Over the past few months, I've been faced with the utter irony of splitting my time between dealing with the steady stream of lies about my boss and the organization I work for being part of the so-called war on Christmas, and having numerous conversations with that same boss about helping to send toys to kids for Christmas. One minute I'd be writing about the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) spreading lies about our organization, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), trying to stop Air Force Academy cadets from participating in Franklin Graham's Operation Christmas Child, which, as I wrote in a previous post, isn't exactly what happened, and the next minute I'd be on the phone coordinating MRFF's participation in a Christmas toy drive run by a student group I work with here in New Jersey.
For the second year, MRFF has partnered with the students of Kean University's Be the Change to send toys to kids in the Gulf whose families have not yet recovered from the BP oil spill, with the students collecting the toys (828 of them this year) and MRFF handling the shipping.
MRFF's involvement with Be the Change's Toys for the Gulf project began last year, when I happened to be on the phone with my boss, Mikey Weinstein, just as I was trying to figure out a way to pay for getting the hundreds of toys collected by the students from New Jersey to Mississippi in time for Christmas. Mikey's immediate response to me explaining our shipping dilemma was that the toys had to get there, whatever it took, and that MRFF would make it happen.
This year, it was Mikey who asked me if we were doing it again, telling me he wanted to help if we were. And so, once again, MRFF, while being relentlessly bashed by the likes of the ACLJ and FOX News as a bunch of Christmas-hating atheists, helped send toys to hundreds of kids whose families couldn't afford much for Christmas. Yes, folks, Mikey Weinstein is a traitor in the war on Christmas!
In reality, of course, MRFF is not an atheist organization. We are a religious freedom organization, with clients, staff, and volunteers of all religions as well as no religion, with the overwhelming majority being Christian, both Protestant and Catholic. So, while we pushed for the religious holiday displays at Travis Air Force Base to be moved two blocks from a main intersection to the chapel grounds, and, when that didn't happen, supported the base's atheist community being able to put up a display alongside the religious displays, we equally supported a Christmas toy project benefiting a community where there are many struggling veterans, as well as some of MRFF's Christian clients. To us at MRFF, that's what religious freedom is all about.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve. The Toys for the Gulf project had been a huge success once again, with the big event having taken place in Gulfport the night before, and I was hanging out with my mom and getting things ready for Christmas Day. I was occasionally checking my email, just in case anything important came in, and, although it's pretty hard to shock me after everything I've seen in my four years of working for MRFF, I couldn't even fathom what I was seeing that night -- hate mail on Christmas Eve! Yes, as I, like millions of other people around the country, was enjoying the holiday, there were so-called Christians out there who are so full of hate that they were actually gathered around their computers instead of their Christmas trees, writing emails like the following.
From: E-Mail Address Withheld
Date: December 24, 2011 3:31:10 PM MST
Subject: Church Xmas Msg. to Mickey's family & MRFF
Our church leaders and congregation have been watching Mickey Weinstien and the MRFF for some time now. We read and watch everything in the news about Mickey and his family and MFRR. We started praying years ago for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to open his blinded eyes to the Good News so that Mickey will stop his wicked war on our brethren Christians in the military. But it has not happened. Our church knows why. Our Bible knows why too. Mickey is gone and lost to satan forever and we no longer waste our time praying to the Savior to stop his evil ways. 2 Corinthians 6:14. To Mickey's wife Bonny we say harken unto the Lord Jesus or face hellfire. To his sons Casey and Curtis we say harken unto the Lord Jesus or face hellfire. To his daughter Amada and his son Caesy's wife Amber we say harken unto the Lord Jesus or face hellfire. To the MRFF people of Patricia, Becky, Chris and Haley and Linda and Leah, Joan and Elisabeth and Philip and Richard and FJ Taylor and Andy and David Akeva and the Ambassador Wilson we say harken unto the Lord Jesus or face hellfire. Your leader Mickey is all possesed of Satan. Can you not see the obvius? If you ask him he will denie this of course which is always the top sign that he is possesed and in league with the dark one. This Christmas it is still not too late for all of you to break away from Mickey and save your souls. By doing this you will finally understand the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ born on Christmas day. If you do not free yourselves of satan's barking dog Mickey this Christmas then you will all find out the Bad News of burning forever in hell soon enough. John 3:36 You will not respond to this message as we know how rude and ruthluss MFRR people always are in replying to polite peaceful and loving Christians trying to stop Mickey.
But what was it that Mikey Weinstein wanted to know from me in the midst of receiving emails like this? That everything with the Toys for the Gulf event had gone smoothly and that the kids had gotten their toys!
I want to end this post with three things.
First, I want to say what amazing people the students of Kean University's Be the Change and their professor, Dr. Norma Bowe, are. Not only do they do special projects like Toys for the Gulf, they work tirelessly all year round feeding the homeless here in New Jersey, working with a teen homeless shelter (with several of the former residents of the shelter having gone on to become Kean students), and doing many other incredible service projects both locally and around the country.
Second, don't believe the BP-produced commercials currently airing on TV that claim that everything is back to normal in the Gulf. It's not.
And, finally, THERE IS NO FREAKIN' WAR ON CHRISTMAS!