The Air Force continues its assault on its Christian members with a recent decision to remove a memorial dedicated to our soldiers who are missing in action or being held as prisoners of war. A “Missing Man” memorial table that held a copy of the Bible was removed from a dining hall at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.
Missing Man Tables are a long honored military tradition. The tables serve as a reminder of the plight of brave Americans who are missing in action or who are being held prisoner of war. The display includes a white table cloth setting with an inverted glass, a plate with lemon and salt, a single rose, a candle and a Bible.
Each item is an integral part of the Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony, according to the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia.
“The Bible represents the strength gained through faith in our country, founded as one nation under god, to sustain those lost from our midst,” the official ceremony document states.
The Air Force has once again bowed to the pressures of a boisterous and vocal few and instead chosen to trample the rights of the majority. The Air Force put out a statement defending their ad decision.
“The 45th Space Wing deeply desires to honor America’s Prisoners and War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA) personnel. Unfortunately, the Bible’s presence or absence on the table at the Riverside Dining Facility ignited controversy and division, distracting from the table’s primary purpose of honoring POWs/MIAs. Consequently, we temporarily replaced the table with the POW/MIA flag in an effort to show our continued support of these heroes while seeking an acceptable solution to the controversy. After consultation with several relevant organizations, we now intend to re-introduce the POW/MIA table in a manner inclusive of all POWs/MIAs as well as Americans everywhere.”
How the Bible, which appears ubiquitously throughout our culture, could possibly be misconstrued as offensive is baffling. The Missing Man Table is a time honored practice, and the Bible is more than religious literature when tied to the memorial. Its removal from the Table would demean the memorial and its storied history. By allowing the practice, the base would in no way be saying that Christianity is the chosen faith of the Air Force, but would simply be continuing an important and cherished tradition.
The United States of America is one of the world’s most openly tolerant religious societies, and that is based upon our history as a “Christian” nation. Even the more secular western nations of Europe are less tolerant than we, as they have become openly intolerant to much religious tradition. Yet, somehow in an effort to appear more tolerant, different areas of our government (most openly in the military and courts) have begun becoming intolerant towards the majority faith of our nation… Christianity. In attempting to appear “more tolerant” we have actually become less so.
Wrongful persecution of one faith is dangerous to all faiths and besmirches our beloved tradition of religious liberty and tolerance.
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