Firing the 'diversity' bullet at the Marines
Dying in foreign lands in the service of a nation that enshrines freedom of religion in its Constitution doesn't cut any mustard with the irreligious left.
Alarmed by the presence of a crèche complete with three Wise Men last Christmas on the grounds of the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined forces with the oxymoronically named Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to put the camp's commanders in hot water.
Headed by Mikey Weinstein, the activist who breaks out in hives at any observance of Christianity at the nation's service academies, the MRFF on January 17 sent a letter asking Marine Brig. Gen. William Jurney – commander of the boot camp and the Western Recruiting Region – to agree to allow religious displays of other faiths to be erected near the crèche.
Noting that Christmas was past and the issue is moot for now, Gen. Jurney's staff judge advocate general, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Munoz, told MRFF on Feb. 10 that the resolution was "premature" because "the [next] holiday season is months away."
Failure to secure an immediate commitment ticked off the groups. David Loy, legal director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, wrote to the Corps contending that Munoz's reply was "at best evasive and at worst thinly veiled discrimination," according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Meanwhile, Weinstein emoted that "[t]hese sorts of actions by the Marines destroy unit cohesion and ruin morale." That's funny. I thought forcing women into combat roles and inserting transgendered recruits into the barracks might be more likely to damage unit cohesion and morale – not to mention threatening Christian chaplains over their beliefs about marriage and sexual morality. But Weinstein has no problem with any of that, nor does the ACLU, which is the driving legal force behind the radical social experiments in the armed forces.
MRFF says it represents 27 active-duty, retired, and veteran Marines affiliated with the depot, 20 of whom are Jewish and who want to put a Hanukkah menorah near the crèche. Well, okay. Why not?
Somehow, I doubt the Marines will have any problem with it, either, during the next holiday season. But now is not the time.
The left's game is to begin with a reasonable request and then, once that is satisfied, escalate demands to the point that an agreeable resolution becomes impossible.
That often means getting rid of Christmas trees or nativity scenes, with or without the requisite Santa and reindeer to make the whole thing legal under the Supreme Court's Lemon Test.
Once you surrender to the postmodern notion that morally relativistic pluralism – not tolerance of minority viewpoints – trumps all, it becomes impossible to make sensible distinctions. Witness the evolution of "tolerance" in today's sexual revolution. What began as a request for nondiscrimination has evolved into a demand for superior treatment.
The Marines have a lot of other things on their plate right now, but I'm sure that by the time Hanukkah rolls around again, the ACLU's request will be met with a reasonable accommodation.
Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.