Nativity scene

I just read the article on The Blaze that you requested a Nativity scene to be taken down. Can you please inform me where in the Constitution that indicates this to be a violation? I respect all religions and beliefs but what gives you the right to force this scene to be taken down? Why should those who do not share your beliefs be forced to abide by them? Should I tell someone to take down a Menorah since I’m not Jewish? No! That is their right to display that. What about those on military bases who wish to celebrate Thanksgiving? We are giving thanks to many things including showing our gratitude toward God. Help me understand why what you did is OK. Thanks for your time.

(name withheld)

Dear (name withheld),

First, I would like to thank you for attempting to be understanding and for being cordial in your message. We have been inundated with so much hate mail it is truly wonderful when someone inquires with us in a respectful manner.

We did not ask for the nativity scene to be removed out of a sense of hate or intolerance. MRFF is a very tolerant organization and 96% of our clients are Christians who have been discriminated against by other Christians for being the “wrong kind of Christian” or “not Christian enough”.

We asked for the nativity scene to be removed from the position it was placed on the base because it was not Constitutionally compliant with the Establishment Clause, Air Force Instruction 1-1 Section 2.11, and a vast amount of case law regarding the separation of church and state dating back 200 years. It was an inappropriate place to display the scene because it can be regarded as governmental promotion of one religion over another. Remember that the military is not only highly regarded in the United States, but in every other country abroad. If they perceive the military as being a religious organization that is solely Christian then that can lead to international problems.

We did not ask for the complete removal of the nativity scene. We merely asked for it to be moved to the chapel where it would be Constitutionally appropriate. We want people to enjoy their own religious beliefs but we want to ensure that it is done in a manner compliant with the law. If people wish to display the scene on their front lawn or on a church we would encourage that as well. It is part of what makes our nation a free nation. The government, however, is not free to express such religious promotion.

Thank you for reaching out to us and I hope that clears up some of the confusion. Many times the media does not get the story right when referring to our organization.

Very Respectfully,
Paul Loebe
Special Projects Manager
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Chicago, IL

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1 Comment

  1. watchtower

    I wish the person asking this question “Why should those who do not share your beliefs be forced to abide by them?” ask him/herself the same question regarding the display. Specifically, isn’t the display itself forced upon the general public who may also not share in it’s belief? Those that would say “well if you don’t like it, don’t look at it” are missing the point. The compromise for this display on church grounds is very reasonable, all things considered. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all.

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