MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein schools Merchant Marine Academy grad who objects to covering of giant Jesus painting on the First Amendment, quoting Sandra Day O’Connor: “In America, we don’t count heads before enforcing the First Amendment”
From: (name withheld)
Date: January 19, 2023 at 10:01:57 AM MST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Picture of people in a lifeboat being saved at KP
The picture of a life boat being saved has been up for a prolonged period and falls in-line with the history of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the founding of the Merchant Marine Academy, and represents a strong majority of it’s students and Alumni. Based on that and the freedom of expression or speech, the pictured has never been an issue until a new superintendent took the position. You cannot make rules or actions based on exceptions. 17 complaints falls in-line with being an exception. The majority of all people from diverse backgrounds have not taken issue with this painting. 17 people? Quite a large statement for 17 people.
Please reconsider the position of freedom of expression and speech among the hundreds of people that take issue with your actions. I take issue with your action to promote the cover up a traditional piece that supports the history and traditions of our great country, the U.S. Merchant Marine, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Taking away a significant piece of the foundation is causing issues with a majority of all stakeholders of USMMA.
Since you support people from all backgrounds, please support my position and a majority of the KP Community to remove the covering of a life boat being saved. I look forward to your response and support.
(name withheld), KP ’02
Response from MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein
From: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]>
Date: January 19, 2023 at 1:19:25 PM MST
To: (name withheld)
Subject: Re: Picture of people in a lifeboat being saved at KP
The tragic idiocy of you, sir, a USMMA graduate, trying to use pedestrian “mathematics” to justify this blatant violation of the Constitution reminds me of that great statement by the late Sandra Day O’Connor in an important First Amendment case, “In America, we don’t count heads before enforcing the First Amendment”… you are incredibly blinded, and no doubt so, because of a number of various “privileges“ you were possibly born with and never earned… by the way, the number of MRFF clients we have on this matter is not 17 it is 18… Maybe do a little more research before you start spewing your maladroit, uneducated crap?!…… It doesn’t matter if we had ANY clients because the number of objectors here is irrelevant under federal law… the display of that sectarian Jesus proselytizing painting is a classic example of a DIRECT violation of the no establishment clause of the First Amendment… Open your prejudiced, hateful, bigoted, and imperious eyes a little, perhaps, sport ?… (And I go by “Mikey“ and not “Michael“)…
Response from MRFF Board Member Marty Esquivel
From: Marty Esquivel
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2023 1:17 PM
To: (name withheld)
Cc: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]>
Subject: Your email to Mr. Weinstein
Dear (name withheld),
I am a Board Member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Mr. Weinstein shared your email with me which includes a thought process that doesn’t really appreciate or respect the U.S. Constitution.
Just a hunch here, but you also strike me as an individual who is probably a near absolutist when it comes to the Second Amendment right to bear arms. If you took a vote, a majority of Americans would most likely determine it is pure ludicrousy to allow an 18-year to possess an AR-15 — far short of what our forefathers had in mind. Most would vote to ban such a right in addition to a multitude of other constitutional rights that Americans see differently based on their own convictions.
But, sir, constitutional rights don’t work on votes of preference, convenience or what suits you as acceptable based on your own perceptions of history. For some, it takes a lifetime to understand this. I hope you take time to read the case referenced by Mr. Weinstein which includes the passage from former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
It speaks volumes.
MRFF Board Member
Original emailer’s response to MRFF Board Member Marty Esquivel
From: (name withheld)
Date: Thu, Jan 19, 2023 at 12:33 PM
Subject: Re: Your email to Mr. Weinstein
To: Marty Esquivel
What does guns and the 2nd Amendment have to do with a picture on the wall with a lifeboat being rescued at sea? Did you just copy/paste a reply to me? That is insulting and it is wrong to assume my views on certain subjects. It is people like you who also stereotype people based on certain factors such as skin color, religion, and other values. This makes you the wrong person to push your views onto important government agencies, departments, etc.
At what point does one’s personal freedom of expression infringe on my personal freedom of expression? There is a historical reference to the picture that is being covered at Kings Point. We must not lose sight of our history good or bad because it may repeat. We must learn from it and not erase it or cover it with a piece of cloth.
Our country and the foundation of the laws were based on religion and religious principles. Does that mean that it infringes on people who don’t have a religion? Using your logic, does that mean the entire basis of our governmental system is not valid because it was based on religion? I do not agree with that, but your logic suggests that you don’t agree with the entire structure of our government.
Justic Sandra Day O’Connor believed in law and the constitution. I align with that. My original email to Michael aligns with Sandra Day O’Connor. You talking about guns has nothing to do with the subject I am concerned with and asking your organization to support, just like it is supporting other religious views.
Perception of history? Is there something that you know that I don’t about the U.S. Merchant Marine? I am considered an expert. Why are you stereotyping me that my knowledge is a perception vs. fact? If my perception of 2+2=4, are you going to claim it is a perception vs. fact? I am curious what your stereotype would be if I presented that. How would you describe that?
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell to original email
You misrepresent the picture in question by calling it a “Picture of people in a lifeboat being saved at KP.” The dominant figure in the painting is neither the people nor the lifeboat. Or did you miss that?
How is it that this picture “falls in-line with the history of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the founding of the Merchant Marine Academy,” etc.? What did Jesus have to do with either?
Your assertion that the above non-facts, plus the claim that it “represents a strong majority of its students and alumni” somehow means to you that this painting’s overtly Christian thesis is perfectly appropriate and belongs where it is, representing, as it therefor does, a branch of the United States Government’s military.
Needless to say, except perhaps, for you, this is directly contradicted by U.S. Military law and tradition.
Actually, I think you’ll find that many, if not most, Christians understand that the U.S. Constitution and its doctrine of the separation of church and state protect everyone’s right to believe as they choose and for that reason disallow overt demonstrations of preference and/or support for one belief system over others.
While you and some of your compatriots may find this kind of proselytizing perfectly acceptable, it is in direct contradiction to the fundamental understandings of our nation and should be moved to an appropriate Christian chapel, church or specifically Christian gathering place.
Props to your new superintendent, who clearly has a better understanding of the laws, history and traditions of our country than do you.
MRFF Advisory Board
Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere to original email
On Jan 19, 2023, at 3:40 PM, John Compere wrote:
Thank you for your prior service as a Merchant Marine.
The sworn oath you and all Merchant Marines, including the Merchant Marine Academy Superintendent, take requires you to perform all duties required by the laws of the United States.
For your information, US laws, beginning with the US Constitution 1st Amendment (effective December 15, 1791) prohibit the US Government, of which the Merchant Marines and Merchant Marine Academy are a part, from establishing, enforcing or endorsing a religion and require government neutrality regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion but religion-neutral). It is a shield of protection for the right of every American, including Merchant Marines, to determine, enjoy and practice his or her own beliefs free from government favor or disfavor. It is never a sword of privilege to harm, discriminate against or impose religion on fellow Americans.
The very definition of a republic is “…a nation of laws and not of man.” – American Founder & President John Adams (“Thoughts on Government”, 1776)
Brigadier General, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, US Army (Retired)
Former Chief Judge, US Army Court of Military Review & US Army Legal Services Agency
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (composed of 85% Christians)
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member James Currie to original email
Dear (name withheld):
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has asked me to respond to the two emails you sent to Mikey Weinstein about MRFF’s asking that the Merchant Marine Academy remove or cover up the image of Jesus saving the individuals in the lifeboat. First of all, you should understand that MRFF takes the position that members of all of the services have the right to be free from any U.S. Government violations of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Second, it seems clear that you have never been taught the meaning of the First Amendment’s prohibition of the government’s “respecting an establishment of religion.” I confess to not knowing as much about the Merchant Marine Academy and its curriculum as I do about the other service academies, but its website says that those who graduate from it are commissioned as officers in our armed forces. As such, I assume that you and other Kings Point graduates take the same oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” as did those of us who went into the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard.
