News

Military Bible display at center of religious liberty tussle

The main entrance to the F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyo. Photo courtesy Creative Commons

(RNS) — A Bible placed on a memorial table at a Wyoming Air Force base is at the center of an ongoing battle over what constitutes religious liberty and what violates it.

In response to demands by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Col. Stacy J. Huser, commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyo., recently ordered that a Bible be removed from the base’s “Missing Man” table. The table, a POW/MIA memorial common in military base dining halls, hospitals and ceremonies since the Vietnam War, is set for a meal in honor of prisoners of war, the missing in action and the fallen. A Bible is traditionally placed on the table.

But Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the foundation, said the Bible violates the civil rights of military personnel, many of whom “have been abused in the military for not being Christian enough.” Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and firebrand lawyer, claims to represent more than 50,000 anonymous clients worldwide, many of them Christians.

Weinstein approached Huser in May on behalf of 36 unnamed base officers and enlisted personnel. According to Weinstein, Huser “jumped right on it” and thanked him for “taking care of our Airmen.” A replacement “book of faith” is in the works that will feature teachings from five religious traditions and include blank pages representing nonbelief. Alternate religious texts, including the Torah and the Book of Mormon, are being rotated through the Missing Man table until the interfaith book becomes available.

Huser said in a media statement that the Bible was removed to increase “the sense of belonging for all our Airmen; a large part of that effort is ensuring the religious and nonreligious feel included and cared for.”

The Family Research Council, a conservative faith-based advocacy group, is asking via petition that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson restore the Bible at Warren Air Force Base. The FRC said the generic book is “an affront … to the very real faith that sustained many of our heroic POW/MIA warriors.”

A Holy Bible on the POW/MIA “Missing Man” table at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, similar in style to the disputed table at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Photo courtesy Military Religious Freedom Foundation

According to Chris Gacek, FRC senior fellow for regulatory affairs, such cases represent a “trivialization of religious freedom rights.”  Placement of the Bible on the Missing Man table constitutes a minor, passive and nonparticipatory presence of a religious symbol, he said, something that reasonable interpretations of First Amendment law would not consider offensive. Further, said Gacek, in military cemeteries and memorials, where thoughts often turn to meaning-of-life issues, religious symbols of various faiths seem natural and even vital to many.

“The commander made a big boo-boo when she substituted another book,” said Gacek. Creating the interfaith book could be seen as violating the First Amendment by demonstrating government bias in favoring one kind of religious content over another and establishing a preferred religion — or in this case, many religions.

The outcome of such demands and litigation threats often rests on the prevailing views of the current presidential administration. In 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled that he would intervene in religious liberties cases only with a high level of need, a standard the Missing Man table controversy doesn’t meet “even remotely,” said Gacek.

In addition to petitioning Wilson, the FRC is appealing to members of Congress and to the public, urging a considered approach as opposed to the recent “hair trigger” removals of statues, monuments and other public symbols after complaints that they are offensive. “Are you going to rip out the crosses on the graves at all the American (military) cemeteries in Europe?” asked Gacek.

For his part, Weinstein stands firm, evoking former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and claims that the placement of the Bibles is “the worst form of bigotry and prejudice … raping the civil rights of [those who object to the Bible’s display].”

Weinstein recently claimed victory by having the Buffalo VA Medical Center remove their Missing Man table Bible. And in a U.S. naval hospital in Okinawa, Japan, where MRFF’s demands were refused, an investigation is underway.

To Weinstein, only three table options are acceptable: Don’t put the Bible on it, put a blank book on it or put out the multifaith book. Otherwise, he said, “Don’t do a table.”

Gacek, on the other hand, contended that America’s Founding Fathers understood “that a society with any hope of being well-ordered” is dependent on shared, religiously rooted values. “The U.S. was not founded by people who were atheists.”

About the author

Mary Beth McCauley

257 Comments

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  • The FRC is absolutely right. Every American soldier has always been a devout Christian, and certainly all our POWs and MIAs are too. There’s no need to have anything but the Bible, because the Bible represents everybody equally. Why should Christians be forced to tolerate the existence of non-Christians? That’s a violation of everything this country was founded on!

  • “an affront … to the very real faith that sustained many of our heroic POW/MIA warriors.” – note he said MANY not all. So MRFF is correct.

  • So then obviously there will be a copy of the Hindu Bible, the Quran, as well as an assortment of Wiccan texts on display at the Air Force Academy too, right? Because clearly they mean freedom for ALL religions to display their holy books at taxpayer-funded public sites, right? Because anything less than that would obviously mean freedom for Christians only, and everyone else, including non-believers, can all just F*** off, and that wouldn’t be right, would it?

  • Thank you to Col. Huser for quickly implementing Mr. Weinstein’s suggestion. When a member of the U.S. armed forces dies in service, is injured in combat, or is held as a POW, that member — regardless of his or her religion or lack thereof — has been in service to our country, ALL OF US. As a Catholic and as a veteran, I thank Mr. Weinstein for his work to protect the rights of religious minorities in uniform.

    As for the Family Research Council, phhttttttttt.

  • That’s the correct spelling according to “The Deplorables’ Dictionary.” In that book you can spell anything you want the way you want and get away with it.

  • “Placement of the Bible on the Missing Man table constitutes a minor, passive and nonparticipatory presence of a religious symbol, he said, something that reasonable interpretations of First Amendment law would not consider offensive.”

    Well, then, it is just as reasonable to assume that the presence of a Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, holy symbol should also not be offensive. It doesn’t have to be a Bible – it only needs to be a recognizable religious symbol. Or a multifaith book.

    I actually like the idea of a multifaith book. That would show respect for all religions without giving prominence to one religion. I also like Col. Huser’s attitude to fix a problem when it is pointed out.

  • https://web.archive.org/web/20140703031332/http://www.militarytimes.com/interactive/article/20140702/NEWS/307020076/Exclusive-Nonprofit-CEO-cashes-religious-freedom-campaign

    Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is sucking about 47% of the total revenue from the teat of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

    This outfit is another scam IMHO along the lines of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which was founded primarily to provide its founder Anne Nicol Gaylor a nice home and living, and since her death has provided her daughter Annie Laurie Gaylor and her husband a nice home and living and funds their retirement.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_L._Weinstein

    As with the FFRF, the MRFF concocts these hare-brained publicity stunts but rarely wins anything significant.

