Our military needs to observe Ramadan while off base by not eating, drinking or smoking…yada, yada, yada. I understand that but then a right to express religious freedom can’t be shown in a bible verse posted by a Marine? Religious freedom is so important in America and I understand the Ramadan rules yet something about this is just not right. Please read both examples and let us know what you think.
CENTCOM: Southwest Asia, June 24, 2015 — U.S. military personnel serving in the Middle East are often reminded to be familiar with host-nation customs and courtesies to help facilitate a long-lasting mutual respect with local communities here.
THE PHOTO BELOW WAS WITH THE ARTICLE ABOUT RAMADAN RESTRICTIONS
A significant religious period happens in the Middle East during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s a 30-day stretch when Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan.
U.S. military members serving in countries that observe Ramadan are required to adhere to certain practices while outside U.S. installations.
“Members should be respectful of local customs and be patient with host nation personnel,” said Capt. Dan Sickles, host nation officer in-charge. “Ramadan is a countrywide religious celebration. Members should not make light of local customs and should also expect that during daylight hours host nation customer service will be abbreviated and less accommodating.”
Sickles added that many stores off base would be closed during daylight hours.
One part of Ramadan is that those observing the holiday fast from dawn until sunset.
When outside U.S. controlled areas, eating and drinking in public during daylight hours is against the law. Failure to obey could result in fines up to $685 or a sentence of up to two months in jail.
“The commander’s policy dictates that airmen will adhere to local law, which prohibits eating, drinking or tobacco use off base in public,” said Sickles.
The only personnel exempt from this requirement are those performing strenuous labor outside U.S. controlled areas. They are authorized to drink and consume as much food as they need to maintain proper hydration and energy.
As airmen and other personnel here adjust to this, Brig. Gen. John Quintas, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, outlined the type of conduct he expects throughout the holy month.
“As ‘Airmen-Ambassadors’ representing American and U.S. military values around the world, we are committed to the concepts of tolerance, freedom and diversity,” said Quintas. “I hope that during your service in the 380th AEW you become more informed and appreciative of the traditions and history of the people in this region of the world. Please remember we are guests here and that the host nation is our shoulder-to-shoulder, brothers and sisters in arms, risking their lives for our common cause to defeat terrorism.”
FROM JUDICIAL WATCH: Military Court Holds that U.S. Marines Can Order Soldier to Remove Bible Verse From Her Work Station
Never has religious liberty been under greater attack in our nation’s military. Just how bad things are was demonstrated recently in the case of United States v. Sterling.
In that case, the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals held that the Marines could order Lance Corporal Sterling to remove a Bible verse that Sterling had posted in her work station. Sterling, a devout Christian, posted Isaiah 54:17 (“no weapon formed against you shall prosper”) on very small pieces of paper in three places around her work station, to remind herself of the Trinity. As for many Christians, Isaiah 54:17 carried very special meaning for Sterling, and she especially found it encouraging in her work environment. At the time, her work station consisted of a desk and computer which she did not share with anyone else.
Sterling’s superior officer saw the scripture verses, “did not like their tone,” and told Sterling to “remove that,” referring to the Bible verse as a profanity that we will not repeat. When Sterling refused, her superior officer removed the verses and threw them in the trash.
At her court martial hearing, Sterling argued that her First Amendment right to religious freedom had been violated. The judge disagreed and the Navy-Marine appellate court affirmed.
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