An actual Muslim actually respects a practicing and believing Christian - but they despise non-believers. So, in a Muslim country, do you want to be seen as maybe a Christian - or as someone who denies the existence of God/Allah?
Take your time, it is just one question.
In a gobsmacking example of institutional cowardice, NSA Bahrain has cancelled, in essence, one of the few things that I remember with a smile from that horrible country; a camel at Christmas.
The Navy directed service members serving in Bahrain to cancel and dismantle a “Live Nativity” after receiving a complaint from a military atheist group who said the manger scene endangered Americans serving in a Muslim country and violated the U .S. Constitution.... and we folded to that small, insignificant gaggle of fun sponges?
The chaplain at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain confirmed to Fox News the nativity scene was cancelled – but referred any further comments to the NSA’s public information officer.
The “Live Nativity” was a long-standing tradition at NSA Bahrain that featured the children of military personnel dressed as shepherds, wise men, along with Mary and Joseph. It was part of a larger festival that included a tree lighting, Christmas music and photographs with Santa Claus and a camel.
But the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers objected to the Nativity and filed a complaint with the Navy’s Inspector General. They argued the Nativity promoted “Christianity as the official religion of the base.”
I don't fault the MAAF crickets, I fault one thing - Navy leadership. If we are not going to allow a voluntary, culturally significant goodie for Sailors and their families forced to live in a nasty part of the world, then what are we actually defending?
MAAF shouldn't have an impact on anything people are doing - as they don't understand religion even in its most basic form - much less specifically Islam.
“Also of concern is the likelihood that the predominantly Muslim local population will see the U.S. military as a Christian force rather than a secular military support U.S. – but not necessarily Christian values in their Muslim country,” the MAAF wrote in their complaint. “This even threatens U.S. security and violates the Constitution as well as command policy.”Actually, you can drive just 20 minutes out of the base to the Christian hospital in Manama, a missionary hospital at that. It has been there 100 years. There are even HUGE churches with big-a55 crosses in the country. What ignorance, the people of Bahrain have no issue with Christians.
“It’s unconstitutional, it’s bad for the military and in a Muslim country it’s dangerous,” MAAF spokesman Jason Torpy told Fox News.
This has nothing to do with Bahrain or Islam - this has everything to do with a small group of bitter, agenda driven people, and the cultural cowardice of Navy leadership. Leadership willing to do this;
“Upon further review, the CRP (Command Religious Program) will be removing the Living Nativity Program from the general base secular holiday festivities and co-locating it more appropriately with some of our other private religious and faith-based observances at the chapel at a separate time,” read a statement the Navy reportedly sent the NAAF.It didn't have to happen this way. Not even close.
Some service members in Bahrain told Fox News called the cancellation heartbreaking and children who were supposed to act in the Nativity were devastated.
“It was horrible,” said one officer who asked not to be identified. “It was devastating. Here we are serving in the Middle East, defending our country and other people’s religions and we couldn’t understand why we can’t enjoy our own religious freedoms.”
Crews had already started building the Nativity structure, but orders were given to have it dismantled.
“You can go outside the gate and hear Christmas music, but on the base you can’t have a Nativity,” said another officer. “The sense of hypocrisy is overwhelming.”
Hiram Sasser, of the Liberty Institute, said the law is clearly on the side of the service members.Folding in the face of such weak cheese. Amazing. Will someone ask SECNAV about this next time they see him?
“Once again the Grinches prove their hearts are two sizes too small,” Sasser told Fox News. “The Supreme Court already saved nativity Christmas displays in 1984 and the Navy of all organizations shouldn’t back down against Grinches when law and history are on its side.”
Torpy said he is pleased with how the Navy handled the matter.
“We want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to exercise their religion freely and we want to make sure people on the base have fun and exciting activities available for them without feeling like the base itself is establishing Christianity as the preferred belief system,” he told Fox News.
More at The Examiner and USNIBlog.