Marine Corps Refuses to Remove ‘God Bless the Military’ Sign Following Complaint

MRFF-compressedKANEOHE, Hawaii — A Marine Corps base in Hawaii is refusing to relocate or remove a sign that asks God’s blessing on the Armed Forces following receipt of a complaint from a group that seeks to separate God from the military.

As previously reported, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) sent an email last month 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 asserted 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 demanded 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.”

But the religious liberties group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) also sent Killeen an email, asserting that MRFF’s demands were unconstitutional.

“As it stands, the sign is not grounds for an Establishment Clause violation. However, removal of the sign would certainly be in violation of the Establishment Clause, showing preference for no religion over religion,” Director of Military Affairs Daniel Briggs wrote.

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“Our nation has many constitutionally permissible reminders of our historical and cultural roots, from our national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’ to ‘so help me God’ in the Commissioned Officer’s Oath to the presidential proclamations
accompanying each National Day of Prayer,” he continued.

After deliberating the matter, Killeen sent a reply to MRFF on Friday refusing to relocate or remove the sign.

“Several Supreme Court 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,” he wrote. “‘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.”

“To date, we have not received any direct complaints concerning this sign from service members or reports of service member complaints through any official chain of command,” Killeen continued. “We will always support all service members’ rights to pursue and practice their own belief sets, whether religious or not.”


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  • Dan Chandler

    Who are the ACLU/Atheists, or the Judiciary, or the Supreme Court such that they would stand before God, standing above God, and screaming that you regard them instead of God.

    So you will go to hell with them.

    As they scream that you must not talk about God, and Jesus, or the devil, you must stand apart from the devil and his servants.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      People who serve in the military are free to talk about their religious beliefs, but the military itself cannot show bias regarding any religion.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      They say no such thing, and you know it. You are free to practice your religion, but you are not free to forcibly impose your religion on others.

  • Emmanuel

    stay strong and defend that sign for the message is positive.

    • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

      Amen.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      Would you consider it positive if the sign said “Allah bless the military” or would you consider that unfair to non-muslims?

      • Emmanuel

        Allah is God. Like Chuy is Jesus.

        • wandakate

          Allah is their GOD…We have GOD (creator of heaven and earth) and His son JESUS (real name YESHUA). They worship their Allah and we worship GOD/JESUS here.
          I look at that the same way I look at what we speak. IF I move to Egypt, I need to learn to speak their language or I’ll have a very difficult time.
          The same applies for the USA. This is an “English” speaking country, and if they come here from a Spanish speaking country or otherwise they need to learn our language because it’s what we speak. We (the citizens of the US) DO NOT need to learn their language in order to accommodate them, they need to learn our language if they want to remain in this country…Many come here thinking they do not need to, and that we must speak their language…that is WRONG!
          If you do not worship GOD then you don’t, but don’t come here expecting us to worship your god, or no god at all or some foreign god that we don’t honor.
          We have our GOD (look at our money-IN GOD WE TRUST. AND we also have our ENGLISH…Those are set in stone…

      • wandakate

        THIS IS NOT THE MIDDLE EAST…This is the United States of America. This ‘IS NOT” a Muslim nation and we were “NOT” founded with Islamic laws or anything that they believe over in that part of the world.
        We Americans “DO NOT” go over to their countries and fly the US flag. We do not put up “IN GOD WE TRUST” signs over there, and we don’t go to their bases and insist on putting up signs that say…” GOD BLESS OUR UNITED STATES MILITARY FAMILIES”.
        When in America, do what the Americans have always done and are doing, but when in Egypt or Iran, or wherever you are over there they you respect what they have done and are doing…
        That is why these countries are all separate because they ALL have their own beliefs and traditions and gods etc.
        I read a bumper sticker which had written on it…Welcome to this state, (the name of the state there), now GO HOME”!
        What are they saying? We welcome you to do as we do in this state and abide by our state laws, our county laws, our town laws, our symbols and our speed limit etc. and basically if you don’t like the way we do it here, GO HOME… I like that.

