The Washington National Cathedral blessed the “official Bible” that will be used for commanders who will work at the newly established United States Space Force (USSF) to be sworn in, drawing criticism from social media users and religious freedom advocacy groups.
The Washington National Cathedral shared a photo from the ceremony through its Twitter account on January 12.
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) January 12, 2020
The news sparked a public backlash over Twitter from people, who objected to the idea of the Space Force having an “official Bible,” saying the policy could mean that only “Christians” would be accepted to serve in the military unit.
It's optimistic of you to think the Trump/Pence Space Force is going to allow anyone but "Christians" to be commanders. Surprised they let the heathen Episcopalians s at the Natl Cathedral do the blessing, tbh.
— Melanie (@supermod_l) January 15, 2020
Have to admit I never dreamed I'd see the headline Space Force Bible Blessing. It actually happened at the National Cathedral.
— GRGirl (@GRGirl8) January 14, 2020
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) also commented on the move with a harsh statement, saying:
“The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) 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’, at the Washington National Cathedral, of a sectarian Christian bible which will apparently ‘be used to swear in all commanders of America’s newest military branch (ie. The United States Space Force).”
“The utilization of a Christian bible 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 and also violates Clause 3, Article 6’s total prohibition of No Religious Test for any Federal Gov’t position.”
The Space Force was formed by the Donald Trump administration as the sixth branch of the American armed forces on December 20, 2019.