"When one proudly dons a U.S. Military uniform, there is only one religious symbol: the American flag. There is only one religious scripture: the American Constitution. Finally, there is only one religious faith: American patriotism."
MRFF Founder and President, Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
From: (name withheld) Date: December 18, 2021 at 5:14:18 PM MST To:[email protected] Subject:WORTHLESS
SAYS IT ALL
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member James Currie
Dear (name withheld):
I have been asked by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to respond to your recent email, though I admit that its cryptic nature makes it very hard to determine your precise meaning. I’ll necessarily keep my response short.
MRFF was founded to provide an organization to which members of the military services could turn when their freedom of conscience was being threatened by someone higher up in their military chain of command. This often means a commissioned officer or noncommissioned officer has taken it on themselves to attempt to impose their own religious beliefs on those military servicemembers who serve under them. Though such “proselytizing” is illegal under military and Defense Department regulations, it does happen, and the MRFF steps in and goes to bat for the affected servicemember. Such cases make up much of what the MRFF does.
The second type of case taken on by the MRFF involves a part of our government that has decided to ignore the clear restrictions imposed by the First Amendment to the Constitution and breaches that wall of separation which the First Amendment establishes. In case you don’t remember it, the first sentence of the First Amendment is a powerful and all-encompassing restriction on our government: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This restriction is quite clear, and one of our first Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, explained to us what these words mean. Here’s what Jefferson wrote to the Baptists of Danbury, Conn., in January 1802:
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people [that is, the First Amendment] which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
“Wall of separation,” that’s what Jefferson wrote, and it is as applicable today as it was 219—almost 220—years ago. MRFF stands fourscore behind that wall of separation and does whatever it can to preserve it. Such government neutrality toward religion is one of the hallmarks and strengths of our republic, and it is perhaps the major reason why we have not been visited with the deadly sectarian strife that has plagued so many countries throughout the world.
I don’t really know what you mean by “worthless,” but I can assure you that such an adjective should never be applied to the work of the MRFF. I wish you a good day.
Col. James T. Currie, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.
Board of Advisors, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Response from MRFF Supporter Steve Dundas
On Dec 18, 2021, at 9:12 PM, Steve wrote:
Dear (name withheld) That was one heck of an email. Not that profound really except in your insipid attempt to dehumanize Mr. Weinstein you exposed yourself. I won’t dox you as that wouldn’t be fair. But it is not wise to send an email message to someone that can be traced back to you and where you live, work, and even what kinds of cars you own. So if you are going to do it this way go all the way and vent your spleen. If not, use a fake or spoof address so you don’t expose yourself. One think that it does show is that you are not a professional troll and probably a person who is basically decent and angered by all of the misinformation about Mr. Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Based on your address history it looks like you served in the Marines or possibly Navy, even though your public records do not list your military service. I would suggest that you do a bit of real research about Mr. Weinstein before you call him and what he does “worthless.” One can call inanimate objects worthless, but when the term is applied to a human being it dehumanizes them. It suggests that they are to use the Nazi term, “life unworthy of life.” Sadly, most Americans don’t get that. Mr. Weinstein is an Air Force Academy graduate and former JAG officer. His father was a career officer who also served as an enlisted man in peace and war. Mr. Weinstein and his foundation work to protect the religious and civil rights of military personnel regardless of their religion. Some 95% of the nearly 80,000 service members, veterans, and their family members who have sought his intervention when military, VA, and state military departments refused to assist them, or were victims of religious discrimination by DOD, VA, or State military commanders, administrators, or military or civilian personnel happen to be self identified Christians. Though Mr. Weinstein is Jewish, roughly 85% of his paid and volunteer staff members, and members of the board of directors are Christians. These men and women believe in protections of the First Amendment, including the religious liberty protected by the the “establishment clause” in which the government is prohibited from establishing a “state religion” which has been interpreted in numerous Supreme Court decisions to include the actions that Wreaths Across America is involved. You also might look at the report on Wreathes Across America by Charity Navigator. Wreathes Across America gives all of its $17 million of its profits to its own for profit company the Worcester Wreath Company, which spun off Wreaths of America as a non-profit about 15 years after the annual wreath laying began. It got a failing grade of 65% from Charity Navigator
In comparison, Mr. Weinstein’s MRFF which is a true non-profit which actually supports and defends the Constitution it is not Wreathes Across America, which preys on people in order to conduct a de-facto adornment of government owned cemeteries containing the graves of the dead of every religion and of no religion who every served this country, with a symbol which when placed this time of year is an exclusively Christian decoration, often placed indiscriminately on the graves of men and women who were never Christians and whose survivors and descendants never consented to such a display, a display which violates the rights and beliefs of our honored dead who are not Christian, or whose Christian faith does not permit such displays. Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF get a 100% score from the same examiner of charities.
So, (name withheld), before you go calling another human being “worthless” I think that you better due your research up front. Sincerely, Fr. Steve Dundas, CDR, CHC, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Dec 19, 2021, at 1:03 AM, Mike wrote: Messages like this certainly are worthless Ron. They say you’re unhappy aboutsomething and leave us wondering about what it might be. You unhappy at home? Feel meaningless? Been listening to cranks spreadingfalse stories? I’ll bet that’s it. You ought to be more careful about who you listento. Some of the foolishness that’s floating around can make you feel pretty useless.But don’t worry. Stop listening to the foolishness and you’ll feel better soon. Mike Farrell (MRFF Board of Adfisors)