Religious leaders recently met at the Washington National Cathedral in D.C. to bless a Bible that will be used by the United States Space Force which was announced at the end of 2018.
According to Faithwire, the United States Space Force officially became the sixth armed service branch last year. Air Force General John “Jay” Raymond, the former head of Air Force Space Command and U.S. Space Command, serves as the first “Chief of Space Operations.”
About 16,000 active duty Air Force personnel — a mix of civilian and military — will be assigned to the Space Force.
On Sunday, the Episcopal Church’s bishop suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, Right Rev. Carl Wright, prayed that the King James Bible would “guard and guide all those who purpose that the final frontier be a place where God will triumph over evil, where love will triumph over hate, and where life will triumph over death.”
Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, also prayed over the Bible.
“Accept this Bible which we dedicate here today for the United States Space Force,” Hollerith, said, according to NPR. “That all may so diligently search your holy word and find in it the wisdom that leads to peace and salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”
Some, however, criticized the blessing of the Bible. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) said that it “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.”
“The utilization of a Christian bible to ‘swear in’ commanders of the new Space Force or any other [Department of Defense] 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,” the group said.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.