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U.S. Military Ban So-Called “Military Bible”

U.S. Military Ban So-Called “Military Bible”

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The Bible’s approval was revoked after MRFF sent a “cease and desist” letter.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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45 comments

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9:10AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

good for them! success!

1:04PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Seth, I find your comment about the civilians confusing, as they would not have been in the middle had we not illegally attacked their country.

My husband served 2 tours in Viet Nam, and found the brainwashing of the troops to be well in place then. The soldiers have to be told they are defending god and their country - tell them the truth and see how that goes.

12:10PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Seth-I am a combat veteran and I think the comments on this site were generally spot-on!

11:56AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Seth: I have seen plenty of videos of war, and I have an imagination that can bring those videos home to me.
The objections to the Evangelicals, as I said, came from the service members themselves, as well as from their families.
I have met and spoken with members of such groups as for example Veterans Against War, Veterans For Peace, and Military Families Against War {with whom I join in vigil weekly in front of the Federal Building in my city}. These Veterans and Family members I have spoken to, have lost loved ones to combat and war.
My contention is, A SOLDIER NEVER GIVES UP HIS/HER RIGHT TO THINK; NEVER GIVES UP HIS/HER MORAL DUTIES TO HUMANKIND.
One soldier's moral decision may not be exactly the same as another's.
My contention is, the blind brainwashing aimed at by the Evangelicals, is in fact encouraged by a {bad} part of the Military, because it meshes with the needs for unquestioning, blindly obedient and unthinking troops. It is these kinds of troops that commit the War Crimes we have seen against civilians -- and dead bodies and animals!
One can be a good soldier doing what one thinks is just and right, and still THINK and JUDGE. One doesn't have to swallow everything handed to one in Basic Training.....

10:47AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Go into any PX or BX, or shop in a town near a base, and you'll most likely find all sorts of crap made in China with official military insignia on it. However, these bibles go a step beyond. I'm glad to see that so many service members complained.

8:27AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

ty

4:37AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

BMutiny T. - I have to take exception to some of what you said. First, have you ever served in the armed forces ? Have you ever stepped foot into Iraq or Afghanistan ? Have you ever been fired upon or watched as a fellow Marine dies beside you ? I'm not asking this to put you down or attack you, I'm asking because you speak about war and those who have fought in them as if you have first-hand knowledge of both. Its very naive to claim that soldiers are (or were) being "brainwashed" by officers who have "illegally gone along with the infiltration of our military by Evangelicals" so that soldiers couldn't "judge for themselves the legality or illegality of Bush's and Big Oils wars".
Personally, as an Iraq war veteran and U.S. citizen, I feel Bush/Cheney should have been charged and tried for crimes against humanity. But, when I got to Iraq in 2004 it was painfully obvious that the innocent civilians, who had no choice but to be caught in the middle, needed our support and often our protection. For myself and my fellow Marines, our priorities weren't debating whether the war was just or unjust, legal or illegal - our priorities were to protect each other and help the innocent men, women and children of the country we had just destabilized. Our priorities weren't legalities, religion or theology - they were literally staying alive and in one piece and going home to our families. While I consider myself more of a spiritual person, in the midst of war it's hard to belie

1:08AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

9:50PM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Praise the Lord I Saw The Light

9:40PM PDT on Jun 16, 2012

Throw all that Evangelistic crap out of the military. Religion had taken DOD over.

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