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Travis AFB Nativity Scene (with photos)

Published On: December 9, 2011|Categories: MRFF's Inbox|40 Comments|

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

I am writing to tell you about what is happening at Travis AFB, California.  For the past few weeks and throughout the holiday season, the command at Travis has decided to display a very large Nativity scene, featuring Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus, on the main corner of the base.  It is nearly impossible to come onto the installation without seeing it.  Travis serves a population of over 122,000 active duty, reservists, dependents, and retirees, who will drive past that scene to get anywhere on base.  At night, the scene is illuminated by three, very large, very bright flood lights.  This past week, the command put up a menorah next to the Nativity.  The presence of these clearly religious displays on the main corner of the base deeply concerns me. I am not alone in my feelings of distress.  I know many other people are similarly offended and confused.

I am an Airman who is new to the Air Force, and I have a very proud military heritage.  Many members of my family have been in the military, serving our country in over four wars.  My parents came to visit me at Travis recently.  They were so proud that their child had joined such a prestigious and selfless profession.  They wanted to see the base where I was going to forge the beginnings of my career of service to my country.  When my parents excitedly drove onto the base, they thought they would see my workplace, the airplanes, or even the beautiful landscaping, but the first thing they noticed was the Nativity.  My father, having retired from the military, was very disappointed.  He was distraught that he had raised me in a secular environment, and he thought he had sent me off to serve in a secular military.

I know that the military exists to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  Contained within that Constitution is the right to freedom of religion.  It appears as though the military endorses Christianity and religion in general.  I am well aware that Christians are the majority religion, but I also thought that the Constitution existed to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  Thousands and thousands of brave men and women have fought and died for the principles embodied in the Constitution, regardless of their religion.  The military should never endorse a particular religion, or even indicate that military members should be religious at all.  The place for religion is in the base chapel, where someone can choose to visit, not on the corner of the main street, where everyone has to see it.

Mr. Weinstein, please help me because I don’t have a voice.  I am scared to say anything for fear that my new career will come to an end if I object to my commanders.  I hope to live up to my family’s honorable legacy by continuing to serve my country for a long time.  I joined the military to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to spread the gospel.  I fear that the religious symbols so prominently displayed on my Air Force Base convey a different message.

Thank you.

(MRFF Asset’s name, USAF rank, position, and title withheld)

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  1. schmidtk December 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I live on Travis AFB as well. I respectfully disagree. What the selective pictures from convenient angles don’t show is that there are 22 other secular holiday displays some of which are as large or larger than the nativity scene and menorah. If you are driving from the opposite direction, the direction in which the vast majority of active duty live, you cannot even see the nativity and menorah unless you round the corner and crane your neck. You will see, however, 18 other secular holiday cards (most of which are 4′ x 8′), the same size as both the Menorah and Nativity. Behind the cards is a huge decorated tree (yes it’s a Christmas tree just like the one lit by President Barack Obama this year). I was at the holiday party about a week ago, which had a preponderance of secular songs along with a couple of songs with religious/cultural context, including a Hanukkah song and explanation of Hanukkah by a local Rabbi. There was a clear announcement that the lighting of the Menorah and tree was only a part of the 4-5 hours long holiday celebration of which the vast majority was completely secular. Last time I checked the 1st Amendment includes freedom of expression for all… even religious speech. Any reasonable person would not see the holiday display as endorsing any religion over another. I seem to remember singing “Deck the Halls” which has references to the Yule celebration. It’s no different than what is displayed and celbrated in the National Mall. On not one of the cards, nor in front of the nativity do we see even so much as a “Merry Christmas” which is remarkable considering Christmas is indeed part of our cultural heritage during this season, along with Hanukkah (no Happy Hanukkah either), gift-giving, yule logs, Santa, etc. Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion is one of the tenets our young women and men are dying for everyday.
    I’ve also seen many purely informational articles on various religions in the base paper, very respectful of all religions, including Native American spirituality, Islam, and Judaism… seems very evenhanded to me… not favoring any one religion over another. Religion isn’t the sum total of our culture, but it is part of it. It’s time to stop discriminating against people of faith…isn’t it? To say there is only one religious faith (patriotism) for those in uniform is the most bigoted statement I’ve ever heard…it completely dismisses the myriad of other people of faith who get great strength for military service (patriotism) by the freedom to worship and express faith according to their own consciences.

  2. Maggie December 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    A big thank you to Travis AFB for your respect for religions and efforts to make the season a beautiful one.

