A secular legal organization announced its outrage over the blessing of a Bible for the swearing-in of commanders of the newly created Space Force, calling it a “shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy.”
On Sunday, the Washington National Cathedral held a ceremony to bless a King James Bible that will be used to swear in all commanders of America’s newest military branch, the U.S. Space Command, if they so choose.
“Today @WNCathedral blessed the official Bible for the new @SpaceForceDoD, which will be used to swear in all commanders of America’s newest military branch,” the cathedral’s official account tweeted Sunday.
The Rev. Carl Wright, the Episcopal Church’s bishop suffragan for armed services and federal ministries, offered the blessing as Maj. Gen. Steven Schaick, Air Force chief of chaplains, held the Bible donated by the Museum of the Bible in Washington, according to The Washington Post.
“May this Bible guard and guide all those who purpose that the final frontier be a place where God will triumph over evil, where love will triumph over hate, and where life will triumph over death,” Wright said during the ceremony, according to CBS News.
A spokesperson for the cathedral later confirmed that the Bible was used for the swearing-in of Major General John William Raymond as the first Chief of Space Operations on Tuesday morning.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an activist legal group that says it’s dedicated to preserving the separation of church and state in the military, took issue with the ceremony.
The group “condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism,” Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of MRFF, wrote in a statement Monday.
“The utilization of a Christian Bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
He said Sunday’s ceremony “tragically validates the villainy of unadulterated Christian privilege at DoD and its subordinate military branches.”
The group said it is filing a formal complaint with Secretary of Defense Mark…