Progressive, Left-Wing, Anti-Christian Lunacy: Banning Wreaths Placed at Veterans' Gravesites To Honor Veterans' Service and Sacrifice at Christmas

By 

Skip Ash

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December 17, 2021

3 min read

US Military

Guess what? It’s the Christmas season again, and all the usual anti-Christmas, anti-Christian loons have begun rearing their ugly heads to claim constitutional violations are occurring here, there, and everywhere else they look. What’s the big issue this year? Private citizens placing privately financed wreaths on veterans’ gravesites at national cemeteries to honor them for their service and sacrifice.

So, who could be doing such a dastardly deed? Wreaths Across America is a private organization that purchases wreaths and transports them to national cemeteries around the United States so that the wreaths can be placed on veterans’ graves, including at Arlington National Cemetery, by legions of local volunteers as a mark of respect and gratitude for all that the veterans have done for us as a nation.

Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), has viciously attacked the practice of placing wreaths on all veterans’ graves because he thinks it “looks like it’s a Christian gang sign, that you’re creating territory that is Christian territory.” He imputes a sinister motive to those who purchase and supply the wreaths and to those who volunteer their time to place them on the veterans’ gravesites. He insinuates that the project is in fact a subversive, Christian religious exercise in violation of the Establishment Clause. We just sent a letter to the Secretary of the Army, the official with overall responsibility for Arlington National Cemetery, encouraging her to disregard Mr. Weinstein’s frivolous complaints.

Despite Mr. Weinstein’s characterization, the Executive Director of the Wreaths Across America organization has refuted MRFF’s mischaracterization and has stated in words that cannot be misunderstood that the organization “isn’t Christian or political.”  This appears to be another case where Mr. Weinstein’s anti-Christian bigotry has blinded him to the truth.

This issue hits especially close to home for me as a retired Army officer for two major reasons: First, because I know a bit about what veterans and their families sacrifice as they serve our nation and, second, because three of those wreaths will be placed to honor my parents, my parents-in-law, and my wife, all of whom are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

At this time of year especially, anti-Christian brigades search far and wide to find religious displays and expression which offend them and which they inevitably allege are violations of the Establishment Clause, going even so far as to make them up, as is the case with the wreaths at issue here. Let’s hear what Wreaths Across America has to say. Wreaths Across America does what it does in pursuit of three goals: (1) Remember our fallen U.S. veterans; (2) Honor those who serve; and (3) Teach your children the value of freedom.

None of those goals appears to be overly controversial, and none of them appears to be overtly religious, much less overtly Christian—as the organization’s Executive Director has confirmed. Yet, despite the organization’s denial of a religious agenda and identification of its (secular) purpose, Mr. Weinstein apparently knows better. His reasoning appears to be that, because Christian churches use wreaths at times (like around Christmas) and because those wreaths are “circular and made of evergreen” (as are the wreaths in question and most wreaths this time of the year), then all such wreaths must represent Christianity and are suspect, even those placed by an organization that disclaims a religious purpose. To which I say: Hogwash!

We are responding to this (wholly misguided) assault on the placement of wreaths by the non-religious, apolitical Wreaths Across America organization because anti-Christian bigots are attempting to change a secular activity into a religious one so that they can once again attack Believers. The ACLJ is committed to protecting the rights of Christians to freely practice their faith and the rights of our military and military families. Please join us in standing up to the anti-religious bullies who seek to denigrate our faith and curb our ability to stand for righteousness in our country.