Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., is asking for clarification after military branches threatened to terminate the faith-based company’s trademark licenses.
“These dog tags belong to the individual service member and not allowing Bible verses to be inscribed on them, per their wishes, is an infringement on their personal freedom — the same freedom they fight to protect on our behalf,” Abraham told Fox News.
Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., is calling for clarification from the Secretary of Defense on trademark licenses after the Army told a faith-based company it could no longer put Bible verses on their military-themed products.
(U.S. House of Representatives)
Kenny Vaughan, who has produced millions of “Shields of Strength” over the past 20 years, received a letter from the Army telling him to “remove ALL biblical references from all of your Army products” with the subject line “Negative press,” referencing a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Fox News obtained a copy of the letter.
Abraham added: “They provide comfort to our troops during difficult times and in some cases, they are the only personal effect left for families of the fallen if they don’t make it home.”
Vaughan told “Fox & Friends” he was “speechless” when he received the letter, noting it was the military that initially approached him with the idea — which was praised by Presidents Trump and George W. Bush.
First Liberty Institute, on behalf of Vaughan, sent a demand letter to the Army on Tuesday, calling on the branch to reinstate the trademark license for the faith-based initiative.
Mike Berry, First Liberty Institute lawyer, and his client, Kenny Vaughan, who started “Shields of Strength.”
(“Fox & Friends”)
“Your directive that DoD remove all Biblical references from its Army-licensed products is unconstitutional and violates [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, RFRA],” Mike Berry, chief of staff and director of military affairs for First Liberty, wrote in the letter to Jensen.
Berry, a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, blasted MRFF Mikey Weinstein for the move.
“Just when I didn’t think Mikey Weinstein could stoop any lower, he pulled a stunt like that,” he told Fox News. “He’d rather take it away from them just to raise his own publicity than support our service members … that’s pretty cowardly and that’s cruel.”