After the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) received a complaint from two service members about the placing of Christian bibles in hotel rooms located on Naval bases, the FFRF took action. They sent a letter to the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) citing favoritism over all other religions and non-religion on March 12, 2014. In June, NEXCOM issued a directive to remove the bibles from all on-base hotel rooms. However, on August 14, the Navy announced their decision to put the bibles back while the leadership reviews their policy.
The Navy’s announcement came after Christian supporters sent letters and made direct calls to officials expressing their outrage at the Navy’s bible removal decision. We can also make our voice heard by sending emails to NEXCOM in show of support for the removal of bibles from on-base hotels. Together, we can keep government and religion separate.
Below is a sample letter we’ve prepared that you can use to email Michael Bockelman, VP of NEXCOM. You can email him at [email protected]
Use the share buttons at the bottom of this page to ask your friends and family to also help.
Subject: Keep Bibles out of Navy Lodge Guest Rooms
Dear Director Bockelman:
I applauded your decision to remove Christian Bibles from all Navy Lodge guest rooms. The idea that the Navy supports any one religion over another, or that it supports religion over non-religion is abhorrent. It goes against our country’s very ideals of the separation between church and state.
The military has neither the right nor the responsibility to favor Christianity. Since nearly 1/4 of our population is non-religious why would the Navy allow any religion to covertly proselytize by leaving their books as advertisement in rooms on government property? The military must serve all the people and leave religion up to the individual.
Recently I see that you are reconsidering your decision and may put the bibles back in the rooms. I implore you to uphold the principle that the church and state remain separate. You must be willing to disregard the begging by the religious to promote their theology. This decision may not be easy but it is the only right decision. I beg you to uphold our constitution.
Photo credit: Pug50