For a brief time, workers and visitors at Robins AFB in Georgia couldn’t have a blessed day, but thankfully the blessings may once again flow.
On Thursday, the Air Force reversed its initial instruction to gate guards, which banned airmen from using the phrase “have a blessed day,” according to the Air Force Times.
Robins AFB spokesman Robin Leach said in a statement, “”The Air Force takes any expressed concern over religious freedom very seriously.
“Upon further review and consultation, the Air Force determined use of the phrase ‘have a blessed day’ as a greeting is consistent with Air Force standards and is not in violation of Air Force Instructions.”
It all started March 9th when the Military Religious Freedom Foundation sent an ‘infraction report’ to Robins leadership.
On no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks, I have been greeted by the military personnel at the gate with the phrase “Have a blessed day.” This greeting has been expressed by at least 10 different Airmen ranging in rank from A1C to SSgt. I found the greeting to be a notion that I, as a non-religious member of the military community should believe a higher power has an influence on how my day should go.
The security forces commander then ordered his airmen to use a less ‘sectarian’ greeting, such as ‘have a nice day.’
Now that ‘blessed’ is back, MRFF president Mikey Weinstein is fuming. He compared ‘have a blessed day’ to a more nefarious greeting.
“This an example where it’s fine to say, ‘Welcome to Team Robins,’ but, as I said before, what are you going to do if the gate guards say: ‘Welcome to Team Robins, hail Satan!’,” Weinstein said.
He continued, ”this is a vicious savaging of the constitutional protections that are afforded by the First Amendment along with Department of Defense regulations. The Air Force has not heard the last of this.”
The gate guards at Robins AFB might only have one thing to say to Mikey Weinstein: “have a blessed day.”
Founder of military religious freedom site says if AFB guards can say “blessed day” they could say “hail Satan” http://t.co/nX9GQ2DSPc
— Karli Barnett (@KarliBarnett) March 13, 2015
Wow…really? Does this person get offended when someone says, “bless you” when they sneeze too? http://t.co/OnjUuc4L1f
— Allison Erdman (@allisonerdman) March 12, 2015
— Transparency Cat (@meowmeowtcot) March 13, 2015
— Karli Barnett (@KarliBarnett) March 12, 2015
Air Force Statement on “Have a Blessed Day” greeting We are a professional organization defended by a… http://t.co/4uZ05ksHIH
— Robins AFB (@RobinsAFB_GA) March 12, 2015
— Doctrine Man (@Doctrine_Man) March 12, 2015