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.”

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  • Noirluv45

    I’m on the fence here. I believe in her and any other person’s right to express their beliefs even though I may disagree with them. However, the computer is the property of the government, so they have a right to ask her to remove it. If she has to remove it. Nevertheless, I’d say no one should have a personal quote of any sort on the computer either.

  • This is a complex issue. I believe in the separation of church and state, but I don’t want religious rights to be gone totally in society. When someone is in the military, the system is rather overt in what rules are to be followed. Many of their rules are strict. She was court martialed for a diverse amount of reasons also. The verse was found on a government computer.

  • PurpNGold1

    These nutcase Christians throw the word “persecution” around so much it’s clear they don’t know what it means. Christians in other countries are being burned alive…but the right wing news never beckons their viewers to support them. Guess you gotta be White and American (this sista only got support because she’s a Marine).

    There’s more to this story than the right-wing propagandists pushing it want to admit. Even so, I think a bad conduct discharge was uncalled for.

    • Yes, the bad conduct discharge was excessive, but this story is bigger than what some are presenting.

  • K.C.

    I read somewhere else that she was reprimanded for other bad conduct so this story is more involved than what is being presented. Don’t know full story but the military seems very clear about what you can and cannot do. Didn’t she know the rules? I like separating religion from military duty. Safe way to go.

    • Tonididitonem

      Exactly!!! They’re trying to present this as a religious issue but she was reprimanded so a lot of bad conduct and disobeying orders in conjunction with this incident. I firmly believe she was targeted as I am a former military personnel myself. They tend to make life a living hell for you when you’re of umm a certain color and gender in the military but she should’ve obeyed.

  • visitor1

    I hope people are not naive enough to believe she had the right to do whatever she wanted on a government computer. if she refused to take down her favorite quote as a screensaver and it was not religious in nature we wouldn’t even be having this conversation…but of course people are emotional because religion is involved. this isn’t really even a military thing, every office has work place etiquette, policies and so forth, so let’s say she wasn’t a marine and was simply fired for breaking rules in the workplace would people be defending her then? this is simple failure to obey, and I hope it was worth her career to her.