The Liberty Institute, a legal group grounded in fighting for religious liberty is representing Christian employees at NASA who are saying they legally have the right to use the word “Jesus” as they please, including in the government agency’s newsletter.
In mid-2015, NASA attorneys told the Christian club, JSC Praise and Worship Club, that they needed to refrain from using the word “Jesus” in NASA newsletters, which are circulated by email. This demand was prompted after the group included “Jesus” in their club announcement last year, saying that the theme for the next meeting would be, “Jesus is our life.” NASA’s reasoning is to avoid being accused of violating the Establishment Clause in the Constitution, which states that the government may not establish or endorse any religion, including Christianity. The club was told that any future announcements featuring the word “Jesus” would be censored.
Nearly a year later, the group has recruited Liberty Institute’s legal team to fight against what they say is “religious discrimination.” Jeremy Dys, an attorney from Liberty Institute, told Fox News that after the religious club offered to put in a disclaimer every time they use the word “Jesus,” affirming that this is not the official endorsement of NASA, they were denied. It was after this incident they then sought help from the legal group.
Did NASA take it too far in their effort to remain secular and in accordance with the Establishment Clause? Some might say that this is all a part of the alleged “War on Christianity,” but others might just say that this is a balancing out of the prior focus on Christianity over all other religions in the United States. Though some articles have referenced a previous incident in which NASA struck down an atheist’s attempt to stop the astronauts on Apollo 8 from reading the Christian Creationist stories on live TV, we must remember that this was 48 years ago, and our country’s effort to be inclusive of other religions rather than exclusive has evolved dramatically since then.
Do you think that NASA is right in banning the word “Jesus” from all email circulations, or is the government institution going too far to protect themselves?
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