Friday, February 4, 2011

Good news from the land of religious tolerance

Some fast thinking professors at the Air Force Academy have filed a lawsuit to keep a self proclaimed Christian motivational speaker from talking at a voluntary prayer breakfast.  Whew.  That was close.  Hopefully the judges in question will see the light and stop this unprecedented use of religion at a prayer breakfast. 

Of course, like most things, the pseudonym that the group aiding the lawsuit goes under is a smoke screen.  The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is an organization that embraces the dogmas of  a singular definition of what constitutes 'proper' religious beliefs.  In an attempt to garner government support for censoring anyone who doesn't share their dogmatic views of religion and its place in society, they continue to play the switch-a-roo with the public, making it seem as if they are really out to promote tolerance and religious diversity, when in fact they are out to get the iron gauntlet of government oppression on their side.  They do this by using the age old 'they're tunneling under our houses I say!  They're out to conquer the world!  We must save ourselves!!' tactics.  You just take an old Nazi propaganda speech c. 1934, scratch out 'Jew', and insert Evangelical Christian.

Now, I spent almost 15 years in ministry in an Evangelical setting.  I rubbed shoulders with many a fundamentalist and conservative Evangelical who had just as strong beliefs as the MRFF does about what constitutes acceptable religious practice.  But it isn't hard to hear the 'Scare Quotes" all over this youtube video, as we are treated to the same type of hysterics that many on the Left accuse the Right of using:

Now, according to MRFF's own website, this is the standards that they seek to promote:

Therefore, MRFF holds that:
  1. No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  2. No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  3. No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  4. No member of the military may be compelled to curtail – except in the most limited of military circumstances and when it directly impacts military discipline, morale and the successful completion of a specific military goal – the free exercise of their religious practices or beliefs.
  5. Students at United States military academies are entitled to the same Constitutional rights pertaining to religious freedoms and the free exercise of those freedoms to which all other members of the United States Armed Forces military are entitled.
  6. No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  7. The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.
  8. It is the responsibility of the military hierarchy to ensure that the free exercise of religious freedoms of all enlisted personnel are respected and served.
  9. All military personnel have the right to employ appropriate judicial means to protect their religious rights.
Fair enough.  Now, will someone please tell me how inviting a Christian speaker to a voluntary prayer breakfast violates any of these?  Which ones?  No?  Well here is their explanation from the article as it appears on Huffington Post:

"By making a fundamentalist Christian the keynote speaker at this event, the government has promoted, elevated, endorsed and favored Christianity over all other religions," they argued.
In other words, simply because of who he is, what he believes, the lawsuit was filed.  Because we know that all of those Jews Fundamentalist Christians are out to take over the world, and it's time we find a final solution to the problem.  That solution?  Make sure that if folks don't embrace the dogmatic definitions of religion that are upheld by these fine, enlightened professors and that bastion of tolerance, the MRFF, then they need to be censored and banished for the good of the nation.


  1. Well written. And well sourced. I appreciate your linking to the MRFF's actual site, rather than some partisan site. I was ready to take you to task over any portrayal of MRFF as some left wing radical group, then I noticed you didn't. You made a fair point. I'm not sure you would disagree with MRFF if you looked at its overall involvement in issues of religious liberty. But I admit I was somewhat shocked by its involvement in this case. I'm not sure that the prayer breakfast is as voluntary as you make it seem, though it could be. I'm willing to wait for more on the nature of the event. But if it is voluntary, then I admit the MRFF, and the professors filing the lawsuit, have overstepped their bounds. I also admit that there are times when those with the MRFF cross the line and begin to sound like so many partisan attack groups, and that's a shame. Nicely done. You made your point, didn't fall into the usual tricks and cheap shots so common on the blogosphere, and you didn't misrepresent any of the parties involved. Furthermore, if what you say is true, I agree that, in this case at least, the MRFF is out of line. Would that more internet discussions be handled this way.


  2. no cheap shots? not misrepresent the parties? He compared them to Nazis! What the hell do you think is a cheap shot?

  3. Anon,

    No, I didn't compare them to Nazis. I said their rhetoric was based on the same hysteria that sounded like the old 'Jews are out to conquer the world' propaganda Nazis used. Did you listen to the word choice in the video? Did you listen to how those who don't embrace their vision of religion were portrayed? They are doing nothing less than saying 'those who don't see religion the way we do should be banned from such public events.' And they wrap it up with the same fear tactics and inflammatory rhetoric that we so often hear the Right condemned for, and has been used before.

  4. Hello,

    Here you provide nice information about religious tolerance. It is the most important reasons for such clashes is due to religious intolerance preached, practiced, promoted and propagated by some of the political and religious leaders. Thanks a lot...


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