What was the point of all of this? If he wanted a Chaplain to provide an invocation as part of the retirement ceremony, then that’s what he should have gotten. What is the difference? It seems a bit overkill that he was assaulted and escorted out of the ceremony because the man said God.
The Secretary of the Air Force has called for an investigation into a retirement ceremony at Travis Air Force Base in April in which a veteran making a speech was forcibly removed from the base auditorium.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Wednesday that the inspector general would fully investigate the April 3 incident that has turned into a battleground over First Amendment and religious rights.
Oscar Rodriguez had just begun speaking at the April 3 retirement ceremony for Master Sgt. Charles Roberson when he was removed over what advocates claim were prepared remarks invoking God and prayer.
“That the Air Force would do this to myself as this was my retirement – I was very embarrassed and humiliated in front of my family and friends,” Roberson said in a video released Monday by the conservative First Liberty Institute, which argues in defense of religious freedoms.
First Liberty has taken Rodriguez as a client and on Monday sent a letter to the Air Force demanding an apology and warning it was “prepared to pursue all available legal remedies” if the service does not move to rectify the actions.
Stefanek said earlier that while there is a non-religious flag-folding script for official military ceremonies, Air Force personnel are entitled to use a religious script for a retirement ceremony. More