Name Of Jesus Is Not To Be Used In NASA
The Christian world has been roused once again. This time, by an announcement from NASA’s legal department that declared, the word “Jesus” could no longer be used within newsletter communications or club announcements. The statement, which was issued after the JSC Praise & Worship Club sent out an announcement that mentioned the theme would be, “Jesus is our life,” and appeared in a Johnson Space Center newsletter.
The call by NASA attorney’s to ban the name came as a shock, since the JSC Today newsletter which is distributed electronically, includes a variety of Space Center events. Everything “from salsa dancing lessons to soccer camps” has a place in the monthly e-newsletter.
Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s largest religious law firms, has taken up their fight for free speech on behalf of the JSC Praise & Worship Club. Liberty Institute has threatened to file a federal lawsuit against NASA unless they apologized and retracted their decision to censor Jesus’ name.
It was the May 28, 2015 edition of JSC Today that first sparked the controversy, which read:
“Join with the praise and worship band “Allied with the Lord” for a refreshing set of spring praise and worship songs on Thursday, June 4, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Building 57, Room 106. (The theme for this session will be “Jesus is our life!”) Prayer partners will be available for anyone who has need. All JSC civil servants and contractors are welcome.”
Sophia Smith, a NASA engineer told Fox News, “It was shocking to all of us and very frustrating. NASA has a long history of respecting religious speech. Why wouldn’t they allow us to put the name Jesus in the announcement about our club?”
NASA did not dispute the charges, after issuing a statement Monday that read:
“NASA does not prohibit the use of any specific religious names in employee newsletters or other internal communications. The agency allows a host of employee-led civic, professional, religious and other organizations to meet on NASA property on employee’s own time. Consistent with federal law, NASA attempts to balance employee’s rights to freely exercise religious beliefs with its obligation to ensure there is no government endorsement of religion. We believe in and encourage open and diverse dialogue among our employees and across the agency.”
Employees say that the quest for censorship is a recent injunction, claiming that there had been no censorship issues over the use of the name in club communications until just this past year. An attorney with the Liberty Institute says, that the “club organizers offered to provide a disclaimer, notifying readers that the announcement was private speech and was not endorsed by NASA or any other government agency. However, that offer was rejected as “insufficient.”
Many have declared NASA’s request questionable recalling several events that would more likely be a violation of the constitution such as astronaut “Buzz Aldrin receiving communion on the lunar surface during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, or the crew of Apollo 8 reading the Creation story as they orbited the moon on Christmas Eve in 1968.
Article: Fox News