The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) receives a constant stream of photographs from service members and DoD employees around the globe showing overt promotions of Christianity in the form of signs, banners, posters, and flyers -- all strategically placed in locations that are impossible for military personnel to avoid in their day to day activities.
Are these photos coming from a handful of atheistic troublemakers? Not by a long shot. The overwhelming majority come from Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, who are disgusted with the military's blatant disregard of regulations regarding religious neutrality and promotion of a particular religion, and, more specifically, a particular view of that religion to which they, even as Christians themselves, do not subscribe.
The latest example comes from fifty-three airmen and DoD employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, forty-one of whom are either Protestant or Catholic, who have come to MRFF to get a large, unavoidable banner removed from the side of one of the base chapels. Why did they come to MRFF? Because they're afraid of the possible repercussions of complaining to the chapel or the command.
Because of the chapel's location, the banner at Wright-Patterson, promoting the base's "Fuel" ministry with the slogan "Accelerate Your Christian Journey," cannot be avoided by any airman or employee who wants to go to the commissary, base exchange, credit union, bowling alley, or pharmacy, and is an inescapable daily message to the enlisted airmen because of its proximity to their barracks and chow hall.
How long do you think a similar banner saying "Accelerate Your Islamic Journey" or "Accelerate Your Atheistic Journey" would be allowed to stay up on a military base for all to see? But banners and signs promoting Christian ministries and programs are everywhere, and not just on chapel buildings. They're in chow halls, briefing rooms, recreation facilities, and all sorts of other completely inappropriate, and often unavoidable, places.
Remember those soldiers at Fort Eustis who were punished for not attending a Christian concert? Well one of them also sent MRFF photos of their briefing room, where a large "Take the NEXT Step with Christ" banner from ChapelNext, one of the most heavily promoted Christian ministries in the military, hangs side by side with an "Army Strong" banner.
I was going to continue by adding a few more examples from the hundreds of other similar photos that I could choose from, but as I was sitting here writing this post, a new email came in from a soldier who just arrived at Fort Eustis to be greeted by a Bible waiting for him in his barracks room, so I think I'll just end here with a the first few lines of that soldier's email.
"I've just arrived for a military school at Ft. Eustis. As I was settling into my room in the barracks I found a Bible 'placed by the Gideons.' I know these are found in just about every civilian hotel room, but this is not a civilian hotel. ..."