  • You see, THAT’s what I like about this Mikey Weinstein bloke. American Christians have become lazy, complacent, sloppy, sleepy. Taking their gift of Religious Freedom so much for granted, that now it’s at the top of the Endangered Species List.

    So that’s where good ole Mikey comes in. What we sleepy Christians really need now, is a card-carrying fang-dripping anti-Christian terrorist fanatic with a law degree, who someday might indeed “rip out the crosses on the graves at all the American military cemeteries in Europe” if he gets in position to do so. Christians badly need a wake-up call, and Mikey has graciously volunteered to help us out.

    Permanently removing some cheap little symbolic Bible off a symbolic “MIA dinner table” may not seem like much, but that’s just the opening chess move. Mikey’s endgame is to help permanently remove Christian religious freedom off of America’s table.

  • There never should have been a book on the table. The table is to call attention to the sacrifices of military men and women who give all in service.
    It should NOT be a religious billboard and should NOT be kidnapped into religious disputes which overshadow the whole purpose of the table in the first place. Forget a “multi-faith” book. No book.

  • So, voice of Bob. Are you defending anti semites now?

    Good show. You can always depend on BobWorld for the best of rightwingerism.

    Back to ignoring you.

  • FRC’s view, according to the story, is that a multi-faith book would favor “one kind of religious content over another”. Multi-faith or no faith is another belief, goes the argument,so there’s no neutral ground.

  • Warren AFB, by the way, is home to much of the US ICBM arsenal. Anybody see any irony about displaying a book with the Sermon on the Mount there?

  • So attacking the person rather than addressing the issue. Because you have no sane argument in defense of leaving the Bible there at all.

    “Mikey’s endgame is to help permanently remove the religious freedom of Christians, off of America’s table.”

    Religious freedom never extended to pretending that all Americans and its military are part of the Christian faith.

  • Bob loves Nazis. I don’t even have to read his post to know he said something monumentally stupid in support of Mr. Hobs.

  • Somehow, and maybe it is just me, I don’t think the fact that you call someone an “anti-semite” means they’re an anti-semite, anymore that you’re calling me BobWorld makes me so, or referring to everyone who disagrees with you as a fundamentalist or a rightwinger means she or he is a fundamentalist or a rightwinger.

    And let’s simply cut the cr-p: if you wanted to ignore you’d block me.

    You haven’t.

    And we both know why.

  • I assume you realize that (a) this “news story” was provided to Mary Beth McCauley gratis by Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, that the Family Research Council will get no satisfaction, and this is neither news nor all that interesting.

  • There is no issue.

    Michael “Mikey” Weinstein tried to create one, the commander Colonel Huser ordered the Bible removed from the base’s “Missing Man” table, end of story.

    But, since you’re a sucker for FFRF and AUFSC, I can well imagine you’ll be writing a check to Weinstein’s checking account as well.

    Barnum said it best.

  • Spuddie wouldn’t know a Nazi if someone wearing a black uniform with a totenkopf on the front of his cap goosestepped across his face.

    He just loves to call people names, and “Nazi” is this month’s special.

  • Which is why the alternative would be to have no book on the table. At a meal shouldn’t people be talking to each other rather than reading a book? Isn’t the idea of sitting down at a table with fallen comrades and living ones about communing with each other not with books?

  • As a super duper good Christian (TM, SM, and perhaps S&M), BobWorld is called to love all people. And if they happen to be antisemites, who could Nazi see that they need love more than anyone else?

  • Surely, you jest, Brian. Have you ever been to a military cemetery? If so, please explain the Stars of David, Buddhist, Hindu and Humanist symbols. You ignorance of the lack of religion of many of our founding fathers is appalling.

  • No. You are suggesting we wish men and women in MIA/POW or fallen status were to read the federalist papers if they could somehow come home and be honored?

  • WRONG! There have been men and women of many faiths and of no faith in the US military from the beginning! Christianity has often been forced on military personnel AND there have been objections. Military chaplains are to serve all faiths not just their own. This country was NOT founded on Christianity. The ideals of our country come from the Enlightenment. The Ten Commandments are Judaic NOT Christian. Your ignorance is inexcusable.

  • Not where you are supposed to be eating! Remember the table is set for a meal! I think the table should be gotten rid of and perhaps a sign or plaque commemorating the missing.

  • “So attacking the person rather than addressing the issue” – don’t make Bob’s head hurt- ad hom is his go to reaction.

    Asking him to think of a helpful, reasoned and relevant response probably counts as cruel and unusual punishment!

  • As a no goodnik secular Jew atheist homosexual, Ben In Oakland (aka Loretta) is not called to love anyone.

    It shows.

  • Pity the poor little Chrishuns. How dare anyone show them anything that even remotely suggests that any American could ever be anything other than a devout Chrishun! Why, it’s intolerable that any of them should ever be confronted by any such thing. 

  • Pitty the poor little atheists.

    An individual innocently puts a Bible on a table, Mikey Weinstein sees a chance to get some free advertising, the base commander wisely defuses the situation, and now we read umpteen comments like yours indicating it’s all some large “Chrisun” (or “Christianist”) plot to git ya.

    Whining git.

  • LOL. The Colt SAA Peacemaker is a famous firearm. It’s known as “the gun that won the west”.

  • Unlike Thomas Aquinas 1225 who used his time so wisely by justifying slavery (Natural law), claimed monarchy was the best form of government and moved the RCC from denying the reality of witchcraft to asserting its existence – thus providing justification for the despicable mistreatment of thousands of women through the ages.

    But then you knew that didn’t you.

  • You are not supposed to read at the table either! That is so rude 🙂

    A sign or plaque would make far more sense.

  • Presumably FRC’s financial contributors will understand that “trivialization of religious freedom rights.” means that the “rights” FRC is claiming are, in FRC’s opinion, not worth arguing about – pro or anti: hence FRC’s position is morally pathetic.

