About five years ago, Bonnie Weinstein, a co-founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, published a book compiling selections of the hate mail MRFF received for promoting church/state separation in the military. A lot of the letters were directed at her husband, Mikey Weinstein, the public face of the organization.
She said at the time that the letters, mostly from conservative Christians, clearly misunderstood the group’s intentions. They acted like MRFF was “attacking their beloved version of fundamentalist Christianity,” when the truth was they just didn’t want the military being used to advance or promote any one particular belief.
Neutrality, to those haters, was synonymous with hating Christianity.
Bonnie has now written a follow-up book — with, yes, even more hateful messages — called When Christians Break Bad: Letters from the Insane, Inane, and Profane. This time, the letters come with responses from Weinstein herself along with any official responses sent back to the writers from the organization.
Some of the exchanges are downright hilarious. Some are frightening. Most of them would get this post flagged by any online filter. But I would point you to this passage from the introduction:
I think all of you who read this book will realize that very little of it reflects what is normal for most of the population, far from it. Yet, it represents what is normal for myself, my husband and those involved in the foundation. This book highlights and showcases the intelligence, humor, wit, patience, anger, and frustrations of a small group of our volunteers who reply to our hate mail and I hope you enjoy the responses as much as I have. Some are caustic in tone and others seek to inform. No matter what you may think of the correspondence, it is a rough and tough job responding to these letters. I think they reflect the human side of a superb and varied team of volunteers. They do this on their own time to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the foundation which my husband and I started in 2005. They seek to enlighten and correct the misconceptions floating out there about the foundation and the mission behind it. Sometimes to do so is an exercise in futility, still they plug away.
If reading mostly Christian hate mail (and the responses to them) is up your alley, this book is eye-opening. You get a sense of just how dangerous it can be to fight for church/state separation, especially when it comes to the military, where passions are high for everyone.
The book will be officially released on Tuesday.