NASA bans employees from writing the word “Jesus”

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The new fascism: Lawyers at NASA have ruled that the agency has the right to ban the use of the word “Jesus” in any email written by employees.

In a letter sent Monday, the Liberty Institute stated that NASA lawyers pressured a group of employees at the Johnson Space Center to remove the word “Jesus” from a club announcement. This demand took place in May and June of 2015.

These employees had formed a private group within the agency called the JSC Praise and Worship Club, an entity separate from the agency. As part of the group, employees meet together during lunch to pray, and no one is prevented from taking part in the group’s activities. In an announcement email, one of the employees had used the word “Jesus.” A few days after the email went out, NASA lawyers clamped down and said the use of the word was absolutely unacceptable and would not accept the group’s offer to issue any kind of disclaimer to downplay its use.

NASA is now going to be sued by these individuals, as the agency is clearly acting to deny them their first amendment rights. And NASA deserves to be sued, and to lose badly in court. It is absurd that those NASA lawyers can construe the writing of the word “Jesus” by a single employee as an endorsement by the agency of that religion. These same lawyers would have also acted to ban the Apollo 8 astronauts from reading from the Old Testament while in orbit around the Moon in 1968. They are thus no different than the Soviet overlords with whom we were fighting the Cold War at the time.


  • Edward

    From the article: “The reason it was unacceptable? NASA lawyers didn’t want innocent observers to come to the erroneous conclusion that the space agency endorses Christianity. … NASA does in fact have a long history of religious references embedded in its institutional culture.”

    A long history and even recent history, such as using the names of various gods as rocket, spacecraft, and project names. Apollo or Orion, anyone? Perhaps NASA actually *is* endorsing Greek gods or Norse gods (Thor rocket, which launched Pioneer, anyone?).

    What about the directive that NASA Director Bolden told Congress that NASA had received, from the president, to educate Muslims about their contributions to science. Surely that must be an endorsement of a religion, one religion being considered so important that it is singled out for special treatment.

  • Howdy– Heard you discussing this post on The John Batchelor Show this evening. It was rather depressing to hear once again the difference between NASA today and back in Christmas, 2008.

    FWIW, some time ago I wrote a couple of posts on my blog on Apollo 8, and on your book Genesis:

    Glad to hear you back on John’s show.

    /Mr Lynn

  • Thank you for the kind words. I should note that I have been appearing on the John Batchelor Show more or less continuously, at least twice a week, now since 2003, with no breaks. If you didn’t hear me, it was probably because your local radio station was not carrying the full show, and thus missed my appearances.

  • ‘Lawyers at NASA have ruled that the agency has the right to ban the use of the word “Jesus” in any email written by employees.’

    Lawyers have ruled? So I can go to law school and become an administrative martinet? What if an email is addressed to or references an Hispanic employee named Jesus?

  • EFH

    There are over 2 dozen Jesus names in the NASA internal directory.

  • pzatchok

    Since its being sent and received on NASA computers they can sensor the content.

    But to keep everyone happy they will just change the ruling to include all religious content of any type.

    Banning just the name Jesus was a stupid move though.

  • Cotour

    Are they attempting to stop out potential other religious problems like the recent situation in a meat packing plant where the Muslim employees were demanding their many prayer break’s during their work day?

    *When “lawyers rule” it in actuality means that they have determined in their capacity as lawyers for NASA that NASA should legally move in a particular direction, whether they will win in the end is probably secondary. I don’t know if I would interpret it solely as an attack on Christians or free speech but as a strategic move related to the general legal atmosphere going on in our country at the moment.

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