Group Demands Removal of ‘God Bless the Military’ Sign Over Religious Reference

MRFF-compressedKANEOHE, Hawaii — A group that seeks to separate God from the military is demanding the relocation or removal of a sign at a Marine base in Hawaii that asks God’s blessing on the Armed Forces.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent an email this week to Col. Sean Killeen, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, to take issue with a sign near the marina that reads, “God bless the military, their families, and the civilians who work with them.” It was reportedly erected following the September 11th attack of 2001.

Blake Page of MRFF asserts that the sign is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” He is demanding that the sign either be moved to the chapel or removed altogether.

“This sign is a brazen violation of the No Establishment clause of the Constitution, as it sends the clear message that your installation 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,” Blake wrote in the email to Killeen.

“We recognize the value that religious activity brings to the lives of many,” he continued, “however, this sign is not in keeping with the time, place, and manner restrictions required by law [or] for any military commander to bolster religious principles through the official authority given to their rank and position.”

Capt. Timothy Irish told the Marine Corps Times that the matter is currently under review.

“[Killeen] has tasked his staff with researching the origin of the sign and its compliance with existing regulations. The Base Inspector’s Office is reviewing its files to see if there have been any complaints in the past,” he said. “MCBH will exercise due diligence to ensure compliance with existing regulations and law, including the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

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But retired Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, who now serves as the executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, says that MRFF is misinterpreting the Constitution as it does not require that government refrain from ever mentioning God.

“Only someone with a great misunderstanding of the First Amendment or an axe to grind against religion would claim that such a slogan poses a threat or is in any way unconstitutional,” he said in a statement on Friday. “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.”

“‘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,” Crews continued. “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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  • upload

    There is no establishment of religion here. A reference to god is generic and refers to no specific deity. And if it is removed, then they are establishing secular humanism, which has been ruled a religion in federal court.

    • Angel Jabbins

      Absolutely true!

  • Tim

    “We recognize the value that religious activity brings to the lives of many,”

    If the FFRF, etc. recognizes the benefits, (including Christians, Jews, Muslims, that believe in God) what is the problem? We recognize we are a differse society in America so if there are benefits as described above, it should not interfere with one’s right not to believe in God. It’s just a right of religion that is in question, or it seems that way to me.

  • Josey

    Oh wow, such a threat to these people who hate anything to do with prayer and God. Some good people who are blessing and praying for the armed forces, wow, shoot them for that why don’t ya, it’s ridiculous how far these organizations will go with their hate. I’m sure the service men and women appreciate their prayers and I am talking about the majority not the minority who just hate God or the mention of the Name of Jesus.

  • Dave_L

    Paul tells us to pray for all (not just our own), who are in power so that we can live in peace. This would include America’s enemies.

    “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1–2)

    What if we prayed for enemy leaders as much as we do our own? In this case, a Sign posted by “Christians” linking them to those who would rather kill than pray for America’s enemies would be inconsistent.

    I believe few things have damaged the image of the Church as much as calling America a “Christian Nation” followed by a push to “take America back for God”.

  • Danielle Theresa Battisti

    I agree with Ron Crews!! Absolutely!

  • Becky

    “This sign is a brazen violation of the No Establishment clause of the Constitution, as it sends the clear message that your installation 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,” Blake wrote in the email to Killeen.”

    An utter misinterpretation of our clause…to say the least.

    • Angel Jabbins

      Excellent assessment of the situation!

    • http://www.worthynews.com/ Joe DeCaro

      MRFF needs to read the entire sentence to read and understand that it also contains the Free Exercise Clause, which permits the establishment of the Chaplaincy Corps.

  • RDH1988

    Good grief…atheists must be related to the wicked witch of the west…they see the word God or see a cross and they start to melt…and the government is not to make any law regulating the FREE EXERCISE of faith..there is no clause of separation of church and state in our USC or D-of-I…that is a big lie that has been propagated on our now uneducated young people and they just believe it without any research or knowledge…

  • sammy13

    What are these people afraid of? The truth?

  • Emmanuel

    So go die marines, families live in misery and the civilians can suffer. Sincerely, the left.