U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday has once again handed down a preliminary injunction granting relief to beleaguered members of the military who don't want to take an injection they argue is associated with aborted fetal cells. This time the injunction covers more than 3,700 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Marine Corps who have requested religious accommodations from the COVID-19 shot ordered by the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in August 2021. The Marine Corps thus far has granted only 11 accommodations, which includes only those who are due for retirement and prompt separation.
Mat Staver is founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which filed a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief for the Marines. "This is an excellent order. It is solid on religious freedom," he tells AFN. "It blasts the Department of Defense and the United States Marines for not honoring the religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of all the U.S. Marines."
Staver argues these men and women, who put their lives on the line, have been "abused and mistreated" because of their faith. "They have faced discharge, court-martial, other life-altering disciplinary procedures, and termination for simply embracing their religious freedom to choose not to inject a substance into their bodies," he describes in a press release.
He adds during his interview with AFN: "These COVID shots, as they have been implemented, are illegal because the Biden administration and the Department of Defense are not abiding by federal law that requires them to honor religious convictions – and this judge put an end to this lawlessness."
The Liberty Counsel founder emphasizes: "This administration is lawless; that lawlessness ends today in the United States Marines."
Staver says they now have class-wide protection for the Air Force, Space Force, Navy and Marines, and need only the Coast Guard and Army to round out all six branches of the military.
AFN reported last week on a detailed whistleblower declaration sent to Congress regarding the legality of the military vaccine mandates; one of the signatories to that declaration is an Army officer whose request for a religious accommodation has been denied.