  3. Sean December 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I entirely disagree.. If you feel so strongly against it you should bring it up your chain of command. You have the right to not look at it. There are numerous routes to get anywhere and everywhere on base that you would never have to see it. You can’t even see if from the main gate. My view is grow up and do what you joined the great Air Force to do, serve and protect the constitution.

  4. tricia thomas December 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Its is so sad that people make such a big deal, prob the same people that wont let my child draw a christmas tree in elementry school, or say the pledge because it says under god. This country was based on religion, freedom and the right to chose to look at religion or not look at religion. its a beautiful work of art. by posting the scene’s and pictures we are not saying beleive in how others beleive its CHRISTmas … and hanukkah and other religious hollidays. hints why it is the holliday. time to grow up.

    I tricia lynn thomas airforce wife of the 860th amxs airman LOVE the posters, scenes, and holliday.

  5. Nicole December 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I live on Travis AFB as well. We have lived here for over 2 years and have enjoyed the Nativity Scene and are not bothered at all by the other Menorah. He is saying that there is absolutely no way of not driving by and seeing this display well he’s wrong!! If it bothers him so much then go a different route to work or home or where ever don’t ruin everyone else’s holiday and tradition that Travis has been doing for years!!! This makes me so mad. He was saying about our freedom of religion and stuff like that well by him trying to get this taken down is violating that freedom of religion and expression. I know sooo many people who do not believe in God and they live on base and what do they do when they see this display?? They don’t look at it. They actually pay attention to the road like you are supposed to be doing in the first place. Unless he’s not paying attention to his driving he shouldn’t be looking unless he’s stuck at the light every single day (which I know like never happens since that is a main street) I’m sorry but this just pisses me off. It’s ridiculous that a new Airmen is going to try to ruin a tradition that Travis has been doing for sooo many years. If we do that we may as well not put up decorations on our homes since that’s celebrating Christmas which is celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  6. liz December 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Honestly this is whats wrong with people today, the few people who find something “offensive” want to take it away from the millions who do not! He failed to capture the other 20 signs that each squadron display in the same lawn nor does he make any comment about it. To be honest I think he is in his every right to be offended but i am also in my every right to display what i want to. Like another person on their post said he can take many alternative routes to not look at it and he can also choose to ignore it. He says he is afraid to bring it up to his higher ups REALLY where are we… He can take his opinion to his leadership and they will gladly help him. The fact that he writes this letter and chooses to only share his dislike and ignore the whole picture makes me a little upset and shows what a one way view he has of everything. I have live in Travis for many years and never has anyone had an issue with this display. Next letter he is going to write is about how offended he is that we bless our food before eating it, or that we display Santa clause in our door steps. We should all be tolerant of each other and we should always have the decency to look the other way when someone else views don’t meet ours. That’s what makes us a great country, I would never walk into his home and feel offended because he chooses to not believe what i believe i am grown enough to take a step back and be understanding and look the other way.

  7. Shannon December 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Has anyone considered that the word holiday really means holy day. If they want to FORCE Christmas to be banned and call it “holiday” they are saying the same thing as Christmas and they don’t even know it. If non-believers have the right to not participate in the holiday or Christmas then we have just as much right to participate. Do they set out a pumpkin at Halloween or other decorations? If so, we have they right to celebrate as well. The Consitution was written and based on Christian principles, ethics, and beliefs. This writer is proudly stating that they signed on to defend that Constitution. They are agreeing to uphold those very same Christian morals, ethic, principles, and beliefs. I do not see this person trying to change the Constitution, does anyone else? If they are going to fight this based on the Constitution, then they should do their homework first and not base their argument on their emotions, feelings, upbringing, and personal beliefs. If they do not like it, then they should simply not participate. Same for someone who does not believe in drinking alcohol should simply not participate in Oktoberfest!

  8. Kari December 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    The part that upsets me the most is that he states and I quote, “Mr. Weinstein, please help me because I don’t have a voice. I am scared to say anything for fear that my new career will come to an end if I object to my commanders. I hope to live up to my family’s honorable legacy by continuing to serve my country for a long time. I joined the military to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to spread the gospel. I fear that the religious symbols so prominently displayed on my Air Force Base convey a different message.”
    No one is asking him to spread the gospel. I would just ask that he respect my belief and the belief of other’s and allow us to decorate according to our beliefs. Basically, If you don’t want to celebrate Christmas and the reason for the season or Hanukkah then don’t. If this kind of thing keeps up where all religious reminders are offensive and are to be forced away then who is to say that someone won’t come along and say that looking at a church or chapel offends them. Then those will be forced away too and people will have to practice their beliefs behind closed doors out of sight hidden away in secret.

