We are thankful to be able to announce that Shaw AFB officials have replaced the Nativity scene on the base, but officials decided that the best place for it was next to the installation’s chapel. An Air Force spokesman said a military chaplain blessed the scene after volunteers put it on the chapel grounds this week.
In response, several members of the state’s congressional delegation issued a joint press release praising the reappearance of the Nativity scene that caused a dispute at the air base near Sumter. “We are pleased the Nativity scene has been restored at Shaw Air Force Base,” said the note attributed to Republican U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott along with 5th District U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney. “From the start, our offices have been in touch with Shaw officials expressing our concerns about this matter,” the note said.
The Nativity scene became an issue last week when the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, (MRFF), a radical anti-Christian organization, complained after being alerted by an undisclosed number of Airmen who said they were emotionally troubled by the sight of the plastic Jewish family. Following calls to the Pentagon by Mikey Weinstein, president of the MRFF, about the scene it was removed within several hours by the base command. Lt. Keavy Rake said the Pentagon warned that items that are almost exclusively religious in nature, like the Nativity scene, “could appear to endorse religion” if they are displayed alone and away from chapel grounds. Rake said the Pentagon recommended the Baby Jesus either be displayed on chapel grounds or as “part of a larger secular or multicultural display on base.” Ultimately, the base command made the decision to pull the plug on the scene where it was located.
The Air Force base released a statement explaining that all faith-based and secular groups were offered an opportunity to put up holiday displays but the only group to take advantage of the offer was the one that erected the Nativity. “Based on only one faith group being represented, 20th Fighter Wind officials determined the appropriate course of action was to celebrate the holiday season consistently and elected to remove the Nativity scene from memorial Lake,” the statement read. In other words, to truly celebrate the Reason for the Season, you have to remove the Reason for the Season!
Rake acknowledged that if there had been no complaint from the MRFF the Nativity would probably still be at the Memorial Lake location. And contrary to what the MRFF claimed, she said, not a single person had complained about the display.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said military members have every right to express their faith, even through a Nativity scene. “This is yet another example of the Air Force yielding to a phone call from the MRFF,” Crews said.
What’s troubling is the amount of power Mikey Weinstein wields at the Pentagon. It took two hours and fifteen minutes for the Pentagon to respond to his query. It took the Air Force six days to respond to the media. The Pentagon may privately assure religious liberty groups that Weinstein is nothing more than a gadfly, but the facts prove otherwise. When Mikey Weinstein speaks, the Pentagon obeys!
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council said, “It is truly a sad state of affairs when a demilitarized zone has to be created on an Air Force base for Baby Jesus. The events in the Air Force alone show that this is much more than a war on Christmas, this is a war on the freedom of religious expression.”
Click here to read my original report: https://fggam.org/air-force-base-gives-the-baby-jesus-the-boot/