An Army recruiting station in Phoenix, Arizona, has been ordered by higher ups to remove a sign on display outside of its entrance that read, "On a mission for both God and country.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command told the Army Times that the text — which created concerns over the separation of church and state — was placed on the signboard by local personnel and that headquarters would have never permitted it.
"Had the process been followed, the copy shown would not have been approved," spokesman Brian Lepley told the outlet, adding that the military is looking into who authorized the controversial text.
The removal of the signboard came on Friday just hours after it was brought to the attention of a commanding officer, though it had reportedly been on display since at least October and had sparked a plethora of negative responses, Fox News reported.
Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group devoted to the separation of church and state, penned a blog post on the Daily Kos last Thursday — just one day before the signboard's removal — decrying it as a "stunning, unconstitutional disgrace."
"That outrageously ghastly graphic encapsulates precisely that which we’ve been ceaselessly calling the attention of the American people to for all this time," Weinstein wrote. "The poster astoundingly displays the shoulder tabs of the U.S. Special Forces (i.e. Green Berets), Rangers and Airborne troopers accompanied by the seethingly sectarian slogan 'ON A MISSION FOR BOTH GOD AND COUNTRY.'"
The attention from opponents mixed with an inquiry from the Army Times about the sign's presence led to its removal — a development that Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation welcomed.
"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," Weinstein told the Army Times following the removal.
(H/T: Fox News)