The opposite of hate mail

Do you know the easiest way to tell if someone is a radical Christian or a compassionate Christian? Usually on whether or not they can spell, utilize proper grammar, and punctuate. Sometimes, though, even the intelligent ones are still hateful bigots.

Here is the latest email from a Christian in the Air Force.

Dear MRFF,

My name is (name redacted).  I am a (rank redactedin the United States Air Force and am currently stationed at Shaw AFB, SC.  As one would expect, I have heard the news about the removal of some, if not all of the components of the Nativity scene that was located and positioned at Memorial Lake. While it is regrettable that your organization would take such an aggressive stance against Christianity, as a Non-denominational Christian myself, all I can say in response, is that despite these attacks (because let’s be honest, they are attacks on multiple levels), I am called to forgive and love you all the same.

This is not sparked by some seasonal impulse or Christmas-time compulsion, but a core belief that has been growing and developing within me ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  While the human nature in me feels compelled to react in a defensive and ultimately counterproductive way, the Holy Spirit in me can only tell you that no matter what you do or say, God loves you and truly wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you.  I know, call me crazy or irrational or a myriad of other epithets, but I’m serious when I tell you, although you don’t even believe in the God I am talking about, I can say on pretty good authority that you are in fact, loved.  This is the narrative of the bible I wish would be more widespread, in that, despite our wicked nature as fallen creations, God loves us.  It defies all logic, but then again, God is not bound by logic.

When I hear stories about individuals such as Mr. Weinstein, to me, there is a sliver of hope that God, as he did with Paul (formerly Saul), will turn someone who was once an enemy and killer of Christians, into arguably one the most renowned and famous evangelists to ever walk this earth (other than Christ himself).  Believe it or not, if you will allow him, God can turn what was once considered not-so-good (from a Christian’s perspective) into something wonderful and beautiful.  I only say this because as a believer, I want nothing more than to share the gospel with those far from God, ultimately, in the hope that they themselves will meet and develop their own relationship.

Here’s another aspect that you may not have considered. Once again, from a Christian’s perspective, what you are advocating for and fighting so vehemently against in terms of completely eliminating Christianity from all areas of Government service, comes really as no surprise to believers.  What is encouraging is that the more God is marginalized across this country and the world at large, the more prophesy is being fulfilled and the more truth your actions are actually speaking in favor of Christian beliefs.  So, as far as I can tell, what is happening all across the world, is exactly what was foreseen thousands of years ago–so I’m going to put that in the win column! :)

My faith, I feel, enhances my effectiveness and ability to lead as an Officer in the Air Force.  I know you would disagree, but the beliefs I espouse are not just random thoughts that appear from time to time, and I do my best not to just pick and choose what to believe based on convenience or anything of that nature, but Jesus has done an irreversible work in me, a work that I don’t deserve.  I try to apply all of Christ’s teachings to my everyday life and how I choose to lead.  To me, what better example of leadership is there than from God himself?  Christ encouraged selflessness and sacrifice and lived it every day.  Above all else, he commands us to love one another and treat those how we would want to be treated.  I hope these are not qualities you would discourage from members of your military. I’ll never be perfect, that’s not the goal nor intent, I am in need of a Savior because I can’t do this life alone and I thank God everyday for not giving up on me.  This is the kind of conviction I pray the Holy Spirit will bring to you and anyone who may read this e-mail.

Here’s the bottom line.  Whether you believe it or not, whether you like it or not, you are loved.  Any person who would write hateful, vitriolic venom your way under the guise of being a “Christian” may need to re-examine their own beliefs.  The last time I checked, the Lord I serve, that being Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by his example, would love you and accept you and most importantly, forgive you, for any action you would take against him. That’s the example and interpretation of the gospel I believe in and that is what I wanted to share with you today.  No matter what actions or stance you may take against my Christian beliefs, I will never hate you for it. Instead, I will forgive you, pray for you, and love you as if you were a Brother/Sister in Christ.

Very Respectfully,

(rank, name)

One of our Board Members at MRFF, Joan – who is an ordained minister, responded.

Joseph,

I have been asked to respond to you.

