Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sides View Navy's Policy On Gideon Bibles In Starkly Contrasting Terms

Since June, a dispute has been simmering over the practice by some hotels on Naval Bases of accepting Gideon Bibles for placement in Navy Lodge guest rooms.  It is interesting to compare reports by the two sides on developments. Here are excerpts from an Aug. 15 release by Freedom From Religion Foundation:
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) issued a quiet directive on June 19 in response to a complaint by FFRF, ordering removal of religious material from Navy-run lodges by Sept. 1.....
Yesterday (Aug. 14), it was reported that the Navy had temporarily caved and ordered the return of the bibles to hotel rooms while it reviewed its policy. Theocrats are loudly declaring victory in an effort to silence the objections of the nonreligious. 
The Religious Right has orchestrated a media frenzy to intimidate the Navy into maintaining its illegal policy of providing bibles in all Navy-run hotel rooms. FFRF needs your help now to give the Navy some backbone. The Navy needs to hear from the one in five who are nonreligious and those who honor the constitutional wall of separation between state and church.
And here are excerpts from an Aug. 15 report on the same situation from Fox News:
A Navy spokesman confirms that Bibles will be returned to base lodges, and they’ve also launched an investigation to determine why God’s Word was removed from guest rooms in the first place.
Navy Exchange, which runs the base lodges, sent a directive out in June ordering the Bibles removed, after the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint. The atheist group alleged the books were a violation of the U.S. Constitution....
Navy spokesman Ryan Perry said the decision was made without their knowledge.... During the review process, Perry said the “religious materials” that were removed will be returned.
The Bibles had been donated to the Navy by Gideons International... Tim Wildmon, of the American Family Association ... [said]: “We must be alert to what the secularists are doing inside the military.... But this reversal proves that those who believe in religious freedom can make a difference when we take action.”