The United States Space Force has been in operation just over a month, but they are already the subject of complaints stemming from a ceremony, held over the weekend at Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral, where a Bible was blessed for use at Space Force swearing in ceremonies.
“The Washington National Cathedral held a ceremony Sunday to bless a King James Bible that will be used to swear in members of the Department of Defense’s Space Force,” the Washington Examiner reports. “Rev. Carl Wright conducted the blessing, saying, ‘May this Bible guard and guide all those who purpose that the final frontier be a place where God will triumph over evil, where love will triumph over hate, and where life will triumph over death.'”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation fired back at the Space Force, accusing the newest military branch of favoritism and of making Space Force members who celebrate a faith other than Christianity feel unwelcome and uncomfortable.
The group pulled no punches in its statement, claiming that the Space Force put on a “shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism.”
The group’s president, Mikey Weinstein, added that the Space Force was exhibiting “Christian privilege.”
“MRFF noted with additional disgust and disdain the willing and all-too visible participation of a senior USAF officer, in formal uniform, during the travesty of this sectarian ceremony which tragically validates the villainy of unadulterated Christian privilege at DoD and its subordinate military branches,” Weinstein noted in his own statement. “MRFF is currently receiving a multitude of new complaints from outraged DoD military and even civilian DoD personnel, as well as veterans, regarding this unmitigated, unconstitutional horror. MRFF will be lodging a formal complaint to Mark Esper, the Secretary of Defense.”
It is not clear precisely how many complaints MRFF received, though a handful of atheists on social media were clearly incensed.
The Bible, provided by the Museum of the Bible — one of Washington, D.C.’s newest cultural institutions — was used to swear in at least one commander, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, the Space Force’s first chief of Space Operations but, as Military Times points out, its not clear that swearing on the Bible will be compulsory for all Space Force commanders. Details weren’t given — aside from a note saying that the Space Force will take the Bible in question to space at some point in the future.
MRFF says they will be filing a complaint about the Bible with the appropriate authorities.
“MRFF will be assiduously assisting its clients to also expeditiously make formal Inspector General (IG) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints to the DoD chain of command hierarchy to stop this train-wreck disaster in its stinking tracks from ever even leaving the station,” Weinstein said. “If MRFF’s fervent attempts to exhaust all DoD administrative remedies to eliminate this fundamentalist Christian tyranny and oppression fail, MRFF will plan to stop this matter in Federal court in Northern Virginia. The utilization of a Christian Bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other DoD branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”