Officials at Marine Corps Base, Hawaii, are examining whether a sign on base that reads, "God bless the military, their families and the civilians who work with them," will remain after receiving a letter demanding the sign's removal or relocation to an area near a chapel.
The letter, issued by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, inaccurately claims that the sign is a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause even though courts have repeatedly found such slogans to be acceptable in similar contexts.
"Only someone with a great misunderstanding of the First Amendment or an ax to grind against religion would claim that such a slogan poses a threat or is in any way unconstitutional. The real threat is posed by those who want to whitewash any reference to God from public discourse—even ones as innocuous and uplifting as this one," said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
"'God bless our military' is a slogan little different than the official national motto, 'In God we trust,' that appears so publicly on our money, and the courts have repeatedly upheld it. From the founding of our country, every president, including President Obama, has called on God to bless America. We hope that Col. Sean Killeen, the base commander, will stand firm and allow the sign to remain."
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