    No?

    That dim eh?

  • You like urban myths…you picked this up from somewhere on the internet, not from slogging through his writing, with good context.

    Cherries picked and dropped, your game.

  • Of course not.

    It does remind me of the stories about pocket Bibles stopping bullets during the Civil War. Some of them understood: they said they couldn’t get through the Old Testament either.

  • Of course, though it did get RNS’ attention. The trouble with connectivity these days, Twitter or YouTube or whatever, is that any freak event not only can get circulation, but be seen as an augury.

  • A book on a table does not stop any bullets. A soldier who WANTS to carry a pocket Bible for personal reasons (including bullets) is not the subject here. The subject is what governments have set up to honor sacrificial soldiers. The Bible does not belong there.

  • 20 responses to anything I have written in the last day or so from BobWorld. I think one wasa comment actually addressed to him.

    And he says he isn’t crazy in stalk with me.

  • I was reminded of my service days, when they were handing out those little black pocket New Testaments (with Psalms and Proverbs included). Okay, Gideon printed them, but even so.

  • Wikipedia – surprised no-one who knows better hasn’t used their access to correct the entry.

  • Weinstein continues to reap in the non-profit dollars ($550,000+, salary plus expenses, guidestar.org, 2016 Form 990). And these big bucks for simply following around all the military displays and reviewing military regulations for any hint of religion. Talk about easy money!! Then there is that generous USAF pension and the free law degree paid for by the US taxpayers.

  • I have never been against the Gideons handing out Bibles through any distribution channels, including government. I would be against it if the soldiers were required to keep them or read them.

  • So by quoting the final sentence of my post and trying to justify Mikey’s endgame, you DO acknowledge that an issue was in fact addressed. Yep.

  • His end game being upholding the first amendment and keeping theocrats from putting their tramp stamp on the military. I can see why you object. Religious freedom never was your thing.

  • You don’t know that but you said it anyway, setting yourself up as the arbiter of true patriotism. Not very charitable of you, though sadly typical.

  • Dear Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

    Time to checkmate the religion kings in the US military by wide promulgation of the Great Kibosh plus putting Mickey Weinstein out of a job:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • No individual has ever ‘innocently’ put a Bible anywhere outside their own home. That would require goodwill and courtesy, which evangelists are incapable of. It’s always a way of marking territory, especially in places where everyone is supposed to be treated equally but someone wants to spray their faith around to override all others.

  • The Summa is just one of St Thomas’s writings, and most Ph.D. philosophers and theologians can’t really get through even that one, his most well know writing.

    To net it down into a cherry pickable wiki entries..so prone as they are to pile ons, is an act of ignorance itself.

  • They were free to take them or leave them. That’s about as neutral a policy as any, perhaps.

  • So – for clarity

    Are you saying that Thomas Aquinas did not give slavery a pass, champion monarchic rule and/or change the RCC’s doctrine on witchcraft from labelling it “impossible” to “real”?

  • RNS is scraping by with little funding at the moment.

    This article may as well have come off the PR News site.

  • Lucky you. I don’t want to block him, because a far more useful approach to Bobworld is to ignore it. It makes him very crazy, as far as I can tell. and he won’t block me because he has to Defend the Faith, mine his link supply, and keep himself busy.

    What to do? What to do?

    I think I’ll go to the gym.

  • “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Didn’t yo moma teach you nuthin?!

  • And today’s “Originality Award” goes to Mr. Rational. He’s about the only poster who could find a way to sneak his remarkable (though immediately nuke-able) “Kibosh List”, into a thread about U.S. military religious freedom.

  • Since this article does not describe anyone acting stupidly, do have an actual incident in mind?

  • I’m sure you’re going to the gym as an observer …. with a towel over your lap.

    I’ve already explained why I don’t block you, and you’ve evaded answering why you don’t block me.

  • And that’s off the list. On the list all you see is “Nazi”; a nazi here, a nazi there, nazis everywhere.

  • It’s actually a discussion group.

    Gosh and golly, even in JoeMyGodWorld you should be able to understand that.

  • Ditto Book of Common Prayer, Book of Mormon, both English and Hebrew prayer books, and on and on.

  • Evangelicals always want to mark their territory. They’d have a cow if the Koran or The God Delusion was placed on that display.

  • I suspect our fellow blogger is criticizing fundamentalist groups that try to portray the USA as a “Christian Nation” and infiltrate the armed forces to promote a very narrow view of religious freedom.

  • Interesting that you claim to be Catholic, yet most of all of your comments are anti-catholic and anti-faith.
    For Weinstein to suggest that if he doesn’t get his way then “they shouldn’t have a table”; suggests that this is all about whether his side wins or loses-which is a shameful tragedy.
    As someone who has served in combat operations and knows exactly what that table symbolizes, fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines would put damn near anything on that table to remember their fallen brother.
    Shame on every one of them for making this a political issue. Which I might add, is normally made by a pogue who has never left an office.

  • This is a separate table that is draped in black; normally placed in the corner of the room. It is ceremonial in nature, and like most traditions in the military; a reminder of those who came before.
    Shame on anyone who would threaten to remove them.

  • The Bible or any other book they want belongs on that table. Most marines I know would have a bible on one side and a stack of pornos on the other.
    Get your politics out of their business.

  • Parker12: Weinstein’s side is supporting and defending our religious rights. How are you thinking that defending your religious rights is a shameful tragedy?

    Shame on our government for using a POW table to impose one religion, in violation of The Establishment Clause.

  • The Great Kibosh will follow religion wherever it is found. Nuke them with Reality now and forever!

  • Please compare to the incomes of megachurch operators–sorry, “pastors”–or televangelists, and then hang in your head in shame for pretending that being paid a salary for running an organization somehow disqualifies the point Weinstein is making.

  • It doesn’t need, nor should include a Bible. Nor is there a reasonable excuse for one there. An actual patriotic symbol is more appropriate. Our service people aren’t there as Crusaders to your sectarian faith.

  • Not so much the Bible or any religious text, because it gives the impression that soldiers of others faiths are not welcomed in our military.

