Chad Groening - OneNewsNow
A law firm that defends and promotes America's Christian heritage has filed suit against Marine officials on a behalf of a veteran who was ordered not to express his opposition to Islamic terrorism while driving on military installations.
Jesse Nieto is a 25-year Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His youngest son, Marc, was one of 17 service members killed on October 12, 2000 by Islamic terrorists who bombed the USS Cole. Since 2001, Nieto -- who is now a civilian employee at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina -- has displayed various decals on his vehicle expressing anti-terrorist sentiments such as "Islam = Terrorism" and "We Died, They Rejoiced."
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, says on July 31, 2008, two military police officers issued Nieto a ticket for displaying what they described as "offensive material."
"They decide to make an example of him, issue a ticket, force him to take off the decals -- and then say if you keep any decals on your vehicle that have anything to do with the Islamic terrorists, you can't drive your vehicle on any federal installation," says the attorney.
Thompson says the ban also prohibits his client from driving his vehicle into Arlington National Cemetery to visit the grave of his fallen son.
The lawsuit alleges that military officials have engaged in viewpoint discrimination, noting that other individuals are allowed to display anti-Christian decals of a similar nature on vehicles driving onto the installation.
"That's the Darwin fish that they have, which is an anti-Christian decal," says the Law Center president. "They're permitting those. But they are saying anything that smacks of criticism of radical Islam -- that is, the terrorists -- we're not going to allow."
Thompson describes the case as political correctness run amok.
"I suspect the next thing the Marine command will want to do is eliminate the Marine's Hymn since the phrase 'to the shores of Tripoli' celebrates the Marine victory over Islamic forces in the Barbary Coast War and the Battle of Derne," he states in a press release.