It seems the name of Jesus doesn't sound good for NASA officials. A group of lawyers representing NASA issued an order that bans the word "Jesus" on Johnson Space Center (JSC) newsletter. The national space agency's decision roused the anger and disbelief among Christians throughout the country.
The JSC Praise & Worship Club was directed by NASA attorneys to stop using the word "Jesus" in group's announcements that published in a newsletter. Since 2001, the club gathers every week to pray and read the Bible. In order to promote their activities, they send emails and newsletters to NASA employees.
Following is an excerpt from May 28, 2015 edition of JSC Today,
Join with the praise and worship band "Allied with the Lord" for a refreshing set of spring praise and worship songs on Thursday, June 4, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Building 57, Room 106. (The theme for this session will be "Jesus is our life!)
Liberty Institute, on behalf of JSC Praise & Worship Club, threatened to file a federal lawsuit unless NASA apologizes and stops censoring the name of Jesus. Liberty Institute is one of the nation's largest religious liberty law firms. The institute works with many top litigators in the country who volunteer their time to help advance the mission of defending the nation's first freedom.
On the other hand, as a government entity, NASA ordered its legal team to ask the club to the remove the name of Jesus in the newsletter. The agency argued that that the name made the meeting "denominational" and "sectarian".
As a response to NASA's order, JSC offered to write a disclaimer that separates the views of the club and the space agency. The response also aims to notify readers that the announcement was private and was not endorsed by any government agency. However, NASA attorneys said the appeal is "insufficient," according to a report from Fox News.
"The bottom line is that NASA should not be censoring this club just because they use the name 'Jesus' in an employee advertisement," Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys told the Washington Times, "That is blatant religious discrimination."
It is also interesting to note that NASA supported Christian activities before. On Christmas of 1968, the crew inside the Apollo 8 read the story of Creation in the book of Genesis. The astronauts did it while orbiting around the moon. Moreover, astronaut Buzz Aldrin- -second person to step on the moon --received communion on the lunar surface during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission.