Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) urges the U.S. Department of Defense to get rid of the hymn "Creator of the Universe" because of its faith-based lyrics.
The atheist organization says the religious hymn, written by former Air Force Captain James F. Linzey, violates the separation of church and state.
"The importance of keeping the U.S. military secular in order to protect the religious liberty of all servicemembers cannot be overemphasized," FFRF stated. "The separation between religion and government is an American original. The crucial work of the U.S. military—defending the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees—is directly undermined if the government is allowed to tell its citizens and servicemembers what they ought to believe on matters of religion."
But several Christian legal firms are refuting this claim, including Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), reports One News Now.
In a letter to the DoD, Christian author Rev. David A. Newberry refuted FFRF's claims. Newberry says that, contrary to the beliefs of the FFRF, the hymn does address military and space, is not thoroughly religious, is not way out of line for a U.S. military song and is not unconstitutional.
"The Space Force Hymn is religious in so far as it mentions 'Creator,' 'God,' and 'Eternal Father,'" he says. "The hymn goes no further than that, thus making it fitting for all world religions, namely Islam, Judaism and Christianity. There is nothing sectarian about the Space Force Hymn whatsoever."
Read the full lyrics of the hymn below:
Creator of the universe, watch o'er the men who fly / Through the great spaces of the sky, and realms beyond the earth.
O God who rules the heart and mind, and takes away all fear / O God who saves with tender might and calms the wind, draw near.
Thy presence, felt with boundless love, wherever they may go / Thy Spirit, gentle as a dove, be Thou the God they know.
Eternal Father, strong to save, in prayer before Thy light / In solitude of sov'reign grace, grant courage for the flight. Amen.
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