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Registered: 11-2008
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Nativity scenes removed from Gitmo?

Nativity scenes removed from Gitmo?

Nativity scenes removed from Guantanamo dining halls after complaints:

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – The commander of the Guantanamo Bay naval base decided Wednesday to move Nativity scenes from two dining halls following complaints that the decorations improperly promoted Christianity. Both Nativity scenes will be moved to the courtyard of the base chapel, said Kelly Wirfel, a spokeswoman for Capt. John Nettleton, commander of the base in southeastern Cuba.

The displays were set up by foreign contractors who manage the two dining facilities and were "not intended to endorse any religion," Wirfel said in response to concerns raised by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The group, which advocates for religious freedom in the U.S. military, had said earlier that it had been approached by troops who felt the Nativity scenes and Christmas decorations were inappropriate.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the organization received an email from 18 service members who were afraid that any direct appeal to commanders would be ignored and result in retribution. "They are terrified. Right now, there is a witch hunt going on to find out who did this," said Weinstein, a former Air Force lawyer who said the troops wanted to remain anonymous. Eleven of those who complained are Protestant or Roman Catholic and the rest are Muslim, Jewish, agnostic or atheist, he said.

The base has a population of nearly 6,000 military and civilian personnel. An email sent to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation from the troops said the Nativity scenes went up in late November in the center of the eating area and no other religions were represented despite the presence of other faiths on the base. "By placing these displays in prominent common areas, the impression is that one faith is better than others and that the military institution singularly promotes Christianity," said the email.

The senders said they put up with a great deal of hardship in their jobs, including having bodily fluids hurled at them by prisoners, and should not be made uncomfortable on their time off.

"We would prefer to not have a large deal made out of this situation and only ask that these clear violations of military policy, and the Constitution, be removed immediately," the email said.

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{Personally I neither agree or disagree with the removal of these nativity scenes. It is not in the United States and the soldiers are all adults so less subject to propaganda than children. Its interesting that it was 18 service members who lodged the complain which shows our military is a more diverse organization than it used to be. These Protestant, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic and atheists soldiers have the right to free of religious decorations and symbols they may find annoying or even offensive. Its safer all around if no such religious displays were allowed.

What is most alarming in my mind is how these soldiers fear repercussions from the Christian majority. They seems to fear for their careers and maybe their physical well being and that is just plain wrong. This is yet another example of how harmful this peddling of Christianity can be. Its best left in the homes, Churches, Temples, Mosques, private schools and Synagogues and kept out of the rest of society. Its for the betterment of [sign in to see URL]'t you think?}

"libido sciendi"..... the passion to know.
12/19/2013, 5:30 pm Link to this post PM Noserose

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