US Army Demands Small Business Remove Bible Verses from Replica Military Gear

Anti-Christian insanity has officially reached new heights — and it should worry all of us.
Shields of Strength is a Beaumont, Texas, company that sells Christian-themed jewelry and accessories. It also makes replica dog tags with Bible verses on them.
So, imagine its surprise when the military came a-calling and demanded the retailer remove those verses or stop selling the dog tags.
“These are not the government-issued dog tags, these are replica dog tags,” Michael Berry of the First Liberty Institute said during a recent interview on the “Todd Starnes Show.”
“The government can’t discriminate against people and private businesses … on the basis of religion,” Berry said.
The government disagrees.
“You are not authorized to put biblical verses on your Army products,” Army Trademark Licensing Program Director Paul Jensen told the small business, according to Fox News. “For example, Joshua 1:9. Please remove ALL biblical references from all of your Army products.”
According to the Washington Times, Shields of Strength has been making replica dog tags for 20 years under a licensing program with the Army. Now that business is in jeopardy.
First Liberty — which is representing the company in a lawsuit against the government — says the Army’s order is in violation of both the Constitution and the law.
“Your directive that SoS remove all Biblical references from its Army-licensed products is unconstitutional and violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act],” the group said in a Tuesday letter to the service.
Meanwhile, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation claims the company’s “proselytizing merchandise” is “a clear-cut violation” of Department of Defense policy on merchandising, according to the Army Times.
“Such craven utilization of American military logos and related symbology by this sectarian Christian group (Shields of Strength) not only viciously violates well established DoD regulatory law but also poisons the Constitutionally-mandated separation of Church and State,” MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein said in a statement.
Of course, buying the tags remains incredibly voluntary. The problem seems to be that the tags are also incredibly popular.
“If you walk on any military base, Fort Bragg, you name it, you’re likely to see someone wearing a Shields of Strength dog tag or if you go to the base exchange you can get them there,” Berry said, according to WTVD-TV.

“I think having that on the back of the dog tag brings comfort during a time of need,” an Army vet told the outlet.
“Virtually every unit has contacted us and said, ‘Would you make us a tag with our unit on it?’ We’ve seen the fruit of the mission. Literally thousands of soldiers, airmen, marines, telling us with tears in their eyes how much it’s meant to them, and many times the Gold Star families to be in possession of the dog tag they wore,” Kenny Vaughn of Shields of Strength, according to Fox News. “I don’t understand it.”
Berry also criticized the Army for caving to the MRFF’s complaint.
“You would think the most powerful military in the world would be able to withstand the complaint of an activist group thousands of miles away, but apparently that’s all it takes to bring the military to its knees,” he said.
But on issues of religion, it seems there’s plenty of room for capitulation.
As Fox News reports, this issue has been percolating since July. The common-sense solution is to let the company make the dog tags, but when it comes to issues of religion, common sense can never prevail.
It’s almost entirely predictable. This is what always happens. There’s almost never an individual or entity that stands up for bedrock issues like freedom of religion, either under the Constitution or the First Amendment.
The MRFF has a history of this sort of thing, too.
“This is just a despicable cowardly act, really a publicity stunt, by Mikey Weinstein,” Berry said.
That’s not inaccurate. Organizations such as the MRFF and the Freedom from Religion Foundation survive on the oxygen afforded to them. If starved of that, they wither away.
They needed to be starved of that here and they weren’t. There’s still an opportunity, however, for common sense — and constitutionality — to prevail. Let’s hope the Army does the right thing here.
If it doesn’t, however, First Liberty and Shields of Strength are willing to fight on.
“Nobody who puts their life on the line defending our freedoms should not be able to enjoy those freedoms themselves,” Berry said. “We will not stop fighting for [Shields of Strength].”
US Army Demands Small Business Remove Bible Verses from Replica Military Gear US Army Demands Small Business Remove Bible Verses from Replica Military Gear Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on December 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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