Jason B. Ladd

Ask the Questions. Embrace the Answers. Make the Leap.

Anti-Christian Activism Gets Military Seals Removed From Bible Covers

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This Christmas I received an unusual gift from a family member: a heightened awareness of anti-Christian activism targeting the American military. Actually, the gift was the Marine’s Bible (Holman publishers), which then led to the heightened state of awareness. When I unwrapped it from its packaging and looked at the cover, something was amiss.

I looked more carefully at the seal on the front cover. There was an eagle, and there was a globe, and there was an anchor, but it was not the Eagle Globe and Anchor. Then I remembered about recent anti-Christian activism and complaints over Bibles printed with military themes.

This was not the first time I had seen The Marine’s Bible. in fact, I had purchased one for myself a few years earlier. I was specifically attracted to the scarlet-red cover emblazoned with that familiar Marine Corps emblem stamped in gold foil–the symbol I spent years earning the right to wear—the Eagle Globe and Anchor.

But the red Bible I received this Christmas was different. The front was not adorned with the proud symbol of the Marines;

  • It was covered with an imitation

I thought about the anti-Christian activism surging against anything in the military related to the Christian worldview by activists who don’t understand that religious freedom includes the freedom to express Christian values within the bounds of both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause.

A religious watchdog group applied pressure to the Department of Defense, and the seals were removed.

(ARTICLE: DoD Yanks Consent for Military Seals on Bibles)

I leafed through the front and back of the two Bibles to see if I could detect any major differences. The first difference was evident on the first printed page. Here is what you find in the 2004 edition:
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Notice the reference to the Book of Worship for the United States Forces.

That page was replaced with this page in the 2012 edition:
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They included the Greatest Commandment, but notice the removal of the reference to the Book of Worship for United States Forces.

Next you have the title page for 2004:
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Notice the traditional symbol of the United States Marine Corps: the Eagle Globe and Anchor.

And the title page for 2012:
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The iconic seal of the USMC has been replaced by a generic symbol with a different eagle, an anchor, and a red globe. Notice the words around the seal spell out “United States of America” instead of “United States Marine Corps.”

Finally, this page is included at the end section of the 2004 Bible:
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A history of the Marine Corps emblem.

And here is what replaces it in the 2012 edition:

That’s right. A blank page. No history for you. What do you think about anti-Christian activism and the new Marine’s Bible?

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About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

11 Replies

  1. Susan Irene Fox

    It’s just sad. Really sad. I’m so sorry, Jason.

  2. I’m saddened by the trend away from recognition of the USMC and the importance they have always given to God and His rightful honored place.

  3. Wilder Man on Rolling Creek

    Jason, I “like” this post, and I “dislike the reality of what is happening in this context.
    i guess I can assume that there is no update on this … no new information. What has happened, I guess, is what has happened. And yet, God has the final word. And God is bigger than all of this. But what … is God up to? Jason I hope you have a good year.
    Peace, Tim

    1. Tim, I think you are right to keep us reminded about where justice will finally prevail. We must use our sphere of influence to address the concerns of our conscience, but we must also remember that it is not in this world where ultimate justice will mail. Today it’s just a symbol on a leather cover. What will be tomorrow?

  4. I’m rather sad as a former Marine

  5. arkenaten

    It would be interesting to ‘sound’ atheist military personnel on such an issue?

    In fact, I would be interested in your thoughts if it should turn out that atheist marines ( and I am sure there are some ) consider this move in a positive light.

    1. Remember, these Bibles were not issued by the government. A servicemember would have to seek one out at Barnes & Noble or his local bookstore. The commercial publishing house decided to provide a supply for what must have been a sufficient demand. This action was a response to political pressure and a misunderstanding of the application of the free exercise clause and the establishment clause within the United States Armed Forces. I’m sure that there are some atheists in the military who don’t care one way or the other. But there will always be those who believe religious freedom extends to everyone except those they disagree with. Should a servicemember uncomfortable with knives be able to halt the production of commercially manufactured KA-BAR knives emblazoned with the Marine Corps seal?

      1. arkenaten

        Valid point.

  6. Paul Loebe

    It wasn’t anti-Christian activism. I’d discuss it with you if you’re willing to do it civilly.