        • Cosmic Mastermind

          No America is not a Muslim nation, it’s not a Hindu nation or a Sikh nation or a Buddhist nation, but it’s not a Christian nation either. All Americans are NOT Christian and America is founded on separation of Church and State – the First Amendment.

          I’ll put it in terms that are closer to home: I don’t know what denomination you are, but I’ll assume you’re not a member of the First Baptist Church; imagine that the First Baptist Church wants to erect a huge plaque at The White House that reads “God Bless The First Baptist Church” and The White House allows it. But here’s the thing; when you ask to have a plaque erected next to it that says “God Bless The Second Baptist Church”, your request is denied, and so are the requests of every other denomination. Only the First Baptist Church is granted that special privilege.

          One of the reasons separation of Church and State exists is to prevent that kind of discrimination. Not everyone in the Armed Forces is a Christian, some of those people are of other faiths, and some are of no faith. You would not expect a Christian soldier to bow to Allah, but you expect an American Muslim Soldier to bow to Jehovah. That is not fair, moral, or legal.

          • wandakate

            I understand what you are saying…I don’t expect a Christian soldier to bow to Allah, nor do I expect an American Muslim Soldier to bow to GOD (Jehovah-Yahweh).

  • Dave_L

    When we associate Jesus with the Military it makes it hard to preach the Gospel to those who need it most. It would be in the best interest of the Church and Christians living in hostile lands if we didn’t plague them with this scriptural notion that some how Jesus approves of war and bloodshed.

  • bowie1

    It seems atheists have something in common with ISIS and that is to remove all vestiges of Christianity and the symbols that accompany it.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      Uhhh.. No. Isis is all about God, they just call him Allah. And the MRFF is exactly what their name implies; they support religious _freedom_, that means everyone’s freedoms, not just yours, not just Christians. Everyone’s.

      The solution is simple, remove the word God and change the sign to say “Bless The Military”.

      • bowie1

        I’m not sure that would work either, since the word Bless has been known to have religious overtones even when someone sneezes and someone says “Bless You!” The point is removal of all religious symbols whether it is MRFF or ISIS and replacing them with secular ones.

        • Cosmic Mastermind

          Possibly so, but I think most non-religious people would let the word “bless” go, it’s not an overtly religious word and it is used in secular society.

          • wandakate

            When they say BLESS you, who’s giving those blessings? Blessings come from above, and only GOD is authorized to give any blessings to anybody that mean anything…

          • Cosmic Mastermind

            Not really, I’m pretty sure “bless his cotton socks” is not a religious expression, and the word “blessing” actual means “magical enchantment”. To bless something is to speak a magical incantation. Lots of religions have blessings.

          • Katherine Edgar

            Don’t count on it. Once I was in the grocery store and a man sneezed..I politely said bless you….not God bless you. He came all unglued got in my face and ranted for 5 minutes about forcing my religion down his throat….

    • wandakate

      Exactly, and that is what they intend to do with time. Their goal is to concur the entire world and fly their flag at the White House in the USA.
      They want Allah to be god of the world, and do not want GOD to be known. They want to remove Him and that is their plan.
      Glenn Beck has a new book…IT IS ABOUT ISLAM, and in it he talks about exposing the truth about Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate. He talks about extremism in Muslim teachings. The book educates and informs the reader while debunking mainstream lies about the religion and its followers.
      If anyone is interested in knowing the real story and what they are planning on doing to us then it’s an excellent read…

  • LadyFreeBird<In God I Trust

    I hope they never take that sign down.

  • Nidalap

    Well, how about that? Some folks who refuse to just roll over whenever an anti-Christian group starts yowling! Logical from Marines, I suppose! (^_^)

    • getstryker

      You ‘suppose’ correctly!

  • Cliff

    This sign in no establishes any state religion nor is it any indication of preferential treatment, or lack thereof, to anybody based on their opinion regarding that sign. I’m betting dollars to doughnuts that nobody’s ever been asked about it even once, especially as a pre-qualifier for any further consideration.

    • wandakate

      There are always going to be troublemakers, we see that don’t we?

  • Dave_L

    “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1–3)

    How can those who live in open opposition to everything Jesus teaches and stands for, parade his name about and present a false militaristic image of him to the approval of so many?

