MRFF reaction to Monument, CO veteran memorial


I recently learned that you called the veteran memorial in Monument, Colorado, a “wretched, unconstitutional dumpster fire.”
Regardless of the legality of the memorial, it was ultimately erected as a kind gesture. Calling a kind gesture to honor veterans “wretched” and a “dumpster fire” comes off as disrespectful to veterans and those wishing to give respect to veterans.
Your words also paint a poor image of your organization, atheists overall, and separation of church and state efforts.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John  Compere
(name withheld),
Thank you for the civility of your communication.
Please be advised this conflict was caused by adults who lacked the integrity or intelligence, or both, to advise a well-intended young Eagle Scout his project could not be placed on government owned & maintained property as government endorsed because that is unlawful & violates the United States Constitution, American law & Department of Defense regulatory directives.
It is “wretched” when an innocent minor is used as a pawn by adults, intentionally or ignorantly, to circumvent our laws & attempt to proselytize their version of religion on government owned & maintained property as government endorsed which has been unconstitutional since 1st Amendment ratification in 1791. Loyal Americans of all beliefs, religious & non-religious, respect our Constitution, obey our laws & teach our children to do the same.
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, (84% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
Hi Ms. (name withheld),
You are quite correct that church/state separation discussions are often associated with atheists, but the implication of your initial message did certainly allow for the interpretation that you thought ours an atheist organization. It is not, though that is one of the “charges” often leveled against us. And, believing as we do in the right of freedom to believe as one chooses, it’s quite possible there are some atheists somewhere in our ranks. If so, that’s fine with us.
Our mission is to protect the right of the women and men in the military to have, practice and enjoy the belief system of their choice. It arose from the fire of experienced active anti-Semitism at a U.S. Military Academy and has now exposed a growing nation-wide effort by Dominionists, Christian Nationalists, other Christian zealots, anti-Semites, anti-Islamists, some simple haters and many simply casual-but-defensive Christians to see and attack anything that impedes their agenda.
As a result, the going gets pretty rough, with attacks in the media and in court on the one hand and vicious harassment, death threats and ugly brazen attempts at physical harm on the other. In the heat of battle temperatures rise, as you might imagine, and sometimes things are said that will curl one’s hair. Responses fly. Some of them, given the overabundance of what is now known as social media, are copied, repeated and often broadcast.
Let me assure you that our initial reaction to the complaints the MRFF received from local residents about the monument was simple, clear and in no way inflammatory. We all understand that the young man in question was trying to do a nice thing, so suggestions were made as to how to rectify the problems. But when the media and those with an axe to grind get involved, things can quickly escalate, as they have here.
Nothing said was intended to put atheists in a poor light. I’m sorry if you think that may have been the result of one exchange.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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