Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was convicted in 2014 for disobeying an order from a superior after they requested she remove a bible verse from her computer screen. The verse read “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Sterling has now filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
According to the superior and the military the verse “could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline”.
After her trial, Sterling was found guilty of disobeying orders and was discharged at a lower rank.
“If the government can order a Marine not to display a Bible verse, they could try and order her not to get a religious tattoo, or go to church on Sunday,” Sterling’s lawyer, Michael Berry with the Liberty Institute said. “Restricting a Marine’s free exercise of religion is blatantly unconstitutional.”
Berry will argue that having the verse on her computer is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Previously, lower courts ruled that just because she had the verse on her computer, didn’t mean it was a religious exercise.
“The implication is clear – the junior Marine sharing the desk and the other Marines coming to the desk for assistance would be exposed to biblical quotations in the military workplace,” the court declared. “It is not hard to imagine the divisive impact to good order and discipline that may result when a service member is compelled to work at a government desk festooned with religious quotations.”