  • Still cannot accept reality I see. I recommend you make sure you plug in the wire attached to the colander on your head to the dryer circuit. Then put your feet in a metal bucket filled with salt water with a wire connected to electrical ground. That way you can make sure you’re not being bombarded by the microwaves sent by the guvernment to alter your brain waves.

  • Weinstein pays himself his salary and expenses out of the $600,000 of donations. And all he does is file law suits (he Is a lawyer with a law degree paid for by the US taxpayers) when he finds any mention of religion in the US military. Megachurch operators run a bible-con and are in a different category but a con is a con. Typical the bible-con take is much higher but so is the overhead. Churches are exempt from filing Form 990’s so it is impossible to get the salaries of the megachurch con runners.

  • Weinstein’s point is lining Weistein’s pocket by suckering the faithful like yourself into making a tempest in a teapot.

    On its 2013 Federal 990 Weinstein’s slush fund, er not for profit, reports that he works 105 hours per week for it.

    He’s either working 15 hours a day seven days a week, or 21 hours a day in a work week.

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gullible

    gullible – adjective

    Easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/dreamworks/images/9/96/Rocky_The_Flying_Squirrel_The_End.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20151017192812

  • Yes, he claims to be “Catholic”.

    You might inquire as to how he defines “Catholic”.

    Clue: it does NOT involve seven sacraments, ordained clergy, or much else you would recognize.

  • What religious rights of yours were being violated?

    If you are going to around with “our religious rights” on your lips, implying that somehow the rest of us are being put upon, you ought to have a pretty convincing argument to include us.

    No, the “government” did not do anything.

    Some poor schlemiel at a base thought she or he was doing something worthwhile.

    No, there was no big fight.

    The base commander had the Bible removed.

    End of story.

    Send your check post haste to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, which was the real point of this free advertising.

  • “Creating the interfaith book could be seen as violating the First
    Amendment by demonstrating government bias in favoring one kind of
    religious content over another and establishing a preferred religion —
    or in this case, many religions.”
    …wat?

  • Liberty Counsel, conservative, pro-life group lead by lawyers, donations , 2015, $5,000,000, lead lawyers, salaries, $160,000 each for two lawyers, somewhat analogous to Weinstein except for pay scales, i.e. Weinstein is paid way above current non-profit ranges. Guidestar.org.

  • Bob Arnzen: Rights are only recognized as being for individual citizens. If our government, not an individual or citizen, exercises those rights then it is automatically impacting our rights in relation. Only citizens have a right to show preference or favor for a religion. When our government does so its very nature weighs on the ability of citizens to freely exercise this right.

    No, the “government” did not do anything.

    The table is a government display. If the Bible wasn’t originally put there by order or instruction then not removing it is the same as placing it there. Thus…

    The base commander had the Bible removed.

    As it should’ve been before The MRFF got involved.

    Send your check post haste to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, which was the real point of this free advertising.

    I’ve already donated to this and other government/religion separation groups that defend our religious rights. Have you?

  • The line “If our government, not an individual or citizen, exercises those rights then it is automatically impacting our rights in relation” only makes sense in the context of a law or regulation which makes an action or inaction a matter of course.

    In the instant case an individual acting on her or his own assembled the display.

    When it was brought to the base commander’s attention, the issue was remedied.

    So, no government action, no policy, no pervasive practice, nothing.

    Error, correction, adios.

    The table was at a government facility. Since the Bible wasn’t originally put there by order or instruction, and was removed as soon the problem was brought to the base commander’s attention, your “point” is not well taken.

    And I am sure that you already donated to this scam and other “government/religion separation” scams which make big bucks claiming “that (they) defend our religious rights.”

    I haven’t because I am not a sucker.

  • I suggest putting a Kindle on the table. It can be loaded with everyone’s religious texts, including the Pastfarian Bible. That way, everyone can choose the one they want when dining there.

  • Bob Arnzen:

    In the instant case an individual acting on her or his own assembled the display.

    Negative. On military installations those displays are installed by order of the command. Those setting up the display are thus agents of our government. As I said earlier, if someone else added the Bible after the table was set up then the command responsible for the table would be negligent if they don’t remove the article as it gives the impression of government endorsement of the related religion.

    When it was brought to the base commander’s attention, the issue was remedied.

    Yes. I’ve already agreed with this. The commander having the Bible removed shows that leaving it on the table does give the impression of government favoritism. So it was right and reasonable for The MRFF to respond to the requests of several military members who understand their rights in relation to our government.

    And I am sure that you already donated to this scam and other “government/religion separation” scams which make big bucks claiming “that (they) defend our religious rights.”

    I haven’t because I am not a sucker.

    I’m sorry to hear that your civics teachers have profoundly failed you.

  • You’ve bought this PR blurb hook, line, and sinker. Examples:

    “On military installations those displays are installed by order of the command.”

    Anyone who thinks for one microsecond that the commander had a hand in the display beyond ordering that one be set up apparently belonged to the Boy Scouts – or Girl Scouts, not the Air Force.

    “The commander having the Bible removed shows that leaving it on the table does give the impression of government favoritism.”

    The commander ordering the Bible removed shows that he’s politically savvy, has better things to do than engage in a p-ssing context with Mikey Weinstein, and understands military tactics.

    I am sorry to hear that both your sense of perspective and sense of reality are so heavily impaired, and I look forward to not hearing from you again.

  • I also don’t think the presence of a book that recognizes faith as a part of many people’s lives is a danger to someone who has no faith. Especially if that book recognizes many different faiths that are important to many who defended this country.

    The flip side of the coin in respecting those who have no religious faith is that they respect those who do.

  • It does not imply that at all. By excluding books of faith you by default exclude those who are of faith.
    As I said before, these great political debates are started by the zeros in the office who have no idea what the guys in the field do; or what’s important to them.

  • You have no clue. It has every right to be there. There are plenty of crosses and stars in military cemeteries across the world that would beg to differ with your atheist ways.
    Strap on a uniform; then let’s talk.

