With Memorial Day less than a week away and many pausing to reflect on how best to honor those who put themselves in harm’s way and defend the freedoms we enjoy — the Biden administration continues to punish service personnel who refuse to take the COVID vaccine.
In November 2021, the Biden administration pressed U.S. Navy command to impose a get-the-jab-or-get-out policy. Thirty-five highly trained Navy SEALs and three reservists took a stand and refused.
A June court filing from First Liberty reported that sailors who refused the vaccine were moved from their positions and for the last months have been confined to “run-down U.S. vessels” known as berthing barges.
The Task & Purpose report is titled, “The Navy has a floating barracks that is somehow worse than living on an actual ship.”
According to Fox, one of the SEALs, who once had a prestigious position and assignment, is now confined in what he describes as “deplorable” conditions in the berthing barge of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.
According to Fox News, First Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of the servicemen in November 2021. At that time, the suit argued that the Biden administration-pushed coronavirus vaccine mandate infringed on service members’ First Amendment freedoms.
The November lawsuit noted: “Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs forbid each of them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons based upon their Christian faith as revealed through the Holy Bible and prayerful discernment.”
“Multiple Plaintiffs hold the sincere religious belief that all life is sacred, from conception to natural death, and that abortion is the impermissible taking of an innocent life in the womb. As a result of their sincerely held religious beliefs regarding life and abortion, multiple Plaintiffs are unable to receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines due to what they believe and understand is a connection between these vaccines and their testing, development, or production using aborted fetal cell lines.”
Since November, First Liberty Institute has noted it is unconscionable that our valued, elite armed-services personnel are consigned to terrible living conditions as they await a court decision.
The case is summarized on First Liberty Institute’s website. The summary notes that in January, a federal district court judge issued an injunction prohibiting the Navy from enforcing the vaccine mandate against those seeking a religious exemption.
However, a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling in March granted the Biden administration’s emergency application for a partial stay, which allowed the Navy to make “operational decisions with vaccine status in mind.”
Lower courts across America have ruled on similar cases — often ruling against vaccine mandates. Support for forced vaccinations has dwindled in light of multiple reports of minimal efficacy and potentially dangerous adverse effects.
Fox News reported that “many sailors are stuck in limbo” as the Navy and Biden administration considers their next move. One sailor reported:
“I [was] moved onto the berthing barge for the Eisenhower. The conditions on the barge are deplorable, much like the USS George Washington, which is anchored in the same shipyard. There is mold everywhere and the barge’s toilets back up and leak.
“The water leaks out of the base of the toilet and collects near my rack and out into the hall. On bad days, it goes into the berthings on the other side. The leaks seem to be sewage—it smells like sewage and looks like it too.”
Other sailors report that the toilets are “basically unusable because of the living organisms inside of them,” according to the Western Journal.
A sailor reported: “There is some sort of worm thriving in the stagnant water in the toilet bowls and on the floor in the leaked water around the base of the toilets. Needless to say, I do not feel comfortable or safe in this environment and I have contacted mental health services multiple times.”
Fox News reported one sailor saying:
“I do want—desperately—to be separated from the Navy as soon as possible, but I struggle with withdrawing my request [for separation] as I feel it could signal that my religious objection was somehow not genuine, and it is. It feels wrong to have to renounce my beliefs in order to get the Navy to separate me.”
An updated filing by First Liberty noted there were 4,244 Navy sailors awaiting a decision, and not one religious exemption had yet been granted by the Navy, according to Fox News.
Many are appalled by these reports and want U.S. service personnel to know that most Americans appreciate their service and commitment to fight for freedom — theirs and ours.
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