Our Founding Fathers were quite aware of the bloody religious conflicts that had plagued Europe for so many years, and they were determined to prevent such in the new republic they were establishing. It was the same men who drafted the Constitution in 1787 who saw to it in 1791 that the Constitution was amended with what we call today the Bill of Rights. That First Amendment to the Constitution is the one that establishes, as President Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Conn., that there is a “wall of separation between church and state” established by the First Amendment. It is that “wall of separation” that requires that neither the Merchant Marine Academy nor any other government entity in our country single out any one religion or religious figure and elevate them above all others, as is so clearly the case with the painting hanging on the wall at Kings Point.
I ask you to stop for a moment and consider just how you would have reacted if, instead of Jesus guarding and protecting the lifeboat, the figure had been the Buddha or perhaps Muhammed or maybe even Moses. Would you have been so sanguine about this violation of the First Amendment? Indeed, you might well have become an MRFF client instead of a critic, and you would have been perfectly within your rights to object to such a religious characterization at Kings Point. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment. It does not discriminate, and it doesn’t matter whether your religious beliefs are in the majority or constitute those of only a small fraction of the American populace: they are equally protected by our Constitution.
If you are open-minded and willing to learn about the Constitution, there are any number of books you can read that will let you learn about the First Amendment. I highly recommend this course of action for you, unless you wish to remain ignorant of the Constitution you swore to defend.
Col. James T. Currie, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.
Board of Advisors, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Response from MRFF Supporter Steve Dundas to original email
Subject: Your Email to Mr. Weinstein and reply to BG Compere
Date: January 20, 2023 at 12:02:55 AM MST
Cc: Michael L Weinstein
Dear Mr. (name withheld),
Robert Henlein wrote:
“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.”
I read your E-Mails to Mr. Weinstein with interest because I am a retired Navy Chaplain whose military service in the Navy (including several Marine Corps tours) and 17 1/2 years in the Army. I also read your reply to General Compere, an actual Constitutional scholar and expert in military law. All told that’s about 39 plus years of service, in peace, in war, and in combat. I also happen to be a pretty good Christian theologian and pastoral care giver, an expert in religious liberty and religious rights, and a damned good published historian. I also taught ethics to senior officers at the Joint Forces Staff College, as well as teaching military history and leading the Gettysburg Staff Ride.
I really don’t know much about you. I only know of your exceptionally ignorant knowledge of American History, the Constitutional aspects of the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the First Amendment. Likewise, you demonstrate an ignorance of military law and regulations concerning the Free Exercise of Religion and the the Establishment of Religion, and the seeming contempt you display to the sacred Oath of Office that you swore as a Midshipman, Merchant Marine and Naval Reserve Officer. But I have a hunch that Will Rogers never met you.
Since it is late and I have to be up early to teach History and Rhetoric in the Christian school that employs me, I will be more succinct than usual, but since I write history books my definition of succinct is a matter of interpretation.
First. As General Compere and Mike Ferrell noted, you do not understand that the First Amendment and the military regulations dealing with Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses. Those are there to protect the religious rights of all personnel, especially those of minority faiths. Since General Compare and Dr. Hunnicutt have already schooled you on those I will skip them for now.
Back when Madison penned the First Amendment there were Christian people who wanted their denominations to be the State Religion, and who had no tolerance for what then were small denominations, like the Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, and dare I say, Roman Catholics, not to mention the even smaller number of Jews and Muslims. These people wanted to have established churches in every state, except Rhode Island. Of precedence Madison had the Virginia Statute on Religious Liberty. That was written because Virginia Anglicans were pushing to establish their faith as the state religion of Virginia.
To help their cause they went around breaking up meetings of other groups, and in the case of Baptists, broke of their meetings, broke their noses, and took them to the nearest body of water to water board or “re-baptize” them. The leader of Virginia Baptists was a man named John Leland. Back in those days the Baptists believed in the absolute separation of Church and State because of how they were treated in England, by the Church of England, which in addition to being a Church worked with the government to persecute religious minorities. Separation of church and state was one of the five basic beliefs of Baptists, until the 1970s. If you want I can tell you of the other four, but won’t bore you.