  • Bob Arnzen:

    Anyone who thinks for one microsecond that the commander had a hand in the display beyond ordering that one be set up apparently belonged to the Boy Scouts – or Girl Scouts, not the Air Force.

    That’s all it takes for it to be a government display. Adding a bible makes it government favoritism for a religion. I’m happy to hear that you’re beginning to understand the issue (^_^)

  • Apparently you don’t know the difference between “a government display”, which assumes a policy, and a display on government property, which can be the result of someone not understanding that folks like Mikey Weinstein and yourself engage in quixotic forays against little or nothing.

    Given that I am glad to conclude this exchange, if you get my meaning.

    If you don’t, I’ll block you.

  • Anyone who would threaten to remove that table to prove a point (win the argument) defends nothing and insults the memory of every man or woman who ever fell in service of the nation.
    He defends only those who would remove the Bible at the expense of those who would have it.
    What those of you on the outside fail to understand is that those of us on the inside understand we are all different; and we are okay with that; as long as the focus is on the mission at hand.

  • Bob Arnzen:

    Apparently you don’t know the difference between “a government display”, which assumes a policy, and a display on government property,

    Hosting a display includes endorsement of or preference for the content. So if the military organization knowingly approved the addition of the Bible then it’s violating The Establishment Clause.

    which can be the result of someone not understanding that folks like Mikey Weinstein and yourself engage in quixotic forays against little or nothing.

    Unfortunately our nation has a history of justifying bigger government/religion violations by using smaller examples, like this, as a form of consent or approval as it wasn’t challenged. In the same way that those who hold intellectual property rights must pursue legal action if notified of use without compensation, or it’s later used as tacit consent to further use of IP by all in a similar manner.

    If you don’t, I’ll block you.

    Go ahead. Then you won’t know when I’m correcting your errors. As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said…

    “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

  • See, you and the other atheists just don’t understand. The government doesn’t put anything on that table. The men and women who SERVE put items on that table.
    Only THEY have a right to determine how they honor their fallen brothers and sisters.
    And I will bet you a million dollars that as soon as the officer told them to remove the Bible or display, they erected one somewhere out of sight where only they saw it.
    Again, you know not what you speak. Go play your politics elsewhere.

  • Parker12: Then it’s best to remove the Bible to correct the violation.

    Those who would have it are using government authority and resources to impose their religion. How disrespectful of them and an insult to the POW’s who swore to uphold and defend our Constitution, which guarantees individual citizen religious rights.

    as long as the focus is on the mission at hand.

    I wasn’t aware that the mission changed to favoring Christianity over 1st Amendment rights. Sorry to hear that some of us have lost sight of our nationality.

  • No, I know what words and phrases mean and YOU don’t.

    You’re blocked.

    Have a nice life.

  • Parker12:

    The men and women who SERVE put items on that table.

    On a military installation the table is there by approval or order of the command. That is a form of government establishment. Including a bible means our government is violating The Establishment Clause by showing preference or favor for one religion.

  • Bob Arnzen: You’ve shown that you don’t know several words and phrases that recognize our individual religious rights, or the words and phrases that prohibit our government from endorsing or advancing a religion.

    I sincerely hope that you develop a better understanding of our rights, and respect for your fellow citizens. …not just the Christian ones.

  • Bob Arnzen: Apparently a plaque is called for, honoring your missing understanding of national law and citizen rights.

  • Bob Arnzen: The display is not about representation of one religion. Keeping divisive religious materials on the table distracts from honoring POW/MIA.

  • Bob Arnzen: Apparently Bob opposes the religious rights of anyone who isn’t Christian. How un-American of him.

  • Unfortunately, liberals unchecked destroy the traditions of the men and women who serve.

  • Bob Arnzen: The issue was brought to Mikey Weinstein’s attention by military members at the base. He brought the issue to the attention of the CO. The CO rightly had the display corrected to comply with The Establishment Clause.

    The display had been up for a while. Don’t act like Mikey’s actions weren’t called for to address the violation.

  • Bob Arnzen: Getting checks by defending our religious rights. Sounds like a worthy cause to me.

    Odd that you don’t seem to value religious rights.

  • Again, keep playing politics to prove your personal political views are superior to the detriment of others.
    Those tables are not there by anyone’s approval other than the men and women that set them up.

  • Bob Arnzen: Glad to hear that there aren’t many violations of The Establishment Clause for Mikey to respond to. Also glad to hear that he’s available whenever a military member needs his help in safely addressing a violation.

  • Our founders may not have been atheists, but they were all bible believing christians either. 6 of our first 7 presidents and founders didn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus. Many were non trinitarians, unitarians, deists, and some were atheists. And while some still believed morality came from religion, none of them said it came from only christianity. G Washington said religion was valuable for a nation, but he never specified which one.

    But we will never know how many were really atheists because most colonies constitutions forbid anyone running for office who didn’t believe in god. (By 1833 all those constitutions were changed to separate church and state.) Anyone who wanted to run for office had to say they believed in a god, whether they did or not. Early America was a nation of panderers, much like now.

    The Bible doesn’t belong there. No one knows if the people that table honored were christian or even believers. What we do know is they fought for the right to believe or not believe whatever you want.

  • I am fine with a bible, Torah, Koran or any other book that gets placed on the table.
    The men I served with would have a bible on one side and a stack of pornos on the other.
    We don’t care. Play your politics elsewhere.

  • There are plenty of crosses and stars in military cemeteries”

    Wow, that is not only a scripted response which has been overused, its truly stupid and counterfactual as well.

    Those stars represent the religious affiliation of the INDIVIDUAL buried there. The Bible is on a table is allegedly representing ALL service people.

    “Strap on a uniform; then let’s talk.”

    Chickenhawk says wut? Again, you are not giving a reason why something representing all service people requires a Bible. A symbol of limited sectarian belief.

  • Bob Arnzen: Apparently you didn’t read this article. Getting a violation of The Establishment Clause corrected sounds like a win to me.

  • Bob Arnzen: Placing a bible on a government display and not correcting it wasn’t stupid, but it was a failure on the part of the command in charge.