We are not anti-Christian in anyway but the media deliberately withholds and distorts the truth about us in order to anger Christians and send us email such as yours.

Mikey is Jewish (not an atheist) and 75% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christian. Also, 96% of our soldiers clients (1 can represent 50) are Christians. We support the rights of Christians more than any other religion.

Though I don’t deny your sincerity towards your faith in Jesus (I do, too), you’re the politest one to cloak your condemning words under the guise of forgiveness and love by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Let me show you what we Christians read from your email without the fluff and self-righteousness:

 

Dear MRFF,My name is (name redacted).  I am a (rank redacted) in the United States Air Force and am currently stationed at (location redacted).  As one would expect,I have heard the news about the removal of some, if not all of the components of the Nativity scene that was located and positioned at Memorial Lake.  While it is regrettable that your organization would take such an aggressive stance against Christianityas a Non-denominational Christian myself, all I can say in response, is that despite these attacks (because let’s be honest, they are attacks on multiple levels), I am called to forgive and love you all the same.This is not sparked by some seasonal impulse or Christmas-time compulsion, but a core belief that has been growing and developing within me ever since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  While the human nature in me feels compelled to react in a defensive and ultimately counterproductive way, the Holy Spirit in me can only tell you that no matter what you do or say, God loves you and truly wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you.  I know, call me crazy or irrational or a myriad of other epithets, but I’m serious when I tell you, although you don’t even believe in the God I am talking about, I can say on pretty good authority that you are in fact, loved.  This is the narrative of the bible I wish would be more widespread, in that, despite our wicked nature as fallen creations, God loves us.  It defies all logic, but then again, God is not bound by logic.

When I hear stories about individuals such as Mr. Weinstein, to me, there is a sliver of hope that God,as he did with Paul (formerly Saul), will turn someone who was once an enemy and killer of Christians, into arguably one the most renowned and famous evangelists to ever walk this earth (other than Christ himself).Believe it or not, if you will allow him, God can turn what was once considered not-so-good (from a Christian’s perspective) into something wonderful and beautiful.  I only say this because as a believer, I want nothing more than to share the gospel with those far from God,ultimately, in the hope that they themselves will meet and develop their own relationship.

Here’s another aspect that you may not have considered. Once again, from a Christian’s perspective,what you are advocating for and fighting so vehemently against in terms of completely eliminating Christianity from all areas of Government service, comes really as no surprise to believers.What is encouraging is that the more God is ma rginalized across this country and the world at large, the more prophesy is being fulfilled and the more truth your actions are actually speaking in favor of Christian beliefs.  So, as far as I can tell, what is happening all across the world, is exactly what was foreseen thousands of years ago–so I’m going to put that in the win column! :)

My faith, I feel, enhances my effectiveness and ability to lead as an Officer in the Air Force.  I know you would disagree, but the beliefs I espouse are not just random thoughts that appear from time to time, and I do my best not to just pick and choose what to believe based on convenience or anything of that nature, but Jesus has done an irreversible work in me, a work that I don’t deserve.  I try to apply all of Christ’s teachings to my everyday life and how I choose to lead.  To me, what better example of leadership is there than from God himself?  Christ encouraged selflessness and sacrifice and lived it every day.  Above all else, he commands us to love one another and treat those how we would want to be treated.  I hope these are not qualities you would discourage from members of your military.  I’ll never be perfect, that’s not the goal nor intent, I am in need of a Savior because I can’t do this life alone and I thank God everyday for not giving up on me. This is the kind of conviction I pray the Holy Spirit will bring to you and anyone who may read this e-mail.Here’s the bottom line.  Whether you believe it or not, whether you like it or not, you are loved.  Any person who would write hateful, vitriolic venom your way under the guise of being a “Christian” may need to re-examine their own beliefs.  The last time I checked, the Lord I serve, that being Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by his example, would love you and accept you and most importantly, forgive you, for any action you would take against him.  That’s the example and interpretation of the gospel I believe in and that is what I wanted to share with you today.No matter what actions or stance you may take against my Christian beliefs, I will never hate you for it.  Instead, I will forgive you, pray for you, and love you as if you were a Brother/Sister in Christ.
 
