From: (name withheld)
Subject: Wreaths on veterans graves
Date: December 9, 2021 at 10:08:43 AM MST
You and your band of merry goofballs need to grow up. You don’t get everything you want in life.
The people laying the wreaths make mistakes. They are volunteers. Get over it.You are showing the hatred you have for Christians.
RIP ALL veterans no matter what denomination.
Response from MRFF Supporter Rabbi Joel Schwartzman
On Dec 9, 2021, at 11:48 AM, Rabbi Joel Schwartzman wrote
Dear Email-er whether from a valid email address or not!
I am writing this single email to cover all of those who are insensitive, intolerant and ignorantly supporting this wreath-laying project. The project, though perhaps well meant, is one which does not take into account how emotionally disturbing this will be to those who understand the religious significance of the wreaths and want no part of it whether it is meant in a secular one-size-fits-all project or as a Christian supersessionist stunt. For Jews who understand their Judaism as well as Christianity, this is tantamount to putting a cross on our graves. In no way is this acceptable and the contemptible, vicious, and often bigoted messages that you have been sending the MRFF represent nothing more than a crack-pot vacuousness that only serves to prove the stupidity of you, the writers. The simple truth is that as long as there are people like you who are writing this drivel, the more you actually strengthen the MRFF’s resolve to fight for the rights of all those who have sought and are now seeking our help. You prove the point of this organization. There but for the MRFF, all those who do not share your beliefs and bitterly have to deal with your harassment and intimidation would have no defense. Get the message. We do not want what you are professing. We don’t want your message. We don’t want your snide, filthy, profane, threatening and false accusations. We don’t want these wealth on the graves of our loved ones! Go pedal your anger, hatred, threats and filth somewhere else. Your messages are a waste of our collective time and our resources. Here’s a one-size-fits-all-of-you response. Please, if you are truly a decent Christian, go get educated. It would save us all a lot of misery.
Rabbi Joel R. SchwartzmanCh, Col (Ret) USAF
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member James Currie
Dear (name withheld)
I have been asked by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to respond to your recent email on the subject of wreaths on veterans’ graves. Not getting everything we would like in life is not the point, and if you are a half-way mature individual, you will understand that. MRFF has no hatred for Christians nor for any other religious denomination. MRFF stands for freedom. That’s the word that is in its name: “freedom.” MRFF embraces the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, and it does what it can to protect the religious liberties of all who have worn the uniform of our great country.
Whether you understand it or not, Christmas wreaths are a symbol of one religion: Christianity. They have been such a symbol for hundreds of years, as you can easily determine by doing a modicum of research online. MRFF has no objection to the placing of wreaths on the graves of those veterans whose survivors ask for such; what it objects to is the willy-nilly placing of wreaths on the graves of veterans who did not share the Christian faith. It is easy enough to determine in a VA cemetery, which graves belong to non-Christians. Perhaps you do not know it, but the VA recognizes seventy-four different religious symbols that are allowed on veterans’ tombstones, and many of these symbols indicate that a non-Christian is interred there. It should not be that hard for volunteers to determine which tombstones mark the graves of non-Christians and to omit the Christian wreath from them. That, in our opinion, would show proper respect for the veteran buried there, whatever their religious preference.Col. James T. Currie, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.Board of Advisors, Military Religious Freedom FoundationOrdained Elder, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On Dec 9, 2021, at 7:31 PM, Mike wrote:
As one of the merry goofballs, let me briefly explain that we are all fully matured, thank you, and sorry that youso obviously miss the point of the exercise. The people laying wreaths aren’t making “mistakes,” they are intentionally spreading the word associated with their belief system. In doing so they are casually, rudely and intentionally ignoring the beliefs of others in a manner suggesting any other beliefs are irrelevant and/or meaningless.
No one here has a hatred for Christians. To suggest we do says more about you and the source of your information than you realize. But then we’ve already discerned that you’re good at missing points and leaping to conclusions.
Next time, try thinking before blowing your horn.
(MRFF Board of Advisors)