Mr. Dave Rehbein
National Commander, American Legion
700 North Pennsylvania St.
PO Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
29th June, 2009
I am writing you this day to inform you that on June 20th, 2009, I had a room reserved at the American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton NY. I had requested this reservation by phone, informing Post staff that I had planned to hold a Christian religious seminar at the venue on the designated date, for a group of 12 to 20 people, where there would be several speakers. Both I and another Christian pastor, Eli James, announced this seminar on our websites well in advance of the scheduled date, and some of the seminar attendees travelled from as far away as Virginia and Illinois. Reporting to the hall at approximately 11:00 AM on the scheduled date, some of the attendees inspected the venue and informed the management of the Post that, the meeting not scheduled to begin until 1:00 PM, we would return after lunch and begin to get set up. Upon returning to the Post, it being less than an hour before the time of the meeting, we noticed a small group of college-aged youths assembled across the street from the hall. It was not long before we learned that these were protesters from some local organization, and to our dismay, they were there to protest our small event. We were at that time informed by Post staff that our venue for the planned seminar was being cancelled.
We do not belong to any particular organization, and therefore we do not have any powerful voice representing us in the community. Rather, most of us are independent, non-sectarian, conservative, traditional Christian pastors who have over many years formed a loose alliance of association, and without an organized hierarchy. Yet it seems that certain organizations keep an eye on some of our websites, hoping to harass us whenever they find an opportunity. For in some circles, traditional Christianity is considered to be “anti-semetic”, and “intolerant”, and without even hearing from us, for that reason alone our small event was cancelled by the American Legion Post 80 staff. Of course, the Post staff repeated some slanderous statements which they had heard from those harassing us, which included connecting us to that James Von Brunn character of recent headlines, a man who was not even a Christian and who himself has made many anti-Christian statements in his own writings. The staff member did this without even questioning us concerning our own intents and purposes!
I find it difficult to fathom that an organization such as the American Legion, which claims to be a defender of the liberties which we have in this nation as expressed in the Bill of Rights of the United States’ Constitution, does not have the backbone to defend those rights. We – meaning myself along with our unofficial group of traditional conservative Christians – had long scheduled and publicly announced a meeting whereat we had planned on hosting several Christian speakers, all who were merely planning to discuss the context and substance of the epistles of Paul of Tarsus which are found in our Bibles. There is hardly a threat to the peace and security of the State or to any particular group in doing that, is there? Yet the local post of the American Legion – Post 80 in Binghamton, NY, allegedly receiving a telephone call from the “New York Times”, immediately cancelled our venue for the planned “Saul/Paul Conference” which we had been announcing. When I first obtained the necessary reservation for the venue, by telephone on May 19th (and they had long since cashed the check I had sent immediately after that), I had made it clear that we were planning a Christian religious meeting at which there would be several speakers, and at the most probably a few dozen attendees.
I have since learned that a radical group, which calls itself the “ARA” (for “anti-racist action”) and which promotes Marxist philosophies on its website (http://antiracistaction.org/), has publicly claimed credit for having our meeting cancelled. This group has many statements on its website which indicate to me that it is Marxist, anti-Christian, and anti-American in nature, as it espouses radicalism and violence to promote “a classless free society”. With the Marxists and the anti-Christs, it is not the truth that matters; rather it is only the propaganda that advances their own decadent agenda that matters: and that is what our group was victimized by on June 20th. But whether it was really the New York Times which contacted the local American Legion post, or someone from this radical Marxist group (which I find to be much more likely) pretending to be a Times reporter, does not even matter. With a mere telephone call where accusations were made that could not be substantiated, and a handful of young and raggedy-looking demonstrators, the American Legion buckled in to the slightest pressure from the enemies of God and Christ, and denied our right to peaceable speech and assembly. There were veterans of America’s wars among those of our group. Evidently at least one American Legion post must feel that they must have gone overseas to fight for the rights of Marxists and anti-Christs, and not for the Constitution! Is this what the American Legion has become?
4233 State Highway 23
Norwich, NY 13815