MRFF Board Member John Compere, Advisory Board Member James Currie, and supporters Rabbi Joel R. Schwartman and Mike Challman respond to anti-Semitic hate mail: “you did not win MRFF”

Published On: September 1, 2021|Categories: MRFF's Inbox, Top News|0 Comments|
Cartoon of man smashing swastika with baseball bat

From: (name and email address withheld)
Subject: you did not win MRFF
Date: September 1, 2021 at 8:31:09 AM MDT
To: Information Weinstein <[email protected]>

To the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

You all think that you “won” by forcing our brave Army to take away the Cross of our Savior Jesus Christ from that Army Building?

Think again.

You only “won” for your Father Satan the Lord of murderers and liars. John 8:44

Mikey Weinstein is a jew of course right? Probably most of you there are or at least jew sympathizers.

That figures.  John 8:44

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Response from MRFF Supporter Rabbi Joel R. Schwartman

Hi (name withheld) (or whoever wrote your screed):

Thanks for your input.  I’m sure your blood was boiling as you wrote those hateful, bigoted words to Mikey and all of us associated with the MRFF.

Since you like to quote Scripture, you’ll enjoy the quote below.  You might wish to pin it to your computer, for surely God’s words will come to fruition, especially for folks like yourselves.  So, referring to Abraham and his seed from which the Jewish people sprang, the Bible states:

New International Version of Genesis 12:3
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Have whatever day your hatefulness permits you.

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
Chaplain, Col, (Ret), USAF

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere

On Sep 1, 2021, at 10:30 AM, John Compere wrote:

Ms. (name withheld)

Religious displays are permitted in military chapels. Religious displays are not permitted in military command buildings because the US Constitution, American law & US Armed Forces regulations prohibit it. Our military members have right to determine, enjoy & practice their own religious or non-religious beliefs without having religious beliefs of others unlawfully imposed upon them in the military work environment. The 17 military men & women (11 of whom are Christians) who complained about the illegal display & asked that it be removed are the winners. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a non-profit civil rights advocacy organization & 7 time Nobel Peace Prize nominee (composed of 85% Christians), was requested by them to protect their right to the religious freedom under the Constitution. We did so proudly & patriotically & will continue to do so for our military when requested.

It is apparent from your sanctimonious anti-Semitic sermonizing that you neither understand the unlawfulness of the religious display nor have any respect for the right of our military members to religious freedom under the Constitution. Moreover, your malevolent message only reflects upon yourself & reveals repugnant religious racism.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile for we all are one (Galatians 3:28; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 10:12). God gives glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good – for God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:10&11)

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

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member James Currie

On Sep 1, 2021, at 11:32 AM, James Currie wrote:

The recent anti-Semitic ranting you sent to Mikey Weinstein at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation only demonstrates your ignorance of the principles on which our great country was founded. You would apparently like for our government to be a “theocracy,” which means that religious leaders control the government. That’s what is happening in Afghanistan right now with its takeover by the Taliban. Is that what you would like to see our country become? Another Afghanistan? I really doubt it.
What you don’t seem to understand is that under our Constitution, the United States was not established as a Christian country. Or a Jewish country. Or a Muslim country. Or a Hindu country. It was established as a country where everyone in it is free to worship–or not worship–as they please, without government interference. If you don’t believe me, please go back and read the Constitution. The men who wrote it, notably James Madison, were determined that religious freedom would be a hallmark of our country. It was Madison, with assistance from fellow Virginian George Mason, who proposed and pushed through the First Congress the Constitutional amendments we now refer to as the “Bill of Rights.” The first of these amendments provides us with certain guaranteed freedoms and imposes restrictions on our government, and by extension, on every sub-unit of our government, including our military services. Free speech is protected against government interference. A free press is guaranteed. And freedom of religion was made part of the Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law,” says the First Amendment, “respecting an establishment of religion.” As our great President Thomas Jefferson later interpreted this amendment, it means that there is a “wall of separation between church and state.’ The U.S. Supreme Court–which is the arbiter of what the Constitution means–has interpreted this “wall of separation” to mean that our government, including our military services, cannot favor one religion over another and cannot require obeisance to any religion. What you so strenuously object to on the part of the actions of MRFF has been the law of our land since 1791. It is part of what has given us the great country we enjoy, and it is what has protected us from the deadly sectarian strife that has plagued so many parts of the world.

I ask you to consider the following: what if some other religion were to become a majority in our country, or in some small part of our country, and decided to impose its beliefs on our population. Would you then be so pleased to allow our government to prescribe the way you worship? Would you then want to have government erecting religious symbols in public spaces, even if they ran counter to your own beliefs? I doubt that many of us would like a country where that was the norm. But, that’s the way it is in many parts of the world that do not have a First Amendment to protect their citizens.

