Rob Brendle, associate pastor of New Life Church, sent me the following this evening. It is an email exchange between the man who recently filed the latest religious discrimination lawsuit against the Air Force Academy, Mikey Weinstein, and NAE President Ted Haggard.
This whole exchange is unedited; Weinstein's strange email writing style reportedly mimics his frenetic real-life speech. Several things pop out as interesting here. Haggard opens with an obvious poke, and then speaks in what comes off as written talking points.
Does Mr. Weinstein have the right to have a court decide if the AFA is violating constitutionally based rights regarding separation of church and state? I think he does, and any speculation that these charges are bogus are probably intellectual-masturbation sessions better left to a court. Perhaps Fox News can report and then you can decide. ;)
Why is this bigger news than the religious right's "War on Science" that is being waged in science classrooms across the country? Some evangelicals are always going to witness, whether they are teachers or fellow students. That is what they are supposed to do.
Finally, can anyone guess why Haggard spends so much time trying to build alliances with the Jews worldwide? I have more than a hunch. They of course really are all about spreading good will to their fellow man, but the evangelicals are forming an alliance to fight a global war against Islam in the near future. Am I wrong about that? I don't think so. I've discussed this topic at length with senior New Lifers. Rob Brendle told me that he believes that France, Spain and Sweden are already hopelessly lost and shall become Islamic Republics within 15 years. He says that the rest of Europe may very well soon follow and that we are at risk of the same right here. Ted Haggard himself has been quoted as saying, “My fear, is that my children will grow up in an Islamic state.” They fear the spread of Islam right here in America and view it as a serious threat to our freedom. Are they wrong? Who knows. I think our rampant pop-culture would replace any hard-core religious values with a lighter and easier Pepsi style "gotta-have-it-now" type of materialistic faith. I bet SUV owning Islamic folks wouldn't want to blow themselves up any more than SUV owning evangelicals.
It seems that the evangelicals fear Islam for the same reasons that I fear the Christian far right.
Complete email exchange below.
12/28/95 7:00 PM
I thought you would get a kick out of one of the jokes that are being circulated in the Christian community in response to the debate about additional government supervision of religious expression in the military.
Pastor Ted Haggard
Colorado Springs, CO
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."
12/28/05 11:23 PM
.....Ted....looooong time no chat, bro............sincerely hope you and yours are all well........a real shame we are at war with each other.........the press tells me you say some "interesting" things about me........others (non-press) tell me the same.......apparently, the night has a thousand eyes and ears......so does the day......no worries, Ted.......par for the course in this Constitutional conflagration, eh??!!.........I keep waiting for you to invite me up to your New Life enclave to finally give MY side of this bloody thing to your dominionist pals and followers.........you provide the security/bodyguards and I'll bring "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey might say............don't fret, I'll not be holding my breath for the invite...............notwithstanding the forgoing, please DO have a wonderful New Year.............2006 WILL be a magnificent year for the United States Constitution................I promise you that, my brother..................shalom, Mikey
12/29/95 8:35 AM
No worries. We've fought these battles before. In some nations, under the banner of freedom of religion, they limit religious speech to anyone but the already converted. To limit freedom of religion, speech or the press under the guise of freedom of religion, speech or the press happens often. That's what we're facing with your efforts. But I'm confident authentic freedom will prevail. I think I have a higher view of adults to manage freedom of religion, speech, and the press. I don't believe government supervision is necessary except in extreme cases (Christian or Islamic religious speech used to incite violence, etc.), and that in fact freedom and goodness increase in any society that takes the risk of embracing first amendment ideas. No doubt, some would rather have government supervised religion, press, and speech, because it does provide comfort to those who think government supervision of expression is beneficial to their cause, but I think we've proven world-wide that, in most cases, individual freedom is better than increased government regulation.
My concern, though, as I expressed on the phone to you, is not exclusively the American issue, but the global struggle for the advancement of representative government, civil liberties, and fundamental freedom. It is my view that both Christian and Jewish leaders would be wise to unite together to protect those who are threatened with extermination and death. If Jewish and Christian believers in America remain fractured, we're going to lose too much world-wide. Instead, Christian and Jewish believers need to become friends and work together. This note came in my mail this morning:
Though many of them have only appeared on page two of local Jewish papers, while completely omitted from the regular press, a wave of anti-Jewish attacks continues around the globe. Here are just a few examples of incidents in recent weeks.
In Australia the Executive Council of Australian Jewry's annual report points to Jews there increasingly being verbally abused and physically attacked. "There were 332 incidents of anti-Jewish assault, vandalism, intimidation and harassment in the past 12 months," according to the report. Among the incidents reported were arson attacks on synagogues, vandalism and Nazi graffiti on property, assaults on Jewish men by unknown assailants, and vandalism of Jewish schools and synagogues.
A 16-year-old British Jew was attacked with a knife in Manchester last week. His ear was slashed and his assailant shouted anti-Jewish slogans as he attacked him. A local rabbi chased the attacker.
A French court sentenced a 25-year-old man last week to three years in jail for vandalizing a cemetery with Nazi graffiti and anti-Jewish slogans.
Three teens in Swampscott, Massachusetts have been charged with hate crimes after burning a van belonging to a local Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue. The same Chabad synagogue was broken into in October and anti-Jewish graffiti was scrawls inside the sanctuary.
A large menorah was torn down and stomped to pieces by a group of vandals at a South Philadelphia community center last week. The community says it will put up a newer and brighter Chanukah menorah to replace it.
