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Tuesday, April 28, 2015


MRFF Attorneys' Demand
Letter to Recruit Training Command (RTC)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Click to read full 2-page letter

MRFF Counts the Hours Waiting for U.S Navy Capt Pfeifle's Response Per His Letter
Dated April 23rd 2015

Click here to read letter


Subject: When?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lt. Demeter, when will MRFF be hearing from Capt. Pfeifle and/or his Recruit Training Command (RTC) leadership as to our approximately 250 MRFF sailor recruit clients’ just demands to have their Constitutional religious freedom worship rights restored at Great Lakes?!... time grows short... NO ONE (especially those wearing the uniform of our armed forces) should have to endlessly wait for these precious and guaranteed freedoms... listen carefully, sir, they are NOT “civil privileges”, Lt. Demeter, they are “civil RIGHTS”!!

MRFF intends to seek Federal Court approval to move forward and have those of its sailor recruit clients et al at Great Lakes whose religious freedom civil rights are being denied by RTC certified as a “class” for Federal Court class action injunctive relief as soon as possible if RTC refuses to expeditiously restore their shattered freedom of worship rights... MRFF and its litigators will presume that any RTC denial of its sailor recruit clients’ demands will effectively exhaust all RTC/Navy and DoD administrative remedies for them thereby allowing the timely Federal Court class action injunctive litigation mentioned earlier... plz forward this e-mail to any who need to see it at RTC and advise soonest...

thank you,

Mikey Weinstein

Founder and Pres., MRFF


Cancelled services at Navy boot camp spark outrage

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Selected Article Excerpts:

  • John Chantry, a practicing Druid, was shocked to receive an email April 3 advising him that he was prohibited from continuing to lead earth-centered religious services for recruits at Recruit Training Command.

  • An RTC official who spoke on background said the volunteers were asked to leave in accordance with Navy guidance, which stipulates that a uniformed chaplain or a religiously accredited military member should conduct the service before the service pursues other avenues.

  • But Chantry, backed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its outspoken founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, call the canceling of accommodations for minority religious groups a gross violation of the constitutional rights of recruits who practice minority religions, including Unitarian Universalists, Buddhists, Baha'i or earth-centered religions.

  • On Wednesday, Weinstein penned a letter to the RTC commanding officer claiming that more than 250 recruits have been impacted by the order, and gave Pfeifle 24 hours to reinstate the civilian volunteers at RTC. Weinstein said he is prepared to exhaust all "administrative means" or even go to court to get the order rescinded. "We have never seen a commander authorize such a sweeping abuse of the religious freedoms of those under their leadership," the letter reads.

  • To Weinstein, it is also a matter of safety, given that one reason recruits are given access to religious services is to bolster resilience, which can prevent suicide. "Today the hundreds of affected sailors want to know why it is that they will no longer be allowed to practice their religion," he wrote. "They want to know why that one refuge, which has bolstered them so much during this trying time, is being swept out from under them. I would like to know as well, and soon the American people will be asking you the same question."

Click to read more


Unconstitutional Elimination of Religious Support Programs

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Click to read full letter

Letter of Support from MRFF Director of Affairs (of Joint Base San Antonio), Victoria Gettman, Dated April 23rd 2015


As the MRFF Director of Affairs for Joint Base San Antonio, I am shocked and horrified at the recent news coming out of Great Lakes! I also volunteer for trainees in a military basic training. I work with the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) and run an Atheist and Humanist group on Lackland Air Force Base for the basic trainees. I am a civilian Humanist Chaplain with the American Humanist Association (AHA) and volunteer every Sunday to lead a discussion and support group for the trainees. Trainees of all backgrounds, non-religious and religious, attend our meeting and learn and grow together. Many religious minorities do not have support in other meetings and some are curious to learn. We started with a request from 1 trainee and have grown up to 167 trainees. We have over a 100 trainees of on average at the meeting EVERY SUNDAY. The trainees have shared story after story of their gratitude that we exist and how our meeting has given them strength, support and recharged them to continue on through the next week of basic training. Several trainees have stated that they don’t know how they would have made it through basic training without us. We even have parents that attend the meeting or email and inform us of the great benefit of support that our meeting provided their Airman. Volunteers are important to the support and morale of the trainees! We provide support and encouragement for all that attend our meeting.

I believe that commanders need to support their troops and provide everything necessary for the troops to be successful when available and not compromising the mission. It is abhorrent that unequal treatment is being provided to certain religious groups while other religious and non-religious are disregarded and demoralized. This is setting a very bad example to the new Navy recruits. It is sending a very clear message that they have to be a certain religion to have support and acceptance from the Navy. It is showing them that the constitution that they agreed to support and defend is not important enough for the Navy.

This atrocious, divisive and clear violation of equal opportunity needs to be rectified immediately. The troops deserve support to ensure their success.

I speak from my personal perspective and as a Humanist Chaplain. I do not speak for or on behalf of the military.


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