The blessing of the official Bible for the new U.S. Space Force at the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday has caused controversy on social media and has been condemned by prominent advocacy group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein denounced the Bible blessing in a statement: "The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy."
"The utilisation of a Christian bible to 'swear in' commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] branch at ANY level is completely violative of the bedrock separation of church and state mandate of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
Other people also reacted negatively to the Bible blessing, one Twitter user wrote: "Gross," identifying himself as United Church of Christ Pastor Seth Wispelwey of Tucson in Arizona.
"Um. We don't swear our military oaths on a Bible, or any text for that matter," wrote Gidget, a self-described veteran, in another reply. "Stand at attention, right hand up. That's it."
In a tweet on Sunday, the Washington National Cathedral posted a statement describing the Bible as a Space Force official Bible "which will be used to swear in all commanders of America's newest military branch."