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Clip via Breitbart News.
Because he mentioned the name “God” at a military flag-folding ceremony, an Air Force veteran was physically removed from the room by two uniformed airmen; now he’s fighting back.
Retired Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez has retained the services of the Plano, Texas-based First Liberty Institute, which is a legal defense firm that takes on First Amendment freedom of religion cases.
Rodriguez, a 33-year decorated veteran, demands that the Air Force either apologize for the incident and punish those responsible, or defend itself in a civil rights lawsuit.
The traditional military flag-folding ceremony is religious in nature, in that it “represents the same religious principles on which our great country was originally founded,” according to The American Legion, and each of the 12 folds are significant.
To that end, “eternal life” is mentioned in the second fold, and God is mentioned in the fourth, sixth, 11th and 12th folds.
“When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, ‘In God We Trust,’” according to the Legion.
Rodriguez has performed this traditional ceremony often in the past. He was requested to recite the words once again — this time at a military retirement ceremony — and was physically accosted and ejected from the premises.
“To have my fellow [Air Force] family throw me out of the ceremony because of the mention of God is beyond me,” Rodriguez said.
“And they grab me, they pull me, they assault me while the flag is open, because I dare to mention God.”
Mike Berry, senior counsel and First Liberty’s director of military affairs, made this sad observed of the incident.
“The tragic irony here is that the flag-folding speech talks about the fact that the United States flag stands for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and it was those very words that resulted in Oscar being assaulted and forcibly dragged away.”
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