Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program. Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”
“We were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,” Whittington told Fox News. “They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.”
The DOJ and the Office of Civil Rights are aware of the controversy but did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Fox News obtained an email written by an attorney for the DOJ’s Office of Civil Rights raised questions about references to God and church along with the phrase “love of God.” The attorney also raised questions about one of the five elements of the Young Marines Creed – “Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.”
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