The Worldnutdaily is throwing a fit about this and you can expect more howls of outrage from the religious right over the next few days about it. A military base in Kosovo has apparently made the perfectly reasonable decision that since military chapels are used for services by all of the many faiths with adherents in the service, they should not have crosses permanently affixed to them that are only for the Christian faith. Cue the weeping and gnashing of teeth.
U.S. soldiers stationed at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo may be stunned to find three wooden crosses stripped from the exterior grounds of their chapel in coming weeks – and many never saw it coming.
Several high-ranking officers have met behind closed doors to discuss plans for the crosses. They have decided to remove, and perhaps destroy, the Christian symbols located outside Peacekeeper’s Chapel in the name of free exercise of religion.
In fact, this decision was made by the chaplain for the unit, who is almost certainly a Christian. And it’s required by Army regulations:
Lt. Col. William Jenkins, 35th Infantry Division’s Kosovo Force 9 command chaplain, told WND, “The removal of the crosses … is bringing the chapel into line with long-standing regulations and policies that apply to every U.S. Army chapel around the world and that are supported by all faith groups in the U.S. Army.”
Jenkins cited the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as validation for the cross removal, saying it guarantees every American the right to the free exercise of religion. He also referenced an Army directive that bans religious symbols from chapels:
Distinctive religious symbols, such as crosses, crucifixes, the Star of David, menorah, and other religious symbols, will not be affixed or displayed permanently on the chapel exterior or grounds. (Army Reg. 165-1, 13-3.d)
Army chapels are also required to be devoid of religious symbols on furnishings, such as altars, pulpits and lecterns.
“This is not a new regulation and exists to protect the free exercise of religion of all soldiers,” Jenkins said. “Army chapels are for all soldiers of all faith groups.”
Following a secret vote, several officers decided to take down the crosses as part of a “relandscaping” project. Only one person present at the meeting voted against the measure.
So a Christian chaplain and his fellow officers decide to follow longstanding Army regulations and the Worldnutdaily decides to pound that story until it fits into the square hole of their usual narrative – they’re trying to destroy Christianity! And you have to love how they make this out to be “secret” plans decided “behind closed doors” – where do they expect the officers in charge of a unit to discuss and make decisions, in the middle of the road? Out on the shooting range?
The soldier expressed agitation at a perceived double standard after an American sniper accused of shooting a Quran for target practice faced disciplinary action and removal from Iraq for desecrating the religious property.
“It is very discouraging as a Christian soldier to see our Army punish him for destroying a Quran, but then it pays a private company to destroy some crosses,” the soldier said. “I feel it is a slap in the face to me, my Lord and my freedom.”
That’s because you’re an idiot with a fake persecution complex. Just imagine this dolt’s reaction if he had to hold Christian services in a chapel covered with Jewish or Muslim symbols.