Notably, Weinstein himself seems to have provided evidence the door really was shut — across the Air Force.
On Monday, 23 March, Weinstein distributed an “open letter” demanding that Col Mark Slocum — commander of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC — stop saying his Airmen were “doing the Lord’s work over there.”
Yes, Mikey Weinstein really had a problem with that euphemism, claiming Col Slocum’s use of “this unlawful phrase” placed him
in violation of [his] oath to the United States Constitution and USAF Instructions…
“We are a professional organization defended by a professional force. Our defenders portray a professional image that represents a base all of Middle Georgia can be proud of. Defenders have been asked to use the standard phrase “Welcome to Team Robins” in their greeting and can add various follow-on greetings as long as they remain courteous and professional.
The Air Force takes any expressed concern over religious freedom very seriously. Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase “have a blessed day” as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.”
Robins Air Force Base should get credit for the most affirmative statement ever in a Weinstein-reversal, in which they not only undid the ban but also firmly supported the statement in question.
Update: Mikey Weinstein says the phrase “Have a blessed day” is proselytizing, or an attempt to convert people to a religion.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, crusader against anything remotely religious within the US military, recently proclaimed his most recent victory: He got a gate guard at Robins AFB to stop saying “Have a blessed day.”
I am an active-duty Air Force member…On no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks, I have been greeted by the military personnel at the gate with the phrase “Have a blessed day.” This greeting has been expressed by at least 10 different Airmen ranging in rank from A1C to SSgt.
How such vile, contemptible things could be permitted in the US Air Force is inconceivable. Weinstein leapt into action and called the commander of the Security Forces Squadron directly, bypassing the wing leadership he normally tries to engage.
An interesting story at the local news to Robins AFB, Georgia, notes that one of the roles of the Air Force chaplaincy is to protect troops’ right to religious freedom — but it doesn’t have to stifle religious exercise to do so [emphasis added]:
They defend the right to worship freely, even if other airmen’s views conflict with their own beliefs.
At the Robins Air Force Base tree lighting ceremony in early December, you would not have heard utterances of ‘”Seasons Greetings”, no mentions of “holiday trees” or talk about celebrations of a “winter solstice”.
That gathering of the troops, complete with hymns and prayers, was undeniably Christian.
Michael Dickerson, Air Force Services Agency spokesman, has taken strong exception to a Tuesday morning story [that] said “Air Force officials have agreed in principle to remove Bibles … following pressure from an atheist group.”
As noted here last year, Georgia Pastor Donald Crosby protested the Warner Robins High School “Demons,” saying the mascot “sent the wrong message” to the teen students.
In a federal lawsuit, Crosby now claims his arrest for picketing without a permit violated his First Amendment rights.
After discovering that his freshman son would be a future “demon” at the school, [Crosby] began collecting signatures of protest and picketed along with more than 20 members of his congregation on the first day of school.
White’s topic is the Christian reaction — or over-reaction — to perceptions of sin or evil in the culture. In one example, he cites the case of Pastor Donald Crosby of the Kingdom Builders Church of Jesus Christ in Warner Robins, Georgia. (The story was originally covered by USA Today via WMAZ in Macon, Ga.) The pastor enrolled his son in the local high school, only to discover their mascot was…a demon:
He’s been collecting signatures of protest ever since, saying that a pitchfork-wielding mascot sends the wrong message to teens. “Hundreds of children gather into one place at one time chanting ‘Go Demons.’ It’s the equivalent of us gathering into a church on Sunday morning and shouting ‘Go, Jesus’ or ‘Hallelujah Jesus,’ the pastor maintains.
Interesting thing is, that’s not at all the history behind the mascot:
School principal Steve Monday says that the origin of the mascot isn’t religious at all. In fact, it started in World War II from the 7th fighter squadron at Robbins [sic] Air Force Base, Continue reading →