Collins: Freedom of Religion is a Constitutional Right

Apr 29, 2016


WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Collins issued the following statement on the ongoing court case of Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling, a Marine who was criminally charged, court martialed, and reduced in rank for refusing to take down a Bible verse in her desk area at her office. She is challenging an earlier decision by Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, at the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which is the highest military court.

“No American should have to endure workplace hostility because of their religious convictions. Lance Corporal Sterling has taken her case up to the highest military court, and fought a hard battle to defend her sincerely held beliefs. As a Chaplain in the Air Force Reserve, I have seen the important role faith plays in the lives of service members. Chaplains serve as a spiritual resource for service members of any faith, or no faith at all. It is our job to offer counseling to anyone seeking guidance, and we are also there to stand up for free expression. I signed an amicus curiae brief last year with 40 other Members of Congress who support Lance Corporal Sterling’s fight for religious freedom, and I will continue to stand up for those in the armed forces who face discrimination for their beliefs.”