Christian Hate Mail and Military Religious Freedom

by Charles S. Oaxpatu

Whose Head Would the Jesus of the New Testament Bloody?

Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are famous for sending out hate mail to assorted people they dislike. One can perhaps imagine what such hate mail looks like from perusing the many vitriolic and venom-filled fundie comments seen on Facebook and in the comment sections at the ends of numerous on-line blog and newspaper articles. However, I suspect many Americans have never read examples of the private hate mail fundies send out to people in letter form via the U.S. Postal Service or personally in e-mail messages. You are about to be given an opportunity to read some of this hate mail. After you have read it, I suspect you will have a real feel for why so many of these fundies are stricken with love for El Presidente Donaldo Trump.

Michael Weinstein, the Jewish man who is founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), receives a large amount of hate mail from fundies. If you have never heard of the MRFF, it is a private sector organization dedicated:

…to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Why is the MRFF  needed? Well, you would understand it fully if you were a Roman Catholic or Jewish soldier—and your commanding officer was constantly threatening and bullying you into converting to Christian fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism. Even though such coercion violates U.S. Department of Defense policy and regulations, quite a lot of this coercive behavior goes on behind the scenes in the American military. The MRFF was established to aid and protect servicemen and servicewomen from fundie commissioned officers and noncomissioned officers who view the rigid command structure of the American military as a defacto system of slavery. This rigid system is often used to coerce members of the military into converting to and practicing Christian fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism. There are many ways of doing such coercion. For example, a U.S. Army Sergeant who is an IFB Baptist might say something along the lines of:

Private Weiss!!!  Get you butt over here—on the double!!!  I hear you are a Lutheran.  I don’t like apostate Christians like you in my outfit. There is a big tent revival in town tonight, and you are going to it.  I’ll be there.  If I do not see you under the tent tonight, you’ll be doing nothing but washing out dirty garbage cans all next week.

Apparently, from the perspective of the military officers who engage in such abuse, this coercion is necessary to create an all-fundie American military that will be certain to have God on its side when some foreign enemy rushes over the hill to attack our troops. If God looks down from Heaven and sees an all-fundie military, then an American victory is assured. On the other hand, if God looks down on American troops and sees a bunch of United Methodists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, and “nones,” then God will give victory to America’s enemies. American fundies hate the MRFF because it stands in the way of their wet dream—an all-fundie American military composed entirely of “true” Christian soldiers.

Michael Weinstein is a married man, and one day his wife Bonnie began reading the hate mail her husband was receiving from assorted Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals. She was absolutely appalled by the contents of these letters and e-mail messages. Taking the matter to heart, she compiled and published much of this hate mail in a book. The long title of this book is To the Far Right Christian Hater, You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, but You Can’t Be Both. You may buy this book and its coming sequel from Amazon.

Valerie Tarico, a clinical psychologist and former conservative evangelical, read this book and was equally appalled that so many self-professed fundie Christians were sending out hate-filled messages to the MRFF. As a result of her reading, she was inspired to write an on-line article containing numerous excerpted examples of the hate mail published in Ms. Weinstein’s book. You may read this article and the fundie hate mail it contains by clicking on the safe blue link below. However, before reading it, please be advised that some of the language in this hate mail is coarse and worthy of a drunken sailor. Here is the safe link:

Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail

I wish it could be honestly said that such fundie hate mail is confined (regrettably) to the mail boxes of the MRFF. However, that is not the case. Over the past 25 years, I have seen numerous examples of such fundie hate mail in all sorts of places in the American media. Many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals in the United States are clearly white hot with anger at Mainline Christians and other nonfundie American citizens. Various members of their pathetic little tribe just love scorching the people they hate with such messages.  Of course, they call this hatred of theirs love—and wrongly try to pin the wrap for their outlandish behavior on Jesus of Nazareth—when in reality—it is just the fundies alone and their own personal evil at work in this world.

Here is another really odd thing about this Christian fundamentalist hate mail. Did you notice all of the anti-Semitic hatred in the messages you just read? Jesus of Nazareth was a Jewish man for his entire stay on Earth in fully human form. Fundies claim to be the great lovers of modern Israel and the Hebrew people. In their literature and pulpit rhetoric, it is “Judeo-Christian” this and “Judeo-Christian” that—with the “Judeo” part always first. Many of the so-called “true” Christians who write these hate messages clearly hate Jewish people in the name of Jesus.

Does anyone else see the rank hypocrisy in this fundie hate mail? Beats me man—and woman!!!  This hate mail looks just plain crazy to me.

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