You will forgive us? For what? For defending the Constitution and military law?

 

The Air Force has strict laws on religion.

 

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
Air Force Instruction 1-1
7 August 2012
2.11. Government Neutrality Regarding Religion. Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. For example, they must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline. Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.

 

Our military is a government entity and must remain secular. All religious holidays, feasts and obligations are to be in the hands of the Chaplains on Chapel grounds. This is legal and we encourage it. The Christians can put up a tree, a Nativity scene and any other decorations they want on their grounds – not any place on base they want.

 

We are not taking your religious freedoms away. You are still able to go to the church of your choice, read your bible and celebrate Christian holidays. To say that we are doing that is a real stretch.
You have been deceived.

 

Pastor Joan
MRFF Advisory Board Member

 

 

And the final email from this Airman read like this

Pastor Joan

Thank you for your response!  And please, call me Xxxxxx :D !  I apologize if I came across as fluffy or self-righteous.  If anything I was trying to express how your organization’s actions make me feel as a Christian man in a non-threatening and uplifting manner.  As much as it pains me to say, the perception that I’ve garnered from your website and some of the things I’ve read (from your website) regarding the great lengths your organization takes regarding the expression of Christianity specifically was troubling.  It may not have been your intent to come across that way, but the was the perception that was created (for me anyway) solely from the information put out by your organization.

I hope my words didn’t come across as condemning, but if so, that was not my intent and I apologize if that is how it was interpreted.  I’m glad I came across as polite because that is how I am trying to approach this situation. I harbor no ill-will towards you or your organization and I am doing my best (or as best I can through e-mail haha) to put into practice what I believe and ultimately, share Christ’s love with anyone and everyone who will take the time to listen.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my correspondence and I pray you have a wonderful Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and I hope you enjoy your time with family during this fantastic season!!  I’m thinking 2014 is going to be pretty amazing and I can only imagine what God has in store!!  Be Blessed Pastor Joan and whenever you have some free time, maybe you could check out (webdomain).  Xxxxxxxxx is the church I attend and they have an amazing website!  Anyways, I hope I haven’t come across as argumentative and if nothing else, maybe we can just agree to disagree :) .

Very Respectfully,

Xxxxxx

Now that’s more like it

Can’t we all just play civilly and get along? It’s time more Christians started standing up to the Christo-fascists, though. Hate breeds hate. I’m sick of it. That’s why I do what I do.

I promise no more blogs that are just email blasts. It’s just been a helluva week.

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About Paul Loebe
  • busterggi

    “all I can say in response, is that despite these attacks (because let’s be honest, they are attacks on multiple levels), I am called to forgive and love you all the same.”

    Believers sure use a lot of words to say, “Go fuck yourself.”

    • Paul Loebe

      This guy was genuinely curious and very receptive. He is a good guy. Let’s not throw flames at the allies we make. Most believers are just unaware of what the fuck is going on. This guy was one of them.

      • Wes Guthrie

        The email from the Air Force representative was very tactful and this is the Christianity I represent, as well as what all Christians should represent. As you have stated at the end of your blog “Can’t we all just play civilly and get along?”; we sure can, and it’s high time that everyone realize what’s going on and stop allowing religion, politics and race from dividing us and start uniting under the cause of furthering humanity.

      • kenofken

        This Christian persecution narrative is mostly cultivated and reinforced by civilian culture war groups for their own purposes. They capitalize on these misunderstandings of well established neutrality principles to make it look like there is some new move afoot to ban Christianity. In many cases, they outright manufacture the conflict, deliberately doing something illegal and then crying victim when they get called on it. I wonder if anyone knows in this instance: was this just a misunderstanding of regs, or did someone put up this Nativity in the wrong space to stir up a story at the behest of the Liberty Institute or some other outside group? They seemed to be right in place to spin the story in the media as soon as it went down.

  • Norm Donnan

    As a Christian commenter on a number of atheist sites Ive become used to the caustic bigoted responses to rational discussion over the years,but it is always spelt correctly,well done.


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