Tag Archives: travis afb

Military Atheists Now Target Fort Campbell Nativity, Menorah

Though they failed to get Travis AFB to remove its nativity and what they called a “token” Jewish Menorah, military atheists led by Justin Griffith have now set their sights on Fort Campbell, one of the largest US Army bases in the United States.  Fort Campbell has a Menorah and nativity at the sign near one of its entry gates.  (Don’t tell anyone, but there’s also a prominent star at the top of the post Christmas tree…)

It reads like “Welcome to Fort Campbell, where you better love Jesus…”

[Fort Campbell] need[s] to either remove the display, or at the very least let all the other points of view have an equal level of support.

How a Menorah says “you better love Jesus” is unclear, though the atheists’ (repeat) belittling of the Jewish display of faith is eclipsed only by their obsessive need to attach themselves to Christianity.

The situation is not the same as Travis AFB, though.  For one thing, Read more

Weinstein Continues Protest of Travis AFB Nativity, Menorah

Michael Weinstein’s lawyers wrote a response to the Travis AFB decision to allow the nativity and Menorah to remain where they are.  The letter, dated 19 December, demands a response the same day. Otherwise, the content is little different from their initial error-filled complaint.

Still, the letter closed with this ominous threat:

If this request is not honored by the close of business Read more

Flying Spaghetti Monster Joins Jesus Christ at Travis AFB

The US Air Force has decided to let the nativity and Menorah at Travis AFB stand, despite the prior complaint from Michael Weinstein and his erstwhile atheist ally:

While we appreciate the concerns raised by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the Office of the Air Force Judge Advocate General, upon review, concluded the inclusion of a Wing Chaplain sponsored Nativity Scene and Menorah as part of a broader, secular holiday seasonal display does not violate the establishment clause of the United States Constitution.

Weinstein complained about the timing of the press release, as his most pressing concern is publicity.  (He probably thinks the death of Kim Jong Il was part of the timing plan.)  He then said

We believe they have come to the wrong conclusion based on constitutional law. Rather than telling media through a press release we rather suggest five words: tell it to the judge.

The Air Force has little reason to be concerned.  The last time Weinstein said that he did…nothing.  Weinstein is “the boy who cried wolf” with respect to threats of filing lawsuits.

According to American Atheists’ “military director” Justin Griffith, Travis Read more

Military Atheists Join, Contradict Fight Against Travis AFB Nativity

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.”

His basis:

“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

Weinstein Targets Travis AFB Nativity, Menorah

[Update: In a brilliant move, Travis AFB is inviting the local press to come see the “holiday” display today.  Officials also indicated the issue was being elevated, since, as noted below, Travis is far from the only military facility to have religious displays during Hanukkah and Christmas.]


Michael Weinstein, the single paid officer of his personally-founded charitable “foundation,” has threatened Travis Air Force Base with legal action.

Because they put up a nativity scene and a Menorah.

In case you hadn’t noticed, it is approaching Christmas and Hanukkah.  It is traditional during this time of year for military bases around the world to light Christmas trees, have visits from Santa (he arrives by plane), erect nativities and Menorahs, and sponsor what is often known as a “holiday card lane.”  This confluence of events is an acknowledgement of the celebrations in which a vast majority of military members — and American citizens — partake.

The issue of “holiday” trees has already been discussed.  Though the legal letter fails to mention it, the nativity and Menorah at issue are part of the Holiday Card Lane at Travis AFB.  Traditionally, Air Force bases allow units, individuals, and organizations to create “holiday cards,” often out of 4×8 sheets of plywood.  There may or may not be other criteria in place, like whether or not the cards can have lights or need to be fastened down to the ground. These cards are lined up along an avenue of the base.  Sometimes, they are judged in contests or inaugurated simultaneously with the tree-lighting (as were the ones at Travis).

The only thing Weinstein takes issue with, however, is the nativity and Menorah. Why?  The letter from Jones Day, written by attorney Katherine Ritchey, interestingly never mentions Weinstein by name.  It says  Read more

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