Different Branches of the Military, Different Outcomes, Same Country
The investigation of a Bible placed at a work station of Air Force Maj. Steve Lewis at Peterson Air Force Base has concluded that the “good book” can stay just where he had it.
At issue are complaints from service members received by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation about the location of the Bible, which sits on a desk in an area where many people work in the Reserve National Security Space Institute.
Today, we heard from Lt. Col. David Fruck, chief of public affairs for the 310th Space Wing, who wrote in an email:
As pledged, we have reviewed the situation there. We have concluded that no abuse of liberties has occurred, and Maj Lewis’s behavior and the workplace environment at the RNSSI are well within the provisions of Air Force Instruction 1-1, Air Force Standards, paragraphs 2.11 and 2.12, “Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation” and “Balance of Free Exercise of Religion and Establishment Clause.”
Fruck, when asked, says he doesn’t know if the Bible has been placed at the work station again, but “the review allows him to have a Bible on his desk.”
No idea how this will affect the continuing case of a former Marine court martialed for Bible verses at her work station:
United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal (LCpl) Monifa Sterling was court-martialed after she refused to take down Bible verses she had posted in her workspace and for reposting the verses after her supervisor threw them in the trash. A trial court ruled against Sterling, giving her a bad conduct discharge and reducing her rank. Sterling appealed to the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, but the appeals court also ruled against her. First Liberty Institute stepped in and appealed Sterling’s case to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF)— the highest military court. On August 10, 2016, the CAAF ruled against Sterling, denying her constitutional right to religious freedom. First Liberty announced they will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.