MRFF rescues Halloween from commander who wanted real Jews to “play Jews” for Christmas play
Here at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the Christmas season starts almost as early as it does on the Hallmark Channel, with fundamentalist Christian military commanders already beginning even before Halloween to plan this year’s irksome festivities.
We begin this year’s holiday season with a commander who had the genius idea to pressure the Jewish service members under them to “play Jews” in a Christmas “origin story” play. This genius concept rivals the one that MRFF encountered a number of years ago when a commander serving in Afghanistan had the clever idea of having his base’s Afghan interpreters play genuine, honest-to-god Arabs in their nativity spectacle.
We begin this year’s holiday season with a commander who had the genius idea to pressure the Jewish service members under them to “play Jews” in a Christmas “origin story” play.
In both cases, these enlightened commanders gave the same reason for enlisting the thespian services of non-Christians to play the ethnic roles in their Christmas productions — they claimed it was in the interest of “unity.” Yes, folks, getting non-Christians to partake in the observance of the mother of all Christian holidays is all about unity!
Uniting all those misguided non-Christians with those in the fold of Christianity! Of course, when the situation was reversed, and service members deployed in Muslim countries were told to respect the traditions of the Muslims observing Ramadan by not eating or drinking while in public, Fox News and other illustrious news outlets blew a gasket, raising the hue and cry that the military was forcing its members to practice Islam. But this is different! This is about Christmas! This is a holiday on which a Christian commander ordering a Muslim soldier to dress up as Santa sees nothing wrong with their twisted concept of “inclusiveness.”
And then there was the time that a group of service members tasked with planning a Thanksgiving “Pilgrim Heritage” event by their Christian commander came to MRFF for help not only with their commander’s insistence that it be a Christian event because the Pilgrims were Christians but had the exceptional idea to ask one of the service members, who happened to be a native American, was asked to dress up like an “Indian” to add to the “historical” nature of the event!
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here with Christmas and Thanksgiving. We still have Halloween to deal with!
The same commander who, as of a few days ago, was poised to have the Jewish personnel in their command “play Jews” for Christmas also —again in the interest of “unity” — wanted all personnel to forego celebrating Halloween, saying that “Halloween is a very divisive event for believing Christians like me and my family and many others …” and that celebrating it would "negatively affect unit equality, diversity and unity." Really? THAT would negatively affect unit equality, diversity, and unity? But getting real Jews to “play Jews” for Christmas wouldn’t?
But, not to worry, MRFF shut this confused commander’s ill-considered holiday plans down lickety-split. As one of the over 50 service members who came to MRFF about this one wrote in the below e-mail, it took less than four hours for MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein to both save Halloween and save the Jewish service members from the humiliation of “playing Jews” for team Jesus.
From: (Active Duty U.S. Military Member/MRFF Client’s E-mail address withheld)
Subject: MRFF stops Christian insanity at our military base in under 4 hours
Date: October 27, 2021 at 3:59:11 PM MDT
To: Information Weinstein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hello to Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF,
Want to keep this short & to the point.
Over 50 (name of military personnel branch personnel withheld) of us contacted the MRFF earlier this day for help to stop our crazy (unit deputy commander name, rank and title withheld) who was trying to stop us from celebrating Halloween on base here at (name of military installation withheld) or anywhere else and from trying to get Jewish personnel in our unit to agree to “play Jews” in his idea for our unit Christmas “origin story” play.
For the record, I am one of those “Jewish personnel" under his command but well over 90% of the rest of us who came to the MRFF this morning are Christians of one stripe or another.
We have a pretty large unit. When our (unit deputy commander’s name, rank and title withheld) addressed us all at a mandatory unit meeting yesterday he actually had the damn gall to tell us that “Halloween is a very divisive event for believing Christians like me and my family and many others here at (name of military installation withheld).” He further argued that if we made the “personal choice to celebrate it” this would be disrespectful to the (military branch’s name withheld) core goals and would "negatively affect unit equality diversity and unity."
Most of us were effin shocked at this. Oh, but there is more!
After this jacked up shit about Halloween he gave us an example of “good unit equality diversity and unity”. He said that this year our unit would be having a “Christmas play” to "celebrate the origins of Christ’s birth" and that he’d be asking Jewish members of our unit to volunteer to play “Jewish characters” in the Christmas saga of Jesus’ birth!
WTF? Are you shitting us we all thought? That is some more seriously jacked up shit! As a Jewish member of this unit (and we have several) there is NO way I’d ever stoop to such a thing.
We knew this was all messed up and one of us (name, rank and title withheld) said we should call the MRFF.
Nobody wanted to start a war with our Deputy Commander for fear of him finding a way to retaliate but we called the MRFF and Mr. Weinstein himself answered right away.
He recognized our situation and said that the MRFF had successfully dealt with this pretty exact same type of outrageous shit before. He said he’d have the MRFF staff send him some links to send to us about these other instances.
Like maybe only a matter of minutes later we got the forwarded e-mail from Mikey which came from Chris Rodda at MRFF.
We read it and were as shocked & pissed off as we were with (unit deputy commander’s name, rank and title withheld)’s rant against us having fun with Halloween and his additional shit about asking Jewish unit members LIKE ME to play “Jews” in his planned Christmas play for our unit.
Mr. Weinstein told us he’d be happy to engage personally with our chain of command. We thought about it but instead we went to (senior enlisted NCO’s name, rank and title withheld) and showed her the e-mail Mikey had forwarded from Chris Rodda showing the MRFF’s victories over similar instances of insane Christian command decrees.
She said she had heard of the MRFF & told us to hold on and let her try to fix this. Using the MRFF e-mail Mikey sent from Chris Rodda she went to our most senior unit leadership immediately.
Just under 4 hours after we had first contacted the MRFF our Commander personally called our unit leadership into a sudden meeting and told them to tell us that he expected us all to thoroughly enjoy Halloween and that there would be no unit Christmas play at all let alone one where Jewish unit members would be asked to participate as “Christmas origin story Jews”!
So we have a happy ending. Except (unit deputy commander name, rank and title withheld) should get his ass kicked by our chain of command which will likely never happen.
Anyway big shoutouts to the MRFF for helping us out of this bullshit and in record time.
We do not want to ID the unit or installation or the names of our unit leadership here. Everyone still knows that( unit deputy commander name, rank and title withheld ) could still try to mess us up.
And if he does we will call Mikey and the MRFF again.
But thank you to all of you at the MRFF for being there to lead us to a big “W” here! Thank you all for being totally ready when we called you for this help!
(name, rank, title and installation of Active Duty military member withheld)