  9. Michael December 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    The idea of the display is to celebrate our right to religous freedom which is what we fight to defend. If this offends you, you will not only have a diificult military career but a difficult life in general. I bet you won’t have any difficulty in accepting extra time off in recognition of the hollidays. Merry Christmas!

  10. James December 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Leave it alone.. No one is prevented from placing ANYTHING they would like, there is no religion which is exempt. I am tired of the Constitution being twisted into something it is not. Freedom of religion does not equal freedom FROM it!!!

    Stop with the PC nonsense, this isn’t freedom, it is one group wishing to restrict the freedoms of another…

  11. sonybrown December 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I am outraged that this has even been a topic of discussion. The original messenger failed to mention that along with that nativity and menorah there are about 15-20 cards that have various squadrons and organizations with their own respect to the holiday season. If this individual would like to have their views expressed on a card they are welcome to design one and add it to the others that are representing the views of Team Travis. Noone is forced to contribute to the religious aspects of Christmas but lets be honest it is “Christ”mas. Most generally, we are now being conditioned that we are not able to say Merry Christmas because someone might take offense to it and now we are offending someone with a nativity scene. This is absolutely ridiculous. Many families on this base have loved ones that are not here during this time of year, included is my family. Do you honestly think they are over at their deployed locations and not thinking about the holiday season. I would be my life many of them are “praying” that their families are able to enjoy the holidays, stress free and in comfort. Well I can tell you I smile everytime I drive past that nativity and thank god that he has given me another day to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Lets think about the picture outside of whether or not this person feels the nativity offends him. I suggest he takes the north gate and doesn’t shop at the commissary until the holidays are over. The other fact that seems to be forgotten in the original letter is this time of the year is mostly about family and children. Many of us want to pass along traditions and heritages to our children. I think we should offer this person the opportunity to see something more of the world from the eyes of a child. Maybe they should come and enjoy a day at the child development center and ask the children what it is that they are looking forward to during this time of year. I’d also like them to notice that there are many posters that tell you how to say hello in many languages. Wow that might be the same idea that comes to mind when someone says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings. I bet the majority of the children will say something about Santa and some of them might say something about their family visiting. A few children might even tell him that they are proud of Jesus’s birth. That right there tells me that noone is forcing a specific religion on anyone but only offering the opportunity to learn about it if you are willing to. I believe this person needs a little christmas magic… I know that his heart and head are confused but that might just be because he doesn’t believe. I think someone should send him a copy of the Serenity Prayer and maybe give him a bible. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to those of you that prefer we say Seasons Greetings. Let us all remember this time of year is all based on love and respect.

  12. Jason December 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    It is telling that of all the comments I have read concerning this letter, NONE are in agreement with this young man’s position. The plea of the secular man is for the religious man not to be narrow-minded, but to be tolerant of others’ beliefs or lack thereof. How hypocritical is it then to infringe on OUR rights because of his “distress”.
    I will apologize in advance for the frank statement of my point of view, but if this offends this Airman, he should consider that the military is not the place for him. I must echo another poster (“Michael”): “The idea of the display is to celebrate our right to religous freedom which is what we fight to defend. If this offends you, you will not only have a diificult military career but a difficult life in general. I bet you won’t have any difficulty in accepting extra time off in recognition of the holidays.”

  13. Benjamin Lifto December 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Not only is this the most rediculous complaint I have ever heard, but it is not the whole truth. The decorations are the Chaplains holliday cards, just like the other 15 cards that are around it are other squadrons cards. Also the constitution wasnt made to protect the minority, it was made to defend the principles the nation was created on. The most important principle was that the Government would be under God! What does it say on our money? In God we Trust. Freedom of religion means you also have the freedom to ignore other peoples religion, and not try to remove it because you are “disgusted.” If you are in fact disgusted and not just some kid trying to be difficult.

  14. elizabeth December 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    I have an idea, how about the airmen who is so offended by the display take the place of a Christian deployed to Afghanistan instead of stirring up stuff here around Travis AFB. I bet some airmen currently missing the holiday would love to drive by that display everyday. I am sure he/she won’t be complaining about the days off of work because of Christmas. Merry Christmas and God Bless!

  15. Wellington December 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    He’s probably not too offended to take off the time his squadron gives him for those holidays.

