South Carolina is no doubt ground zero for Christmas absurdity in 2013. So it is no surprise that an air base in South Carolina is the latest scene of a Christmas skirmish.
The problem? A nativity scene. Shaw Air Force Base put the display up out near a lake and within a couple of hours an organization called Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained to the Pentagon claiming that 41 airmen from the base took issue with the display and that it broke the rules for such a display under air force regulations. The Brass got on the horn and kicked some butt.
Uh-oh. A nativity scene on a government-run installation has to be a problem, correct?
It isn’t that Nativity scenes are not allowed in the air force. They just have to be located near a chapel and watered down with other religious displays. This nativity scene was located near a planned Christmas tree lighting ceremony, not a chapel. Since it broke Air Force regulations for such displays, it had to come down in a hurry. So it did.
That doesn’t stop the media and others from crying foul. Fox News boldly declares “The Baby Jesus has been kicked off Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina…”. Stop the presses already.
What most folks need help sorting out with an issue like this is that if the military has set rules for things like this it doesn’t matter much what anyone’s argument is. This isn’t a free speech issue and this isn’t even a Constitutional issue. The military regulates everything and chances are all it needs is someone to point out that a regulation has been broken to get action.
That being said we wonder if anyone at the Pentagon bothered to look into the claim that 41 airmen complained to the MRFF about this issue. 41? You mean that 41 men broke the chain of command, didn’t speak to a single person in charge and instead called the 800-number at the phony Military Religious Freedom Foundation (they aren’t what you think they are) to address their concerns? Yeah, right.
The MRFF smelled a public relations coup and they got one. Chalk up another chapter in the phony war on Christmas sucking up air in the month of December.
We’re not sure mixing Jesus with the military is a great idea anyway.
It was a military unit that sought out the Baby Jesus to kill him that night in Bethlehem. And it was a military unit that stood over his eventual killing on Calvary.
We’d like folks who view Christmas religiously within the air force or other armed services to be able to do observe Christmas how they want. But rules are rules. And the chain of command is there for a purpose. Our only question is how 41 trained personnel managed to not use that chain of command.