VICTORY: Armed Services Appeals Court to Hear Major Religious Liberty Case | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

VICTORY: Court to Hear Major Case

By Laura Hernandez1446216275805

The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has just agreed to hear a major religious liberty case, United States v. Sterling, which could have a dramatic impact for the religious liberty of our brave men and women in uniform.

In this case, Lance Corporal Sterling, a devout Christian, posted a Bible verse, Isaiah 54:17 (“no weapon formed against you shall prosper”), in three places around her work station.  As we previously reported:

Sterling’s superior officer saw the scripture verses, “did not like their tone,” and told Sterling to “remove that,” referring to the Bible verse as a profanity that we will not repeat. When Sterling refused, her superior officer removed the verses and threw them in the trash.

She was then court martialed.  In a shocking decision, a Marines court held that Sterling’s superior officer could order her to remove those Bible verses because Sterling was “not exercising her religion” when she posted them. The Marines court held further that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was inapplicable.   In fact, as we noted before, the court actually held “that Sterling’s Bible verse postings were motivated by ‘subjective beliefs’ that were not legitimately ‘part of a religious belief system.’”

The Marines court’s decision set a dangerous precedent which threatened religious liberty for all of the nation’s men and women in uniform, and so three months ago, the ACLJ filed an amicus brief urging the highest military appeals court to grant review to overturn this ominous ruling.

Filed on behalf of 42 Members of Congress and over 142,000 concerned Americans, our brief argued that Congress intended RFRA to apply to the United States Military and that Sterling’s posting of scripture verses at her work station was certainly an exercise of Sterling’s religion sufficient to trigger RFRA’s protection.

Joining in the brief were Senator James Lankford, and Representatives John Fleming, Robert Aderholt, Brian Babin, Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Charles W. Boustany, Jr., Jim Bridenstine, Bradley Byrne, Doug Collins, Kevin Cramer, Jeff Duncan, Bill Flores, Randy Forbes, Jeff Fortenberry, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Bob Goodlatte, Gregg Harper, Vicky Hartzler, Jeb Hensarling, Jody Hice, Tim Huelskamp, Bill Johnson, Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Trent Kelly, Steve King, Doug Lamborn, Mia Love, Tom McClintock, Jeff Miller, Dan Newhouse, Steven Palazzo, Robert Pittenger, Keith Rothfus, Steve Russell, Steve Scalise, Chris Smith, Tim Walberg, and Joe Wilson.

This week, the military appeals court issued an order granting review and asking the parties to brief the issue whether the Marines violated Lance Corporal Sterling’s religious liberty rights. The ACLJ will continue this very important fight, and is now preparing another amicus brief to be filed with the appellate court.  

It is vital that the American people stand with us in continuing this battle to protect the religious freedom rights of our military.

The Bible Isn’t a Military Crime

Religious Liberty  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We're vigorously defending the religious liberty of the soldiers who protect our freedom. Support our work with a tax-deductible gift today.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

ACLJ Comes to Defense of Christian USAF General

By ACLJ.org1535551200000

Once again, a group notorious for wanting to keep God out of our military is attacking anyone who professes his or her Christian faith. Now this group is attacking a respected Air Force General, demanding he be investigated for expressing his Christian faith. Recently we told you how this group...

read more

ACLJ Stands on the Law In Response To MRFF Attacks

By Skip Ash1531490400000

I must confess that I am an unabashed fan of Yogi Berra. In his own inimitable way, he was a master at re-formulating the English language. He could encapsulate more common sense in one, often humorous, stream-of-consciousness quote than almost anyone I know of. My choice for today is: “It’s déjà

read more

Regulating a Couple’s Religious Use in Their Own Home?

By Abigail A. Southerland1530540000000

Many churches, religious organizations and homeowners engaged in religious activity are unaware of the federal laws that protect their religious exercise from unnecessary and burdensome zoning regulations and/or unequal treatment in the zoning process. The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized...

read more

Equating Christians in Uniform with Jihadists

By Skip Ash1527602400000

In yet another unhinged rant , Mr. Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, founder and president of the inaptly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), has once again claimed that the sky is falling in the U.S. military. And, once again, he has moronically equated sharing the Gospel of Jesus...

read more