Space Bible Prompts Some Real Solar Searching
January 15, 2020
The Space Force just got off the ground -- but thanks to secularists, it's already logged its first controversy! Over the weekend, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) flew into a rage when pictures surfaced of the Air Force's Chief of Chaplains having a Bible blessed at the National Cathedral for anyone who wanted to be sworn in on this "official" Space Force copy.
Convinced he'd seen a UFO (Unacceptable Faith Object), MRFF's Mikey Weinstein unleashed a wild statement that would make any thesaurus publisher proud. We "condemn," he seethed, "in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism." This ceremony, he argued, "validates the villainy of unadulterated Christian privilege at [the Defense Department] and its subordinate military branches."
This latest "villainy of Christian privilege" apparently started when the Rev. Randolph Hollerith, dean of the National Cathedral, prayed over the King James version Sunday, asking God to "accept this Bible which we dedicate here today for the United States Space Force, that all may so diligently search your holy word and find in it the wisdom that leads to peace and salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen."
Of course, to reasonable people, none of that should be hair-raising -- let alone court-worthy. The Space Force, led by General Mark Walsh, isn't taking over the galaxy for Christ. It's simply giving officers the option to put their hand on the Bible when they're finally sworn in. It's a "personal choice," Air Force spokesperson Lynn Kirby said. "There is no official religious or other sacred text, nor is there any requirement for a member to use any sacred or religious text, during swearing-in ceremonies." It's a tradition, she pointed out, not a mandate.
That may be, but Weinstein is still threatening legal action. That'll be a waste of time, First Liberty Institute's Michael Berry argued. "The tradition of using a Bible for swearing-in dates back to the very founding of our nation -- with presidents and members of Congress doing so since George Washington. It is in every sense part of our historic heritage and is perfectly legal."
The First Amendment isn't rocket science. So, Space Force: if you're looking for signs of intelligence, by all means -- skip these irrational activists!
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.