A coalition of military chaplain endorsers is calling the Navy
to task for bowing to pressure from a radical atheist group and
removing a nativity scene from a military facility in Bahrain.
For several years, military personnel at the Navy Support
Activity (NSA) Bahrain have chosen to celebrate the Christmas
season with a tree-lighting ceremony and a "live nativity" scene.
They also announce the arrival of Santa Claus, sing Christmas
carols and enjoy refreshments.
But this year, thanks to a complaint from the Military
Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, the Navy leadership has
ordered that the nativity scene be removed.
"When is the majority going to rise up and say Enough is
enough," wonders Brig. Gen. Douglas Lee, a retired Army
chaplain and a founding member of the Chaplain
Alliance for Religious Liberty.
"And even in the military, it's disturbing to me that people
just don't seem to have enough backbone to stand up to these kinds
of things and say You're welcome to have your own display --
whatever you like. But we're going to keep this one because it's
part of how we celebrate," Lee continues.
His organization hopes concerned members of Congress and the
American people will contact the Navy's leadership.
"We keep Congress alert to these things, and we trust … the
political process especially, and [that] people will be praying
about this, and thinking about this and writing about this," the
retired chaplain offers.
"So we hope to be among those groups that stimulate a discussion
and also stimulate a response, and maybe the majority will rise up
Lee considers this another example of the military yielding to
people who promote freedom from religion while squelching the free
exercise of religion guaranteed in the Constitution.
In a nation that is often described as "post-Christian," a spark
of revival might be on the horizon.