- Category: U.S.
- Published on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 04:00
- Written by Russ Jones, Christian News Service
It’s been learned that the Pentagon ordered the removal of a 9-11 hero painting from a military base in response to a complaint from anti-Christian activist. In recent days several organizations have expressed concerned about possible censorship within the government agency.
Entitled Blessed are the Peacemakers, the artwork was on display in the Wagon Wheel dinning hall of the Mountain Home Air Force Base in southwestern Idaho. The censored painting references Matthew 5:9. (“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”) and features a modern day policeman standing in front of a medieval knight.
Grant DiCianni, president Tapestry Productions, said the anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein posted on his website that it only took 56 minutes to get the Pentagon to agree with his position and thus removing the painting from the base.
“If this was a local issue where a local commander made a decision based on what was best for his base – we’re concerned about that and would the opportunity to engage with him and show him where he is wrong,” DiCianni said. “However, we are being told that this was a Pentagon level down mandate to censor a Christian message specifically and only because it was the message of Christ. That is concerning.”
Given the events of the past few months, DiCianni said it appears, under the leadership of U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon has undertaken a censorship campaign to rid the military of any vestige of Christianity.
“I think at some point, without accusing anyone, we’ve got to look at the mounting evidence that says ‘is there a campaign against Christianity in this country?’ It sure seems like it from some of these choices being made by this administration.”
Weinstein, who is the Pentagon’s “religious tolerance” consultant and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called the painting “repugnant” and an “overt display of Christian nationalism.”
Created after September 11, Blessed are the Peacemakers is one in a five-part collection of paintings entitled the Hero Series to honor first responders that served on that tragic day.
General Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's executive vice president, also expressed concern saying he was deeply disturbed that the Pentagon continues to comply with the demands of anti-Christian activists while neglecting to respond to the concerns expressed by service members, and Members of Congress who want to protect the right to share one's faith.
"Active duty service members tell me that the Pentagon's religious censorship is having an undeniable chilling effect. Congress should continue to demand answers and action until a DOD wide policy is enacted that will allow service members to freely practice their faith," concluded Boykin.