Calling it the "Poster of Shame," an "offended" atheist group spurred the immediate removal of a sandwich board sign in front of an Army recruiting office in Phoenix on Friday because it had a problem with the phrase displayed: "On a mission for both God and country."
After the Army Times sent an inquiry to the United States Army Recruiting Command (USARC) — noting an online post on the Daily Kos from the leader of the atheist organization Military Religious Freedom Foundation's (MRFF), which called the display a "stunning unconstitutional disgrace" — the sign was taken off the sidewalk. It had reportedly been displayed in front of the recruiting center since at least October.
The Army's catering to the atheist's complaint made the leaders at MRFF ecstatic.
"The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is delighted the Constitution has been adhered to by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command," MRFF president and founder Mikey Weinstein proclaimed once the sign was taken away. "But whoever, in any way, shape or form, allowed that poster to be designed, prepared and displayed, those individuals should be aggressively investigated and very visibly punished."
USARC spokesman Brian Lepley announced to the Army Times that "local recruiting personnel" changed the sign's text without receiving clearance from command headquarters.
"Had the process been followed, the copy shown would not have been approved," Lepley stated.
Does the military now have a problem with God?
Many growing up in the military tradition have always acknowledged America's Christian roots and faith in God as a catalyst that has held it together, strengthened and protected soldiers and their country. Just like American currency, many military symbols over the years have been accompanied with the mention and acknowledgement of God.
A Special Forces patch and Ranger, Airborne and Special Forces tabs accompanied the "God and country" phrase on the recruitment sign. The original wording that was replaced reportedly read, "We don't call for reinforcements. We make them."
Since President Barack Obama became commander-in-chief six years ago, claims by atheist organizations that God and faith have no place in the U.S. Armed Forces have been rife. And military officials have often accommodated the demands without proof of malfeasance.
In fact, the words, "for God and country" have been around for decades in the U.S. military — and just a few years ago, too, for that matter.
Military regiments have reportedly used the phrase "for God and country" for centuries, deriving from the Latin phrase Pro aris et focis, which literally means "for our altars and our hearths," according to Right Wing News. When Osama bin Laden was killed in Abottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011, the SEAL Team Six team sent the radio message, "For God and country, Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo," before announcing "Geronimo EKIA," (enemy killed in action), The Telegraph reported.
Where's the infraction?
Conservative sources maintain that the current administration has made it a point to remove all traces of the God of the Bible — as well as expressions Christian faith — from the military.
"God is a problem in Obama's military," Right Wing News' Terresa Monroe-Hamilton commented in response to the Army's removal of its recruitment sign.
Monroe-Hamilton expressed that there is absolutely no legal precedent or foundational basis behind the demand for the sign's removal that the Army so easily assuaged.
"The premise that the phrase, 'On a mission for both God and Country,' is unconstitutional is an outright lie," Monroe-Hamilton asserts. "There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about it. These people [MRFF] have probably never read the Constitution, much less studied constitutional law."
She contends that the Army has merely submitted to anti-Christian propaganda.
"Calling the recruitment poster that had the phrase on it, the 'Poster of Shame,' is more atheist, Progressive/Marxist vomitus," Monroe-Hamilton argues. "Demanding that those who designed, prepared and displayed the poster to be aggressively investigated and very visibly punished is fascist and typical of the Communists who are secreted throughout our system now."
It is argued that the prompt removal of God and biblical values from the U.S. Armed Forces — including Obama's forced normalization and endorsement of homosexual behavior in the military several years ago — is nothing new.
"This is the Obama hand that now rocks the military cradle here in America," Monroe-Hamilton concludes. "Godless, corrupt and Communist."