Foundation Says Dallas Church Should Remove Military Seals from Its Freedom Sunday Program

Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, is at the center of more controversy over an upcoming event called 'Freedom Sunday'.   

A YouTube promotional video for the event says there will be "salute to our Armed Forces". The video shows seals from the branches of the military as part of a backdrop. 

In a letter delivered to Jeffress' church on Thursday afternoon, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and its founder, Mikey Weinstein call Jeffress out for "unauthorized use of military insignia", saying they hope to avoid legal action.

"It is very clear. There's nothing ambiguous about this," said Dallas attorney, Randal Mathis, who represents the MRFF. "I certainly hope no formal legal action is necessary, but I'm certainly not ruling that out if the Defense Department doesn't do what we expect." 

Thursday morning, the MRFF sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, pointing out the program is called "America is a Christian Nation". In the letter, Weinstein says the program "should under NO circumstances be condoned by or associated in any way with our United States military. 

Department of Defense guidelines allow use of Armed Forces seals only for official military use. The MRFF says the church's use of the seals in its program makes it appear the Armed Forces endorses the event, which is this Sunday.

In the last week, a media company removed controversial billboards which showed the title for Freedom Sunday, "America is a Christian Nation." 

First Baptist Church released a statement Friday: "We plan to honor our military this Sunday at our Celebrate Freedom services, as planned."

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