Speaking of God and other religious references will now be allowed during Air Force retirement ceremonies following a First Amendment flap. The move comes after a retired master sergeant was tossed out of his friend’s farewell party in April for mentioning God during a speech, The Air Force Times reports.
“Air Force personnel may use a flag folding ceremony script that is religious for retirement ceremonies due to their private, personal nature,” the Air Force said in a statement.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation called out the Air Force for First Amendment violations after retired Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez Jr. was forcibly ejected for mentioning God during the flag-folding ceremony at the retirement for his friend Master Sgt. Charles Robertson.
Robertson had requested the religious references.
The Christian Examiner reports that Air Force regulations state only an officially-approved script with no religious references can be recited at such a ceremony. But as a retiree, Rodriguez is considered a civilian who is not required to follow that rule.