From: (name withheld)
Subject: Banning dog tags the last straw
Date: December 19, 2021 at 7:30:25 AM MST
To: [email protected]
From not only my family but my comrades across 5 wars, one has the freedom to choose their beliefs. But when one imposes their beliefs on another, then that is everything we fought and still fight against.
Dog tags – do you really understand their purpose?
Whomever in the DoD gave the order to cease making these faith based dog tags is in for a series log civil lawsuits and letters to every Senator fur their expulsion under discrimination laws and from historic precedence.
But for you, as with all in the end, and from a retired Mustang Officer, now professional engineer with an IQ of 167, I’ll let God deal with you and your followers. The more we ply in science among my peers of every faith, there is no denying of some overarching force that some humanize, others just accept as us as unexplainable. To debt God us truly naive and ignores life itself, a mystery among mysteries some of us deal in daily with minor success.
But on those distant battlefields with no names, two words are sheets called out in the end – mom or God.
You have a right to your belief that I defend, but no right to deny others that right as you can dress as you like and they likewise.
A godless state? My family fought against and fled that socialist horror called the USSR.
Let the dog tags go – it has every vet even those like retired and disabled fighting mad. You just insulted the majority for a small minority, and a Republic is created and us for the majority, not so for a social democracy that we are not from day one or in the Constitution.
You minimized some of your good work with a totem most vets cherish and often cling to when they remember fallen comrades and are buried with.
Poor choice for a fight and with something vets now want retribution from their representatives.
Think before you act – a military person always weighs before affecting comrades.
Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On Dec 19, 2021, at 9:34 AM, John Compere wrote:
For your information, military men & women may purchase & posses any religious or non-religious verses they want & wear them in conformity with military uniform requirements. However, a private commercial business cannot illegally profit off of military members by misrepresenting & mismanufacturing its merchandise as official government issued military identification tags in violation of its own licensing agreement with the Department of Defense & federal regulatory laws. That is why the unlawful practice was stopped by the military itself.
Professing support for those who disrespect & disobey our laws & hostility toward those who respect & obey our laws reflects only on yourself & reveals only irrational irresponsibility. To become better informed on this military matter, see militaryreligiousfreedom.org.
The very definition of a republic is “…a nation of laws and not of man.” – Founder & 2nd President John Adams (“Thoughts on Government”, 1776).
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (composed of 85% Christians)
Response from MRFF Advisory Board James Currie
If your name is “(name withheld),” then mine is Dudley Do-Right. I really doubt that your family fled the former USSR, but if they actually did so, then you were quite fortunate to have escaped a system where religious rights were not respected and where minorities were—and still are—persecuted for their beliefs. I also think you might have inflated your IQ just a bit, as 167 would put you into the Einstein category, and it is very clear from what you have written here that you are no Einstein.
With those preliminaries out of the way, I will say that even with your cockamamie ideas, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) respects your military service, if, in fact, you did serve in one of the branches of the U.S. military. What you and your supposedly-exceptional IQ do not seem to have grasped is that we are a country whose basis for government is a document called the Constitution, which all of us who served in uniform have sworn to support and defend. Contrary to your assertion, our republic is designed so that the majority does not have the unfettered right to run rough-shod over the rights of minorities. Likewise, our Constitution places numerous restrictions on our own government, many of which are contained in the first ten amendments to our Constitution, which were adopted in 1791 and to which we refer as our Bill of Rights.
The first of those amendments contains rights guaranteed to everyone who lives in the United States. It also places certain absolute restrictions on our government, including a guarantee that our government will not cross over that “wall of separation” between church and state, as President Thomas Jefferson phrased it, and involve itself in religious activities. You may know, if your family came from the USSR, that the USSR Constitution theoretically provided religious liberties to its residents, but the reality was much different. Even today, the government of Russia uses anti-terrorism statutes to crack down on religion, despite what its constitution says. Our country is not like that. From the beginning, our government has actually observed religious neutrality, a guarantee that the MRFF is constantly defending against those who, like yourself, would seek to overturn the tenets of the First Amendment. In case you don’t know how the first sentence and guarantee of that first amendment is worded, here it is:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
These sixteen words are the basis for our religious freedom, our freedom of conscience that prevents our government from favoring one religion over another and from allowing its official minions to use their power in the military to attempt to convert others to their particular religious belief. Mr. Badenov, if you were still in the military service of our country, you could wear any kind of jewelry you wished—subject of course to requirements for its public display while in uniform. If you wanted to wear an ersatz dog tag with religious overtones and Bible verses in addition to your officially-issued one, that would pose no problem from a Constitutional point of view. The problem would occur if some element of the U.S. Government were to decide that official dog tags should be inscribed with Bible verses or Koran verses or Veda verses. Such action would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.
Perhaps our discussion here has helped you grasp the difference between a country like Iran, which has an official religion; a country like Russia, which supposedly respects all religions but which actually respects none; and the United States, where government neutrality toward religion is an actuality. That neutrality is what the MRFF stands for and is what it defends on behalf of our military servicemembers every day of the week.
Col. James T. Currie, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.
Board of Advisors, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Dec 19, 2021, at 5:13 PM, Mike wrote:
(name withheld), or whomever,
For a person of your self-described intelligence, you’ve apparently made the not-so-intelligent choice of leaping to conclusions.
Defending all of the beliefs of all of the women and men in the military is our mission, You may have missed that. And we are not “banning dog-tags.”
We have no problem with Shields of Strength selling dog-tag copies with religious messages or scriptural texts on them. What they cannot do is use the official DoD emblem on the religious-oriented dog-tags they sell. That’s why the DoD stopped them.
You see, using the official DoD emblem makes it appear that the government is endorsing one faith or belief system over others. The U.S. Government does not favor, promote or promulgate one religious belief system over others.
So all Shields of Strength has to do in order to make their dog-tag copies with religious messages on them and sell as many as you or they would like, is to remove the DoD emblem and quit making it appear the U.S. Government is endorsing their religion.
Mike Farrell (MRFF Board of Advisors)