Friday, March 13, 2015


From the Macon Telegraph (This article would be funny if it weren't so sad! I know from the air force personnel here at St. Joseph that they have so much more to worry about, like fighting wars and protecting homeland security :

Outcry leads Air Force to rescind ‘blessed day’ ban

March 12, 2015 
The Robins Air Force Base gate on Russell Parkway is pictured in this 2010 file photo.

After widespread outcry, the Air Force reversed a decision to ban Robins Air Force Base security personnel from saying “Have a blessed day” to people entering the gates.

Earlier, the gate guards were told not to give the greeting after an unidentified airman complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, according to the group’s website.

The foundation complained to the base, and the base issued the ban.

News of the ban went viral Thursday. That, in turn, led to this statement from the Air Force later in the day:

“Defenders have been asked to use the standard phrase ‘Welcome to Team Robins’ in their greeting and can add various follow-on greetings as long as they remain courteous and professional,” the statement read. “The Air Force takes any expressed concern over religious freedom very seriously.

“Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.” In the complaint from the airman posted on the foundation’s website, the airman stated
“I found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community, should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.”

Mikey Weinstein, the foundation’s president, posted Monday that he spoke with the commander of the 78th Air Base Wing Security Forces and was told the guards would be instructed to say, “Have a nice day” instead.

The airman’s complaint posted on the website states: “On no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks, I have been greeted by the military personnel at the gate with the phrase ‘Have a blessed day.’

The airman said at least 10 different people gave the same greeting.

Comments on the posting on the group’s website were overwhelmingly supportive of the “have a blessed day” greeting.

One commenter identified herself as Heather Wolff, a former security forces airman at Robins. She said the gate personnel take pride in giving everyone a friendly greeting to start their work day.

“I made sure I always had a smile on my face and greeted people because of the thought that it could brighten their day,” she wrote. “I hope this (commander) stands by their airmen and doesn’t give in to this stupidity.”

On Thursday, someone activated the Facebook page “Blessed Day at Robins AFB,” and five hours after the first posting, it had 2,253 likes. The page said its purpose was to bring back the greeting.


qwikness said...

I'm no Constitutional Law expert but I did get a "B" in it in college. To prevent the phrase, seems violate the "Free exercise" clause, freedom of speech. And, since I have the floor, undemocratic if being led by the minority opinion.

Personally, I'm no fan of the phrase. It seems clumsy and very Protestant.

John Nolan said...

I agree with qwikness. It's hardly idiomatic, and does 'blessed' have one syllable or two? Other annoying mannerisms include 'women and men' and 'sisters and brothers'. As for the so-called 'sign of peace' its absurdity is compounded by the fact that no-one usually shakes hands saying 'peace be with you'. The person standing next to me may get a bow and 'pax Domini sit semper tecum' but anyone extending his or her paw will get a cheery 'good morning' or 'how d'you do'.

Rule 13 in a list entitled 'How to preserve one's sanity during the OF Mass'.

Anonymous said...

How about trying out "Pax vobiscum" next?

John Nolan said...

'Pax vobiscum' has to be addressed to more than one person. The longer formula is the one recommended in the GIRM (for what it's worth).

Anonymous said...

OK then....Pax tecum.