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GOP lawmakers protest removal of ‘God’ from Air Force unit’s patch

A group of Republican lawmakers is protesting the removal a reference to God in the patch logo for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO). The 35 lawmakers, led by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), wrote a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz urging them to restore the logo with a reference to God. Forbes warned that the action taken by the RCO could set a “dangerous precedent” when it comes to religion and the military. “The action taken by the RCO suggests that all references to God, regardless of their context, must be removed from the military,” Forbes wrote. “As we are confident that your legal advisors would not suggest that censorship is required for compliance with the First Amendment, we ask that you reverse this perplexing decision.” The patch logo was changed after a military atheist group, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, protested the reference to God on the patch. The patch has a saying on it in Latin, which is common for military patches, that tranlates to: “Doing God’s Work with Other People’s Money.” The saying was then changed last month to say: “Doing Miracles with Other People’s Money.” he RCO is an office created in 2003 that expedites weapons systems and reports to a board of directors that includes the Air Force secretary and chief of staff. This isn’t the first time Forbes has gotten invovled with God and the government. In November, Forbes introduced a bill to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the country’s motto. The bill supports showing the motto in all American public schools and buildings. In response, President Obama suggested the legislation was a waste of time. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work,” Obama said in November according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. House Republicans also passed a bill last month that allows for religious symbols to be displayed a military memorials and cemeteries in response to a federal appeals court decision that found a cross on a San Diego war memorial was unconstitutional. The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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