Last month, the Thomas More Society filed a class action lawsuit challenging the Coast Guard's blanket denial of requests for religious exemptions from the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The lawsuit also sought a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the imminent dismissal of the religiously conscientious service members that will otherwise occur as soon as next month.
Steve Crampton, senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, reports that within the last week, the government has agreed to delay disciplinary proceedings against no fewer than 126 Coast Guard members.
"That is ten times the number of religious exemptions granted by the Coast Guard in a full year and more," Crampton notes. "They are refusing to enforce their own mandate, while at the same time, folks like John Kirby are claiming that it's absolutely essential to military readiness that everybody get the vaccine right away."
Crampton thinks it is only a matter of time before these mandates are struck down as unconstitutional.
"The problem is that thousands of military men and women are facing discharge and penalties for standing on freedom of religion and their deeply-held convictions," he adds.
Meanwhile, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer less than two years from retirement says he is willing to give up his pension rather than take a vaccine that goes against his Christian faith.
AFN recently reported that U.S. Coast Guard Technician Second Class Zach Loesch was recognized by President Joe Biden after he and other Coast Guard swimmers rescued residents who were trapped in southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian.
Loesch is among 20,000 service members who are facing expulsion because they refuse to take the mandated COVID-19 jabs. As aborted baby remains were/are used in the testing and/or production of every vaccine available, the injections are incompatible with their religious convictions.
During an appearance on Fox News, another Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Chad Weston, shared that he is also facing expulsion for refusing the jab based on those same religious convictions.
"It's faith-based," he asserted. "We don't agree with how it was developed, and we don't agree that it's also necessary. COVID seems to be very mild symptoms [for] us that are in excellent health. And given our job, we're required to be in excellent health. And like I said, because of our faith and what we believe -- that we don't agree with how it was developed -- that's our number-one sticking point."
Weston added that he will not change his mind, even though he has been in the service for more than 18 years and is close to qualifying for retirement.
"Because my faith and my belief is more important than that, if I compromise that, I compromise everything I stand for," he declared.
Still, the new agreement will give service members like Weston and Loesch temporary but crucial relief while the court considers the Thomas More Society's pending motions seeking to protect them and all Coast Guard class members who have sought a religious accommodation to the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.