May 24, 2007

Participation of U.S. Military in Evangelical Rally Unconstitutional

According to a press release issued today by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the participation of the U.S. military in an upcoming evangelical rally violates the Constitution. It seems like the military would have more important things to do besides endorse evangelical Christianity.

The event at Stone Mountain, GA, is being promoted as a Memorial Day celebration, but Americans United notes that the program describes a Christian worship service and emphasizes evangelical outreach. The celebration is hosted by Lifeway Christian Stores and Task Force Patriot USA.
According to Task Force Patriot USA’s Web site, the organization exists “for the purpose of sharing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ with all U.S. military, military veterans and families,” and “Christ is our Commander-in-Chief.” The group’s logo is a shield centered with a Christian cross with its sides bracketed by an American flag and Christian flag.
It does not sound like there is any doubt about what this organization stands for or any point in arguing that they are not an explicitly Christian organization.
“There are legitimate ways to celebrate the Air Force’s 60th anniversary and to pay tribute to military personnel who bravely serve the nation, but this three-day religious extravaganza is certainly not one of them,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Instead, this event is a stunning display of the federal government using vast resources to trumpet a religious celebration.

“It is,” Lynn continued, “an over-the-top mixing of government and religion. Shouldn’t the military spend its resources on defending the country, not promoting evangelical Christianity?”
So much for separation of church and state, huh? I am glad that we have organizations such as Americans United to monitor gross violations of our Constitution. As far as I am concerned, they deserve my membership dues.

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