  • Nidalap

    Semper fidelis: Always faithful.

    • wandakate

      Faithful to who?, GOD or the military?

      • getstryker

        As you know full well, ‘Semper fidelis’ is a Marine Corps term but every true Christian also knows that it also applies to our personal spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

        • wandakate

          Actually I thought it was a Marine term, but wasn’t sure of it’s meaning. I am a true Christian but didn’t know that, sorry…
          My husband was Navy and then Coast Guard until he passed away in 2011. My X son-in-law was an Army Ranger, then an officer. Last I saw him he was a captain, and now he is a major. Thanks for making me aware of that.

          • getstryker

            I apologize if I came off with a ‘bluster’ . . . If you can see it on my avatar, the tattoo says: “Always Faithful” – it is the Latin translation for “Semper fidelis” – It has been the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps since 1883. My own ‘military history, etc.’ is on my full profile. I am sorry for your family losses, but you can be proud of those in your family that serve now and did serve.
            May God Bless you and yours.

          • wandakate

            You’re fine…and thanks but no I can’t see it on there, it’s too small. My X son-in-law has been in for about 20 years now, and my husband served almost 24 between the Navy and the CG. My youngest daughter served 13 years in the Navy in office personnel (can’t think of her official title), and then she was a Navy recruiter for several years. She had to get out due to a back injury of which she had surgery as well.
            So military in the family, but no Marines. I have a neighbor that was a Marine, but he had to get out due to PTSD. His mind isn’t all it should be, so he’s on disability now.

          • getstryker

            Understood . . . you have a fine military family legacy – be proud of them, as I am sure you are.

  • Jake Steele

    The Anti-Christ system of Islam and Satan’s Demons are hard at work…

    • wandakate

      Was it not supposed to be that way in the end times before the appearing of JESUS? (Rev. 11:15-19) JESUS told us there would be Christian persecution, and we would suffer and even be martyred for our faith in Him.
      In Matthew 5, He said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall REVILE you and PERSECUTE you and say all manner of EVIL against you falsely for my sake.
      Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for GREAT is your reward in Heaven, for so PERSECUTED they the prophets which were before you…
      So yes, it’s part of GOD’s plan for the antichrist system and satan and his demons to wreck havoc on everything that we have and have ever known up and to this point in time.
      Expect this, as it’s going to happen. Read Glenn Beck’s new book, it tells all about what’s going on.

      • Jake Steele

        Thanks, and yes it is God’s Plan… Clearly laid out in Matthew 24…

        God Bless!!

  • getstryker

    “God bless the military, their families, and the civilians who work with them.”

    “God Bless America”

    Col. Sean Killeen . . . Semper Fi Sir

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Yes, don’t submit to the atheists. It’s been wrong all along for all these years. The West only diminished morality and wrecked children by obeying to atheists.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      Submit to what? Tell me what the demands of an atheist are.

  • Joseph Riccardo

    The phrase: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” simply means Congress will not order someone to worship in a certain way, nor will it stop someone from worshiping in a certain way…” – Opponents twist the original meaning of that statement to mean Congress cannot “promote a religion or religious belief” … however, if that were the meaning then the second half of the statement would mean Congress cannot “not promote a religion or religious belief”… The opponents of the sign would want the latter interpretation – which, by the way, contradicts itself. The Constitution never contradicts itself.

    • Cosmic Mastermind

      1. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion”

      2. “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

      What you’re doing is playing with words. Under the 1st Amendment a congressman is free to have his own religious opinions, but Congress is not. The individual can have a particular religious preference, but even if every single member of Congress wishes to promote one religion over another, they cannot do that without making an amendment to the Constitution.

  • Mitchina

    People really should read Bad Samaritans by Jerome R. Corsi Ph.D. to understand the birth of the anti-religious ACLU and how they have twisted one obscure line from a personal letter from Jefferson to create the wall of separation argument and the long term goals of this organization. If you do not understand what weapons they bring to the fight, you will never win the fight.

  • Bill Ludlow

    It will probably end up in court now and have to be taken down anyway. This sign does not belong on government property. Period.