NEW YORK A Virginia lawmaker is calling on the Air Force to reverse a decision to remove a Latin reference to "God" from a logo after an atheist group complained.
Rep. Randy Forbes, R.-Va., said the Air Force removed the logo several weeks ago from the Rapid Capabilities Office. The patch included a line written in Latin that read, "Doing God's Work with Other People's Money."
But after the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers complained, Forbes said the line was rewritten in Latin to read, "Doing Miracles with Other People's Money."
Forbes, along with a bipartisan group of 35 lawmakers, sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz expressing concern over the decision to remove a non-religious reference to God.
"It is most egregious," Forbes told Fox News. "The Air Force is taking the tone that you can't even use the word 'God.'"
Forbes said his office contacted the Air Force and officials there confirmed that the logo had been changed after the atheist group complained.
A spokesman for the Air Force told Fox News they had received the letter from the lawmakers and would investigate the claims.
Forbes said the removal of "God" is a "bridge too far in terms of the rights of men and women who serve in our services and their ability to express their faith."
"But the significance of this is what the Air Force is saying with this move that the word 'God,' whether it has any reference to faith or not, can't be used in the Air Force," Forbes said.
He said the incident is one of several in recent months that have caused him to wonder if the military is cleansing itself of religious references.
"It's a very dangerous course to take," he said.
"I am concerned that the RCO capitulated to pressure from an outside group that consistently seeks to remove references to God and faith in our military," he said. "The RCO's action to modify the logo sets a dangerous precedent that all references to God, regardless of context, must be removed from the military."
Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard daily on Fox News Radio stations around the nation. This article first appeared at www.toddstarnes.com. Used by permission. BP.