Navy Investigating Inclusion of Bible on POW/MIA Table Following Complaint

OKINAWA — The U.S. Navy is reportedly conducting an investigation after an organization that seeks to separate the Messiah from the military filed a complaint about the presence of a Bible and a notation of America being “one nation under God” at a POW/MIA missing man table at a Naval hospital in Okinawa, Japan.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), led by Mikey Weinstein, recently submitted a complaint through New York-based attorney Donald Rehkopf Jr., requesting that both the Bible and the placard be removed. Weinstein states that 26 service members, including those who profess to be followers of Christ, are a part of the complaint.

“Why is that Bible there?” Weinstein remarked to the publication Stars and Stripes. “Can you imagine if somebody put a Quran there, or the book of Satan, or the Book of Mormon? It violates the [First Amendment’s Establishment Clause] as well as DoD and Navy regulations.”

According to the National League of POW/MIA Families, the Bible is traditionally present at missing man tables, and “represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.” The display additionally includes a place setting, a rose and a candle.

The Okinawa display includes a placard explaining the meaning of the items, and the above quote, written in both English and Japanese. Weinstein wants the wording removed.

“The statement on the exhibit’s placard is nothing more than an illegal, unconstitutional proselytization from an extremist, fundamentalist Christian sect,” the complaint, submitted by Rehkopf, reads. “It ignores all followers of other religions and totally ignores all those who subscribe to no religion—all in blatant violation of [Department of Defense] and [Department of the Navy] regulations.”

Weinstein initially contacted officials at the hospital to request that the Bible and placard be removed, but they declined to do so without the permission of the facility commander, who was away on assignment.

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Attorney Rehkopf then submitted the complaint to Rear Adm. Paul Pearigen, the commander of Navy Medicine West in California, who, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, ordered an investigation into the matter on Friday. Weinstein says that if the Navy does not oblige the request, he will file a third-party inspector general complaint and possibly a lawsuit.

“Here, they translated a phrase into Japanese in order to proselytize the Japanese. This might have violated our treaty with Japan,” he asserted to the Union-Tribune.

In addition to requesting removal, Weinstein wants those responsible for including the Bible and the “one nation under God” wording to face disciplinary action.

As previously reported, Weinstein has a long history of objecting to Christian expression in the military. In 2013, he asked Department of Defense officials to punish superiors who attempted to proselytize their subordinates.

“It is a version of being spiritually raped and you are being spiritually raped by fundamentalist Christian religious predators,” Weinstein asserted.

He also appeared before Congress a year later, where he was questioned by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) about his hostility toward Christianity.

“On June 16, 2013, you said, ‘Today we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nations armed forces.’ Did you you make that quote?” Forbes asked.

“I did,” Weinstein replied frankly.

In 2015, he wrote a blog post calling for the ousting of Christian chaplains who disagree with same-sex “marriage,” and also demanded that Satan, Allah Odin and others be added to a “God bless the military” display in Hawaii.


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  • Amos Moses – He>i

    cry bullies gonna cry ….. and bully ……..

    • MarkSebree

      Yep, and the Christian, fundamentalist, dominionistic bullies continue to cry when the people that they are trying to bully fight back. They cannot accept that they cannot use the government to promote their beliefs and religion. They also cannot accept the fact that all religious beliefs MUST be treated equally under the law, especially on government installations.

      Keep in mind that the government does NOT have the “right” to promote and endorse anyone’s religion either overtly or covertly. Anyone that is representing the government cannot do so either while they can be perceived to be in their official capacity, which includes military, especially officers and senior NCOs. What they do on their own time and out of uniform is their own business, and then their right to freedom of expression is mostly in force. Many civilians who have never been in the military cannot seem to understand this necessary dichotomy.

      Of course, if you think that a military leader, who has tremendous power over you and your life, should have the “right” to impose his “christian” beliefs onto his subordinates, then you should have no problem with a Muslim, Buddhist, or Shaman doing exactly the same thing to you when you are the subordinate.

      • sandraleesmith46

        We aren’t bullying anyone; if they don’t like the Bible being part of that traditional ceremony THEY are FREE to leave. The GOV’T isn’t promoting or endorsing anything; and military personnel do NOT give up their 1st A rights to join and serve; they’re still entitled to express and practice their faiths FREELY, without restriction by Mikey and haters like him.

  • Brian Curtis

    Our military is not a Christian organization. “If you want to honor veterans, you raise a FLAG, not a cross.”

  • sandraleesmith46

    No, it doesn’t violate the establishment clause, but MIKEY WEINSTIEN does frequently! He pushes HIS religion on others constantly without constraint! That Bible and placard are about the MISSING person and his/her loved ones, NOT loud mouthed hateful Mikey! And a Bible represents Jews and Christians of all stripes, although not all who “profess” to be Christians are, these days; in fact, I would venture to guess that the majority, like those who signed onto this, are NOT truly Christians at all!

    • odelan

      Did’nt see you say anything about raising a cross or a tree. Lol.

      • sandraleesmith46

        No, I didn’t mention that; it’s not about that. The Bible represents the majority of those who serve in 1 or both Testaments, and the missing person being in God’s hands.

        • odelan

          This nation (America) and many others are blessed by our Lord.
          Leaving Our redeemer out of what’s right is never wise.
          Weather it be our military or everyday lives. People tend to think that we are our own masters alone.
          That’s not very intelligent.
          What you said was right.

          • sandraleesmith46

            No, it’ s not very smart; but then who said leftism was based on intelligence or rational thought?

  • Marni L.

    If it’s to honor what happened back then, then leave the Bible and saying as is. As back then there were many who were Christians. As evident today, there are fewer Christians now and many who will argue against the Bible, to everyone’s eventual destruction because they don’t read what the Word of God says. Mikey and his cohorts have nothing better to do I suppose. But many of our service men are Christian and do find Jesus in the service and I thank God for that!