Apr 19 2012
A recent decision by the Marine Corps to reinstate ‘Crusaders’ as the name of its Fighter Attack Squadron 122, replacing the Werewolves name, and adopting the red cross of the medieval Knights Templar was blasted as unconstitutional and offensive to Muslims by a left wing atheist group that is hypocritically supportive of Islam.
MSNBC “I don’t know that the Marine Corps could do anything more to fuel the cause of jihad,” said Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit atheist organization that advocates church-state separation. (This is the same organization fighting for the removal of the Camp Pendleton Memorial Crosses: aclj-fighting-atheists-to-save-the-u-s-marines-camp-pendleton-memorial-crosses)
VMFA-122 based out of Beaufort, S.C., used the Crusaders symbol from 1958 up to 2008, when Lt. Col. William Lieblein pointed out that imagery invoking the Christian conquest and colonization of Muslims during the Middle Ages was counterproductive to U.S. soldiers based across the Arab and Islamic world.
Dozens of military members, including Marines in the affected squadron have contacted MRFF reporting that the name has been changed back, and that the symbols had already been painted on the vertical stabilizers of the F-18s.
Weinstein says that members of the military who contacted his group — mostly moderate Protestants and Catholics — felt that the decision was blatantly religious. “They’re being told, ‘the enemy gets to have Allah in their fight. We need to get our Lord and Savior back into our fight’,” said Weinstein.”
Lt. Cmdr. Wade Weigel, who currently heads the squadron, said he did not think the historic nickname was problematic, according to a report in the Beaufort Gazette on Monday.
“It’s a way for our Marines to draw on the service of the Marines before them, and to make their own history under the same name,” Weigel told the paper. “As the squadron prepared to celebrate its (70th anniversary), my intent was to return the squadron to the Crusader name since 50 of the squadron’s 70 years were under that name. The name change is a reflection of our heritage.”
The name change comes just as world media focuses on the trial of Anders Breivik, a Norwegian who admits to killing 77 people in a holy crusade against Islam and multiculturalism. Breivik brandished the Knights Templar symbols in his “manifesto” and YouTube video posted shortly before his bloody rampage. (Who cares? Breivik was right about the Muslims, but stupid to kill people only indirectly connected to the Muslim problem in Norway)
Through the law firm Jones Day, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on Wednesday sent a letter calling on top Navy and Marine Corps brass to reverse the decision, arguing that the use of Crusaders and the accompanying symbolism violate the Constitution’s separation of church and state, and threatening legal action if it is not changed.
Sources at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort have also confirmed that the “Crusader” insignia is being repainted on the planes flown by Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122. These U.S. Marine Corps planes will once again have a great big red crusader cross on them, as shown in this pre-2008 photo.