedingly willing to capitulate . Your claim that atheists are committed to protecting my rights is demonstrably untrue and Europe’s loss of religious belief (well documented )  has gone hand-in-glove with that continent’s capitulation to militant Islam as you are probably aware.
I disagree completely and have traveled to enough countries (67 at last count) to know better.  You may be speaking from experience, but I suspect it’s more of the daily sewage you’re guzzling from Fox News. 
Please don’t cite Europe as an exemplar of anything positive when it comes to spirituality .Demography in Europe is destiny and their destiny is not at all promising .
Again, I’ve traveled throughout Europe and found it generally charming, free, and open. 
In my view “freedom” includes the right of my colleague to access spiritual guidance without interference and if someone like you doesn’t wish to participate then it’s quite easy to tune out an unwelcome message. You guys ,as the saying goes, go a “bridge too far”.
That’s fine and I agree, so long as it doesn’t spread into duty time in the military and all are welcome to serve honorably with equal opportunity in the military.  My 37 years of active duty experience tells me that is not the case, though, in all too many organizations, and that’s why the MRFF exists. 
One final comment, you need to find a leader with a “big  boy” name —Mikey for crying out loud ?
And your name rhymes with “Puss,” in all of it’s meanings, but calling that out would be inappropriate.  Criticizing someone because of the name they call themselves and like to be called is the most petty playground bullying imaginable.  However, given the weakness of your other arguments, I find it consistent with your overall abilities.
Good day, sir. 
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
(Reply is indicated in red in the above correspondence)
On May 26, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Martin France  wrote:
(name withheld), you name-calling and illogic really aren’t worth my time to respond, but I’ll give it one more shot since I’m home practicing safe life.  I’ll put my comments inside your note below in red.

Dear General—Is this your note ? It seems that it was written by someone else .I did not call you names and illogic is hardly an appropriate characterization of my response to your note. The angry views expressed in this don’t seem at all consistent with the tone of your earlier communication. Anyway , the views expressed in this 9:43 AM email aren’t exactly rational so let’s agree to disagree.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
The response is mine, (name withheld). You were making fun of Mikey’s name–that’s name calling. And please, point out my logical errors and fallacies. I’m always up for learning. Cheers, M

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3 Comments

  1. SARSU

    Mr. France,
    Agnostics, atheists, and etc do not make up the most of people in the United States. May I ask how do you know that those who killed Native Americans were bible believing so called Christians? Where is your proof. I will call you out as a LIAR sir!

  2. G

    Since we are a Christian nation, SARSU, then it is safe to say that those who killed the Native Americans were bible believing Christians.

  3. Grey One talks sass

    SARSU – the clue that you do not argue in good faith is your phrase “bible believing so called Christians”.

    It doesn’t matter what evidence anyone presents – you will wipe it away as ‘those’ people did not believe in the bible as you do. Your take on history is based on your understanding of your holy book, even though the basis of your beliefs – that the bible is an inerrant book of divinity – wasn’t a hint of an idea 200 years ago. Before this time the bible was divinely inspired, not divine in and of itself.

    No SARSU – the birth of your convictions started a mere hundred years ago, therefore, the citizens who wiped great swathes of death throughout the First Nations were indeed bible carrying humans convinced of their moral imperative to spread the word of their god. There are journals, artworks, history books, official records supporting what I say but again, you will ignore any facts I present because it would challenge how you view yourself and your faith.

    Regarding the number of ‘nones’ (meaning the human has no religious preference) – ignore their presence at your peril for their number is rising every year. I know you believe the number of evangelicals is rising but that is not what the data says. In fact – if you provide anecdotal data of how membership at a specific church has increased I will be able to show you the number of churches in the area which have closed. Your numbers aren’t going up – you are cannibalizing yourselves.

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