Now, let us clear up one thing about the United States being a “Christian nation,” a myth that you have obviously swelled hook line and sinker. There is only one thing I true despise is myth masquerading as history being shoved down the throats of others by pseudo-historians masquerading as Christian leaders and politicians. But I can’t forget Christians that suffer from the Christian persecutors suffering from false persecution syndrome, sometimes called being upset at other people having the same rights as them. The fact that you don’t get the idea that this painting was in a room where meetings of people who are not Christians have to meet, as opposed to a strictly denominational Chapel facility, where if it were a Christian facility it would be fine, shows that you don’t care about anyone’s rights but your brand of Christians.
But, I will mention a few words from Madison, Leland, and a few others which you can Google to check the veracity. I don’t expect you to believe me so look them up yourself, if you dare.
Leland, a Christian, noted:
“The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever. … Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.”
“Is conformity of sentiments in matters of religion essential to the happiness of civil government? Not at all. Government has no more to do with the religious opinions of men than it has with the principles of mathematics. Let every man speak freely without fear–maintain the principles that he believes–worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing, i.e., see that he meets with no personal abuse or loss of property for his religious opinions. Instead of discouraging him with proscriptions, fines, confiscation or death, let him be encouraged, as a free man, to bring forth his arguments and maintain his points with all boldness; then if his doctrine is false it will be confuted, and if it is true (though ever so novel) let others credit it. When every man has this liberty what can he wish for more? A liberal man asks for nothing more of government.”
Thomas Paine, the author of that little book Common Sense which was such a favorite of the founders wrote:
“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”
“Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
Robert Ingersoll, a prominent skeptic who served as a Union Army officer in the Civil War noted:
“They knew that to put God in the constitution was to put man out. They knew that the recognition of a Deity would be seized upon by fanatics and zealots as a pretext for destroying the liberty of thought. They knew the terrible history of the church too well to place in her keeping or in the keeping of her God the sacred rights of man. They intended that all should have the right to worship or not to worship that our laws should make no distinction on account of creed. They intended to found and frame a government for man and for man alone. They wished to preserve the individuality of all to prevent the few from governing the many and the many from persecuting and destroying the few.”
Samuel Huntington wrote in The Clash of Civilizations:
“Whatever universalist goals they may have, religions give people identity by positing a basic distinction between believers and non-believers, between a superior in-group and a different and inferior out-group.”
The great Southern Baptist pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, and President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, George Truett, noted:
“Constantine, the Emperor, saw something in the religion of Christ’s people which awakened his interest, and now we see him uniting religion to the state and marching up the marble steps of the Emperor’s palace, with the church robed in purple. Thus and there was begun the most baneful misalliance that ever fettered and cursed a suffering world…. When … Constantine crowned the union of church and state, the church was stamped with the spirit of the Caesars…. The long blighting record of the medieval ages is simply the working out of that idea.”
Finally, because I actually do need to get to bed I will close with the words of the great American philosopher Eric Hofer, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan:
“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish.”
And this by the late Gary North who schooled Ron and Rand Paul in the ways of Christian Nationalism and persecution of non-Christians of any kind or Christians of the wrong kind:
“The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.”
But, based on your prior emails you probably agree with him. However, this is the mentality that Mr. Weinstein, General Compere, Dr. Hunnicutt (aka Mike Ferrell) and we at MRFF fight against every day. It is not American, despite the fact that Christians were in the majority when the Virginia Statute on Religious Liberty and the Bill of Rights were crafted.
The founders understood this and insisted that the government was not Christian, as John Adams wrote in the Treaty of Algiers, the first treaty ever negotiated by the United States with a foreign power:
As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, — and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
Sadly, you don’t seem to get that, or the negative effects that having blatant symbols of any religion in public spaces on military installations and other non-sectarian government facilities has on others. I will end there, because I must get to bed. I wish you well.
