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Supreme Court Asked to Hear Military Religious Freedom Case

Image: Supreme Court Asked to Hear Military Religious Freedom Case

American soldiers pray during a ceremony marking Veterans Day at the U.S. Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

By    |   Monday, 26 Dec 2016 12:50 PM

The Supreme Court is being asked to hear the case of Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling, who refused an order to remove a personalized printed Bible verse from her workspace at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

The case could have significant ramifications for religious liberty in the armed forces, The Daily Caller reports.

Sterling had put up a verse from Isaiah 54:17, which read: "No weapons formed against me shall prosper."

When a superior officer, believing it to be confrontational and antagonistic, ordered her to take it down, she refused, according to the website.

The officer tore it down, but she reprinted the verse and put it back up, The Daily Caller reports. Sterling was later court-martialed for disobeying orders. Attorneys for Sterling have argued the officer’s order was unlawful because it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law which protects religious expression.

The case was brought to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the highest appeals court for members of the military, which ruled against her, The Daily Caller reports.

"Ms. Sterling posted the Bible verse as an expression of her faith — an expression which should have been protected under RFRA," the website quotes Mike Berry, First Liberty Institute’s military affairs director

First Liberty is a religious freedom law practice, which represents Sterling.

"We hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will take her case and uphold her right to religious freedom, setting a clear precedent for all service members and their future expressions of faith within our military."

According to the Independent Journal Review, her attorneys believe the appeals court ruling will lead to suppressed religious freedom in the military if allowed to stand.

The Supreme Courts will decide in early 2017 whether it will hear the case.

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The Supreme Court is being asked to hear the case of Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling, who refused an order to remove a personalized printed Bible verse from her workspace at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Supreme Court, Military, Religious Freedom, Case
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2016-50-26
Monday, 26 Dec 2016 12:50 PM
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