Court-Martialed for a Bible Verse
Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling of the U.S. Marine Corps posted a Bible verse on her desk after she saw other servicemembers in her office had personalized their work spaces. Little did she know that her superior officer would demand that she remove the Bible verse, and court-martial her for insubordination when she questioned whether his demand was a lawful order.
The Bible verse was simply a motivational excerpt from Isaiah 54:17: "No weapon formed against you shall prosper."
A lower court claimed that Sterling's Bible verse did not qualify as "religious exercise" and therefore was not Constitutionally protected by the First Amendment and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Of course, this is blatantly false.
As Liberty Institute counsel Mike Berry points out: "If a service member has a right to display a secular poster, put an atheist bumper sticker on their car, or get a Star of David tattoo, then Lance Corporal Sterling has the right to display a small Bible verse on her computer monitor."
This is an example of the increasing intolerance toward people of religious belief, particularly Christians, in the United States Military.
Our service members give up many freedoms when serving, but (apart from extreme situations) religious freedom is not one of them. The First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and military code protect service members’ right to express their faith freely, and their right to free religious expression should be protected.
Sign our petition RIGHT NOW to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces -- the highest military court whose decisions are subject to review by the United States Supreme Court -- asking them to review LCpl Sterling's case and to uphold her right to religious exercise.