There’s a debate unfolding at Camp Shelby, a military base in Mississippi, after a soldier claimed that officers were commanded not to use the word “Christmas” over fears it might be seen as offensive.
Controversy first broke out two weeks ago when leaders at the base got together to discuss a Christmas football tournament, conservative commentator Todd Starnes reported.
An officer from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute apparently said that the base couldn’t use the word “Christmas,” as some do not celebrate the Christian holiday.
Instead of “Christmas,” she reportedly said that using the more inclusive word “holiday” would be more acceptable.
“Our equal opportunity representative stopped the briefing and told us that we can’t say Christmas,” a soldier who was at the meeting told Starnes. “Almost the entire room blew up. Everybody was frustrated.”
What followed was a heated discussion about political correctness.
The unnamed Equal Opportunity officer reportedly explained that individuals in the Army are free to say “Christmas,” but that organizations within the ranks need to refrain from doing so.
Public Affairs Chief for the 1st Army Division East Amanda Glenn told Starnes there is no official policy banning the word “Christmas.” While she corroborated that there was a conversation about the football tournament, she said the Equal Opportunity adviser simply said that it would be better to call it a “holiday” event.
“There is no policy at the 158th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East or First Army that forbids using the word ‘Christmas’,” Glenn said.
But while Glenn claimed that the “holiday” mention was merely a suggestion, the soldier who complained to Starnes said it was a mandate — and evidence that the military is attempting to curtail the Christian faith in the ranks.
“Between the Air Force and the Army — it’s like they don’t like Christian values, they don’t like the word Christ or Christmas,” the soldier told Starnes. “They don’t like you talking about it.”
The soldier in question is being represented by the Liberty Institute, a conservative legal firm. Attorney Michael Berry said it is unbelievable that the Army would attempt to ban Christmas, though it is unclear what steps will be taken, if any, beyond speaking out about the debate.
“Are they going to have the ‘Merry Christmas’ police going around issuing citations to an soldier who slips and says the word?” Berry told Starnes. “They’re treating Christmas like it’s pornography. As a matter of fact, the Army actually treats pornography better than it does Christmas.”
Read more about the story here.
(H/T: Todd Starnes)
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