Military banned from saying, 'Have a blessed day'

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Military personnel at Robins Air Force Base were banned from using the greeting "Have a blessed day" after complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. | Robinson Air Force Base May 2014/Facebook

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (Christian Examiner) -- Military personnel at Georgia's Robins Air Force Base received instruction to stop imparting the greeting "have a blessed day" Monday.

According to the anti-Christian Military Religious Freedom Foundation website, an active duty Air Force member contacted the organization for assistance claiming the greeting was an issue of separation of church and state.

The unnamed military member, who claimed revealing his identity would result in endangering himself and his family, said he received the greeting at one of the base gates since Feb. 23 "by at least 10 different Airmen ranging in rank."

"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 complaint read.

The statement added the greeting was unwelcome due to the serviceman's "non-religious" nature.

"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."

The morning of the complaint, Mikey Weinstein, MMRF founder and president, contacted the unit commander for base security forces.

On his website, Weinstein said the officer who responded was extremely compliant.

The major reportedly asked if he could resolve the issue simply by instructing his gate guards to "stop saying that sectarian 'greeting' and replaced it with 'have a nice day.'" Weinstein said he gave his assent, and, a follow up note from the unnamed complainer confirmed the new greeting was implemented.

"The personnel at the gates have immediately changed their greetings to a more professional "Have a nice/good day sir/maam." The anonymous atheist added it was "unfortunate" that MRFF should be "necessary in this day and age" to "stand and yell 'This isn't right'" on behalf of non-religious service members who feel discriminated against.