  16. Heather December 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I personally am not stationed at travis but this infuriates me beyond belief. The air force marines navy all military stand for eachother and this nation under GOD. If Christmas offends you think about something you have maybe a tattoo or possibly an ugly face. For that matter. We don’t publicly complain on you so how dare you complain about an oath you took to our creed.

  17. Guy Who Loves Amurica December 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Amen Heather. GOD bless Amurica.

  18. Not religious, but sick of Dumbass December 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Get out of MY Air Force dumbass

  19. Jodi December 15, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I am sick and tired of people trying to take the simplest thing and making controversy over it. My advice to you Mr. Airman is to put a little more time into your work, your family or simply find a hobby because quite frankly your ignorance proves you have too much time on your hands. If you would do me a favor and opt to not re-enlist would do us all a huge favor. I do not feel comfortable with someone such as yourself defending my freedom when in fact you have no clue what freedom means. I will be praying for your lost soul. Oh and have a Merry CHRISTmas and I hope you continue to not be able to tear your eyes from the beautiful Nativity scene on my base in my free country!

  20. Jay December 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Wow, for a site called “Military Religious Freedom Foundation”, there sure is a lot of intolerance and hatred in the comments on this post. Isn’t this the type of thing this site is supposed to prevent? I’m all for the expression of one’s beliefs in a personal capacity, but I feel that religion is something that should be personal and private, and should not be officially endorsed by a unit or government agency. The fact that the base has it’s own nativity scene and menorah implies that the base officially endorses Christianity and Judaism (a conflict in itself), which speaks for all the members of the base, the Air Force, and the US Government. This is in clear violation of separation of church and state. The Airman in the original post has taken a lot of undue heat for his beliefs, but he is just as entitled to his First Amendment rights as you are yours, and has done nothing wrong by posting his opinion to this website.

  21. Ben December 15, 2011 at 2:53 am

    After looking at all the fancy pictures, all i could really think of was, “SANTA?! ON A SPACESHIP!!!! AWESOME!” Then i finally made my way to the actual letter….I’m mysteriously compelled to bust out the eggnog, dreidel, and top it all off with some wonderful Charlie Brown Christmas-style dance moves. Of course there will be LOTS of caroling involved. For the record, I’m Agnostic, and oddly enough, I can’t find a reason to not enjoy the fancy lit trees, happy songs, and the wonderful food (not to mention the days off, that’s a plus too). Life’s too short to get all bent-out-of-shape over these things. Believe what you want, it’s your right. On the bright-side….Merry Christmas, Lonely Airmen! You’re more than welcome to come enjoy this happy time of the year with me!

  22. Laurie December 15, 2011 at 5:00 am

    The whole idea of religious freedom, is that people are able to practice thier religion. If this person is offended by other’s harmless religious beliefs, he should’nt be in the military where they travel the world and are expected to behave respectfully when meeting people of all backgrounds.

  23. Maralee Clarke December 15, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Ok, Mr. Airman really? Distressed? Distraught? Scared? Come on, you and your family need to get over yourselves. Maybe you joined the wrong military but in addition to defending the Constitution (in which God was mentioned I believe) and that our country was founded on religious freedom, it is people like you that make it impossible for people to practice freedom of religion. If you are so “Distressed and Offended” by the sight then just turn the other way and don’t look at it. It is not your right to tell anyone how to celebrate the birth of Christ or the Jewish faith’s Hannukah. Everyone needs to be a whole lot more tolerant and alot less “politically correct”. You are expected to show respect to others beliefs and cultures regardless of where you are.

  24. Joe December 15, 2011 at 5:49 am

    The solution to this distraught airman’s dilemma is simple. Accept and respect others as you would like to be. Nobody is writing Mr. Weinstein and complaining that your living quarters is not outfitted with a Christmas tree, Nativity scene, Menorah lights or any kind of religious or festive décor and asking for his help in having something done to impose our beliefs on you. Although I do not agree with your choice, I can respect your decision for whatever reason not to practice religion. I also believe that you have the right to voice your opinion but requesting for us that do believe, to be suppressed is disrespectful on your behalf. Our military is comprised of and accepts people of many religions and even non-religious people like you and they co-exist with each other just fine. I have proudly served with them all as you should.

  25. Elizabeth December 15, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Get over yourself! Ar you also offended by the large Christmas tree that is right behind the nativity sceen and menorah? Or how about the greeting cards that are there as well. Or what about the TOys For ots collectin bins that can be found around base. None of these are an attempt to make you celebrate Christmas or participate in any part of the holiday season. If your military career is so important to you, you should focus your enegy on that and stop worring about a few decorations. There are many ways to get to all areas on base without driving past that particular corner. So leave your dorm room a couple minutes earlier and drive the other way.

  26. Joe C. December 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Kid, you need to learn to just shut your mouth and color. Travis is “your” Air Force base??? I don’t know what they’re teaching you in boot camp, but you work for a Wing Commander. This is HIS base and whatever he wants to do to this base, within reason, is his call. No one is making you go to church or believe in anything you don’t want to. If you are against Christmas so much, then how about you do this: next time your family or friends give you a gift, say “no thanks, but I am not religious therefore I don’t celebrate this holiday”. Just remember that in our Pledge of Allegiance the final line reads “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    Merry Christmas.

    P.S. I hope they cross-train you to be a Chaplain assistant. Lolz

  27. Cheryl December 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Shame on you. I will pray for your understanding of what makes ME happy. I thank your family for their years of service they have given to OUR country and thank you for wanting to carry on the tradition but why do I have to give up those rights your family and MINE have fought for for me while I know there is a GOD. I hope my prayers for you are answered before you have the honorable task of fighting and possibly dying in war fighting for ALL of freedom. If you do not believe, why does a Nativity scene scare you so badly? GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  28. Jodi December 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

    My comment is to you Jay… defending the man who originally wrote the letter, you forgot the fact he is not merely stating his opinion…he in fact is trying to take away MY right to view the beautiful Nativity scene!

  29. James December 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Sorry, but if you are going to hide behind this idea that you are honoring your “oath” to defend the Constitution you should at least know what it says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Placing a nativity scene or any other religious symbol in the public square is NOT the Congress passing a law to establish a religion, doing so is in fact, an excercise of our religious freedoms.

    Freedom of religion is not the same as freedom FROM religion.

    I wonder if you are this offended by the paycheck the military gives you? Certainly the bills you receive which state “In God We Trust” must be offensive- perhaps you should move those to the Church where they belong as well!!

  30. elizabeth December 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I bet this guy won’t be offended when he is sitting on his sofa over Christmas break and enjoying the time off he will be getting. Or when someone in his family sends him gifts in the mail. Or when the volunteers came by his dormroom yesterday and dropped off the cookies that people made and donated to Operation Cookie Drop. The nativity scene is just like all the other holiday cards that are posted on that corner – it’s from the Chapel. I agree that they should swap this guy out with someone who is over in Afghanistan or Iraq right now and let them come home and enjoy the holidays with their family. An I agree that when it comes time for you to reenlist, you should gracefully decline and go back home to mommy and daddy. They obviously didn’t finish raising you to be a mature adult.

  31. Mike December 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Ok, before we all go verbally bantering this individual, stop and think about what you truly should say. This is an American exercising his 1st Amendment, 3rd clause rights. As much as I do not agree with his statement, he is entitled to voice it. But bantering him doesn’t help any of us help him understand the meaning of the constitution and religious freedom.

    So to you my fellow Airman…the military is not secular by any means. If it was, we would not have Chaplains at our disposal for certain needs, we would work 6 or 7 days a week normally, and half of our federal holiday would be cancelled…to include Christmas. Have you worked 7 days a week? I have and it’s no bueno! Also the Air Forces 4th Pillar of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness is Spirituality. Now even though this doesn’t equate to a religion, it also pulls the AF out of the category of being totally secular. Without spirituality, faith, religion, and/or God, the military and maybe even out country would be a very different place.

    James post (15 Dec) is a reasonably accurate and literal understanding of our constitution. Our Congress cannot create laws regarding religion, either for religion in general or for a specific faith, nor against religion in general or against a specific faith. Therefore, since secularism is not a religious faith, your argument concerning your position and feelings is moot and just an opinion. The Military is not the government, but just an accessory of our government–out of a need to protect our people and its assets.

    Those supposed promotions of a religious faith were setup and placed there by the hard work and dedication of individuals exercising their Freedom of Religion. And just because they are in the military and it is on federal land doesn’t mean it is prohibited by law (or should be). If it was, that would be a violation of the first part of the religious clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Also, remember that anything not prohibited or allowed within the constitution or its precepts is reserved for the states (states rights) and the PEOPLE (rule of the people by the law)…and in my opinion more so for the people.

    On a different not, I truly hope you can muster up the courage to bring this thought to your leadership. The AF has pushed an open door policy concerning topics like this for at least the last decade. If you’re not willing to accept the consequences…or banter…for your own opinion, than how will you be able to die for your country when asked?

