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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Member of U.S. Military Defends Right to Display Bible Verse

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 May 04
  • Comments

A member of the U.S. military who was court-martialed for refusing to take down a Bible verse from her desk has argued her case in a federal appeals court.


The Christian Post reports that U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling had displayed a Bible verse on her desk which read: “No weapons formed against me shall prosper,” which is likely a paraphrase of Isaiah 54:17.


In May of 2013, while stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Sterling was told to remove the three signs with the Bible verse on them that she had placed on her desk. She refused and was consequently court-martialed.


The Family Research Council’s Travis Weber told The Christian Post that Sterling should win the case because of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


“While the military has unique needs which sometimes require holding there is a compelling interest justifying a substantial burden on the religious exercise, this case is not one of them," said Weber.


"Religious exercise must be protected as a right, but we also must remember that this exercise itself aids the military in its larger needs, for the faith of individual service members which allows them to face danger and death only strengthens the military as a fighting force,” he continued.


A brief filed on behalf of Sterling by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty said that the U.S. military commanders had unlawfully singled out religious speech for censorship, violating freedom of religion.


"I hope the court rules in favor of the religious claim. Sometimes, religious exercise is pitted against the needs of the military. But I don't think this is one of those cases," said Weber.



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Publication date: May 4, 2016