As first reported by the newspaper Florida Today, a POW-MIA Missing Man Table at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida was removed because a Bible was part of the display.
The Air Force has confirmed the incident in a recent statement to the press. This is just latest of many such examples in what appears to be the U.S. Military’s war on religious freedom, and the Air Force has been at the center of most of these First Amendment violations.
A long honored military tradition, the Missing Man Tables include a white tablecloth and a place setting with an inverted glass, a plate with lemon and salt, a single rose, a candle and a Bible. The displays are intended to be a deeply meaningful reminder of those brave Americans who are missing in action or being held as prisoners of war. The Bible has always been a very important part of these tables.
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, an executive vice president with the Family Research Council, expressed his great displeasure regarding the Air Force Academy’s cowardly actions.
“I’m still looking for somebody in a leadership position in the Air Force with an ounce of courage,” Gen. Boykin emphatically stated. “They buckle to an extreme minority group every time and constitutionally they are simply wrong.”
Here’s the Air Force’s explanation of what happened:
The 45th Space Wing deeply desires to honor America’s Prisoners of 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.
The Air Force did not provide a specific indication of when the Missing Man Table might be reinstated at the base. But given the fact that they are claiming this display “ignited controversy and division,” it will be very interesting to see if “inclusive” means that the Bible will remain a part of the tradition.
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