Chris Rodda Rebuilds, Destroys POW/MIA Bible Strawman
Chris Rodda — Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s sometime research assistant — wrote a column yesterday at the Washington Examiner saying “Bibles don’t belong on POW remembrance tables.” (Two years ago Rodda said the same thing, though it was only self-published on the Huffington Post. The Examiner opportunity was apparently created by Mike Berry’s article on the same website.)
It’s possible an editor chose her title (and also word-limited the normally very verbose Rodda), but it’s worth noting Rodda never gets around to saying why Bibles ‘don’t belong on POW tables.’
First, she says that, historically, early POW/MIA remembrance tables didn’t have Bibles. She revisits her previous strawman by saying the American Legion doesn’t include Bibles in its remembrance ceremony, as if that is remotely relevant. Her point was long ago rebutted: The issue isn’t what the Legion — or any other group — chooses to do; it’s what they prohibit others from doing.
No one is traipsing around the country demanding Bibles be included on POW/MIA tables — at the American Legion or anywhere else. What some Americans are doing is fighting back against those who are traipsing around the country demanding Bibles be excluded from those tables.
The position Rodda is trying to defend — that Bibles should be removed and prohibited from POW/MIA tables — is one promoted only by her MRFF and its supporters.
Second, she says the Bible is not “a common symbol of faith.” Her flippant dismissal of the symbolic nature of the Bible also minimizes the very real impact of faith — and, yes, the Christian faith — on those POWs who returned with honor. No doubt, not every POW was a Christian, but the presence of a Bible doesn’t mean they were.
Importantly, the Bible is symbolic of the faith that helped them through — for every one of them.
Consider this statement from Capt Guy Gruters, a POW in Vietnam [emphasis added]:
The higher ranking officers often took the brunt of the beatings for their men. They encouraged subtle resistance and mandated that they take part in church services within their cells.
You think spiritual faith — even the Bible — might have meant something to them?
Note that neither of Rodda’s points support the MRFF position that the government is required to prohibit the display of Bibles on POW/MIA displays. The responsibility falls on Weinstein and Rodda to justify why a Bible doesn’t “belong on a POW remembrance table.” They fail to do so.
There’s one final and important note: Chris Rodda, Mikey Weinstein, and their MRFF are, of their own initiative and bigotry, proactively attacking these memorials — memorials intended to honor our POWs and MIAs. Note that despite their hue and cry of the Bible being a “loathsome” presence on the table, they don’t appear to have the support of a single POW. All of their clients are current service members or offended bystanders — and the table isn’t for them.
This is not about you.
By contrast, there are many POWs who have supported what Chris Rodda and Mikey Weinstein have attacked: They have publicly stated that faith — even biblical faith — was a key factor to their ability to return with honor. (And to be fair, none has publicly promoted Islam, Buddhism, atheism, etc., as integral to the spiritual strength and resilience of the group of POWs.)
Those POW/MIAs should be honored and memorialized — as should the faith that helped them so. The memorial is for them, that they and their sacrifice should not be forgotten. The memorial is not for satiating the every whim and offense of entitled bystanders.
As to Weinstein and Rodda, they should be publicly shamed for their despicable and disrespectful attack on the memorials of those men and women — men and women who sacrificed much to protect Chris Rodda’s freedom to respond to their sacrifice with hate.