Blessed Assurance: Message Is Fine...
God isn’t the enemy, but He’s sure been treated like one on some military installations. At Marine Corps Base Hawaii, activists have one mission: booting God from base. But thanks to commanding officer Sean Killeen, it won’t happen without a fight. For weeks, a secular group with nothing better to do than harass the military has demanded that a sign come down that says, “God bless the military, their families, and the civilians who work with them.”
The display, which has been on base since the time of 9/11, is a source of great division and pain, the organization claimed. According to the intolerant secularists at Military Religious Freedom Foundation, it’s unconstitutional to wish the military God’s best. Why? Because supposedly it sends the message that the base “gives preference to those who hold religious beliefs over those who do not, and those who prefer a monotheistic, intervening god over other deities or theologies.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” exclaimed Franklin Graham after hearing about the controversy. He’s right. With morale at record lows and suicides at all-time highs, we should be begging God to bless our troops! “Only someone with an axe to grind would claim that such a slogan poses a threat or is in any way unconstitutional,” Chaplain Ron Crews argued.
Fortunately, after consulting with Alliance Defending Freedom, Colonel Killeen saw the Foundation’s complaint for the empty threat it was and announced that the sign won’t be going anywhere. “Our legal team has conducted exhaustive research on this issue,” he explained. “Several Supreme Court cases and other federal cases, to include the 9th Circuit, support the conclusion that the message on the sign does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. ‘God bless’ is commonly used in our culture in a number of contexts, and there are numerous references to God in this nation’s symbols, songs, mottos, and oaths. This sign has the secular purpose of conveying a message of support, but does not advance or inhibit religion or any particular faith, nor does it foster excessive government entanglement with religion.”
Angry, Mikey Weinstein’s group has vowed to send signs wishing ridiculous blessings on our troops from the Jedi Church or Church of Satan. Let them. That will just help the public see who the real extremists are. In the meantime, we salute Colonel Killeen for taking a stand — and encouraging other military leaders to do the same.
Candidates Enlist Help in Military Pushback
As the atheists work to kick God out of the public space, others on the Left are busy bringing in social chaos in! Over the Columbus Day holiday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) became the latest presidential candidate to fire back at the trend, arguing that under his watch, our troops wouldn’t be used as a “caldron for social experiments.” During a stop in Iowa, the Texas leader left little doubt as to where he stood on the issue of introducing gender confusion into our ranks.
As the Pentagon delves into its six-month study on the effects of open transgenderism, Cruz joined social conservatives like Governor Mike Huckabee in decrying the change. “How about having the military focusing on hunting down and killing the bad guys … instead of treating it as this crucible for social justice innovations? We’ve lost sight of what their job is and that’s what we need to get back to.”
His latest comments follow on the heels of a religious liberty rally he hosted in August, where people like our friend Master Sergeant Phillip Monk spoke from first-hand experience about the fallout of the President’s radical military makeover. As he explained at VVS, Sergeant Monk nearly lost his job simply for believing in the natural definition of marriage — before the Supreme Court had even redefined it! Recalling that, Cruz explained about how “disturbing” it was that Christians are being drummed out of the service for exercising the same freedoms they’ve given their lives to defend.
Like Governor Huckabee, Cruz is ratcheting up the pressure on the GOP to raise the profile of religious liberty in this country — not just in the military, but in every business and workplace. As Governor Bobby Jindal (R-La.) powerfully reminded people: “America didn’t create religious liberty. Religious liberty created America.” So far, it’s a message that seems to be resonating with voters, who are quite happy to cling to their God and their guns!
Richards Nixin’ the Baby Part Profits
Just because someone stops doing wrong doesn’t mean they aren’t liable for the wrongs they’ve already done. That fact seems lost on Planned Parenthood, which tried to make its organ harvesting scandal disappear by announcing an end to the “reimbursements” it received for tiny baby parts. Claiming the controversy was a “smokescreen” from “extremists,” Cecile Richards expects the case to be virtually dismissed now that the group has stopped doing what the evidence suggests is illegal: endangering women’s lives to profit from human remains.
Ironically, the decision ends a practice that Richards defended earlier this month as something the entire organization was “proud of.” Like Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), not many conservatives are fooled. “It is curious that, while Planned Parenthood officials maintain there has been no wrongdoing, they still find it necessary to change their policy following the recent undercover videos. Clearly, this was a decision motivated by optics rather than the organization’s conscience.”
With Congress still adjourned, Richards must hope that this will tamp down the demands for more investigation when members return. Unfortunately for her, Americans — nor their government — aren’t nearly as eager to sweep the scandal under the rug. Adding to the intrigue, the polling company just released the findings of a new focus group on the nation’s biggest abortion business. Turns out, most Americans — even the ones generally supportive of Planned Parenthood — are less than impressed by the organization now.
Shocked and disappointed, The Polling Company’s Kellyanne Conway explained that once these same people saw the videos in question, their feelings radically changed. “These Planned Parenthood customers — there’s a special level of frustration and disgust because they’ve been defending Planned Parenthood as providing vital services for years. Now they feel betrayed and disgusted.” Those negative feelings continue to translate into a groundswell of opposition for the half-billion dollars in funding the organization receives from taxpayers each year. And when Congress returns, no amount of legitimate smokescreens can protect Richards from that.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.