Instead of attacking Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF, you should be applauding his actions. Mikey, in case you don’t know, is a veteran himself and an attorney. He devotes his life to protecting the religious liberty we hold so dear. You should thank him for his actions, not attack him. Please think on this. And please read the Constitution.

Col. James Tyson Currie, US Army (Ret.), Ph.D.Professor of National Security Studies (Ret.), National Defense University,Board of Advisors, MRFF

Response from MRFF Supporter Mike Challman

On Sep 1, 2021, at 12:25 PM, Mike Challman wrote:

Good Afternoon, (name withheld) – 

Mikey Weinstein shared your email with me and asked if I would like to respond.  I welcome the opportunity to do so, as it seems to me that you misunderstand the role and mission of the MRFF.  It is my hope that you will give some prayerful consideration to my brief comments.  To begin, I am a lifelong, active and devout Christian who has been involved with the MRFF for several years.  I became involved when I sent my own email to the MRFF describing what I learned to be my misunderstanding of the organization’s mission.  I quickly learned that the MRFF is neither anti-Christian nor anti-religion.  Here is our complete Mission Statement – 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is dedicated to ensuring 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.  MRFF recognizes that military life requires individual adherence to shared patriotic principles. MRFF also recognizes the need for military personnel to at times temporarily relinquish some Constitutionally granted personal freedoms for the sake of military discipline and objectives.  However, MRFF believes that religious faith is a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom that must never be compromised, except in the most limited of military circumstances, because of its fundamental importance to the preservation of the American nation and the American way of life.  Additionally, MRFF adheres strongly to the principle that religious faith is a deeply personal matter, and that no American has the right to question another American’s beliefs as long as they do not unwontedly intrude on the public space or the privacy or safety of another individual.

Therefore, MRFF holds that:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to curtail – except in the most limited of military circumstances and when it directly impacts military discipline, morale and the successful completion of a specific military goal – the free exercise of their religious practices or beliefs.
  • Students at United States military academies are entitled to the same Constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedoms and the free exercise of those freedoms to which all other members of the United States Armed Forces military are entitled.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.

The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.  It is the responsibility of the military hierarchy to ensure that the free exercise of religious freedoms of all enlisted personnel are respected and served.  All military personnel have the right to employ appropriate judicial means to protect their religious rights.

Based on that mission focus, it should be clear that Mikey’s Jewish heritage is incidental to our purpose.  Nor is it fair to characterize MRFF supporters as “jew sympathizers”, which is both incorrect and a seemingly bigoted thing to say.  If you feel the need to label us anything, I’d be happy with ‘US Constitution sympathizers’.. or perhaps simply ‘US Constitution supporters’.  Our mission is not a religious one, it is built entirely around supporting the constitutional rights of all US military members, both Christion and non-Christian, religious and non-religious, believer and non-believer.

As I hope you can appreciate, the US military has a constitutional obligation to remain entirely neutral regarding matters of faith and religion.  Nonetheless, there is still plenty of accommodation for religious members to freely practice their faith, as evidenced by the presence of chaplains and chapels on nearly every US military installation around the globe.  So those military members who wish to practice their faith have ample opportunity to do so, and the MRFF fully supports their ability to worship without interference.  Where statements of religious preference do NOT belong is at the entrance to a building where official military business is conducted, which was the case in the matter which prompted your email.  It is not the underlying belief that the MRFF challenged, it is the inappropriateness of the time and place where it was presented.  The fact that the item in question, a cross, is a key symbol of the faith that both you and I profess is beside the point. 

There is more that I could share, but I’ll pause at this point and invite you, if you are interested, to respond to me and we can continue this conversation.  If not, then let me extend to you my prayers that you, your family, and your friends remain healthy and safe in these challenging times.


Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF Supporter

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On Sep 2, 2021, at 4:40 PM, Mike wrote:

Ms. (name withheld),

You don’t understand.
You don’t understand the U.S. Constitution.
You don’t understand the Separation of Church and State.
You don’t understand what being an American citizen means.
You clearly don’t understand the teachings of Jesus, since he was not only a Jew but a “jew sympathizer”.
And you don’t even understand that you “speaketh a lie.”

You probably don’t understand the damage you do by spouting bigotry. But you are clearly a bigot. And, based on your lack of understanding of the above facts, you qualify as an ignorant bigot.
But never fear, help for people like you is available. Sadly, most of your bigot sympathizers aren’t interested in understanding. Are you?

Mike Farrell(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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