The Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking the secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, to stand up to the Family Research Council, a designated hate group, and defend a Wyoming Air Force base that chose to respect the rights of non-Christian and nontheist service members.
Col. Stacy J. Huser, commander of the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyo., ordered the removal of a bible from the base’s “Missing Man” tables, dedicated to POW/MIA soldiers, at the request of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which has been fighting for this change on behalf of 36 military families, including 21 Christians. Read more about that fight here.
The bible was removed and will be replaced with a book that features teachings from five religious traditions and blank pages representing nonbelief.
Col. Huser made the right decision, reaffirming in a media statement the Air Force’s commitment to fostering “the sense of belonging for all our Airmen; a large part of that effort is ensuring the religious and nonreligious feel included and cared for.”
The Family Research Council, however, does not wish to respect the Constitution or service members of non-faith or non-Christian faiths. The conservative advocacy group is petitioning Secretary Wilson to restore the bible.
FFRF has reached out to Secretary Wilson on the behalf of its more than 32,000 members, one quarter of who are active duty military or veterans, to implore that the Air Force not give in to Family Research Council’s unconstitutional demands, which would also exclude every non-Christian in our military.
“The Family Research Council wants a display that recognizes Christian — and only Christian — service members,” said FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel, who wrote the letter to Wilson. “We think our military should honor the sacrifice and service of all, not just the chosen few that believe in the same book as FRC’s president, Tony Perkins,” he added.
FFRF stands with the more than 23 percent of service members who identify as nonbelievers, as well as thousands of other non-Christian service members. Warren Air Force Base must uphold the fundamental principle of our Constitution that the government cannot in any way promote, advance or otherwise endorse religion.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for the separation of state and church and educates on matters relating to nontheism. It has more than 32,000 members residing in every state of the United States, and in the District of Columbia.