Group blasts Marine Corps for reviving 'Crusaders' name and symbols
By KARI HUUS - MSNBC
Added: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 21:05:39 UTC
Thanks to Scott Hager for the link.
A recent decision by the Marine Corps to reinstate "Crusaders" as the name of its Fighter Attack Squadron 122 — replacing "Werewolves" — and adopting the red cross of the medieval Knights Templar was blasted as unconstitutional and willfully ignorant by a civil rights group Wednesday.
“I don’t know that the Marine Corps could do anything more to fuel the cause of jihad," said Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates church-state separation. "It will directly end up taking lives and maiming members of our military."
VMFA-122 based out of Beaufort, S.C., used the Crusaders symbol from 1958 up to 2008, when Lt. Col. William Lieblein pointed out that imagery invoking the Christian conquest and colonization of Muslims during the Middle Ages was counterproductive to U.S. soldiers based across the Arab and Islamic world.
"The notion of being a crusader in that part of the world doesn't float," he said, ordering the change to "Werewolves," as reported by the Beaufort Gazette at the time.
Dozens of military members, including Marines in the affected squadron have contacted MRFF reporting that the name has been changed back, and that the symbols had already been painted on the vertical stabilizers of the F-18s.
Weinstein says that members of the military who contacted his group — mostly moderate Protestants and Catholics — felt that the decision was blatantly religious.
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