An anti-Jewish TV program called "America is a Changing Country” was aired on cable access television in Maryland. The program, produced by National Alliance neo-Nazi group, blames, “Jewish media” for urban decay and the denigration of "Aryan values."
These types of issues deeply alarm me and I think they need to be addressed by innovative men like yourself. It's a mistake to juxtapose Jewish and Christian believers in America. No doubt, it's financially profitable for groups leading both sides. I think, though, it would be best if leaders stood hand in hand, heart to heart, protecting peoples lives.
I don't want to get into an e-mail discussion. I just wanted you to know that I'm constantly involved in trying to protect Israel and other international Jewish interests, and find it difficult to defend Jewish causes around the world and, at the same time, have men like yourself trying to use increased government regulation to limit freedom here at home.
Pastor Ted Haggard
Colorado Springs, CO
12/29/05 9:07 AM
...."men like yourself"??...."your efforts"??......Ted, you have absolutely NO idea as to what "religious freedom" actually means, apparently!!..........I'll, too, NOT do this via e-mail, but suffice it to say that I WHOLEHEARTEDLY reject en toto your patently ridiculous assertions that me and mine are somehow "hurting" your feelings and trying to restrict YOUR religious freedoms.......your baseless whining and illogical and twisted view of the First Amendmant (and utterly warped view of the other relevant and germane parts of our Constitution-see Clause 3 of Artivle 6-!) is not remotely surprising as, without a scintilla of a doubt, you subscribe to the tortured, pedestrian tripe that this wonderful nation's longstanding "tolerance of diversity" is nothing more than evincing "INtolerance of the majority".............how DARE you try to assert that me and my supporters are making it MORE difficult for YOU to fight "global antisemitism!!!!!.........("with friends like you, eh??!!)....in other words, you exhibit a boundless hubris in trying to posit that, because we take a firm stand against you and yours, we are, thus, endangering YOUR noble national and international efforts to "protect" me, my family, my people and what??...all of the rest of world Jewry too!!??.......that unbridled, sanctimoniously triumphant and callous position is nothing less than pitiably shameful, Ted....and you KNOW it, too!!!....shame, Ted, SHAME on you for that!!!.......pleaee THINK what you just said to me!!..........that is quite beneathe contempt.....even for YOU!!!....."we" don't depend upon ol' Ted to be our worldwide protector.....sigh...perhaps someday you'll see me as something other than solely as a Jew.......as to the efforts of me and the new Foundation you ridicule, sorry, you'd best get used to us, we're NOT going away.....not EVER!!!......you wanna continue this, I suggest ya call me cell [removed]XXX-XXX-XXXX home [removed]XXX-XXX-XXXX be happy to talk......Mikey
12/29/05 9:15 AM
Relax. Take a deep breath.
Pastor Ted Haggard
Colorado Springs, CO
12/29/05 9:55 AM
........Ted, thx for your apparent personal concern....but take heart, actually, I am always "realxed" and always take breaths in accordance with my need for it....nevertheless, it would sadly seem, Ted, that you and I and our respective causes are not even close enough to be considered "two ships passing in the night" but, rather, we are at best "2 starships passing on opposite ends of the universe and in separate space-time continuums"......which is why, I suppose, we fight each other.....you do not "get" me or mine at all (or are engaging in willful ignorance in not so "getting") but I assure you that we most CERTAINLY DO "get" you and yours which is why I'm battling in Federal court right now..........hmmmmmmmm??......given this recent e-mail discourse between us, I can only imagine the mischief that might be wrought if we actually TALKED on the phone, perish the thought, eh??.......Mikey
12/29/05 11:45 AM
Your last e-mail communicates some things that I don't believe are true. I don't believe Evangelical Christians and Jewish believers are enemies as you imply. I don't believe Evangelical support for Jewish causes are either unnecessary, egotistical or self-centered. No doubt, it will take more people than just Evangelicals to protect Jewish people from anti-semitism, but we need to do our part. I've been in Evangelical churches all my life and I've never heard any teaching other than support for Jewish people and interests, and respected Jewish leaders have reinforced this view. Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Avraham Hirchson, Marvin Hier, Danny Ayalon and many other highly recognized Jewish leaders have all communicated with me about the positive and vital role evangelicals have in the support of the causes to which they have dedicated their lives. Your note communicates the opposite.
I represent the largest group of Evangelicals in America, and the evidence suggests that Evangelicals are the friends of Jewish individuals and interests, not enemies. If these and other Jewish leaders have evaluated the evidence correctly and have said what they believe to be true, then the majority of Evangelicals are friends, not foes.
I believe it's best for Jewish and Evangelical Christians to work together. I think the cause of freedom, civil liberties, the principles outlined in the first amendment, and the protection of all people can be advanced if we work together. Freedom of speech, the press, and religion are fundamental to the advancement of civilization. Government supervision of any of these hasn't proven beneficial anywhere in the world. Mikey, I think you're falling into a trap of believing that the use of government regulation to restrain opinions you disagree with will be beneficial. We are a pluralistic society that needs to embrace differences, not squelch them. In order for this to work, we need to live in an atmosphere of mutual respect. These are the ideals for which I am an advocate, while you are working to muzzle freedom of expression under the guise of separation of church and state. I am a strong supporter of the establishment clause, but it can be easily misconstrued. I think you might not have as many enemies as you imagine. Regardless, this will in fact be a great year for the constitution.
Pastor Ted Haggard
Colorado Springs, CO