Fr. Steve Dundas
CDR, CHC, USN (Retired)
Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Lawrence Wilkerson
On Jan 21, 2023, at 10:19 AM, wrote:
Each of the responses you’ve received from MRFF leaders, staff, colleagues, and friends, including advisory board members, have put forward legitimate reasons for the Admiral’s action to cover the painting in question. The better solution, of course, is removal of the painting altogether and placing it in its proper place — a chapel, church, or other strictly religious setting. Even its apparent affiliation with a U.S. government military institution — or strictly speaking, any USG facility — is a violation of regulation, policy, and good order and discipline, as well as the explicit words of our Constitution. Moreover, the points you have advanced to the contrary are heavy evidence why such restrictions exist.
There were several profound motivations for those men who crafted our Constitution. One extremely important one was to escape the concept of state-sponsored religion or state religious preference. It matters not one wit that the crafters might have been Christians (all of them were not), or that they had read a version of the Old or New Testaments, both, or added the Torah, the Koran, or other religious text to their study (several had). Thomas Jefferson had even composed a version of the Christian Bible (New Testament, KJV) without the miracles and without the resurrection of Jesus, in an effort to make what was a highly ethical treatise more believable and thus more applicable to human morality by removing what to him were parts that were highly and physically improbable if not impossible. In sum, our Founders decided to design a government that stayed away from religion, one of the most divisive forces in human existence and easily deployed by a state to control its populace.
Your several arguments demonstrate why our Founders were so concerned. The most dangerous argument you deployed concerns your quite clear rationale — clear in your mind and I daresay many Christian minds like yours — that no harm is done displaying a painting (one in Jefferson’s eyes that would be judged clearly mythical) obviously endorsing the concept that mariners are best protected by a faith in the mythical figure hovering over the waters. Not only is that illogical — better to trust in and help inculcate the spirit and discipline of professionalism among your shipmates — it is offensive to those who do not practice the Christian faith or who practice no faith at all. Worse, it indicates endorsement by the owners of the facility in which it is displayed, in this case the USG, a clear violation of the Constitution. That 95% or greater endorse the display is no defense either because it is the 5% who do not that the USG must be most concerned about protecting. Majorities can be mobs; in fact, often are. Moreover, nowhere close to 95% endorse Christianity in America.
When the greatest of all the Founders — in my view — George Washington, heard of the concerns of a Jewish congregation in Newport, RI, he took pen in hand in 1790 and wrote that congregation a personal letter — as President of the United States — explaining to them why they need not be concerned about religious freedom in the new country called “these United States of America”. I recommend that letter to you. In fact, I recommend a visit, if you’re able, to Newport and to Touro Synagogue. You will encounter no difficulty in locating it as thousands of Americans visit it every year — if for no other reason than to read that letter hanging on the wall of the Synagogue — because that letter says it all. One thing it says to Touro’s Jewish congregation and to every Jewish-American is this: “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.” Imagine, if you will, how a Jewish merchant mariner or a Jewish individual training to be such a person, feels when he sits in that official government building and stares at a monstrously large depiction of Jesus Christ — a depiction that all but says to that Jewish man or woman, “Your salvation is in Christ.” Were I a Jewish-American, seeing that image in a government building would contravene Washington’s words. It would indeed make me afraid.
I readily admit this can seem an esoteric argument to those totally captured by their faith, or simply unschooled in the law and military regulations. That, though, is also part of our Founders’ genius. They were very comfortable with such esoteric matters and not unschooled. We are all fortunate for it — whether we realize it or not.
Colonel, USA (Ret)
MRFF Advisory Board
MRFF Advisory Board
- March 21, 2023 | No comments
- March 20, 2023 | No comments
Open Invitation to those USMMA alum unhappy with the Superintendent’s decision:
I am seeing messages some of you have written to Mikey Weinstein, founder of the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation. I hope you might recognize that Mr. Weinstein is a fellow service academy graduate. He served over ten years as an officer in the United States Air Force JAG corps.
I do not believe Mr. Weinstein takes on disputes with the military casually. To me his actions are based in law, pure and simple.
