Military Bans Reps from Participating in Kids’ VBS Event

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It appears that local National Guard installations are forbidden from participating in public show-and-tell events at churches, even if it’s for children.

When a small Baptist church in Carthage, Missouri requested the local National Guard participate in a weeklong “Rescue Squad” event with the police, fire and other emergency services, they weren’t prepared for the answer they received.

“We were told it was against military policy for National Guard troops to participate in Vacation Bible School,” Pastor Hogan told FoxNews’ Todd Starnes. “They said if the National Guard had assets on church property it would look like the National Guard is sponsoring the Baptist religion.”

The National Guard is a state operation, but there is a federal regulation that restricted them. It reads:

“Army participation must not selectively benefit (or appear to benefit) any person, group, or corporation (whether profit or nonprofit); religion, sect, religious or sectarian group, or quasi-religious or ideological movement.”

The policy also states that troops are to avoid any activities that might involve or appear to involve the promotion, endorsement, or sponsorship of any religious or sectarian movement. That pretty much rules out any community involvement.

Just what the Founders envisioned.

The church had planned the “Rescue Squad” theme around hosting one “squad” each day: the local paramedics, fire department and the sheriff’s department, who even brought their K-9 unit. The National Guard was invited to teach the kids what the military actually does.

After the rejection letter, Hogan contacted his local state representative, Mike Kelley, who then reached out to the adjunct General of the Missouri National Guard, to no avail.

Members of the National Guard are admitting their disgust at the circumstances but requesting that their names not be used. “I can tell you I’m ashamed and embarrassed right now,” said one National Guardsman. “This is not the military I signed up for.” Another said “we had a lot of disappointed kiddos because of the National Guard being unwilling to allow a Humvee and a few soldiers to spend an hour at a Baptist Church. It makes we wonder what I’m actually fighting for,” he said. “I will never understand why it’s okay for the military to march in a gay pride parade but not be allowed to spend an hour talking to children who look up to them (soldiers). I honestly never thought I’d see the day that this would happen in my hometown.”

According to the FoxNews article, the Department of Defense gave permission for a military color guard to march in Washington, D.C.’s gay pride parade. It marked the first time in history the U.S. Army Military District of Washington participated in the parade.

Rep. Kelley was equally disturbed. “He (Pastor Hogan) basically got blown off by the federal government,” he said.

This is the America we now live in. It sounds trite, but this is Obama’s America. He supports the strict secularization of the government and it’s members, and his people are in charge, writing the rules. He nominates judges that allow litigation on these matters and even prosecutes this post-modern viewpoint in the courts. It’s not a mere secularization of the actual function of government, it’s a hostile rejection of government and faith even sharing the same venue.

When are we going to start forcing our representatives and judges to stop being the secularist activists they’re becoming, and simply “live and let live?”

Nine years ago, I blogged about the number one American right – the right to be offended. Well, it’s only gotten worse. We do have the right to be offended, but it goes both ways – others have the right to offend us. In one case, I documented the ACLU going to court over minor disagreements in Louisiana. There were others equally appalling. Now this. Everyone has the right to live the way they wish without the fear of litigation by the intolerant progressive left or prosecution by their government. The obvious motivation here is not making everyone happy, but creating a godless world where everyone’s religious beliefs are essentially anonymous and unnoticed.

Pastor Hogan said it best when he lamented, “they said they didn’t want to offend anybody. Well, it’s offended our whole church.”