The blessing of a Bible at the National Cathedral Sunday has drawn outrage from one prominent religious freedom group. The blessing of “the official Bible of the for the new U.S. Space Force has sparked ire on the social media and anger from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), NPR reports.
MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein voiced his anger over the ceremony in a statement:
“The Military Religious Freedom Foundation condemns, in as fully-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist, Christian supremacy. The utilization of a Christian bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
In a tweet posted Sunday, the Washington National Cathedral detailed the Bible that was used in the service and added it “will be used to swear in all commanders in the nascent branch.
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) January 12, 2020
Twitter users wasted little time in voicing their disgust.
“Gross” wrote one user identified by NPR as United Church of Christ Pastor Seth Wispelway.
— Identified by NPR as Seth Wispelwey (@RevSethDub) January 13, 2020
Twitter user “Gidget” identified herself as a military veteran, had this to say:
“Um. We don’t swear our military oaths on a Bible or any text for that matter. Stand at attention, right hand up. That’s it.
Um. We don’t swear our military oaths on a Bible, or any text for that matter. Stand at attention, right hand up. That’s it.
— GidgetWA (@GidgetWA) January 13, 2020
NPR reported that the ceremony was attended by the U.S. Air Force Chief of chaplains, Maj. Gen. Steven Schaik.