With the U.S. Army punishing chaplains for having the audacity to speak about God and the U.S. Air Force taking the phrase “So help me God” out of its cadets’ oaths, it’s tough to tell which of our armed forces is the most hostile to religion. But it looks like the Air Force is taking the lead, at least for now.
According to Fox News, the baby Jesus has been given the boot from the Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, not to mention Mary, Joseph, the wise men and various farm animals. The nativity scene had been located at the edge of Memorial Lake, but no more, thanks to the ever vigilant Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
According to this organization, the nativity scene was causing emotional trauma to some of the Air Force personnel who saw it. If viewing plastic statutes of long-deceased Middle Eastern people and animals causes emotional trauma for our armed forces, I hate to think how they feel when confronted by live people trying to kill them in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Paul Loebe of the MRFF called the nativity scene “a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution” and an “egregious violation.” I’m guessing he had to refer to his thesaurus for that second one.
Liberty Institute Director of Litigation Hiram Sasser said that it was the military that was acting in an unconstitutional manner by first allowing the nativity scene and then banning it due to its religious viewpoint. He also called it “unlawful censorship of private religious speech.”
I understand that separation of church and state is a slippery slope, but I have to wonder about the motivation of people who devote their lives to squashing the religious expressions of others. Not something I’d want to have on my “spiritual resume” when it comes time to check out of this life.
How do you feel about public displays of faith? Do they offend you? Do they need to be kept away from public areas? Please let me know how you feel about this.