- Richard Baker
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
The founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has another Christian taking shots at him in the Colorado Springs daily newspaper.
This would be one Paul R. Baranek whose daughter is married to MRFF's Mikey Weinstein's son.
Seems Weinstein's commitment to a secular American military earns him eternal enmity from the religious right, only this time from a dogmatist who says Weinstein is on a "crusade against Christianity."
Below is Paul R. Baranek's letter and three selected responses.
Who cares about Weinstein?
When will you guys at The Gazette get it that we don’t care what Mikey Weinstein thinks, says or does? In the June 21 article, you mention that he is not going away anytime soon. Not as long as you keep putting his name in the paper, he isn’t! He is not promoting religious freedom. He is trying to snuff out any expression of Christianity. He is looking for publicity. Do you just take your information from him or do you check out your sources? I happen to know the man. My daughter is married to his son.
This man’s motives are anything but noble, and the more publicity you give him, the more you encourage his crusade against Christianity. Please stop!
Paul R. Baranek
Saddened by Baranek
I was deeply saddened by the hateful comments by Mr. Baranek who is obviously so full of bile that he is willing to injure his own daughter just to spite a man with whom he disagrees.
As far as Mr. Weinstein is concerned, I concede bias on my part; you see, the man saved my life. I'm a disabled Veteran who faced discrimination and predatory Christian proselytizing at a V.A. Medical Center because I'm a Jew.
When I approached the hospital administration peacefully, accompanied by my rabbi, hoping to help them understand how offensive their conduct was to me, the hospital cut off all my medical treatment. I was at the time suffering from 7 kidney stones and was a very sick man. Not only did the hospital cut off all my medical care, but they blacklisted me with the other area hospitals. Mr. Weinstein learned of my plight and raised the money himself to fly me to another state where I was provided with the medical care I needed. That's the sort of man Mr. Baranek disparaged in his letter.
Akiva David MIller
Choosing his faith over his own daughter
While I have the pleasure of knowing Mikey Weinstein and his family, I have never met Mr. Baranek. Nonetheless, my heart goes out to him. Life cannot be easy for a man who believes that he must choose his faith over his own daughter, simply because she married a Jew.
Although I am not a Christian, I am familar enough with Christian doctrine to know that love is paramount, and that the Bible can offer guidance and support. Mr. Baranek might consider reflecting on Proverbs 11:29: "He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind."
Religious Bigotry, Mr. Baranek
It breaks my heart to see a father abandon his children for any reason. Religious bigotry, as a reason, is doubly disturbing.
Mr. Baranek sees the world through the prism of narrow and archaic Christian doctrine; doctrine that would be far better suited for the Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials.
I have met Amanda. A young woman of Amanda's advanced intellectual abilities, drive, accomplishment and startling beauty would be enough to swell the chest of any father with pride.
Sadly, such parental pride has not and may never emanate from her natural father.
Fortunately, such a sense of pride has taken place in her life. Father-in-Law Mikey Weinstein and Mother-in-Law Bonnie Weinstein turned parents. There's enough love in Mikey's heart for all his kids, their wives, his parents and the rest of his family. Even with the tremendous amount of love expended on these family members, Mikey's love reservoir is still chock full of care, concern and desire to help our young men and women in the Armed Forces and Service Academies who have found themselves subject to the specter of command influenced and coercive Christian Proselytizing.
That's what the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is all about. Not abrogating the rights of Christians to the free practice guaranteed them by our constitution but to guarantee all of our troops have the equal opportunity to practice theirs. It is no coincidence that over 96% of the 18,000 complaints filed by young service members of all branches and academies that MRFF is now addressing are from Christians. A number of these young Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors, National Guard, Coast Guard, Reserve and Cadet Corps have said they were told they were not "Christian enough."
There is a time and a place for all belief systems in America, a secular nation in which all religions and non-beliefs may flourish but none , irrespective of its majority, dominate.
To Mr. Baranek: you have put out of your life the sweetest thing in it. You have squandered your golden years of Grand fatherhood on your stilted morality.
I imagine that even your God is scratching his head.
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
5205 Harrington DR
Colorado Springs, CO 80911