  • Of course it does. That is both the intention and the reason you are defending it so vehemently. If it were so religiously neutral then you would hardly be offering the kind of tooth and nail defense of it you are trying now.

    “By excluding books of faith you by default exclude those who are of faith.”

    Wrong. You are showing respect to those of faith by not showing favoritism of one over others. You seem to be laboring under the impression that the only people of faith are those who believe in the same sect/faith as you.

    You only seek inclusion of your own faith and seek to shun others. If it were a Koran, Torah, or some other religious text you would be adamantly for removing it. Being a sectarian bigot who wants to tramp stamp our government, you naturally don’t object to the book being of your own faith.

    “these great political debates are started by the zeros in the office who have no idea what the guys in the field do; or what’s important to them.”

    An ad hominem attack to make the claim that attacks on our 1st Amendment rights should be ignored. Especially if you personally benefit from such actions.

  • Bob Arnzen: Showing that Christian love while accusing others of not being true Christians (No True Scotsman fallacy committed in another thread). Weaksauce

  • Bob Arnzen: It’s interesting that our military is still willing to correct Establishment Clause violations. Very good news!

  • ATF45: Our government is obligated to give recognition or treatment to all religions equally. Equal recognition could also be no recognition for any religions.

  • Parker12: Negative. If they aren’t there by approval of the command, then they’re effectively litter left by an individual on military property. The command continuing to host it implies endorsement of the display.

    Are you being obtuse or are you really not understanding?

  • Parker12: I think a robust representation of holy books would detract from the intended purpose. This isn’t an opportunity to shill for religions. It’s supposed to be a table for POW/MIA.

    Stop using our government to proselytize.

  • Obtuse. He knows it was absolutely wrong here but he want to pretend to be aggrieved nonetheless.

  • Spuddie: Amazing how that persecution complex can be used to justify or validate a person’s interests over logic and reason.

  • Or it can recognize that religion is important to some, just not all, and let those who are not moved by religion respect that it is important to some. They could ignore the presence of a symbol of faith on the table, just as someone who doesn’t like roses could ignore the rose on the table.

    Where is the middle ground on this? Is everything all or nothing?

  • ATF45:

    Where is the middle ground on this? Is everything all or nothing?

    A generic representation of a holy book or book of comfort has also been proposed.

    I’m not intending a harsh tone with this question… Do you not recognize that a bible favors one religion? Citizens can show religious preference. Our government is prohibited from doing so. That does make sense, right?

  • Stop using the government to strip the men and women who fight for us of their right to have faith.

  • Negative. You have no clue. Strap on a uniform and you’ll see how it really works. Until then, go see your professor for extra credit.

  • Parker12: Removing this bible from a government display does no harm to any citizens religious rights. It strengthens all of our rights by keeping government influence out of our religious affairs.

  • I’ve seen them. I know what they are. I know how they are viewed.
    To you this is another political issue to deprive people of faith.

  • Parker12: My being prior military or not doesn’t change this from being a violation of The Establishment Clause. Do you have any legitimate refutation or are you willing to admit that you just want your preferred religion to get special recognition?

  • I said five comments ago to place whatever books of faith they want there. since there are barely any atheists in the military anyway, it really shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Parker12: Removing this holy book from a religious display doesn’t deprive any citizen of their religious rights. If Christians have some special right to exclusive government representation, then I have an equal right to install a Satanic display on your front lawn. Government property isn’t Christian property just as your property isn’t mine to do with as I wish.

  • You are still trying to dodge the issue by making excuses for obvious violations of the 1st Amendment. Nobody places a Bible there by accident. It is not the first time such a display has been made on a military base and was not the first time objections were made either.

    You attack the people making the objections but fail to demonstrate why their concerns are somehow illegitimate or unreasonable.

    “To you this is another political issue to deprive people of faith.”

    Wrong. A Bible does not represent the beliefs of all people of faith. But it does represent a desire to deprive and exclude people whose faith you do not share. Projection seems to be your given mode of argument here.

  • Parker12: It’s up to the command to grant access, not you. Instead of filling the table with a plethora of holy books, it makes more sense to remove the books and focus on the purpose of the table. The purpose of the table is not to give special recognition to one religion or another. …or have you forgotten what this table is all about?

  • And you would still be wrong. Any book of a given faith there means other faiths are excluded by its nature. It makes no difference about the number of atheists in the military. One’s liberties are not based on being a member of a majority.

    I said it a while ago, that a more patriotic and inclusive selection would be religious neutral, like an American flag. Your need to put a tramp stamp on the US military for your faith is unpatriotic bordering on seditious.

  • Not sure how I destroyed the traditions of my shipmates, or my family members. Can you elaborate?

  • I’ve met Mikey Weinstein. Callin g him a “firebrand” is ill-informed. His record shows that he does not object to religious people, but the record of his organization is that they process more discrimination claims from Christians than from non-believers–those who want to impose their own version of religion are the offenders in all cases.

    Seems like a fair comparomise to me. Having portions of several texts honors diversity, and I don’t recall the so-called Family Reseach Council moving against the Gideons for abbreviating the scriptures to just the New Testament and Psalms.

  • Your understanding of “Catholic” is woefully inadequate. None of my comments has been (quote) anti-Catholic(endquote) or (quote) anti-faith (endquote). My comments are informed by church and doctrinal history (retirement is good in this regard). I graduated from parochial catechism class decades ago. I take to heart Joseph Ratzinger’s observation that “facts, as history teaches, carry more weight than pure doctrine” (J. Ratzinger, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, Paulist Press/Deus Books, 1966, p. 16). Unlike self-described “orthodox/traditionalist” Catholics, I distinguish self-serving and self-aggrandizing “history” and official doctrine from actual history and divine revelation.

    Weinstein is not insisting on “get[ting] his way”. He is insisting on inclusiveness by recognizing the contributions of ALL military personnel to our country’s defense. Exclusivity, which you obviously prefer, is ultimately rooted in FEAR. One of my former cathedral pastors told parishioners that most sin is based on FEAR.

