Navy Official Won’t Remove Bible from Display; It Doesn’t “Promote Religion”

By Hemant Mehta

As we learned a couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan now has a “Missing Man” table dedicated to prisoners of war or those missing in action. That’s perfectly fine, but this particular table included a Bible, suggesting that POW/MIAs were only Christian and that atheists and people of other faiths didn’t make the same sacrifices as other soldiers.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s founder and president Mikey Weinstein (on behalf of more than two dozen mostly Christian clients) sent a letter to Rear Admiral Paul D. Pearigen saying this Bible had to go.

Pearigen has now responded, and he says the table and the Bible are staying put.

When depicted with the other eight ceremonial items, the book is not the focal point of the table. As one of nine symbolic references on the table, the purpose of the book and accompanying description is not to promote religion, but to commemorate the strength and resolve required of POWs and MIA personnel in the most difficult of times… In light of the forgoing, neither further review nor an investigation of this matter is necessary.

It’s so easy for someone to say the Bible isn’t there to promote religion when no other religious text would ever be able to get away with that excuse.

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