A progressive advocacy group is complaining about a U.S. Air Force base selling Christmas candy with Jesus’ name on the packaging, calling it a form of “proselytizing.”
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., sold the candy in its shop during the Christmas season, according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). A member of MRFF saw the candy in the shop and sent the organization a complaint, along with a photo. The red and white candy packaging prominently says “Jesus” on the front of the packaging.
“Peterson’s selling of for-profit, clearly marked 'Jesus candy' at its base exchange (BX) is merely the fundamentalist Christian straw breaking the MRFF clients' backs,” MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein told CrooksandLiars.com. “Any pathetically proffered pretense by the U.S. Air Force at Patterson that Christmas is a mere secular holiday is totally belied and betrayed by this in your face sale of this ‘proselytizing’ candy with the fundamentalist Christian version of its ‘God’s name' emblazoned on all over the packaging."
The email from the MRFF member to the organization read, “The base exchange at Peterson Air Force Base is currently selling ‘Jesus’ candy. The exchange at the Air Force Academy was also selling ‘Jesus’ candy at Halloween, although I didn't get any pictures of that.”
Peterson Air Force Base, Weinstein said, “has consistently been one of the most horrendous military installation abusers of the Constitutional mandate to NOT establish Christianity (or any other faith or even ’non-faith') as the de facto armed forces State Religion.”
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s website says it fights to ensure “all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.”
Mike Berry, an attorney for the First Liberty Institute, said the military base has the constitutional right to sell such candy.
“This is just the latest publicity stunt by a bunch of activists. A real constitutional expert – or any first-year law student – knows that selling candy canes at Christmas is perfectly legal," Berry told Fox News. “Of course, the MRFF has its own version of the Constitution. Sadly, the MRFF has duped its so-called ‘thousands’ of alleged clients into believing its dubious legal fairy tales.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.