    I’ve no problem with active duty and former service members “put[ting] damn near anything on that table to remember their fallen brother” as long as that “anything” does not put one faith, Christianity, above other faiths. The United States of America, the country we served, has never been a so-called “Christian Nation”:

    “In the 1790s, in the waters off Tripoli, pirates were making sport of American shipping near the Barbary Coast. Toward the end of his second term, Washington sent Joel Barlow, the diplomat-poet, to Tripoli to settle matters, and the resulting treaty, finished after Washington left office, bought a few years of peace. Article 11 of this long-ago document says that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” (Jon Meacham, “A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation”, NEW YORK TIMES, October 7, 2007). Historian Meacham adds, “The treaty passed the Senate unanimously.”

    If the United States of America is not a Christian nation, we should keep in mind that its armed forces are to advance no particular faith agenda.

  • Although I’ve no problem with a multi-belief display per se, there may have been less brouhaha had there been no recognition of religion on the table. I tend to agree with your suggestion.

  • Comparing a memorial display table with “crosses and stars in military cemeteries” is comparing apples and oranges. The former is community-oriented; the latter personal-oriented.

  • I would drape myself in an American flag if it helped keep me warm in a life-threatening situation.

  • RE: “the zeros in the office who have no idea what the guys in the field do” —

    Reminds me of Trumpsky avoiding military service because of “bone spurs” on his feet.

  • “Stop using the government to strip the men and women who fight for us of their right to have faith.”

    Your emotionally laden assertion makes no sense: It defies rational thought.

  • By allowing the Bible display, the commissioned and/or non-commissioned officers in charge were tacitly endorsing its presence.

  • A Bible display on government property, especially on a stateside military base, is de facto government endorsement of a religious faith.

  • “R.A. Bob”, by blocking you (and me previously), is like the kid picking up his marbles because the game didn’t go his way. He goes home and pouts in his bedroom. Boohoo.

  • By golly, “R.A. Bob”, I woulda’ thought you had returned to your bedroom to pout. And here you are poutin’ online. I suppose sittin’ in your bedroom alone can be boring, huh?

  • While I won’t check the accuracy of specifics, what you wrote reflects my overall understanding of our country’s founders. Thank you.

  • When one “serves”, one does not thereby acquire any right to impose one’s beliefs on others.

  • How so? I replied to the comment using the same terminology.

    Just leave the Bible on the table and move along.

  • The table is extremely personal. Again, you have no clue of what you speak.
    To you, this is a game to be won. To those who serve, the table is something much more.

  • ummm… there is a flag.
    Get over it, there will always be a better ble or some religious book on the table whether you like it or not.

  • The command can do whatever they want; what actually occurs is often different.
    You see, what you and all the other professors who cite rhyme and verse fail to realize is the Bible or whatever holy book that is placed on that table means something to those who serve. I would go into the God, country, corps speech; but most if not all on this page wouldn’t understand or simply cannot understand because their ideals are polar opposites of those who serve.

  • Parker12: Removing this holy book from a government display is removing an imposition, not adding a different imposition. It’s also being more respectful to POW/MIA who aren’t being honored by this distraction.

  • Parker12: How is an empty table be an affront to any faith? Are you saying that the religious are compelled to mark their territory like a dog? Why would you say such things about religious adherents?

  • Parker12: Because no religious rights are being stripped from anyone by correcting this violation of The Establishment Clause.

  • Parker12:

    The command can do whatever they want;

    Nope. They’re bound by many restrictions and limitations, including The Establishment Clause.

    You see, what you and all the other professors who cite rhyme and verse
    fail to realize is the Bible or whatever holy book that is placed on
    that table means something to those who serve.

    So only those who serve have any understanding of religion? You’re saying that the president and many elected officials have no real understanding of their professed faith? Interesting.

    I would think understanding their oath of service would be important. You know, to uphold and defend our Constitution. Violating part of the 1st Amendment isn’t *upholding*.

  • Interesting that the president of this organisation earned $300,000 as far back as 2013. Wondering if the people contributing to this foundation know where their money is going

  • Of course. You have to defend your faith against religious freedom and that pesky constitution.

  • Why should I ignore tramp stamping our military by theocrats?

    You lost.

    The base commander removed it. Placing the Bible there was wrong. Get over it. You don’t have a valid argument here. Just poo flinging.

  • Actually, Parker12 hasn’t lost yet. Good old fanatical Mikey has NOT yet succeeded in getting or forcing **all** the commanders to appease his atheist gang. He’s only been able to hypnotize Col. Huser at Cheyenne, and a VA Hospital-Admin in Buffalo.

    An Okinawa naval hospital actually refused to obey Mikey’s mess (although curiously, this refusal only briefly appears near the end of the RNS article.) Mikey is getting good free publicity, but he’s only gotten two Admins to cave in on a longtime accepted (and constitutionally okay) military tradition.

  • Parker12: I pass a table several times every week. No holy book from any religion. The CO in my case apparently knows the standard POW/MIA table arrangement and the issues related to The Establishment Clause.

  • Parker12: Then it’s best to respect its primary purpose by not cluttering it with 1st Amendment violations.

  • Wrong. The display removed the Bible. You guys lost that fight.

    Moreover you can’t cough up a reason it should have been there in the first place. So you are just talking about a lost cause. Since you still haven’t and just resort to attacking Mr. Weinstein rather than address the issue, you are conceding you never had a reasonable argument here.

    You’re done. You have nothing.

  • Marty Wallace: Are you saying that somehow excuses a 1st Amendment violation and imposition on our religious rights?

  • Parker12: Pat Tillman. Atheist bound for professional football who enlisted instead. Was killed by friendly fire. His family had to correct George Bush publicly when he claimed that Tillman was a man of faith.

    P.S. I don’t speak about my views at work. There are probably many atheists that you met who never felt like bringing up the subject.

  • floydlee:

    longtime accepted (and constitutionally okay) military tradition.

    A bible is not part of the standard arrangement and it’s a constitutional violation for a government organization to give representation to only one religion.

  • Parker12: If you’re using government granted authority and resources then you’re violating your oath of service.

  • IIt’s amazing how often you have to lie in support of an issue you called a nothing matter.

    Which individual is the table meant as being personal for?

