The simple act of blessing a Holy Bible for the new US Space Force has sparked outrage from the usual sectors.

The drama started when the images of the ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral were released on social media.

“Today @WNCathedral blessed the official Bible for the new @SpaceForceDoD, which will be used to swear in all commanders of America’s newest military branch,” the cathedral’s official account tweeted Sunday.

“We have been asked to dedicate a new Bible that will be used next week, when Major General John William Raymond will be sworn in as the first Chief of Space Operations,” Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, said during the ceremony. “And, shortly thereafter, this Bible will be taken into space.”

Vice President Mike Pence went on to use that Bible to swear in General Jay Raymond as Space Force commander.

The complaints began rolling in from the “religious freedom” crowd as soon as the electrons hit Twitter, decrying the event as a display of white supremacy.

“The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy,” MRFF
founder and president Mikey Weinstein wrote in a statement denouncing the Bible blessing.

“The utilization of a Christian bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

Princeton Professor Steven Stauss offered this eye-rolling take:

The rest of the Twitter comments were just as lame and devoid of any understanding of the US Constitution and what the concept of religious liberty means.

US Air Force Officials then responded with some drama-free facts:

…Air Force spokeswoman Lynn Kirby said the description of the book as the official Space Force Bible is incorrect. And, she said, using it will not be required for commanders.

“In keeping with the Department of the Air Force historical tradition when swearing in a new service chief, the Bible mentioned in the tweet will be used during the swearing-in ceremony for the first chief of space operations,” Kirby said. “This option will remain a personal choice for each individual swearing in.”

Not having any serious issue with the current administration, the MRFF indicates that it will spend its time planning to lodge formal complaints with Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The MRFF also announced it would assist clients filing Inspector General (IG) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints.

Should efforts to appeal through the Defense Department fail, the group has vowed to bring their complaints before a federal court in Northern Virginia.

“The utilization of a Christian bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other DoD branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock Separation of Church and State mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and also violates Clause 3, Article 6’s total prohibition of No Religious Test for any Federal Gov’t position. Additionally such blatantly scurrilous activity violates a slew of critical DoD directives, instructions and regulations.

 

 
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