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Group threatens to sue after blessing of 'official Bible' for swearing in Space Force commanders

The activist organization called the ceremony a 'shocking and repulsive display'

Image source: Washington National Cathedral video screenshot

A non-profit group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has threatened to take legal action in a scathing statement condemning the blessing of a Bible to be used for swearing in commanders of the newly-formed military branch, the United States Space Force.

What are the details?

During Sunday's service at the Washington National Cathedral, a three-minute ceremony was held to bless a King James Bible which the cathedral said "will be used to swear in all commanders of America's newest military branch."

According to The Washington Post, the blessing was given by the Right Rev. Carl Wright, the Episcopal Church's bishop suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, and overseen by the National Cathedral's dean, the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, and by chief of chaplains for the U.S. Air Force, Maj. Gen. Steven A. Schaick.

A spokesperson for the cathedral told The Hill that the Bible would be used to swear in the first chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force, Gen. John Raymond. The outlet noted that "the ceremony included mentions of blessing [President Donald] Trump, Raymond, and 'all the men and women of the newly created United States Space Force, wherever they may go."

What did the MRFF say?

The MRFF issued a statement expressing the organization's outrage over the ceremony, saying the group "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, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism which occurred at yesterday's 'blessing.'"

The group went on to say that it was "receiving a multitude of new complaints from outraged [Department of Defense] military and even civilian DoD personnel, as well as veterans, regarding this unmitigated, unconstitutional horror."

The MRFF then threatened to sue, saying if their "fervent attempts to exhaust all DoD administrative remedies to eliminate this fundamentalist Christian tyranny and oppression fail, MRFF will plan to stop this matter in Federal court in Northern Virginia," arguing, in part, that "the utilization of a Christian [B]ible to 'swear in' commanders of the new Space Force or any other DoD 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."

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