Skip to main content
Tags: oscar rodriguez | sue | air force | said god | kicked out | flag folding | ceremony

Vet Sues Air Force, Claiming Civil Rights Violated for Saying 'God'

Vet Sues Air Force, Claiming Civil Rights Violated for Saying 'God'

The Department of the Air Force seal ( PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images) 

By    |   Wednesday, 04 April 2018 07:29 PM EDT

A retired senior master sergeant whose ejection during a flag-folding ceremony in 2016 sparked a nationwide uproar is suing the Air Force for alleged civil rights violations.

Oscar Rodriguez was tossed out of a ceremony for his friend at Travis Air Force Base in California when he stood to deliver an unauthorized speech during a flag-folding ceremony that mentioned God, the Air Force Times reported.

The friend, Master Sgt. Charles Roberson, is also a plaintiff to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday by the religious freedom organization First Liberty Institute, the news outlet reported.

“No one should be assaulted for saying the word ‘God’ on an Air Force base,” Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty, said in a release. “Certainly, our United States airmen are strong enough to be exposed to the word ‘God’ at a retirement ceremony.”

The Air Force Inspector General said in a September 2016 report that Rodriguez was not removed because his speech mentioned God, but because it was unauthorized — and had been told multiple times that he couldn’t deliver the speech because the ceremony was an official on-base retirement, according to the Air Force Times.

Rodriguez ignored the instructions and was hauled out of the ceremony by four noncommissioned officers while continuing to shout his speech, the Air Force Times reported.

“I spent my career in the Air Force defending this country from its enemies,” Rodriguez said in the First Liberty release. “I never thought any Air Force official would be afraid that someone would use the word ‘God’ on base, and I am shocked that they would assault me for trying.”

In the wake of the uproar, the Air Force in June 2016 revised its rules to specifically allow religious language during flag foldings at retirement ceremonies.

The lawsuit asks the court for a judgment declaring the Air Force violated Rodriguez and Roberson’s rights to free speech, free exercise of religion and due process and rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

It also asks for a permanent injunction requiring the Air Force to follow its revised policy and let Rodriguez speak at retirement ceremonies and other events when he’s invited.

The plaintiffs are also seeking unspecified damages and lawyer’s fees.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
A retired senior master sergeant whose ejection during a flag-folding ceremony in 2016 sparked a nationwide uproar is suing the Air Force for alleged civil rights violations.Oscar Rodriguez was tossed out of a ceremony for his friend at Travis Air Force Base in California...
oscar rodriguez, sue, air force, said god, kicked out, flag folding, ceremony
367
2018-29-04
Wednesday, 04 April 2018 07:29 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved