Air National Guard Newsletter Removes Essay About Colonel’s Faith

Col. Florencio Marquinez essay about his faith was stricken from the Air National Guard newsletter. (Air National Guard)
Col. Florencio Marquinez essay about his faith was stricken from the Air National Guard newsletter. (Air National Guard)

A colonel’s column was removed from an Air National Guard newsletter because the writer violated military policy by including references to Jesus Christ and God, an Ohio National Guard spokesman said.

Col. Florencio Marquinez, the medical group commander of the 180th Fighter Wing, wrote an essay in the September edition of the “Stinger.” It was titled, “A Spiritual Journey as a Commander.”

He wrote about how his mother’s faith in Jesus Christ influenced his life and he referenced a Bible verse from the New Testament, “With God all things are possible.”

Before you could say God bless America, the military ordered the colonel’s remarks stricken from the newsletter. Ohio National Guard spokesman James Sims told me the column was a clear violation of military policy.

“So no matter how stressful your life can be with juggling family issues, relationships, career advancement, work, school, or any burden that life throws your way, cast it upon the Lord and He will sustain you,” the colonel wrote.

It wasn’t too longer after the newsletter was posted online before someone filed a complaint – lamenting that the colonel’s words had caused great angst and offense.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein reached out to Air Force officials at the Pentagon, the Air National Guard is governed by Air Force rules, as well as the 180th Fighter Wing demanding they remove what he called “that odious and offending proselytizing commentary.”

Before you could say God bless America, the military ordered the colonel’s remarks stricken from the newsletter. Ohio National Guard spokesman James Sims told me the column was a clear violation of military policy.

“It’s very clear what you can and cannot say in an Air Force publication,” Sims said. “Once it was brought to our attention and we compared it with the regulation, we found it was in violation of the regulation.”

So what rules did Col. Marquinez violate by referencing the Almighty? I want to quote from the official statement provided by the Ohio National Guard:

“The article violated AFI 1-1, Sections 2.11 and 2.12.1, and the Revised Interim Guidelines Concerning Free Exercise of Religion in the Air Force guidance, and finally, ‘The Air Force Military Commander and the Law’ book.”

A bit much, don’t you think? All that for mentioning that “With God all things are possible.”

I’m surprised the Air Force didn’t convene a court martial. For the record, Sims told me that to his knowledge the colonel was not reprimanded for writing about Jesus – just censored.

But the Air Force wasn’t content with just removing the colonel’s column. No sir. They had to publically shame and humiliate this officer and gentleman.

As Sims noted in his statement, after the article was removed from the newsletter, it was “followed up with a base-wide email, with updated link for the Singer, stating: ‘The 180th FW Public Affairs office has removed the article ‘A Spiritual Journey as a Commander’ from The Stinger, Volume 52, Issue 09, September 2014 due to sensitivities.”

Click here for more.

SOURCE: Charisma News
Todd Starnes

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