Franklin Graham Says There Is No Tolerance for Christians in Culture After Marine Court-Martialed for Keeping Bible Verse on Her Computer

The Rev. Franklin Graham speaking with WIAT 42 News in an interview posted on May 14, 2015.
The Rev. Franklin Graham speaking with WIAT 42 News in an interview posted on May 14, 2015. | (Photo: WIAT 42 News video screencap)

The Rev. Franklin Graham has spoken out on a case concerning a Marine Corporal who was court-martialed for refusing to remove a Bible verse from her computer at work, stating that it shows that there is no tolerance in culture for Christians.

Marine Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling was court-martialed earlier this week after she was convicted Feb. 1, 2014, for refusing to remove the verse "No weapon formed against you shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17) from her computer.

"Unbelievably, she was criminally prosecuted by the U.S. government for displaying this encouraging scripture on her computer in her workspace. Give me a break, really? Can our society be at a point where a supervisor can order a young Marine to remove a Bible verse from her computer? Others are able to display secular messages without any opposition, but Sterling was targeted by her supervisor," Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

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"Today there's a tolerance in our culture for everything — except the things of God and His Word. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has been asked to review Lance Cpl. Sterling's case — let's pray that this kind of targeting and persecution of Christians by our government will be stopped."

Fox News' Todd Starnes noted that Sterling represented herself at the trial, and was found guilty of disrespect toward a superior commissioned officer and four specifications of disobeying the lawful order of a noncommissioned officer.

Sterling was given a bad conduct discharge, while her rank was reduced from Lance Cpl. to private, after both the lower court and the appellate court ruled that displaying Bible verses at work is not protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Liberty Institute has now taken up her case, however, and has filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the U.S. Armed Forces.

"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," attorney Michael Berry said. "Restricting a Marine's free exercise of religion is blatantly unconstitutional."

Last week Graham stood up for an Air Force general after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called on Maj. Gen. Craig Olson to be court-martialed, this time for giving credit to God during a speech at a National Day of Prayer event.

Olson received heavy criticism from the MRFF, which said in a letter to Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh that he should be "aggressively and very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes and transgressions" for saying that God helped him throughout his military career.

Graham argued that atheist groups are attempting to "bully Christians into silence" with such actions.

"Are Christians the only group of people who cannot identify themselves publicly in this country? Are we the only voices who cannot speak?" the evangelical asked.

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