Update: As promised, Travis AFB let local media on the base to view the display (and take pictures). As expected, each noted the nativity and Menorah were part of a group of nearly two-dozen holiday displays. Weinstein has managed to keep his invective fairly calm up to this point, but the more he talks, the more ridiculous he gets. Now the nativity and Menorah are “dehumanizing:”
“You are dehumanizing people. You are marginalizing people,” Weinstein said. “We know it’s a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment.”
“If you want something with religious symbols, be it Islamic, Jewish, Christian or whatever, put it on the grounds of the (base) chapel. That’s what the regulations say and that’s what the law says and we’re a nation of laws,” Weinstein declared.
Naturally, the former JAG doesn’t say what regulations or laws “say” that. That’s likely because, despite his authoritative-sounding assertion, none do. He’s trying to create a “new” law in the military restricting faith to the chapel.
Not to be outdone, Army atheist Justin Griffith is going one step further than Weinstein:
[Military bases] not only have a right to ban Nativity scenes, they have an obligation to do so.
He forgot to mention the Menorah. Like Weinstein, he also fails to say why the government is ‘obligated’ to ban religious (Christian) displays.
Weinstein has reportedly said he is considering a federal lawsuit over the issue, but he has threatened lawsuit over just about every controversy over the past few years without following through.
Justin Griffith, the “military director” of American Atheists, has belatedly joined the attack by Michael Weinstein against Travis Air Force Base’s holiday card lane, which contains a nativity and Menorah, among nearly two dozen other displays. Writing in the third person, Griffith says
Staff Sergeant Dan Rawlings is an atheist stationed at Travis. Rawlings contacted American Atheists about putting up an Atheist-themed display as well. The display was intended to go up next to the Nativity Scene and the token Jewish Menorah. Justin Griffith, the Military Director at American Atheists offered to provide and pay for an equivalent display for Staff Sergeant Rawlings to submit.
Note, of course, the atheists’ intent to put up a response to the religious displays, rather than take independent action (as has been the ideological trend of atheists). Note, too, they came up with the idea only after they read about the displays in the news (though the displays have been up for some time):
Rawlings was told by his USAF chaplain that he could not Read more