Thursday, February 20, 2014

Victory for Religious Freedom: SMSgt Monk Awarded for Service


Last week, the U.S. Air Force awarded Liberty Institute client Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk—who filed complaints concerning his former commander’s discrimination against him for holding a biblical view of marriage—the Meritorious Service Medal.

The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to a member of the armed forces who has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding meritorious achievement or service.

Liberty Institute commends the Air Force for recognizing SMSgt Monk’s outstanding contributions while serving with the 326th Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base.

Michael Berry, who represents SMSgt Monk and is Liberty Institute’s Director of Military Affairs, said,

SMSgt Monk's Meritorious Service Medal
“This award is a testament to SMSgt Monk’s courage and conviction. Few Airmen have demonstrated the courage to stand on their principles the way SMSgt Monk has, to be ostracized for it—but ultimately to be exonerated and awarded for his achievement.”

Last year, SMSgt Monk, a 19-year combat veteran, was relieved of his duties because of his biblical beliefs on marriage. Liberty Institute successfully represented SMSgt Monk in his brave stand for religious freedom.

Phillip Monk is just the tip of the iceberg. There is still much work to do for others like him who face religious discrimination every day in the U.S. military, and we need your support now more than ever.

Today, there is a “politically correct” war against religious liberty in the U.S. military. It is part of the war against open expression of religious belief and values in America as a whole.

The good news is that Liberty Institute is on the forefront of legal battles involving religious liberty in the armed forces.

The award is a noble gesture by the Air Force to recognize SMSgt Monk’s hard work and sacrifice. Because of his example, we can only hope that other service members will be encouraged to stand up for their religious beliefs.

And, if they encounter opposition, Liberty Institute is here to defend them.

Please, consider a gift today to help us continue the fight for those who gave so much for us. If our service men and women can lose their religious liberty, then all Americans are at grave risk.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, in the military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit