March 8, 2022
MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein was informed via email by a client on March 6, 2022 that another attempt was being made to brand a POW/MIA Table at a U.S. Military Installation as a remembrance of exclusively Christian military personnel. In their email to Mikey, one of three MRFF clients (none of whom are Christians in this instance) asked: “Are there rules against Bibles on POW tables at military facilities?”
Having dealt with this issue many times previously, including a recent important MRFF client court victory involving the POW/MIA Table at the Manchester, NH VAMC (Veterans Administration Medical Center), Mikey quickly contacted the commander of this facility. Shortly after the detailed discussion with Mikey, the Commander emailed on March 7, 2022:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention, for the excellent phone call, and the well written summary below. As you stated in your call, often leadership is unaware of the issues such as the display of the Christian bible at our [military installation name withheld]. I am grateful that some of our [name of military branch personnel withheld] contacted you to voice their concern. After being aware of the issue, a very informative conversation with you, along with some quick research into the MIA/POW table, I believe it is the correct decision to remove the bible from the table. This will be done immediately upon reporting to the [military installation name withheld] tomorrow AM.
Please thank the three [name of military branch personnel withheld] that had the courage to speak out on this issue. It is the firm intention from [name and rank of senior enlisted supervisor withheld] and me is to have an organization for all assigned with the exclusion of none.
Mikey quickly responded on behalf of MRFF and our three clients:
[salutation redacted], on behalf of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s (MRFF’s) 3 [name of military branch personnel withheld] client complainants on this specific matter under your command I wanted to so very sincerely thank you for the terrific 15 minute phone call the two of us just had this morning regarding MRFF’s request that you kindly remove the Christian bible from you unit’s current POW/MIA Table display.
Your professionalism, courtesy, understanding and obvious superb leadership on our phone call was so deeply appreciated, [military field grade rank withheld].
One of the three MRFF clients in this matter emailed the following after verifying that the religious text had been appropriately removed:
My deepest thanks and appreciation for your dedicated support in getting the Bible removed from [military installation withheld] POW table. Because of the many times I’ve utilized MRFF services in the past, I knew your organization would never let me down. I once again am amazed by the speed and professionalism you deliver. You are a true hero for ensuring the military provides a fair and equitable environment for ALL religions, as opposed to providing privileges to a select one. Keep up your amazing work so that war fighters like me can continue to do our work.
MRFF issued the following statement regarding the unique nature of publicizing this victory on March 8, 2022:
This MRFF Victory Press Release is different from others we have promulgated in the past as we have deliberately removed any and all information as to which military installation it happened on, which military branch is involved and which Commander made the decision to agree with MRFF’s request to expeditiously remove the Christian bible from the subject POW/MIA Table display.
Why did we do this? Because this armed forces Commander specifically asked us to do so. He or she greatly feared that they might well be subjected to harsh and unwanted harmful criticism for doing the right Constitutional thing here if their chain of command ever found out who they were.
Please let THAT sink in, my friends, as it speaks VOLUMES!!