  32. Greg December 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Sad that this individual would fail to tell everyone the whole story. There is a 100 foot SECULAR Holiday Tree and over 22 SECULAR Holiday Cards with Santa, Airplanes, even an airman in battle dress with a gun in this display. EVERY court precident affirms that this display is right on the mark. Sad that this “airman” would mislead a lawyer and various other organizations as to the accuracy of the display. As for the Nativity, the statues are about 36″ tall, and there are no wise men, either.

    Tell the truth…the whole truth.

  33. dona tucker December 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Let him get over himself. Who do these people think they are anyway, the world doesn’t revolve around them. People that do not like it are the minorities and I’m sick and tired of this country being ruled by minorities. The majority rules is what I say. If he doesn’t like it release him from his duty to go where and do what ever he likes. He’s in the Air Force now, he doesn’t get to complain and give orders, he has to take them. I say, SUCK IT UP, if that;s the only thing you can find to complain about, you are in big trouble.. God help this poor kid, he’s a lost sheep and desperately needs Jesus. The Bible tells us many will perish from lack of knowledge, so send this kid to learn some..

  34. Troy A. Weisbrod, USNR December 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I am greatly disappointed in this young Airmen, he obviously has mistaken the Greatest Military Force in the world as some Jackwagon from Mamby-pambyland. I spent 20 years of my life in the United States Navy, and never once did I ever feel like “It appears as though the military endorses Christianity and religion in general”. Airmen, you need to wake up and look around you on base. Maybe you should visit the Chapel see all of the different Services provided. There are Services for every Religion, and in some places its even done in Spanish. I find it hard to believe that if you were raised the way you claimed to be, that your Father “was distraught that he had raised me in a secular environment, and he thought he had sent me off to serve in a secular military.” If anything, I am sure he would embarrassed by his son’s lack of knowledge and for being so nieve. That last thing I have to say to you is this … If you dont like what you see, get out of my Country’s Military and leave my Country. Go live somewhere else that your messed up, backwards & UN-American thinking will allow you to live. As far as I see, your a disgrace to that Air Force uniform, and everything it stands for … your “very proud military heritage” is FALSELY proclaimed!!

  35. James December 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

    You know what is really sad? This is THEIR website, yet not one comment in support of this nonsense.. I find that very telling as to how much support this group has.

  36. Professor Roysden December 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    My dear young airman. Participation by all base assets in the holiday decorations would include the Christian and Jewish chapels. Each base asset is permitted to erect a display and many make their displays related to their basic jobs (Santa riding on a bomb or the fuselage of a plane). Would you deny the chapel programs from participation because they have a religious orientation? (By the way young man, the Constitution of the United States protects the free exercise of religion.) Would you restrict their display to a secular display and deny the very service they perform to your fellow airmen?

    I am also sadly disappointed by your exaggeration of truths as are others. Large floodlights? I actually took several minutes trying to find evidence of any large floodlights illiminating the manger scene. The flood lights appear to be no larger than those illuminating any of the other displays.

    Mikey, seriously, this is an issue worth pursuing? This is the type of plaintiff who will marginalize your attempts to bring reason and civility to a serious issue.

  37. Brian Southard December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Christmas is a national holiday. Complain to those who decided that, not those who decorate the post accordingly. If you want to work on Christmas, by all means go ahead. I’m a SGT, not much higher-ranking than you. You have a voice, regardless of rank. That’s one thing you need to learn. Another thing you need to learn is how to rejoice and celebrate family. That’s what these holidays are all about, and you should be thankful the government allows us to recognize that fact. I’m an atheist, by the way, and I celebrate Christmas. Not for the religion, not for the presents, not for the time off, but for the celebration of family and togetherness. Get past the religion, dude. Seriously. Take the day-on-day-off or week-on-week-off or whatever your unit does, and spend time with your family. Then remember, that’s what your time-honored profession protects.

  38. Mimi December 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Ok kid, first of all didn’t you take an oath mentioning god when you joined he military? That should have been a pointer right there, just saying… Second I’m a die hard atheist AND vegetarian yet I don’t go around trying to mess with people’s believes and/or beef entrees… Just leave it be! This is much bigger than you or me for that matter so unless you’re gonna boycott the season by sitting at the office on Christmas day because you’re just too offended to take the day off just shut it!!! Respectfully, open minded me…

  39. Torpedo of Truth December 18, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Travis AFB WILL NOT remove or move the displays!!!! Check the news!!!

  40. Mike Nelson-retired-USN December 20, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Mr. Weinstein–I nominated my dog for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize–and you thought that you were special

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