The following is a transcript of Todd’s morning radio commentary heard on hundreds of stations around the nation.
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Hello Americans. I’m Todd Starnes with news and commentary next.
There is a missing man table at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan.
The POW MIA table is a tradition often found in military dining halls – honoring missing service members and prisoners of war.
According to Navy instruction – the table settings must include certain symbolic items like an empty chair and a single red rose.
The table also includes a Bible. And that has allegedly angered a number of sailors.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation fired off a letter to the base commander demanding that the Bible be removed.
“MRFF has received official complaints from U.S. Navy sailors under your direct command about the wholly illicit placement of a sectarian Christian bible on the POW/MIA Table display at NAF Atsugi,” MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein wrote in a letter to the commanding officer.
Weinstein, an Air Force veteran, said including the Bible violates the core values of the military and damages unity, morale and diversity.
Weinstein told Stars and Stripes that his opposition to the Bible is not an attack on Christianity.
“Not every sailor is a white, straight Anglo-Saxon Christian male,” he said.
The MRFF claims to represent thousands of Christian service members who get triggered by public displays of their own faith. And since most of their aggrieved clients are anonymous, I’d say their claims are somewhat dubious.
“Your deplorable actions of either commission or omission in arrogantly and illicitly promoting only ONE FAITH’S sacred text on that highly visible POW/MIA Table is a cancerous destroyer of the good order, morale, discipline and unit cohesion necessary to maximize the effectiveness of the DoD personnel under your command,” Weinstein wrote.
The military says they are investigating.
“The POW-MIA table here is a significant legacy display intended to memorialize and honor American POWs and MIAs among a varied military demographic and is certainly greater than the sum of its parts,” spokesman Sam Samuelson told Stars and Stripes. “We can absolutely balance the larger meaning of the table with appropriate policies and the interests of our diverse base culture.”
To remove that Bible is to desecrate the missing man table. That cannot and must not happen. But it probably will – because there’s no room for people of faith at the table of President Biden’s Pentagon.