Mikey Weinstein, a former Air Force officer and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, demanded Col. Gregory Peterson, commander of Pennsylvania's Tobyhanna Army Depot, remove the book from a POW/MIA "missing man" table in the lobby of the depot's administration building.
Weinstein claims more than 100 MRFF members filed complaints with the group regarding the display.
The book's presence "is a pernicious example of unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian primacy, supremacy, exceptionalism and triumphalism," Weinstein said in a Monday email to Peterson, a copy of which was sent to Army Times.
Similar complaints filed by the MRFF to Veterans Affairs Department facilities in Youngstown and Akron, Ohio, as well as to officials at Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, were successful. The MRFF recently praised a Houston VA facility for altering its POW table.
In his letter to the commander, Weinstein wrote, "Got separation of church and state at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Colonel Peterson?"
The depot hosts Army and Air Force programs involving networks, missile guidance and other forms of electronic warfare. Weinstein called the Bible branding "beyond the pale" and said similar pairings of Defense Department symbols and holy books – an artillery division's logo atop a Koran, for instance – would've caused outrage.
The depot, which hosted German POWs during World War II and dedicated a POW/MIA monument in 2007, has yet to respond to the MRFF's demands. An installation spokesman said a detailed response to the complaint, as well as to questions regarding the display's history and the Bible's procurement and design, weren't immediately available but would be provided Tuesday.
POW table pushback a ceremony guide
This isn't the first time the MRFF has complained to the Defense Department regarding Bibles with military logos – Weinstein's group in 2011 published one of what it claimed were nearly 2,000 complaints regarding service-branch logos appearing on Bibles, then filed a request with the Pentagon that June via the Freedom of Information Act on the subject. That summer, according to documents published on the MRFF website and reported on by other media outlets, the branches decided to discontinue the deal with a private-sector publisher.
The Army's response to the MRFF says the decision was made for "unrelated reasons." Weinstein, in an interview at the time with the Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal, called that rationale "a complete, utter, unadulterated lie."