Federal administration branch that works with military agencies takes down anti-Semitic website posting after complaint by religious freedoms group.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The U.S. federal administration responsible for providing administrative services to military agencies in Washington posted a blatantly anti-Semitic Easter sermon on its website that blamed the Jews for killing Jesus, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported Thursday.
The Washington Headquarters Services has some 1,600 employees who provide administrative support for more than 78 defense-related facilities, mostly in the Washington, D.C. area.
The anti-Semitic sermon, “What Did the People Talk About at the First Easter” by Chaplain Lt. Aristotle Rivera of Camp Lejeune, was posted on the WHS webite on March 30.
In his sermon, Lt. Rivera cited passages from the New Testament of the account of the apostle Peter preaching to “men of Israel” the redemption available in Christ’s death.
Rivera’s interpretation of those verses is addressed to the “Men of Israel.” He wrote: “A way to summarize the early Easter message was this: ‘Jesus lived. You killed him. God raised him. We saw him. Say Sorry.’”
The Albuquerque, NM-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) saw the posting and demanded the WHS remove it from the website.
The foundation said it was “outraged at this blatant anti-Semitism purveyed by the Department of Defense’s Washington Headquarters Service” and called on the WHS to “apologize for condoning and spreading Chaplain Rivera’s anti-Semitic poison.”
The MRFF says its mission is “dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
Following the complaint, the WHS removed the sermon from its website, which is administered by the Department of Defense and now generates a “Page not found” error message.
The foundation and the Jewish War Veterans called for an inquiry into the sermon. Both groups demanded disciplinary action against Rivera, saying the sermon contradicted rules against proselytizing and peddling bigotry.
In a press release, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America said that “in addition to an apology and admission of wrongdoing by Lt. Rivera, we also ask the Department of Defense to issue a statement acknowledging the anti-Semitic nature of the article.”