I think it’s important to remember that with rare exceptions, graduates of the Merchant Marine Academy are required to become either reserve or active duty officers. Before receiving a commission as an officer, all graduates must take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Also plebes at the Merchant Marine Academy are sworn into the United States Naval Reserve. I presume the plebe oath has similar language about upholding the Constitution. To me, graduates and midshipmen, different as we may be, actually all happen to share this one particular creed: To uphold the Constitution.
I think the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which you swore to uphold, and how this has been interpreted over the years in the courts, is worth your review.
I expect the Superintendent chose the particular course of action she did, and Mr. Weinstein’s clients were agreeable to it, because of what the Constitution and law say. I would presume the Superintendent had the advice of counsel but maybe not: It seems to me that Admiral Nunan could not have been appointed to ship commands and ultimately reached the rank of Rear Admiral in the United States Coast Guard without having become a rather extraordinarily learned person.
I believe the Superintendent’s actions represent the highest ideals of the military, the merchant marine, the civil service and the founding fathers.
If anyone would care to discuss what I think the Superintendent’s reasoning was, I welcome your civil messages. You and I may not agree, but maybe the exchange will be worth our time, if only perhaps to realize that people can have differing opinions on religion and still get along, and this principle lies at the heart of the First Amendment. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] .
Class of 1983
Its really pathetic the way Mikey responds to people with an opposing view and then posts it on his shitty website. Mikey thinks he sounds smart vomiting a few uncommon words and being a complete jerk-off. You can tell he was foaming at the mouth while he seethed and poured on the keyboard to type this garbage. The reality is, Mikey is a complete loser with a small penis. How embarrassing and pathetic to pat yourself on the back with this post title and actually think you “schooled” anyone. You just come off as a Schmuck.
Mikey is a joke. He calls his target a bigot and other names. Classic move when a person has no more words left in the bank.
There are the trolls again, leaving their droppings behind them.
If this is how they behave in public I feel for their families. Their home life must be terrible!
Supporting the Constitution is what every citizen should do and yet our local tribe of trolls consider such an endeavor to be worthy of mocking.
Say, isn’t there a verse or two in the Christian holy book these trolls claim to hold near and dear to their heart which talks about this very behavior? Something about doing unto others… offering the other cheek….
I’m sure it will come to me.
To Ailan Chubb (the real one),
When I first read your considerate and well thought out response I took note of your inclusion of personal date and…
Well I worried as some of us received death threats for the crime of posting here and believing the Constitution is a document worth protecting.
Please keep yourself safe. A fine mind is also worth protecting.
if you notice, the target of Mikey does not bring up Jesus and Mikey assumes the target is a bigot when the target could be a black Muslim that is not a bigot or narrow minded. The target is bringing is asking Mikey why he is talking about guns when discussing a picture on the wall. The target also brings up the topic of religious freedom and freedom of speech in regards to two conflicting views, which is a reasonable topic that he clearly dismissed with name calling. I do not align with Christian or Jewish values, but I do not think a picture should be brought down. if there was a picture that aligned with my religion, I would not want it pulled down. the reason is because what is next? No crosses on the students desk? Remove the chapel on campus? Military Chaplains can attest to religion and the freedom to exercise it at a military institution. They may be next and I don’t agree with that. A picture on the wall does not bother me or influence my belief system. The real discussion of where it stops, what is next, and when does a person’s religious freedom of expression afforded by the constitution infringes on another person’s religious freedom of expression. There is too much stereotyping, name calling from Mikey and other contributers. I am sure everyone can interpret the constitution in their favor and find historical quotes in their favor, but of ignore the real conversation of everybody getting along in this woke trending environment vs cancelling everybody that thinks differently.
— Correction: Mr. Weinstein served in the JAG Corps for seven years.
— Grey One Talks Sass, I appreciate your kind words and especially, your reminder to be safe. To me you reflect the finest values of the Merchant Marine and the armed services: We are trained to prioritize above all else the safety of life.
