DOJ defunds Young Marines for recognizing God

young marines

This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us
by Rebekah Maxwell

It’s for the children.

The ever-growing slice of money you find suspiciously subtracted from your paycheck, under the “taxes withheld” section. Federal, state, local, fee upon fee. It’s for the children. You don’t need to possess the money you earned. We the Guv’ment must confiscate…er, collect your compulsory contribution for the good of the community. For the children.

Unless those children mention “God,” or want to pray to Him. They can go kick rocks.

Todd Starnes of FOX News reports:

Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, Louisiana says the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter, as well as a youth diversion program.

Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”

“We were informed that these are unacceptable inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,” Whittington told Fox News. “They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.”

The sheriff was told he would not be given any money unless he wrote a letter pledging not to pray or use the word “God.”

“I flat said, ‘It’s not going to happen,’” he said. “Enough is enough. This is the United States of America — and the idea that the mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous.”

The Young Marine’s oath states:

“From this day forward, I sincerely promise, I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines. These I will honor and respect in a manner that will reflect credit upon them and myself. Semper Fidelis.”

Ironically, both the U.S. military’s commissioning oath and enlistment oath include the phrase, “So help me God.”

Whittington said he could not understand why the federal government would take issue with the oath or the prayers.

“Right here in good old Bossier Parish, Louisiana, in the United States of America — something as basic as voluntary prayer and the mere mention of God is offensive and prohibited (by the government),” he said.

Both youth programs have been hailed as a successful way to reach at-risk young people. Since 2002, more than 1,000 young people have graduated from the program, directed by a Bossier Parish deputy who is a former U.S. Marine.

The federal money had been used to purchase uniforms and supplies for the kids. But Whittington said it’s not about the money.

“The money is not the issue,” he said. “It’s the principle of the matter. What is going on here? Who is dictating what can or can’t be said in Bossier Parish?”

The sheriff fired off a letter to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal defending his decision not to compromise.

“This is an appalling situation where someone at the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. could, would and did go to great lengths to prevent even the mere mention of God in any way to the youth in these programs,” he wrote.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has yet to reply.

Were one to advise the fine Governor of Louisiana (especially if he wants his name anywhere near the terms, “Presidential” and “2016”), I’d say to take this situation like the opportunity that it is.

Start a collection for the Young Marines, Governor. Make a personal donation to the group, then pass the hat. Publicly commend Sheriff Whittington for standing up for the values of his district and his state.

Get up on the highest podium you can find, flanked by Young Marines in uniform, and say, “The federal government has determined that funding youth programs that encourage honor, leadership, and military service now runs contrary to their priorities. Well, here in Louisiana, we have our own priorities. We uphold a Constitution forged in prayer, for a country founded on faith. We respect the God that the U.S. Military swears by, and the Bible we swear upon. We will not undermine our brave heroes by attacking the faith that keeps so many of them strong in the very shadow of death. And it is our honor and our duty to take care of our own children and support the legacy that made us free.”

Then he can take the DOJ letter from the sheriff, rip it in two, and say “Thanks, but no thanks, Washington.”

That ought to get their attention.