The non-profit New Mexico-based organization Military Religious Freedom Foundation called out Wreaths Across America for "carpet bombing" the 155 cemeteries of the United States with "Christian gang signs."
CBN News highlighted that Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), through its president Michael Weinstein, was referring to the annual practice of Wreaths Across America of placing Christmas wreaths on thousands of veteran tombstones. Weinstein pointed out that placing the wreaths on the tombstones without the consent of the veteran's families is the reason why it is calling out Wreaths Across America.
"We're not saying you can't (place wreaths), but you cannot blanket it like that. That's like carpet-bombing. That looks like it's a Christian gang sign, that you're creating territory that is a Christian territory," Weinstein said in an interview with Fox News published last December 15.
MRFF, which regards the American Flag as the "only one religious symbol" that should don a U.S. military uniform, have been attacking Wreaths Across America in their website in a series of statements. Wreaths Across America, also a non-profit organization, has been putting Christmas wreaths in veterans' graves for years.
In a November 22 statement, MRFF called Wreaths Across America's actions as an "annual desecration of non-Christian veteran's graves with its Christmas wreaths."
"On December 18, the graves of all veterans in our country's 155 national cemeteries and numerous other locations where American veterans are buried, will be indiscriminately decorated with Christmas wreaths by the organization Wreaths Across America," MRFF said.
"The gravesites of Christians and non-Christians alike will be adorned with this hijacked-from-paganism symbol of Christianity--circular and made of evergreen to symbolize everlasting life through Jesus Christ--whether the families of the deceased veterans like it or not," they added.
MRFF then highlighted in a December 9 statement that Fox News initially covered their statement against Wreaths Across America before they underscored on December 14 the "explosive coverage" of Fox News on them. The MRFF also zeroed-in on the latter's operations, citing the "failing grade" it received from Charity Navigator.
"'Wreaths Across America' gets a FAILING GRADE on its finances from Charity Navigator; MRFF passes with flying colors!" MRFF headlined its statement dated December 18.
December 18 happened to be this year's National Wreaths Across America Day, when Wreaths Across America holds a wreath-laying ceremony in more than 2,500 locations in the United States including the Arlington National Ceremony. The organization highlighted in a statement that "wreaths are placed by a volunteer at the base of a veteran's headstone or columbarium niche to honor their legacy and remember their sacrifice."
This year's ceremony, which coincides with the organization's 30th anniversary, involved 3,136 participating locations across the country where "2.4 million sponsored veterans' wreath were placed." This volume is said to equal "525 truckloads of wreaths" that were placed by "two million volunteers, a third of whom were children."
Responding to MRFF's attack, Wreaths Across America Executive Director Karen Worcester told Fox News that they respect religious freedom and never "placed those wreaths unless asked by the families to do so." Worcester highlighted their organization's policy of never putting wreaths on graves marked by the Star of David since it is an indicator of a veteran's Jewish faith.
"We live in a country where there is freedom of religion, and we respect that," Worcester said.