There is a great misconception among many Americans that it is possible to make public institutions religion free. The efforts to create these “religion free zones” is well documented. One of the more recent cases involves the sale of Bibles in the exchange stores on military installations. For years, Bibles have been sold in the exchanges which have the insignias of the various branches of the military on their cover. Well, no more!
A small group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) made a complaint to the Department of Defense (DoD). Their complaint asserted that by allowing the military emblems to be on the cover of the Bibles, it demonstrated that the DoD was establishing the Bible as the official religious text of the military services. Of course, the charge is false on its face, but the DoD has bowed to the group and withdrawn permission for the Bible publisher to use the insignias anymore.
As offensive as this is, there is something else even more offensive. By bowing to the pressure of the MRFF, the DoD has made Atheism the default religion of the military.
The problem we run into is that since Atheism is not an “organized” religious group, it is assumed by many that it is in no way religious. However, the exact opposite is true. It is every bit as much a faith position as any organized church. It believes there is no such thing as a supernatural reality, that man is simply a highly evolved animal and that the ultimate humanity can get out of life is to achieve one’s highest personal fulfillment. These three things define the parameters of the faith of Atheism and express its religious foundation.
The question then becomes, why does this religious position get to have precedence over other expressions of religion? What makes it right for Christians to be forced into a Bible free zone to accommodate the Atheist’s religion?
The fact is, it is impossible to have a religion free zone. Everyone has their religion. It is just that in our day, so called “secular religion” has gained sway over a great deal of modern culture. The fact that it is “secular” does not remove its religious nature.
The MRFF asserts that religious freedom can only exist in an environment where there is a wall of separation between church and state. Their only problem is, they don’t understand the nature of their own beliefs. There is a wall around the state alright, but it is not the wall they are proclaiming. Inside the wall are many belief systems whose adherents are free to express their faith in the public square. But MRFF doesn’t like the competition. They want to make sure that Christians are on the outside of the wall and that their religion is the only one on the inside.