April 13, 2022
An active-duty U.S. Military Section Chief had planned to have the American flag located outside of the HQ Building of a U.S. Military Installation lowered at half-staff on Good Friday (April 15, 2022) “in honor of the Easter blood sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ”. This blatantly unconstitutional planned action was quickly nixed when 26 active-duty clients reached out to the MRFF representative at their installation. On April 13, 2022, one of MRFF’s clients in this matter emailed the following details of what transpired:
Thank you for the great help in responding to our (military branch name withheld) Section Chief’s attempt to have the American flag located outside of our HQ Building here at (name of military installation withheld) lowered at half staff this coming Good Friday “in honor of the Easter blood sacrifice of our savior Jesus Christ” as our boss told us he planned to do. Our local MRFF rep. put us in touch with Mikey Weinstein who then immediately made some phone calls up our chain of command and our Section Chief was formally counseled and the flag will not be lowered.
There are 26 of us in our Section who comprise the group which asked for MRFF’s help and 17 of us are Christians. I am not. I am Jewish which the Section Chief like to always call me “one of the Chosen” which angers me and my colleagues. Mikey Weinstein got that stopped as well. Thank you for successfully fighting for us on this unfortunate matter.
(Active Duty military member’s name, rank, MOS, installation and unit names all withheld)
A well respected MRFF supporter provided the following personal observation regarding this form of religious supremacy within the U.S. Military:
I am not sure just how in touch people are with Christian super-secessionism and the fervency with which Christian and other zealots are pursuing their aims. In my day at the Air Force Academy, someone was motivated by Easter Sunday morning to slip a page with the words, “He is risen,” under the doors of every cadet room. Added to this was the erection of a cross on the hill amidst the terrazzo. Clearly, officials and ranking officers at the Academy needed then as now to address the Constitutional issues involved with religious observances and their limitations. Cadets need to be made aware that respecting sensitivities and boundaries are all part of creating unit and team cohesion, even aside from the legal aspects involved in acts of religious overstepping.
The role of the MRFF is vital here, especially at times like these. It is more than just ensuring that everyone plays by the rules. The MRFF acts as a brake to the initiatives that would send the U.S. armed forces in directions that would surely harm this country and its ability to defend the freedoms we each enjoy.
Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
Ch, Col, USAF (Ret)