Sailors in trouble for the Bible

Navy Investigates Sailors Imposing Christianity

IMG_0024In case you missed it, our old friends at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation filed a complaint on April 6 alleging that Sailors are proselytizing in Japan by having a Bible on the POW/MIA memorial table. According to the MRFF, that amounts to pushing Christian beliefs onto unsuspecting persons. The seven-page complaint was filed on behalf of 26 service members and DoD civilian employees who were offended by the display. They suggest that the Bible present (representing the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded one nation under God) forces people to agree with the display.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported on the story. This is probably a slam dunk. While I found several instances of the Bible being present in the display, including the Navy Live website, I doubt it will remain that way for long. Makes me wonder if anyone from the MRFF will come hunting for my rank because my daughter put a Bible on our display in Navy housing (the irony here is that my daughter used an “Apologetics” version of the Bible). I don’t know the legal ramifications for that, and I’m not particularly interested to learn them. Nevertheless, I’m sure we’ll learn soon that the Navy has decided to officially remove the Bible from this display and update the protocol.

I want to make three points about the complaint.

  1. The MRFF is a nuisance. I’ve written elsewhere about how they file complaints on behalf of non-Christians who have gotten their feelings hurt. The only thing I’m wrong about in that statement is that apparently, “Christians” also get their feelings hurt. Everyone’s opinion counts but the Bible-believing Christian, in the MRFF’s eyes.
  2. I don’t think they’ll be a nuisance for long. By saying that, I don’t think they’ll go away. Instead, I think they’re going to become a bigger tool used by the adversary to hinder Christianity in the military. I think this because, in this complaint, one of the things they want is for the Navy to investigate the situation and to, “assign appropriate disciplinary measures to those responsible.”
  3. The founder of MRFF states that 16 of the 26 persons in the complaint self-identify as Christian. I’d be curious to know more about this Christianity of theirs. I’m very disturbed that they handed the leadership of the Okinawa hospital over to the wolves. While I don’t know if they tried to get the Bible removed from the desk and felt they had no alternative (which they did…plenty of alternatives), or why they would have wanted it removed in the first place, but complaining to an unbeliever, who will make a spectacle of the Bible instead of treat it with respect, is a bad move.

To be perfectly clear, the MRFF is about removing Christianity from America’s military. Just like China’s decision to prevent the online sales of Bibles, the MRFF should not scare true believers. God understands fully what has happened here, knows the ramifications, and is at least one step ahead, at least eternally speaking.

For additional research, look at the following locations that include the Bible in the presentation:

Navy Live

American Legion

VFW

Wikipedia

Would love your thoughts…and as always, you can sign up to receive updates on my social commentary by going HERE.

4 thoughts on “Sailors in trouble for the Bible

  1. So, I rarely disagree with you openly.

    If that was a qu’ran kn that table paced there by an official, would you want to see it there, or would that be an attack also?

    You may display anything you choose in your house as long as it doesnt go against hoa rules etc.

    A person acting privately may pretty much do as they wish. If you set up a pow table in your house and include a bible, no one can stop you. If you IN UNIFORM force a bible into a secular type of event, you are probably overstepping your bounds and are potentially setting yourself up to be reprimanded or disciplined.

    This goes way beyond office discussions or casual displays army a work desk. A pow table at a galley etc is effectively an endorsement by the CO. And if you dont think that is so, I am sure you would if the POW table had a Satanist bible, because that is ultimately who authorizes or disallows those sorts of things.

    The CO has no place spreading his or her faith to people that are effectively held captive by him for fear of retaliation if they disagree.

    I fully support each individual’s right to believe and even Express that belief openly in appropriate locations and times. This is not one of them in my opinion.

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    1. You use the word “force” like the people who put a Bible on the POW table do it with a gun. You know that’s silly. And if a CO does it, he’s no more holding them captive than a I did you when I was a Chief. At times, I’m sure I had a Bible on my desk. Did you ever feel threatened? And we had a POW table. Did it not include a Bible? I don’t remember. I would agree with you if the CO was holding a prayer meeting at an all hands call, but this isn’t that at all.

      If it was a Koran, or anything else, I’d be offended. You argue that because you think it makes the playing table even, like I’ll agree that the Bible should be taken down because I’d feel offended if the Koran was there, but you’re wrong. The truth is that members of the Islamic community (and Mormon, JW, atheist, etc) all have a mission to proselytize. And all will do so whether it’s offensive or not. You know this to be true about the more evangelistic members of the Atheist community, such as yourself. So while it would be offensive, it would not be unexpected. It would encourage my resistance, as it has encouraged the MRFF.

      Does that mean I lead only if I can push Jesus on people? I think you know the answer to that. I think that I have proven myself a fair leader over time regardless of a person’s religious views. You can add sexual preference to that as well. If you have a different POV on that, I’m willing to listen.

      Further, we both know that COs often change their position based on whistleblowers or people who submit requests to change things through the CO’s suggestion box and the like. So your retaliation argument is largely a thing of the past.

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  2. When I say force a bible into a secular event, I was meaning exactly that if you think it is okay for a bible to be there but not a Quran there is a problem. It is my understanding that either both should be allowed(like there are Christian and Muslim chaplains[and even an atheist lay leader]) or it should be none allowed.

    I have no issue with any individual of any faith holding any conversation on a level playing field to any person in an effort to convince them of what they see as truth. Using you and me as an example, at no point did I feel rank entered into our discussions. I felt safe to discuss and “argue” and I think you felt the same. As it should be. A chief or officer displaying a bible on their desk, does not rise to anywhere close to a hostile work environment to any reasonable person.

    Just since you mentioned sexual preference, I dont think I have any recollection of you being against any choices that an individual makes regardless of what you might feel about it privately. I dont feel I have noticed you personally to be biased against any group, and I feel you will do your job to the best of your ability, regardless of your beliefs as to whether the other person is saved or unsaved a sinner or a saint or anywhere in between. Which is one reason I have always looked up to and respected you. That is a hard thing to do.

    Having reread your article, you didnt state that you felt this reached the point of persecution. You were merely unhappy with the direction it is headed. So I stand corrected on any specific claims of such.

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