We told you about the Marine who was court-martialed, reduced to the lowest rank possible, and kicked out of the service with a bad-conduct discharge for refusing to remove a Bible verse from her workplace. They said she was kicked out for refusing to obey a direct order.
Well it looks like the secularist police are striking again, this time in the Air Force by a group who call themselves the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Air Force Maj. Steve Lewis has an open Bible on his desk at work. The MRFF demand he be ‘aggressively punished’ for “harboring and encouraging a truly abhorrent example of First Amendment civil rights violations.”
Col. Damon Feltman, the commander of the 310th Space Wing said that Maj. Lewis “He has removed the Bible voluntarily because he didn’t want this to cause attention or disruption to his unit. I’ve performed a walk-through of the office and everything seemed to be in compliance with Air Force regulation.” Col. Feltman said that they are currently assessing the situation and that Maj. Lewis is free to practice his own religion “as long as it is respectful of other individual’s rights to follow their own belief system in ways that support good order and discipline and don’t detract from (the) military mission.”
The MRFF insists that the Major be punished because he says that, “We have 33 very scared Air Force families. Major Lewis has created an around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine on his official USAF workstation desk that has been in prominent static display for years. The pages in his open Bible on his USAF desk never change, ever. It’s not his desk. That desk belongs to the American people, to the U.S. military. If that desk was in his home or his car it would not be a problem.”
One of the airmen who reached out to Weinstein complained that the officer’s Bible is a “blatant case of Christian defiance and Christian discrimination.”
“I am intimidated by the display, and I am a practicing Christian,” the unnamed airman wrote. “This open Bible is discrimination at the highest level.”
The airman went on to say that he wasn’t just offended by the Bible – he was “outrageously offended.”
Travis Weber, the director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, said every service member has a right to the free exercise of religion.
“It should be beyond clear that they are protected by the Constitution, statutory authority and regulations,” Weber told me.
He pointed to a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces that reaffirmed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “applies in the military context.”
“Men and women signing up to defend our country do not give up this right – especially when, of all things, they are fighting to defend the very Constitution which contains this protection,” Weber said.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin said the problem is that militant secularists see the Bible as a threat.
It is not surprising that if there were someone expressing ‘fear’ of a Bible on the Major’s desk that they are doing so anonymously because they would be laughed out of the military by their co-workers. I would say the same thing about the Koran or any other book. A book is nothing to be afraid of. I am more afraid of what radical Muslims do with the beliefs they get from a Koran, but the book itself is harmless. Sounds to me like the MRFF don’t like Major Lewis ideals and that’s what they’re trying to punish. It is unfortunate that the thought police have this much power to force someone to remove their Bible from their desk… it is a BIG violation of the First Amendment. So do you think Major Lewis was wrong to remove the Bible or did he do the right thing to lay the matter to rest?