    A gravestone is personal to the person interred and their family. Very specific.

    The answer is table is for all POWs and those MIA. Not any specific individual.

    You will say anything to support your little sectarian tramp stamping. You clearly value lying for your faith more than you value our nation and those who serve it.

  • That was a shout out to my buddy spuddie.
    Dude, I get it. You want to cleanse the world of those who profess faith.
    The fact is, those tables aren’t set up by some commanding officer with “authority”. They are set up by those who have served in the field. The closer you are to combat, the less likely you are to care about what is placed on any given table. Most often, the table has the standard American flag and officer/enlisted sword, and some part of a uniform. It may also display photos, bible or other personal effects of those who recently fell.
    Again, guys like you want to read an article and cite this and that to defend your position from 3,000 miles away. The guys who actually set it up – lay the drape, place the flag and set the table have more to say about it than some second year law student trying to show how smart they are.
    Now, that being said; if they as a group decide there shouldn’t be a bible, then there won’t be one. However, if they feel there should be one; there will be one. There is no commanding officer who will disagree with their men on how the men choose to remember their fallen. At least one that has served in the combat arms. The pogues on the other hand are another issue.

  • Parker12:

    You want to cleanse the world of those who profess faith.

    This sentence shows that you don’t get it at all (^_^) I don’t want to harm any people and I support every person’s individual religious rights.

    They are set up by those who have served in the field.

    If they are set up by individuals then it’s at the consent of the host. In a military facility that’s a CO. The CO is bound by The Establishment Clause.

    However, if they feel there should be one; there will be one.

    Not if it’s in a government/military facility. That becomes an Establishment Clause violation.

    I’m sorry to hear that you don’t respect your oath, your own religious rights, or the religious rights of your fellow citizens.

  • Just telling it how you would like the world to be. Nothing which would even brush up against a fact.

  • Parker12: Then I’m very sorry to hear that you’ve been so poorly raised. Swearing oaths that you just admitted you don’t care about. Not caring about your religious rights or those of your countrymen. I’m also very sorry to hear that you’ve held any level of trust in our government.

  • Again, don’t be sorry. You have bigger fish to fry. There’s an abundance of churches that need to be removed.

  • George, I think we agree more than disagree.

    Yes. The presence of only a Bible is a sign of favoring one religion or could be interpreted as not respecting other religions. Or, actually be offensive to the family of a fallen member of our services who was a devout Muslim or Jew or Hindu. I am in favor of the “generic representation of a holy book or book of comfort” more than I am in favor of ignoring the idea that faith is respected and recognized as important in our society.

    I favor the generic representation being present. Having nothing on the table that represents the value of faith to some would seem to show that religious faith is discounted entirely.

    Are we on the same page on this?

  • Parker12:

    There’s an abundance of churches that need to be removed.

    Again, showing that you haven’t understood anything I’ve said (^_^) I sincerely hope this failure in comprehension also applies to your broken oath.

  • ATF45:

    I favor the generic representation being present. Having nothing on the table that represents the value of faith to some would seem to show that religious faith is discounted entirely.

    A representation of faith isn’t part of the standard table arrangement, but I wouldn’t take issue with a generic book of faith (and not to exclude the non-religious) and comfort. It would also be important to make sure this book doesn’t potentially violate The Establishment Clause.

    Are we on the same page on this?

    Generally, yes (^_^)

  • No American court has called for a single removal of a single Bible, from a POW-MIA dinner table.

  • floydlee:

    No American court has called for a single removal of a single Bible, from a POW-MIA dinner table.

    Generally these issues have been corrected without taking it to court.

    why doesn’t Mikey just file a big court lawsuit and get the Bibles removed from ALL the POW-MIA dinner tables at one time?

    Probably because he’d prefer those in positions of authority uphold The Constitution and respect our individual rights without wasting taxpayer dollars on court cases. You could speculate, or you could ask Mikey yourself.

  • “The table is extremely personal.”

    The table may be “extremely personal” to some (or all?) folks who see it. However, you have either misconstrued my use of the word “personal” or are simply trying to score points. Being charitable, I shall presume the former. I was using the word “personal” to refer to a single grave site of a deceased current or former member of the armed forces, i.e., a burial spot that portrays that unique individual’s religious identity.

    You write, “To you, this is a game to be won.”

    No, but I’ll close with your rude comment: “[Y]ou have no clue of what you speak” regarding my motives in commenting.

    Signed – From one vet to another

  • “How so?”

    Even though, as our fellow blogger noted, our government has no right to proselytize, the government cannot “strip” people of “their right to have faith” (your words). To rephrase, the government cannot take your faith away from you. It might interfere with your opportunity to worship, read religious or spiritual literature, etc., but it cannot touch your faith. There are people *of faith* imprisoned here and abroad, but it is their faith that sustains them, not religious rituals, books on tables, etc.

  • How about a non-denominational Book of Remembrance? Such a display would not be “an affront” to me, and I am a person “of faith”, specifically, the Christian faith in the Catholic tradition/expression of such faith. I suspect I am far from alone in such thinking. Our country, after all, is not a Christian nation.

  • Wish I could up-vote this several times. I suspected I was misunderstanding your position and I was.

  • Weinstein continues to reap in the non-profit dollars ($550,000+, salary plus expenses, guidestar.org, 2016 Form 990). And these big bucks for simply following around all the military displays and reviewing military regulations for any hint of religion. Talk about easy money!! Then there is that generous USAF pension and the free law degree paid for by the US taxpayers and the free education at the USAF academy for himself and six members of his family. If he were a true believer, he would do it pro bono.

  • Rational Conclusions: I understand that several people on here are concerned about the usage of funds donated to the MRFF. I didn’t ask about that.

    Does this information somehow excuse a 1st Amendment violation?

    It strikes me as you trying to distract from the issue mentioned in the article by focusing on a quality of the person who addressed the issue. Similar personal charges could be targeted at our current president and many other major figures for hundreds of years past regardless of any positive actions they take.

  • Rational Conclusions: Is this preferential treatment of one religion a violation of The Establishment Clause, or is it not?

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