Pentagon Denies Flyover of Patriotic 'God and Country Rally' in Nampa Idaho Because of its Christian Content
July 6, 2009
NAMPA, Idaho, (christiansunite.com) -- This marks the first time in the 42 year history of the event that a flyover request was denied by the Pentagon. The event is held ever year to honor the spiritual foundations of our country with a special emphasis on the men and women who serve in the armed forces.
In past years, the "God and Country Rally" has focused on honoring and paying tribute to those veterans who have served our nation in the past and those who are currently on active duty.
At the rally this year, all five branches of the armed services were featured with over 60 new recruits sworn into the military at the event.
After a phone conversation and an e-mail response from the Pentagon, Rally Director Patti Syme says they were denied the request for a flyover this year because of the "Christian" nature of the event.
The Christian Defense Coalition says this is a "slap in the face" to all those who have proudly served or are currently on active duty in the armed services.
The group is concerned that this new policy may indicate an open hostility toward public expressions of faith by the Obama Administration.
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,
"For years, flyovers have been allowed by the Pentagon at the 'God and Country Rally' in Nampa Idaho. These flyovers were not to endorse or promote any one religious faith tradition. Rather, they were held to honor and pay tribute to our heroic men and women who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces.
"For the Obama Administration to deny a flyover for the first time, is a slap in the face to all those who proudly serve our country especially when we are at war. These flyovers have been a special part of the 'God and Country Rally' for many years.
"Will the new policy of President Obama be that a person has to surrender their faith tradition to honor and pay tribute to our courageous men and women who serve in the military?
"With respect to the economic concerns that the Pentagon mentioned, I would answer this way. If we can pay hundreds thousands of dollars for President Obama to go on a date with his wife to see a Broadway show and have an expensive dinner in New York City, we can certainly find a way to honor our brave men and women who serve in the armed services with a simple flyover.
"The Christian Defense Coalition will diligently work to reverse this unjust policy and determine why this flyover was denied in the first place."
Brandi Swindell, national Christian activist and Director of Generation Life, based in Idaho, adds,
"For the Pentagon to deny this flyover for the first time in the history of our state is deeply troubling and disturbing.
"During a time of war and especially around the 4th of July we should be doing all within our power as a nation to honor and respect our military.
"It must be stressed that the flyover was not to honor Christianity but to honor our fallen heroes who have proudly given their lives to protect our country and advance the cause of liberty around the world.
"Does this mean in the future that all public rallies must be stripped of any expressions of faith to respect our military? This Administration should be protecting religious expression in the public square not crushing it.
"I hope that President Obama will reverse this unjust policy and next year we will be allowed to give the military the honor they deserve."