Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (basically a copy of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, only with a military focus) has come up with a novel idea for why anything that even suggests religion must be scrubbed from public view: it might inflame terrorists! Really:
A religious watchdog group says a cross and motto on the emblem of an Army hospital in Colorado violate the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state and should be removed.
The emblem says “Pro deo et humanitate” or “For God and humanity.”
Fort Carson commanders will review the complaint, Lt. Col. Steve Wollman said.
He said the emblem had been approved by the Army Institute of Heraldry and has been in use since 1969.
Wollman said references to doctors serving God and humanity date to the time of Hippocrates, a pre-Christianity Greek physician.
Wollman said the cross, which has a pointed base, is both an emblem of mercy and a symbol dating to the Middle Ages, when pilgrims carried a cross with a spiked base to mark the site of a camp.
Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said that’s a reference to the Crusades and could embolden U.S. enemies who want to portray the war on terror as a Christian war on Islam.
“This continues to add more fodder to the argument that we are Crusaders,” Weinstein said. “It’s exactly what fundamentalist Muslims want.”
Here is said emblem:
Now, you can argue that using this at an Army hospital is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. I don’t buy it (the connection of the idea behind the motto with the Hippocratic Oath, and the use of the red cross as a symbol of medicine are long enough established that I think it’s more than a stretch to complain about them), but I can see the argument. But to call Weinstein’s remarks about Muslims and the Crusades “delusional” would be to give them entirely too much dignity. It makes him sound like he’s lobbying for a place in a hospital, rather than complaining about one. A very special hospital: