Militant atheists say U.S. Air Force Major Steve Lewis should be “aggressively punished.”
His crime? The career officer is accused of “harboring and encouraging a truly abhorrent example of First Amendment civil rights violations.” The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding that Lewis, a supervisor at the Reserve National Security Space Institute at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, be reprimanded — or worse.
But what did he do?
He had an open copy of the Scriptures on his desk. Atheist MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein apparently feels that’s far more than a micro-aggression, worse than a trigger word — both which are denounced regularly on today’s university campuses. The Bible “is very obviously a statement of Christian preference, Christian primacy,” Weinstein told Todd Starnes at Fox News. “Had that been the Book of Satan or the Koran there would be blood in the freaking streets.”
“Mr. Weinstein is a fussy little fellow, isn’t he?” observes Starnes, who reports that Major Lewis’ supervising officer, Col. Damon Feltman, commander of the 310th Space Wing, “told me they are reviewing the incident involving the Good Book.”
In fact, the commander reported to Starnes: “He has removed the Bible voluntarily because he didn’t want this to cause attention or disruption to his unit. I’ve performed a walk-through of the office and everything seemed to be in compliance with Air Force regulation.”
“So,” asks Starnes, “when will Maj. Lewis be able to return the Bible to his desk?”
“I’m waiting on the unit commander’s review of the situation before making a final assessment,” Col. Feldman responded, adding that Air Force personnel are free to exercise their constitutional rights to practice their own religion “as long as it is respectful of other individual’s rights to follow their own belief system in ways that support good order and discipline and don’t detract from military mission. As long as he’s not doing something excessive, the existence of a Bible or the Koran or the Torah or some other religious article is not prohibited. It’s what you do with it when you have it.”
Weinstein, who seems to have a goal of trying to eradicate Christianity from the U.S. armed forces, says it’s not that simple, that Maj. Lewis has committed a “repulsive violation of USAF regulations” as well as the U.S. Constitution. “It’s not his desk,” Weinstein retorted when asked if personnel should be given certain privacy in their own work area. “That desk belongs to the American people, to the U.S. military. If that desk was in his home or his car it would not be a problem.”
Just as in the movie God’s Not Dead 2, in which a public school teacher is vilified for casually mentioning Christianity to students, the major has stepped over the line and must be punished, says Weinstein — who insists the mere presence of Bible is offensive and threatening.
In the movie, the teacher’s job and career are on the line. So would be the major’s if Weinstein has his way.
The activist atheist says he has complaints from 33 anonymous Air Force personnel — all who were threatened by the sight of the major’s Bible. “We have 33 very scared Air Force families,” Weinstein told Starnes. “Major Lewis has created an around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine on his official USAF workstation desk that has been in prominent static display for years. The pages in his open Bible on his USAF desk never change, ever.”
“Just a brief aside,” writes the Fox News reporter. “If those Air Force personnel are terrified of a Bible – how in the world will they be able to muster the courage to fight the enemy?” But, indeed, one of the airmen who reached out to Weinstein complained that “I am intimidated by the display.” The enlisted man went on to say that he wasn’t merely offended by the presence of the major’s Bible – he was “outrageously offended.”
It should be noted that there is no provision in the U.S. Constitution protecting Americans from being offended. Indeed, free speech guarantees just the opposite — that all will be exposed to opposing views.
That Americans are afforded freedom of speech and religion is one of the many messages in God’s Not Dead 2, which became available on Blu-ray™ combo pack and DVD on August 16, 2016. It’s available on cable pay-per-view channels and video stores — and such venues as Walmart.