Controversy erupts over Bible in Okinawa naval hospital display

"Navy officials are investigating complaints about the placement of a Bible in a public display about POW/MIAs at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, the service’s largest overseas medical facility." RNS

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Bert Perry's picture

The "Military Religious Freedom Foundation" is objecting because a Bible is on the table, but if you look at the Navy's prescription for such tables, several factors resemble little so much as a Jewish seder.  You've got the empty chair (for the MIA/Elijah), the lemon in place of the bitter herbs, the salt representing the tears of their families, etc..  Put gently, it says something that these guys don't see the obvious symbolism in that table.

And that religious symbolism is a good thing.  If you're going to respect the memory of those who didn't come back, and whose bodies have never been found, exactly how does it help to exclude the religions that most of these men professed?  Really, I don't even think Jewish servicemen would be generally offended by that Bible, as the first 3/4 of that Bible is THEIR holy book, too.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.