Air Force removes Nativity scene

Air Force removes Nativity scene

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(by Todd Starnes, FOX News) The Baby Jesus has been kicked off Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, according to an organization who relishes any opportunity to eradicate Christianity from the U.S. military.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation praised officials at Shaw Air Force Base for removing a Nativity scene located near Memorial Lake on Friday. The traditional Nativity included plastic statues of Mary, Joseph, the Baby Jesus and an assortment of animals.

Apparently, an undisclosed number of Airmen were so emotionally troubled by the sight of a manger scene that they immediately notified the MRFF.

I can only imagine the psychological damage they must have suffered as a result of glancing at the plastic statues. I hope no one needed hospitalization, God forbid.

The MRFF's Paul Loebe wrote in a statement that since the display was not erected near a chapel, it was illegal.

"It was very sectarian in nature and a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution as well as a blatant violation of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11," he said.

So the Newborn King is a violation of Air Force regulations? Who knew?

Loebe swiftly alerted MRFF President Mikey Weinstein who then called his BFF's at the Pentagon. That led to an immediate investigation and more than two hours later, the Nativity had been removed.

"To the Air Force's credit, it agreed with MRFF's arguments to remove the Nativity scene swiftly and apparently found this scene to be as much a violation of all the pertinent regulations and the United States Constitution as MRFF did," he stated.

He praised the Air Force for "acting so swiftly to reverse this egregious violation."

So why did the Air Force unceremoniously boot the Son of God and why are they so terrified of Mikey Weinstein?

The public affairs office at Shaw AFB did not return three telephone calls and an email seeking comment. They must have been preoccupied hauling away the donkey and the sheep.

Hiram Sasser, the director of litigation for Liberty Institute, told me the military's actions were unconstitutional.

"This was private speech," he said. "The military can say no displays on a base but it cannot allow a display and then ban it simply because of its religious viewpoint."

Sasser said the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that viewpoint discrimination even in a non-public forum such as a military base in unconstitutional.

"It appears that Mikey Weinstein has a special hotline to call his friends in leadership at the Pentagon to alert them to engage in unnecessary and, in this case, unlawful censorship of private religious speech," he said.

Fox News commentator Sarah Palin, the author of the new book, "Good Tidings and Great Joy," said what happened at Shaw Air Force base is not surprising.

"We see stories like this every day and yet leftwing pundits still claim that the so-called ‘War on Christmas' is a figment of the imagination," Palin told me. "The War on Christmas is just the top of the spear in a larger battle to marginalize expressions of faith and make true religious freedom a thing of the past."

Palin's book is a call to arms for Americans to "stand strong on America's faith-filled foundation."

"Never let these scrooges strip away the true meaning of Christmas," she told me.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation bragged that it only took the Air Force two hours and 15 minutes to remove Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Sasser doubted the military would respond with such speed to correct what he called "unconstitutional religious viewpoint discrimination."

He said he was surprised the Pentagon responded so swiftly to Weinstein's demands - "as if he were under attack in a foreign country in need of rescue from a deadly mob."

"Apparently if you are ever in trouble and need a quick response from the Pentagon, tell them a plastic Baby Jesus is at the gates."

Maybe that's what they should've done in Benghazi.

 Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is Dispatches From Bitter America.

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