Letters to the Editor

Court-martial

As a Christian and retired military officer I was like the lyric from the 1970s Mary MacGregor tune, “Torn Between Two Lovers” when I read the BND article concerning the court-martial appeal of former Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Monifa F. Sterling.

Sterling saw fit to post a Bible verse at various locations in her office work space. When her supervisor told her to take them down and then did so himself when she didn’t, she chose to repeatedly put ‘em back up. One thing led to another and she was later charged and convicted of disobeying orders.

She cited her First Amendment rights to religious expression. I don’t really see this as a religious issue and nor did the Marine Corps. They chose to take aim and then shoot the messenger rather than the message. Had Sterling’s posted “Beat Navy” in reference to the up-coming Army-Navy football game, “Trump in 2016”, the LGBT rainbow flag, or a Playboy pin-up, the same rule for good order and discipline would apply.

From my experience, if the boss says “Take it down” especially in a military environment, one should think long and hard before not complying.

In this situation Sterling chose to repeatedly draw her line in the sand and challenge her leadership to step over it. I don’t know what she was thinking. Maybe she wasn’t.

Bill Malec, O’Fallon

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