Marine's religious freedom case could be precedent-setting

Thursday, February 16, 2017
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

soldier with Bible 2A Christian law firm is petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case of a former Marine who was forced out of the military because she refused to take down Bible verses from her work cubicle.

Last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces rejected the repeal of former Marine Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling who was court-martialed in 2015 for expressing her Christian faith while on the job. Specifically, she posted Bible verses at her desk, despite orders from a superior to remove them.

Sterling's attorney Michael Berry of First Liberty Institute maintains his client's religious freedom rights were violated. The firm is hopeful the nation's highest court will take the case.

"This would be the first time the Supreme Court would have heard a military religious freedom case in about 30 years. So these cases don't come along very often," he explains.

Berry

"... This one really has the potential to impact religious freedom – not just for people in the military, but for all of us. So that's really the importance of this case and why we think the court should take it."

Berry says under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act his client didn't need to ask for an accommodation to post the verses.

Sterling

Some federal courts, according to the attorney, say "the only time the government is really substantially burdening your religion is if they're forcing you to do something or not do something that is an actual requirement of your faith versus something that is merely motivated by your faith."

Berry hopes the Supreme Court will decide by summertime if it will take the case. Seven amicus briefs have been filed with the court on his client's behalf.

Earlier article: Objective – Reversal of Christian's court-martial

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