All four branches of the U.S. Military have revoked their approval of the Military series of Holman Christian Standard Bibles (HCSB).
The Holman Bible is a modern English, Baptist translation that was completed in 2004 and is published by LifeWay Christian Resources’ Holman Bible Publishers, a subsidiary of the Evangelical fundamentalist Southern Baptist Bible Convention. The editions were prominently emblazoned with exact replicas of the trademarked emblems of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Use of the emblems was approved despite the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Each HCSB Military Bible also contained “quotations, prayers, and inspiration” from figures ranging from George Washington and President George W. Bush to various historical figures from each of the respective branches of the U.S. Armed Services.
2,000 servicemembers complained about the bibles to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). They had witnessed the Bibles being conspicuously featured on military Exchange shelves and storefronts across the globe. This raised fears among military personnel that, in the words of an anonymous U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate, it was “a big step towards establishing the Holman Christian Standard Bible as the official religious text of the military services of the United States.”
The Bible’s approval was revoked after MRFF sent a “cease and desist” letter.
Mikey Weinstein, President and Founder of MRFF said:
The very fact that the Pentagon — or ‘Pentacostal-gon’ — had allowed for the insignias of the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force to be used for such a clearly Evangelical fundamentalist agenda should sicken anyone with any inkling of respect for the ‘sacred’ principle of religious freedom as enshrined by the foundational documents of our nation, namely the U.S. Constitution.
The dangerous nature of an official endorsement of Bibles by the U.S. Military is made clear by the fact that the Holman translation does not include those texts purged from the Bible during the Protestant Reformation which are still included in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox editions of the Holy Bible.
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