A sign in front of an Army recruiting station in Phoenix, Arizona, drew a firestorm before it was removed this week. The issue? The mention of the word “God.”
The poster, which reads, “On A Mission For Both God And Country,” and features the prestigious tabs of Special Forces, Ranger, and Airborne, was pulled after Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), wrote an op-ed on the Daily Kos website:
“There it was; an in-your-face, proselytizing, U.S. Army officially-approved (goarmy.com) recruiting poster on prominent display at an Armed Forces Career Center in Phoenix, Arizona. That outrageously ghastly graphic encapsulates precisely that which we’ve been ceaselessly calling the attention of the American people to for all this time.”
The Army Times caught wind of the controversy, and brought it up to military command. That was the first time they had heard of the poster, the paper writes.
As command explains, the text on the poster could be changed to 47 different “slogans” to pair with the image to suit the local audience. The “God and Country” tagline was not an option:
“Had the process been followed, the copy shown would not have been approved,” [spokesman Brian] Lepley said.
The sign was removed on Friday, hours after command was notified of its existence.
MRFF applauded its removal, but also called for further investigation.
“The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is delighted that the Constitution has been adhered to by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command,” Weinstein said after the poster was removed.
“But whoever, in any way, shape or form, allowed that poster to be designed, prepared and displayed, those individuals should be aggressively investigated and very visibly punished.”
Army Times writes that it is unclear how long the sign has stood outside of the office, but images of the post show up on Reddit and Flickr as far back as October.