— I see someone has misappropriated my name. Isn’t it curious how MRFF does not censor posts here? As a private non-profit, it has the legal right to do so. Have you considered why MRFF has chosen to post everyone’s opinion, editing nothing?
— Colin Webster emailed me a note. The note was polite enough. However, it was not about the Superintendent’s reasoning. I did email him back as follows.
———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Fri, Jan 20, 2023 at 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: Did you realize…
To: Colin Webster
Hello Mr. Webster,
Respectfully my interest is the thought process that led to the large mural depicting a somewhat bigger-than-life Jesus image becoming curtained for mandatory meetings.
Have you any impressions of why, prior to becoming commissioned as a military officer and inducted as a midshipmen into the Naval Reserve, one must take an oath to uphold the Constitution?
What does the (No) Establishment Clause of the First Amendment mean to you?
How would you feel if you were a midshipman at USMMA, accused of an honor violation and attending an honor hearing, and the enormous mural in the Elliot See Room displayed prominently either: “Allahu Akbar” (Muslim for God is great); a Star of David (for the Jewish community); a Hindu symbol; a Buddha; an Indigenous American symbol; or other non-Christian symbols?
Do share your thoughts. Thanks for writing.
Ailan Chubb. Typical leftist, wants to censor and remove anything that conflicts with his /her precious ideology. Go ahead, remove the comments and you can have a grand old time in one big circle jerk enjoying the scent of one another’s asshole.
AllainChubbTheFake thinks it seems intelligent to accuse others of substituting insults for reasoned arguments by posting messages full of childish insults. That’s a sign this person has nothing informed and intelligent to offer on the subject at hand. The letter writer. In the original post obviously has no knowledge of or appreciation for the establishment clause and the military regulations prohibiting the post from favoring religion over no religion, and one religious view over others. The letter writer also confuses free speech issues with the issues involved in this particular case, which involved a religious painting prominently displayed in a community room by the base, not by an individual at their own desk. So many people going out of their way to justify the base doing something clearly prohibited by the law and regulations for the good of unit cohesion and morale – and for the good of the merchant marine in being able to attract and retain capable individuals. Religious supremacy and bigotry are stubborn flaws in our society, thanks in part to the dishonest apologists for religious bigotry.
Dear (Name Withheld) KP ‘02:
Something’s “fall[ing] in-line with the history of the U.S. Merchant Marine” is not a legal concept. The First Amendment Separation of Church and State, and the armed services’ instructions regarding the prohibition on favoring one religion over another, ARE a legal concept.
Whether one person complained, or a thousand, the validity of the complaint is unaffected. Not everybody is a Christian, whereas the service academies and MMA King’s Point are funded and fully owned equally by EVERY taxpayer.
You and your ilk remind me of a kid — we all knew at least one like him or her when we were growing up, and the odds favor that YOU were that kid — who’d come over to our house and play with our toys, but never let any of us play with HIS toys. “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine” (which could be the Trump family motto, perhaps in Latin).
Also, if you’d taken as much interest in your primary education as in your studies at MMA, perhaps you’d have a better grasp of spelling and grammar. You write like the kid, that kid, you were.
Isn’t it funny how the Christian opposition to an action by the MRFF devolves pretty quickly into sexual references. Male Christians, when they feel threatened, which is pretty much all the time, go right to the Jesus closet in their heads and pull out “a small penis,” it’s just too funny, the filing system they keep in their heads! You can count on it – they store their vitriol right alongside “Jesus” in their emasculated minds. They can’t help it, they’re wired that way! It’s an exclusive ORing function, either Jesus or dick size but never both (or other similar pejorative – faggot, kike, libtard, lefty, AR-15, Uvalde was a hoax, 2nd Amendment, you get the idea). Poor emasculated Christians!
it’s simple he’s the synagogue of satan like Jesus said.
“He’s a pathetic loser with a small penis.” …….I just realized why republicans hate women so much!
self correction – republicans don’t hate all women, just the ones that don’t know their place!
You know, the ones they can’t grab by the pussy!
