A Baptist Church in the heart of the Midwest had a modest plan to thank its local National Guard troops for their service, but it turned out to be too much after all.
That’s because the military will not allow troops to attend events like the “God’s Rescue Squad” service at the Bible Baptist Church in Carthage, Mo., Fox News columnist Todd Starnes wrote.
It was just the Guard that was being honored by the church. According to Starnes, other rescue squads were invited in, such as the local fire department (they still teach “drop and roll”), the Jasper County sheriff’s office (K-9 dogs were a big hit with the kids).
They all were willing, but not the National Guard.
“We were told it was against military policy for National Guard troops to participate in Vacation Bible School,” Pastor Kent Hogan said. “They said if the National Guard had assets on church property it would look like the National Guard is sponsoring the Baptist religion.”
“They said they didn’t want to offend anybody. Well, it’s offended our whole church.”
It’s a sure bet the separation of church and state crowd would approve of the Guard standing the church up. And it’s a damn good bet that the same crowd would be a little aghast if a Guard unit declined to visit, say, a mosque, in the interests of promoting cooperation between the country’s armed forces and “the religion of peace.”
But it’s a certainty that that same crowd won’t ever have the viewpoint of some of the Guardsmen who talked to Starnes:
“I can tell you I’m ashamed and embarrassed right now. This isn’t the military I signed up for.”
“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.”
“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. I honestly never thought I’d see the day that this would happen in my hometown.”
Hogan told Starnes it’s a harbinger of things to come.
“I don’t think most Americans realize how much their religious liberty is in jeopardy,” he said. “If they did this to us – how bad is it somewhere else? This is not just a big city issue. This is a small town America issue. Americans need to wake up.”
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