11/24/20 – I’m So Sorry To Know What They Say To You

Dear Mr. Weinstein;

Last year, I picked up a copy of your wife’s book, “When Christians Break Bad”.  I had randomly come upon it on Amazon and it sounded like a good read.  I have been backed up on my reading for some time.  I am retired now and very interested in Politics, Religion and Social Justice.  I lived in NYC for 52 years and did all my reading on the subway, while commuting back and forth to work.  In that manner, I used to consume two or three books every week. But since retiring in 2012, I have moved upstate, acquired my first driver’s license (!) and now live a relatively quiet life.  Unfortunately, since I no longer ride the subway, I don’t seem to have any time for reading anymore.  Consequently, I am very backed up on books I’d like to read.  Partly my fault – I’m a Movie buff and own over 2,000 films on DVD and Blu-Ray, so who has time for reading?

Recently, I started a part-time job as a Security Guard at an apartment complex.  So, for 24 hours a week, I am now sitting at a desk with nothing to do but watch tenants come and go, check in visitors and read.  It’s so nice to have time to read again.

In my first week on the new job, I managed to read four books that I’ve been wanting to get to for some time.  Your wife’s book was #5 on my list and I am now on page 190 of “When Christians Break Bad”.   I am shocked, I mean, really, at the horrible anti-Semitism, the absolutely criminal threats and bad wishes.  Not to mention the atrocious spelling and grammar exhibited by these self-described Christians.  Like all bigots, their low class and poorly developed social skills are evident in everything they write to you.  That’s bad enough, but what is most distressing is the horrible bigotry and anti-Semitism.  I honestly had no idea that people were still capable of talking that way.  I am horrified and outraged that human beings, especially those who think of themselves as believers, could communicate in such crass, bigoted and shocking language.

And the stupidity!  I confess that I was hitherto unaware of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its wonderful work in maintaining the Constitutional Separation of Church and State.  But as soon as I read the description of what you do in your wife’s introduction, I got it right away.  I do not understand how “those people” could get the idea that you are working to destroy Religious Freedom, when in fact it’s clear to me that your work is vital, thankless and very necessary.  And above all, supportive of Religious Freedom, especially in relation to our Military Laws and Constitution.

I am personally an Atheist, having rejected the bigotry of my father’s family and religion from a very young age.  My father was in the Navy in WWII, but he comes from a Southern (Alabama) Baptist background and I am ashamed to say that there were Klansmen, Slaveowners and bigots of all descriptions within his family and heritage.  My mother on the other hand was a Northern Catholic Irish NYC liberal.  I’m still puzzled as to how they ever got married, but I have seen the bigotry up close and personal for my whole life.  I am now 66; both my parents have been dead for 50 years, but I decided I didn’t believe in a supernatural higher power when I was thirteen.  Nevertheless, I thoroughly support everyone’s right to believe what they want, and I always have.  Some of this comes from the fact that I am a Gay man who’s known discrimination myself at various points in my life.  My parents died (six months apart) when I was 16.  I dropped out of high school and have been on my own ever since.  I never finished my education, but I the last 50 years I’ve read more than enough books to equal a College Degree.

Anyway, I was so moved by your dedication and determination to make this a better world – and make ours a better Military – that I felt compelled to write and tell you THANK YOU for all you do. From what I’ve read, you thankfully do get some support, but I felt the need to add my voice to those who have expressed an appreciation for your work.

There are those of us who get it.  I get it.  And I hope you are able to continue your work for a long time to come.  I hope also that, when you’re gone, somebody will be there to take up the slack and continue your wonderful calling.  Please keep communicating.

Thanks for reading this.  And again, thanks.  Just thanks.  Sincerely.

 


Click Here to Order Now on Amazon

WHEN CHRISTIANS BREAK BAD:
Letters from the Insane,
Inane, and Profane

By Bonnie Weinstein
Published by Rare Bird Books

Revealing the most Vulgar and Vile of MRFF’s incoming mail…

JAW-DROPPING BOOK OF
HATE MAIL, THREATS, AND CRITICISMS
OF MRFF’s EFFORTS

From the seven-time Nobel Peace Prize nominated Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s official archives comes this second jaw-dropping collection of hate mail, threats, and criticisms of the MRFF’s efforts to ensure that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Bonnie Weinstein is the cofounder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled. She lives in New Mexico.


Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Nov 24, 2020, at 8:03 AM, John Compere wrote:

Mr. (name withheld),

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to write such a thoughtful letter of appreciation and encouragement to our Founder and President, Mikey Weinstein.

Our Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a non-profit constitutional rights organization that earnestly endeavors to protect the right of American military men and women to freedom of belief, religious or non-religious, provided them by the US Constitution, American law and military regulations from those who do not respect their right. It is our sole purpose and we proudly and patriotically pursue it.

We greatly appreciate your expression of support and extend our best wishes to you.

Most Sincerely,

Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

 


Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Nov 24, 2020, at 11:56 PM, Mike  wrote:

 

Hi (name withheld),
 
Mikey shared your letter with me and it was a pleasure to read. As a member of the MRFF’s Advisory Board I often respond to the ugly emails that you so thoughtfully characterize. It is shocking, I agree, that there continue to be people who are capable of saying the things that come our way. It’s distressing and it can be dispiriting both to be on the receiving end of this kind of savagery and to know there are still so many people in our country who are so frightened, angry and confused. The ignorance is appalling. Worse, so many claim to be religious, most of them supposedly devoted Christians.
 
That being the case, a thoughtful, compassionate message of appreciation like yours is a wonderful source of comfort. It reminds us that kindness and decency will ultimately prevail and helps us find the energy to carry on.
 
Our thanks and our best wishes to you.
 
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

Thank you.  I was gratified to receive your kind acknowledgement, and that of Brigadier General John Compere and Mr. Weinstein.  I am especially grateful that you all took the time to reply.     
When I was young, I was foolish and optimistic enough to think that I might see the end of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in my lifetime.  In the early 1970’s. I thought, “Look how far we’ve come in just a few short decades.  Surely we are on the verge of an age of enlightenment”.  But as I approach old age, it seems rather that we’ve taken one or two steps forward and many, many steps back.  As I mentioned in my previous email, I was horribly shocked that so-called people of faith could communicate in such foul, ignorant and violent language as in the emails you’ve received. 
However, I am still convinced that there are many good and humble people in the world and it is your work, and that of Brigadier General Compere and “Mikey” Weinstein, and the rest of your staff, that are indicative of the true nature of people of faith – as well as many non-believers – everywhere.  Maybe I am naïve, but I still believe that good people outnumber the bad in this world.
I am very involved in 12 Step programs, having recovered from a horrible drug and alcohol addiction that plagued me in my youth.  I have now been “clean and sober” for over thirty years.  In my day to day life, I work with many young Alcoholics and Drug Addicts and, knowing that I am an Atheist, a question I get frequently from people that I help is, “Why do you do this, if you expect no reward in the afterlife?”   
My usual response is that, in a mere hundred years or less, no one will know I ever existed.  But twenty or thirty years from now, the young people I am now helping will be older and helping other young people themselves.  And when they do, they will say, “I’m doing this because a man named James, long dead, did this same thing for me.   And he did it just because it’s the right thing to do”.   
When Mexican people celebrate the “Day of the Dead”, they pass along the idea to their young people that you are not really dead as long as there is someone who remembers you.  But I believe what is more important is that someone remembers the person you were.  I believe that good people are remembered longer and with better clarity than the ignorant, the hateful and the bad.  And what matters most is that goodness, when it exists, is there to inspire others down the line.  
I am sure that you Gentlemen will be remembered well for a long time and thought of as very good people indeed, whether there is an afterlife or not.  And that’s all we can ask for, really.             
Thanks again for your time.  I have enjoyed this opportunity to correspond with you great people immensely. 
PS – I have now ordered, “To the Far Right Christian Hater…You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both”.  It’s not so much that I look forward to reading about your further adventures, as so much of what Mrs. Weinstein relates is unpleasant, as I want to be supportive in any way I can.  Please let me know if MRFF accepts donations.  I am not wealthy, but I’d be thankful to be a part of what you do by making a small contribution. 
(name withheld)

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5 Comments

  1. Stryper777

    Only fools believe there is no God.

  2. Mark Sebree

    stryper,

    What OBJECTIVE evidence do you have that any deity exists? Logical fallacies are not evidence of anything. Your beliefs are not applicable to anyone else. By the way, quoting your mythology to claim it is “true” is an example of circular reasoning, which is a logical fallacy, as well as being subjective in nature.

    There is no reason to believe that your deity, nor any other deity, exists. Despite your bigotry and closed-mindedness, atheists and agnostics do not tend to be fools.

    Just because you want others to be subjected to your beliefs in contravention of their beliefs and rights does not make them subject to your beliefs.

  3. Paula

    Stryper777–I am not now, nor have I ever been a christian. Even as a child I knew it wasn’t the be all and end all of belief systems. It seems that you think you know what other people believe is ignorant, evil perhaps, naive, and worthless. I would ask you, Stry (I can call you “Stry,” can’t I?), to describe my belief system to me. Describe it in terms of what it IS, not what it IS NOT. This is not your chance to beat my beliefs into oblivion; this is your opportunity to tell me the details of my beliefs and how they are harmful to you. It’s good advice in nearly every arena to know your enemy. You consider me your enemy–tell me what you know.

  4. G

    Stryper 77, yeah and many soldiers who fought in battle came out believing that there is no God and asks themselves how they let themselves into being fooled that there is a god. was one

  5. Ironmoped

    Stepper,
    It’s a fool that doesn’t believe their are fairies that come out at night at the bottom of the garden!
    There’s more empirical evidence for the tooth fairy than your God!

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