The colonists were fleeing countries where governments were trying to rule the churches and they wanted separation to keep government out of churches NOT keeping religion out of government.
Use your energies to improve maintenance at the Academy. Pete Buttigieg with Dept. of Transportation is doing a terrible job!!!!🇺🇸
Your education is incomplete. If you’d taken a moment to read the considered responses by MRFF supporters to the original letter writer you would have learned enough to not leave your comment.
The Constitution is written the way it is because the founding fathers understood all too well the evils of religion when mixed with state authority. If, as you say, government is supposed to leave religion alone then religion is supposed to leave government alone too.
Your math is one sided, it doesn’t add up. Please do some more research.
I will be curtaining Mikey’s house with a giant curtain of Mother Mary on 3 Feb. He will not know what hit his house. Shoild be covered by multiple news agencies….just sayin’. Pro Life forever. BTW…AFA sucks…go Army!
Mr Barrett, you just told us your plan so… why again would Mikey not know who vandalized his property when you admitted to planning the act here?
Are you even trying? Have you watched any 007 James Bond movies? You never give up the secret plan!!!!
Disney even made monologuing a part of the plot in The Incredibles movie – no bad language or adult themes so no excuses! (Or capes).
What one has to realize is that none of the “haters” on this thread are actually Christians and have no standing on whether to remove or keep a mural up of Jesus; clearly unconstitutional in a gov’t setting. These “people of little faith” have rejected the teachings of Christ in favor of hate from the Old Testament; a complete rejection of Jesus. Can’t call yourself a Christian and reject Christ at the same time. The two most notable, and relevant to this thread, teachings of Jesus come from the New Testament (KJV):
Mathew 7 – 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
James 4:12 – 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
What a really uninformed comment by Cathy: The colonists were fleeing countries where governments were trying to rule the churches and they wanted separation to keep government out of churches NOT keeping religion out of government.
The Puritan colonist were fleeing the Netherlands (where they lived after being kicked out of England for torturing their adherents) where the more laid-back society was luring adherents to Puritanism away from that “church/cult”. They found the religious liberty they were seeking in the New World where they could continue to torture their adherents unabated.
The American Revolution was fought against a gov’t ruled by a divinely appointed King who ruled the United Kingdom (and the colonies) as the head of the Church of England. So, the “church” was the state and we fought for our freedom from that “state church”.
The American Taliban wants an American Theocracy in the same vein as the Islamic State of Iran which is ruled by Sharīʿah Law. The American Taliban wants the U.S. gov’t to implement Mosaic Law on all Americans. Justice Alito is the Mosaic Law (America) equivalent to a Qadi in Sharīʿah Law (Iran).
A good example is “Pro-Life”, which is just “anti-abortion”. You can’t worship the perverted 2nd Amendment (minus the militia part) and call yourself “Pro-Life”.
Again, in the Old Testament:
Exodus 21:22 – If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
The American “Pro-Life” movement is based on the basic concept that a man’s seed is sacred and that a woman’s body is just the incubator for that sacred seed to thrive in the creation of a human being; from contraception to abortion, all things that would terminate the life of the seed, or its results from incubation, are forbidden.
Now, we have Judge (Qadi) Alito to have ruled, just as in Exodus 21: 22, that the Incubator has no say in the matter of abortion. State Mosaic Law “Judges” are trying to levy the highest of penalties possible for anyone conducting, or aiding in any effort, to abort a fetus. According to “Justice” Thomas, contraception is next.
This is just one example of how our State has become completely entangled with those claiming to be Christians and their “christian” churches (they are actually cults devoid of Christianity).
Also Cathy, the best example of Colonists in America fleeing a “state church” was when Roger Williams ran from the State Church of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and established Rhode Island. The Christian State Church of Massachusetts ultimately failed when the “church” decided to ban Christmas celebrations; the very same Christmas traditions most Americans celebrate today. The overturning of Roe v. Wade hopefully will herald in the complete elimination of any U.S.-wide church-state entanglements in the very near future.
D.L. Free: all of the ideas you quoted from the New Testament are also found in the Old Testament.