Military logo on Bibles is a clear and present danger to our National Security
There, how is that title for generating fear? It's like when the TV has a commercial for the late night news "Something in your house might bludgeon you to death in the next 20 minutes, tune in at 11 to see what it is...."
The U.S. Military has revoked its approval of a series of military-themed Bibles, reportedly over trademark issues. Now, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding that all remaining versions of the Bibles be removed from base exchanges — calling them a “threat to national security.”
Got that? Some books on sale at the PX are a threat to National Security. I don't think you are allowed to refer to folks as "drama queens" anymore, but can someone come up with a descriptive for a guy who claims that
until each and every one is gone, “they’re still aiding and abetting the cause of al- Qaeda.”
I've fought AQ before, and I've been in innumerable book stores. If you get confused, the number of RPGs the person is carrying can be a dead giveaway. While AQ and their affiliates have killed thousands of people across the world, book sellers don't generally go the terroristic route. You almost never hear a book seller say something like "convert to our religion, or the Giving Tree gets it!" So how exactly is a military logo on a bible "aiding and abetting the cause of al-Qaeda?"
the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained that the Bibles were an official endorsement by the U.S. Military. They alleged the Bibles not only violated the U.S. Constitution, but also violated Defense Department regulations.
“It totally savages one of the most basic Department of Defense regulations that exists,” spokesman Mikey Weinstein told Fox News Radio. “It does not allow the endorsement of a non-federal entity by the Department of Defense.”
Weinstein said nearly 2,000 service members contacted his organization to complain about the Bibles; some of those critics were “terrified to try to go up the chain of command,” he said.
“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.”
That same Judge Advocate says in a letter on MRFFs website that he saw no Christian Evangelism during his service, and never felt threatened by it, but let's just gloss over there part... And REALLY? People are "terrified" to go up their chain of command? Assuming that is even accurate (and I would contend it is not) isnt leadership doing the "Hard right, over the easy wrong"? We have nothing to judge how terrified these people really are, because the one letter from the AF Jag doesn't mention being terrified of anything.
The basic thrust of Weinstein's position is that having the logo on the Bible offers up some sort of officially sanctioned endorsement. But does it? If you saw a Bible with the Army logo on it, like the one above, would you conclude that the Army had endorsed the Bible, or that it was a Bible that contained sections that would be instructional to members of the Army? When you see a Zippo lighter with the Marine Corps logo, do you automatically assume that the Marine Corps has endorsed butane lighters over other traditional fire creating devices like flint rock and matches? Does a Air Force tire cover on the back of a Jeep Wrangler signifiy to you that the driver of said vehicle is a supporter of the Air Force, or that Jeep Wrangler has been endorsed as the official vehicle of that service?
Government insignia are protected by a variety of statutes and regulations (some of them specific to particular agencies), and are also afforded protections by trademark law. In the case of the Marine Corps, 10 U.S.C. § 7881 offers specific protection to the Marine Corps seal, emblem, name, and initials “U.S.M.C.,” and requires written permission prior to the use of these brands on commercial products. That’s nothing new; it’s been around for decades. Recognizing the value of armed service brands, in 2004, Congress also authorized DoD agencies to license their trademarks for use on products, allowing that licensing royalties be used to cover program costs, as well as for morale, welfare and recreation activities for Marines. (See 10 U.S.C. 2260)
It's pretty clear from that that merely displaying the logo is not an endorsement of the product. It merely allows the Marine Corps a specific revenue stream with which to bolster MWR and other program costs.
Could the policy violate the Constitution? Sure, if for instance two other companies tried to get a trademark license to use the logo to make a "Soldier's Guide to Wicca" and a "Soldiers Tipitaka" (holy book of Buddhism) and were told they could not, then clearly the application of the policy would be one that favors Christianity, which is verbotten. But absent some sort of showing that such is transpiring, I don't see how this is a threat to the Constitution, much less a graver threat than that posed by AQ guys wearing suicide vests. It's just sheer hyperbole.
Are people really so dense that when they see the Marine Corps logo they automatically assume officially sanctioned endorsement of the product?