January 2011          

Message From MRFF President and Founder Mikey Weinstein

Greetings MRFF Supporters!

As some of you may already know, January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day in the United States. Many evangelical Christian organizations have attempted to co-opt this important day to promote additional religious expression within government institutions such as public schools. We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation want to bring additional attention to National Religious Freedom Day because it commemmorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, which provided the theoretical basis for the separation of church and state codified in the all-important First Amendment to the United States Constitution. For more information on National Religious Freedom Day, please see this first-rate blog post written by my good friend Rob Boston at Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

As usual, we continue to make national news. Just in the last couple of weeks, I've been on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" and NPR's "All Things Considered" fighting for the unconditional and immediate elimination of the "Spiritual Fitness" survey component of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. This invasive, unconstitutional survey designates capable soldiers as "spiritually unfit to serve" if they don't believe in a higher power, and goes on to recommend "spiritual training" to rectify their shortcomings. Please see the many links below to articles pertaining to the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program.

And now turning to some internal MRFF news, I'm extremely proud to announce that accomplished actor and activist Mike Farrell has joined the MRFF Advisory Board. Please see below for a link to his full biography.

We need your help to continue the fight. If you've been following MRFF for some time, you'll surely remember the swastika and crucifix vandalism on my home, as well as the massive amount of horrendously vitriolic hate mail (PDF) we receive at MRFF. Help us push back against these extremists! No donation is too small - please donate today.

Your Eternal Ally,


Mikey Weinstein

MRFF Featured News
January 2011

1/13/11 - NPR - Army's 'Spiritual Fitness' Test Angers Some Soldiers

1/6/11 -  Mikey Interviewed on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann"

1/3/11 - MRFF Demands That Army Cease & Desist Unconstitutional Survey Of Soldiers

MRFF is proud to announce that Mike Farrell
has joined our esteemed Advisory Board

An accomplished actor, best known for his role as B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H. He is a dedicated human rights activist and Chair of the Board of Death Penalty Focus, Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Co-Chair Emeritus of the California Commitee of Human Rights Watch.

Click here for Mike Farrell's full biography

FEATURED ARTICLE: 1/14/11 - DAILY KOS - In the Crosshairs: The Military
Religious Freedom Foundation Confronts Slurs, Becking, and Explicit Threats

1/14/11 - CNN – Friday's intriguing people

1/13/11 - USA TODAY - No God, No Mantra? You'd Flunk Army's 'Spiritual Fitness' Test

1/11/11 - VETERANS TODAY - Civil Rights Activists Vigorously
Protest Rev. John Hagee's "2011 Night To Honor Israel"

1/11/11 - MRFF Press Release - Civil Rights Activists Vigorously
Protest Rev. John Hagee's "2011 Night To Honor Israel"

1/9/11 - STLTODAY - Military Chaplains are Faith Mismatch for Personnel They Serve

1/9/11 - LGR - US Army's Spiritual Fitness Questionnaire
Questioned for Constitutionality, Appropriateness

1/7/11 - TRUTHOUT - Army's "Fitness" Test Designed by
Psychologist Who Inspired CIA's Torture Program...

1/7/11 - FIREDOGLAKE - Obama Fails to Restore Separation of Church and State

1/7/11 - THE WIRE - OLBERMANN: The Military Is Trying
To Curb Suicide Rates By Sending Soldiers To Church

1/6/11 - HUFFINGTON POST - Army Faces Questions Over 'Spiritual Fitness' Test

1/6/11 - AL STEFANELLI'S BLOG: US Army vs. Atheists:
Part 3 - Washington, we have a problem...

1/6/11 -VETERANS TODAY - Christian Fighter Pilots Org, A Formation of Deluded Bigots

Lewd Navy Videos and the National Day of Prayer Have in Common?

1/5/11 - LA TIMES - Cross on Public Land in San Diego is Unconstitutional, Federal Court Rules

1/5/11 - FIREDOGLAKE - Torture-linked Shrink's Army
Program Labels Some Soldiers "Spiritually Unfit"

1/5/11 - TCPALM - Humanism is Hardly a Threat, but Discrimination Against Non-Believers Is

1/1/11 - RTAmerica - Thou Shalt Rock-n-Roll

12/30/10 - TRUTHOUT - The "Family" - Who really is behind this secret organization?

12/30/10 - MRFF Steps In to Ship Donated Gifts to Children Affected by BP Oil Spill

12/27/10 - Chris Rodda on the Mario Solis-Marich Show (AM760 Radio)

12/25/10 - SCIENCE BLOGS - Mandatory U.S. Army Survey Says: Non-Believers Unfit To Serve

MRFF and Allies Win Fierce Battle Over Mt. Soledad Cross

"The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, under the leadership of its Founder and President Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, requested my assistance in the filing of an amicus brief in the Mount Soledad case. An amicus brief is a formal legal document prepared by counsel in an effort to support or oppose a legal issue or issues in litigation at the appellate level. Amicus briefs are of significant value to the court and litigants in that they help to further focus and refine arguments and to develop applicable law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that the cross at the Mount Soledad Cemetery violates the basic principle of separation between church and state as prescribed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. While this is an important victory, there yet remains the potential for much work to be done in this case. A motion may be filed by our opponents to have the Ninth Circuit Court conduct an en banc hearing which would require that all members of the court participate in rehearing arguments and the rendering of a new decision. Further, our opponents may choose to appeal this case to the Supreme Court of the United States. We at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation are committed to continuing our efforts to protect the honorable men and women who are currently serving or veterans of the United States Armed Forces from violations of their First Amendment right to maintain a separation of church and state."

Pedro Luis Irigonegaray
Irigonegaray & Associates
Counsel, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

MRFF Selected as Foundation Beyond Belief beneficiary

The secular charity Foundation Beyond Belief has selected the Military Religious Freedom Foundation
as their designated beneficiary in the Human Rights category for the first quarter of 2011.

Nightline logo
MRFF's Inbox

"What is MRFF's goal?"

"The Constitution"

"VCS Agrees with MRFF"

"Cadets for Christ and the Constitution"

Click here to read many more emails MRFF
has received in the "MRFF's Inbox" archive

MRFF Needs Your Constant Vigilance to Uncover
Unconstitutional Religious Incursions in the Military

The constitutional violations occurring in our military are so numerous and widespread
that we can't possibly find all of them ourselves. MRFF counts on its supporters and volunteers --
the indispensable "eyes and ears" who alert us to everything from the most egregious of constitutional
violations to articles we might be interested in.

So, keep the emails coming, and never think that anything is too insignificant or assume
that we might already know about it. You never know -- you might have stumbled into the
next bombshell of a story and not even realize it.

Please report anything that may be of concern to:
[email protected]

You can see the above stories, as well as much more,
on the dynamic new MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org

And don't forget that you can join the discussion by posting
your own comments on every story on our website!

The media outlets referenced in the links above have no affiliation with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, nor have expressed endorsement thereof.
While we make every effort to ensure that news articles pertaining to our Foundation remain available for you to access, we are unable to guarantee that the articles linked above will remain online and unchanged indefinitely.