The atheists decided they didn’t like that. The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Military Association of Atheists complained that letting the Gideons place Bibles in the Navy’s rooms was a special privilege for Christianity. The Navy kowtowed immediately and ordered the Bibles removed.
This isn’t the first time something like this has been tried with the military. In 2012, the Air Force made a similar move, but they got rid of the atheists’ policy after a public outcry. Three years ago, Walter Reed Medical Center tried to forbid patients from receiving religious items from visitors, but that rule was also shot down, thanks to Congressman Steve King.
In both of those incidents, the Navy retreated quickly and put the Bibles back in the rooms. But we shouldn’t ignore this sort of insanity. It’s not surprising that atheist groups object to the Bibles—these groups find a new outrage every day. What should be surprising is that the U.S. Navy caved in to them. No reasonable authority would regard the presence of a Bible, freely provided by an outside group, as a violation of anybody’s religious liberty. It’s far more a violation of the First Amendment to tell our servicemen and women they can’t have Bibles given to them by the Gideons. Our military should be defending our rights, not suppressing them. And, above all, our soldiers should enjoy freedom of religion.
Listen to the radio commentary here: