[UPDATED] USAF Vet Forcibly Removed from Flag-Folding Ceremony for Mentioning God
See below for an update to this post.
A USAF veteran who has for years delivered a stirring “flag-folding speech” at military and civic events was recently forcibly removed from a retirement ceremony because his speech mentions "God." As Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. (ret.) was about to begin his remarks, several uniformed airmen got up, surrounded him, assaulted him, and dragged him out of the room.
This is Obama's military now:
First Liberty Institute is representing Rodriguez and its lawyers are demanding that the U.S. Air Force apologize and punish those responsible or face a federal civil-rights lawsuit.
Master Sergeant (MSgt) Charles “Chuck” Roberson is a USAF veteran who retired on April 3, 2016 at Travis Air Force Base. A month before his retirement, Roberson saw Rodriguez perform the flag-folding speech at a friend’s retirement ceremony. Moved by the speech, Roberson personally asked Rodriguez to give the same speech at his own retirement ceremony. Rodriguez readily agreed. Read a script of the speech.
When Roberson’s unit commander discovered that Rodriguez would be delivering the flag-folding speech, which mentions “God,” during the ceremony, he attempted to prevent Rodriguez from attending. After learning that he lacked authority to prevent Rodriguez from attending, the commander then told Roberson that Rodriguez could not give the speech. Rodriguez asked Roberson what he should do, and Roberson responded that it was his personal desire that Rodriguez give the flag-folding speech as planned. Watch Roberson tell his story.
Roberson and Rodriguez tried to clear the speech through higher authorities at Travis Air Force Base, even offering to place notices on the door informing guests that the word “God” would be mentioned. They never received a response from the authorities. As an Air Force veteran himself, Rodriguez stood firm on his commitment to Roberson.
When Rodriguez stood up to perform his speech as requested by Roberson, a uniformed airman approached him and warned, “You’re really going to do this?" -- as if Roberson was about to something offensive like burn the flag or give a profane, anti-American speech.
Next page: Watch Rodriguez delivering a 2013 speech that Travis Air Force Base officials couldn't abide.
Here is a video of Rodriguez delivering his flag-folding speech during an event in 2013. This is the speech that the Travis Air Force Base officials couldn't abide:
After he was dragged out of the ceremony, Travis Air Force Base officials threw Rodriguez off the base.
Rodriguez says he is shocked and humiliated by what happened at the retirement ceremony.
“To even imagine that I would be removed while the American flag is being unfurled and open—the flag which represents freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press…it’s horrifying.”
Rodriguez filed a complaint with his Congressman, Jeff Denham (R-CA), who launched an inquiry into the incident.
As Rodriguez recalls the experience, he says it was “one of the most humiliating experiences” of his life.
“I have given more than three decades of service to the military and made many sacrifices for my country,” said Rodriguez. “To have the Air Force assault me and drag me out of a retirement ceremony simply because my speech included the word ‘God’ is something I never expected from our military.”
The Obama administration has in recent years aggressively forced an anti-religion ideology on the military and law enforcement throughout the United States.
Next page: Obama's idea religious extremism might include your church.
During the course of an Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on extremism in 2013, evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the Church of Latter Day Saints were listed among Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, Sunni Muslims, and the Nation of Islam as examples of religious extremism. Oddly enough, “Islamophobia” was also listed as a form of religious extremism, and the Westboro Baptist Church was excluded altogether by the instructor, who said she got her information from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A soldier who attended the briefing said “there was a pervasive attitude in the presentation that anything associated with religion is an extremist.”
An LEO training session in La Junta, Colorado, in April of 2013, which was hosted by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), painted Bible-believing Christians as serious threats to national security. While the training focused on sovereign citizens and outlaw motorcycle gangs, also on the agenda was the subject of Christians who believe the U.S. was founded on godly principles and who interpret the Bible literally. The trooper who conducted the training said he got his training materials from the DHS.
A former DHS employee told Fox News last December that a year into his investigation into a terrorist group (linked to the San Bernardino terrorists), DHS shut the case down because the employee had been unfairly "profiling" Islamists.
It's probably impossible to calculate how many people Obama's politically correct, left-wing ideology has killed, but the death toll of terrorism around the globe has jumped nearly 800 percent in the past five years, according to an exhaustive report from the nonprofit Investigative Project on Terrorism.
UPDATE: A spokesman from the reserve said that the confrontation stemmed from “an unplanned participation” at the event.
"Rodriguez ignored numerous requests to respect the Air Force prescribed ceremony and unfortunately was forcibly removed," a Travis official said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
According to an official with the United States Air Force, flag-folding scripts that are religious in nature can be used for retirement ceremonies.
"I can't speak to the specific incident," Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, told Fox News. "[But] Air Force personnel may use a flag folding ceremony script that is religious for retirement ceremonies."
"Since retirement ceremonies are personal in nature, the script preference for a flag folding ceremony is at the discretion of the individual being honored and represents the member's views, not those of the Air Force."
Rodriguez was using an old version of the "Flag Folding Ceremony Air Force Script," which was scrubbed in 2006 because of religious references. That is what supposedly prompted his ouster. (But as the AF spokeswoman said, the older version was still permitted during retirement ceremonies.)