After an Air National Guard member wrote a faith-centered article about his belief in Jesus Christ for an Ohio National Guard newsletter, a fellow serviceman complained that it was offensive and had it removed.
Col. Florencio Marquinez penned the article in September’s issue of 'The Stinger' newsletter, and in it, he talked openly about how his beliefs have shaped him.
“It is my strong spiritual foundation that has kept the light shining on my path,” wrote Marquinez. “I would not be the man I am today if isn’t wasn’t for my mother leading our whole family to Jesus Christ. Her creed to us five children growing up is God first in your life, then comes family and third, work. My career both in the military and civilian world has brought many challenges and struggles, but one verse from the Bible that really helped me get through them is from Matthew 19:26, ‘With God, all things are possible. So no matter how stressful your life can be with juggling family issues, relationships, career advancement, work, school or any burden that life throws your way, cast it upon the Lord and He will sustain you.”
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After the article was published, an unidentified serviceman complained about it, calling it offensive, and since, Commander Col. Craig R. Baker had the issue republished without the article.
“Col. Baker trampled Col. Marquinez’s First Amendment rights,” said Joseph La Rue, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom. “And in doing so, he tacitly sent a very dangerous message: if you’re a Christian, you can’t be a commander in the Ohio Air National Guard. Or, at the very least, you must keep your Christianity to yourself.”