A portion of a Marine court-martial of Monifa J. Sterling is being focused on her Right to freely express her Christian beliefs in her workplace within the Marine Corps. Sterling was charged with willfully disobeying an order from a superior officer who had commanded her to remove religious postings from her office. The postings, placed three times around her computer in reference to the Holy Trinity, stated “no weapon formed against me shall prosper,” a reference to Isaiah 54:17, “no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.” The superior officer repeatedly told Sterling to remove the passages, and took them down herself when Sterling refused.
And Sterling had every right to refuse. Are members of the United States military, those men and women who fight to defend the Freedoms of the Constitution, not afforded those same freedoms? Should these individuals, who risk their lives so that every American may declare “I am free”, put aside their freedoms in the process of fighting for ours? Certainly not. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or Atheist, all citizens of the United States of America are guaranteed the same Freedom to practice and express their personal religious beliefs. And that most certainly should especially apply to those members of the Armed Forces who defend those Freedoms.
When each of us goes to sleep at night, secure in the knowledge that the United States of America is a land of Freedom, it is in part because we have men and women who serve us daily to ensure those Freedoms remain intact. But when those serving are not permitted to exercise the very Freedoms they defend, the Freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution they swore to uphold, what does that say for Freedom for the rest of us? We are only free because our unique form of Government allows for our Freedom. But no citizen of this nation, whether civilian or military, should be told that their Right to Religious Freedom may not be expressed.