A Christian US Air Force Major who had an open Bible on his desk has been told he can keep it there, after secularists had prompted an investigation.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) had called for ‘swift, visible and aggressive punishment’ for US Air Force Major Steve Lewis over the issue.
However, the Air Force has now said there was “no abuse of liberties” and that having an open Bible on a desk is “well within the provisions” of its regulations on religious expression.
Pictures taken of Major Steve Lewis’ Bible appeared to show it open at the end of the book of Philippians, with some verses highlighted and underlined.
He had removed the Bible voluntarily after the row erupted, because “he didn’t want this to cause attention or disruption to his unit”.
The MRFF had complained, with founder Michael Weinstein claiming the Bible had ‘fatally poisoned’ the atmosphere in the Air Force office.
He said the Bible was a “brazen display of sectarian Christian triumphalism and exceptionalism” which caused “helpless subordinates” to view it daily.
Weinstein’s organisation had demanded “immediate, official action” to investigate.
“MRFF demands that you order Major Steve Lewis to remove his Christian bible display forthwith from his official USAF desktop workspace” and that depending on the results of the investigation, he and his supervisor should be “swiftly, visibly and aggressively punished”.
But Lieutenant Colonel David Fruck has now said: “Maj. Lewis is allowed to have his Bible on his desk if he wishes”.
Following the investigation, MRFF refused to accept the outcome and has written to senior military officials about the situation, calling it a “charade”.