(RNS) Dozens of members of Congress are upset that the Air Force has removed the Latin word for "God" from the logo of an Air Force acquisitions office.
Led by Rep. J. Randy Forbes, co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, 36 lawmakers Monday (Feb. 6) sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz objecting to the removal of "God" from the logo of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).
The logo was recently removed, according to Forbes, after objections by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.
Jason Torpy, president of the association, said the word "God" had no place in the logo because not all members of the military are religious. "We just hope (the Air Force) can provide more equal opportunities for atheists and humanists in the military."
"The action taken by the RCO suggests that all references to God, regardless of their context, must be removed from the military," the congressional letter states. "We ask that you reverse this perplexing decision."
According to the lawmakers, all members of the bipartisan prayer caucus, the RCO patch logo previously included the motto "Opus Dei Cum Pecunia Alienum Efficemus" (Doing God's Work with Other People's Money), an inside joke among RCO members. Caucus members say it was changed to "Miraculi Cum Pecunia Alienum Efficemus" (Doing Miracles with Other People's Money).
The letter argues that "courts consistently have upheld the constitutionality of our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' despite the obvious mention of God."
"Obviously the Constitution doesn't treat God like a dirty word," said Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. "Religion is a part of this history."
A representative for the Air Force could not be reached for comment.
Full article and comments here.
It's a small gesture, and I can't say that I'm surprised at the uproar about it, but it's a step in the direction which indicates that at least a portion of the government recognizes that religion is not a universal value among US citizens, nor do religious phrases or sayings belong as an integral part of the military.
And here's a thought: sure they're using other people's money ... but who is to say they or anyone else in the government is doing god's work?!?
Thanks for a bit of good news. Loren!
Even though they claim it's an inside joke, I find the the phrase "Doing God's Work with Other People's Money" highly objectionable anyway. It's them throwing it in the constitutions face and saying, yea, we're gods army, christian soldiers, what about it?
With all that has been learned about the evangelical infiltration at the Pentagon and the entire military over the last 10-12 years, and the open proselytizing, not just to troops but to occupied citizenry, we should view this as just brazen boasting of their religious takeover of our forces.
Combining this with the prospect of a religious nutbag like google-it-Santorum, Gingrich, Bachman etc getting into the Whitehouse - it scares the shit out me.
I'm not surprised at the uproar on the right about taking one word out of a motto, but I'm disappointed that their is not a huge uproar about the religious infiltration of the military.
Actually, there has been an uproar, Joe, made by other atheists, and while the move to deal with the whole issue of christian indoctrination in the military is young on the curve, it is progressing.
I agree with you, it's an offensive logo. Since when is the military doing god's work? Why cant an all powerful, all knowing deity do its own work? Why does the all powerful all knowing deity need my money to do his work? Glad the logo is gone.
Please the comments posted on this story. The world may come to an end over this. I have been laughing all morning.
reading now. but i'm not laughing. in fact, i might be stroking. someone call 911!
I had made a few comments on there, and got told the usual 'burn in hell' etc I will never get over the anger the faithful have. Tis really incredible, I mean how could you be so abusive and hateful like that and then slap an atheist with 'you immoral heathen'. People got so fired up in those comments.... the foxhole argument, god is my co-pilot, blaming Obama, some even said they were ashamed to be retired AF! and the nation is doomed with this behavior. I had pointed out that atheist soldiers had fought for your freedom as well and got totally blasted over that! Meh, lucky I am thick skinned and have a good sense of humor.
Just took a glance again at the comments and it's the usual deal: some reasonable people among the nutters who want to get all bent out of shape about words painted somewhere which can be purported to represent our country and its secular government.
Time was when I thought it would take 100 years to get the US clear of religion. Scratch that. It's feeling more now like about 2-300 years and that may be excessively optimistic.
I don't think the US or the world will ever be clear of religion. My pessimism is based on the prevalence of religion throughout recorded history, as an almost universal mind set. Even though there is infinite diversity in human temperaments, I think there is genetic wiring that promotes religiosity. Only if we can re-route that (figurative) wiring could we be free of religion. What I hope the most for is tolerance for religious diversity, and acceptance that not everyone fits into the same religious mold. On the other hand, if we look back at how different the world was 200 years ago, there is no predicting on what the world will be like 200 years from now. Probably not recognizable and not predictable. Maybe "post-apocalyptic" not in a religious but societal / warfare / global climate change / disease / ecosystem - destruction sort of way, and maybe dystopian. We may be in a Foxconn industrial state. Or Road Warrier type state, but without Tina Turner. (Mel Gibson is a jerk now but he was hot back then). All I hope for now is inch-by-inch, day-by-day to make the world a better place for the people who are nearby in some metaphorical sense.
Hmph ... Foxconn in the US ... SWELL ... [okay, where did I put the Pepto...!]
Loren, I hear you on the atheist reactions, but unfortunately, an atheist uproar doth not a huge uproar make.
Hey ... ya do what ya can and ya keep at it ... and maybe here and there ya get people to join in. Never can tell what'll come of it!