Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: Restrictions on expressions of faith in the public sphere have been gradually growing across the United States in recent years. U.S. military personnel face mounting pressure to keep their religious beliefs private, including a Air National Guard colonel whose column was recently stricken from the official Air National Guard newsletter for its references to Jesus and faith. Religious freedom advocates point out that such restrictions are a serious infringement on Constitutionally guaranteed right to both religious freedom and free speech.  

10/31/2014 United States (Fox News) – A colonel’s column was removed from an Air National Guard newsletter because the writer violated military policy by including references to Jesus Christ and God, an Ohio National Guard spokesman said.

Col. Florencio Marquinez, the medical group commander of the 180th Fighter Wing, wrote an essay in the September edition of the “Stinger.” It was titled, “A Spiritual Journey as a Commander.”

He wrote about how his mother’s faith in Jesus Christ influenced his life and he referenced a Bible verse from the New Testament, “With God all things are possible.”

Before you could say God bless America, the military ordered the colonel’s remarks stricken from the newsletter. Ohio National Guard spokesman James Sims told me the column was a clear violation of military policy.

“So no matter how stressful your life can be with juggling family issues, relationships, career advancement, work, school, or any burden that life throws your way, cast it upon the Lord and He will sustain you,” the colonel wrote.

It wasn’t too longer after the newsletter was posted online before someone filed a complaint – lamenting that the colonel’s words had caused great angst and offense.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein reached out to Air Force officials at the Pentagon, the Air National Guard is governed by Air Force rules, as well as the 180th Fighter Wing demanding they remove what he called “that odious and offending proselytizing commentary.”

Before you could say God bless America, the military ordered the colonel’s remarks stricken from the newsletter. Ohio National Guard spokesman James Sims told me the column was a clear violation of military policy.

“It’s very clear what you can and cannot say in an Air Force publication,” Sims said. “Once it was brought to our attention and we compared it with the regulation, we found it was in violation of the regulation.”

[Full Story]