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In God We Trust…NOT!

For 42 years, the God and Country Family Festival in Nampa, ID has had a military flyover. This has occurred during various Presidential administrations, ranging from Republicans like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush to Democrats like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. It has long been the highlight of the event. That is, until this year.

You see, to get the flyover to happen, you must get permission from the Pentagon. This has never been a problem but this year was a different story and it was all because of the word “God”.

Patty Syme, a board member for the festival, said “We found out the routes you were supposed to take so we filled out all the paperwork, we got approved from the FAA, and then just had to forward it on, and that goes to the Pentagon.” The Pentagon responded in an e-mail saying the request was denied. “It says, we prohibit support for events which appear to endorse selectivity benefit or favor any special interest group, religious or ideological movement,” said Syme.

“I called him immediately and just said, you know hey we’ve been doing this for 42 years, we’ve had flyovers, what is the problem? And he said, well we have looked up your Web site and everything on your Web site seemed to focus on Christianity, ministry booths. And he said, in fact, ma’am it sounds like it focuses on Christianity. And he said, in fact, it would be great to go to, in fact, if I personally, could come I would, but we can’t endorse such an endeavor, so they couldn’t do the flyover,” said Syme.

According to Canyon County Commissioner David Ferdinand, the flyover is intended as a salute to the service men and women. “This thing is a patriotic event and in our opinion, why it started and where it started, we need to continue that tradition,” said Ferdinand

The group will try to schedule the flyover again next year. “We are going to pursue the flyover, that’s what it is for to honor those active, those serving,” said Syme.

Isn’t this taking the separation of church and state just a bit too far? I guess it doesn’t surprise me, though, that this is taking place during the Obama administration. Considering this event has taken place during every Presidential administration over the last 42 years, including both Democrat and Republican Presidents, could it be any other reason other than someone in Obama’s administration doesn’t like the fact that it would’ve been taking place at a *** and Country Family Festival?

Quotes taken from this story at KTVB.com.


3 Responses

  1. I understand your point here generally but I don’t think the argument that “it’s happened under every president for 42 years” is a strong one. Slavery was bad and it existed “under every president from George Washington to James Buchanan (15 of them!) from every major party up to that time: Whig, Democrat-Republican, Democrat, Republican. Yet it was still wrong. I’m not saying that this flyover is the moral equivalent of slavery. I’m merely exposing this argument’s flaw by means of exposing it’s underlying structure.

    And, that’s not me arguing that the DoD’s decision here is the appropriate one. I don’t know much about the event– and the laws governing separation of church and state are more confusing than they at first seem–so I withhold opinion.

  2. Yeah, I’d definitely say equating slavery with the denied flyover is a moral equivalent. That also doesn’t make the argument flawed. It’s not even really an argument but just to say that in 42 years involving previous Presidential administrations, they didn’t seem to think it was a big threat, so why now? My intent was not to enter into a legal discussion on how it may or may not violate the separation of church and state but just simply to say “Hey…There’s nothing wrong with this.”

  3. […] Dave Kellogg opines on this event, in essence calling out the Obama administration for discriminating against an event that has had the same military flyover for the previous 42 years, dating back to the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. I don’t believe Obama’s administration is to blame here and I will explain why. […]

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