A months-long nativity scene dispute between the U.S. Marine Corps and a nonprofit organization was resolved this week when officials confirmed a new review process for all signage at the San Diego Recruit Depot.
The combined efforts of 27 active-duty, retired and veteran Marines working in conjunction with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) have forced a legal retreat by Marine Corps officials caught in a religious row since January 17. Any displays at the California facility during the holiday season will now have to go through a “legal and ethical” review via the Office of the Commanding General’s Staff Judge Advocate.
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, MRFF’s founder and a U.S. Air Force veteran, touted the decision, which was made in April but publicly announced Wednesday.
“This was never about suppressing Christianity,” Mr. Weinstein said, The San Diego Tribune Marine Corps.”” target=”_blank”>reported Thursday. “It was always about leveling the playing field so that no religion felt is was below another in the Marine Corps.”
The decision was made by the depot’s commanding officer after a letter by the America Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties indicated a readiness to enter the fray, the newspaper reported.
“MRFF commends the MCRD San Diego Commanding General, Brigadier General Bill Jurney, and his senior staff for ensuring that this new legal/ethical review process by his USMC legal staff is now in place for specific review of all future religious display requests,” the group said on its website.
Marine Corps officials did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment prior to publication.
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