The U.S. Marine Corps has banned Bible verses from being produced on dog tags for U.S. soldiers. Shields of Strength, a private business that has produced more than 4 million faith-based dog tags, can no longer produce the tags after the Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office pulled its trademark license.
Fox News reports that the move from the Corps comes after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) complained about the faith-based dog tags. According to the MRFF, the dog tags “poison the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State.”
Because of the decision to rescind Shields of Strength’s license, the company has had to deny a recent request for 2,000 dog tags which would have gone to a Marine Corps unit that may soon be deployed to the Middle East. In the past, Shields of Strength has donated hundreds of thousands of dog tags to military members, including Gold Star families. And the company donated over 50,000 dog tags per month during the Iraq War.
Last year, The Daily Citizen informed you of the MRFF’s threat against the U.S. Army for also licensing Shields of Strength to make the dog tags for their military branch.
First Liberty, the law firm representing Shields of Strength, argued in a recent letter to the Marine Crops Trademark Licensing Office that it’s rescission of the license “amounts to unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination because its directive to Shields of Strength censors or bans only its religious speech, solely because it is religion.”
Kenny Vaughn, owner of Shields of Strength, said in a statement, “It’s frustrating that those who are fighting for our freedom can’t have a Shield simply because the military is afraid of an outside activist group. I hope the Marine Corps reverses course and restores the ability of our brave military members to own a Shield of Strength.”
If the Marine Corps doesn’t reinstate Shields of Strength’s permit, First Liberty is prepared to take any necessary legal action.
Those who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution and are prepared to give their lives to do so shouldn’t have their First Amendment freedoms stripped from them. Let’s be thankful for the great work of First Liberty and pray that the Marine Corps soon decides to restore the religious freedom of our soldiers.
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