Exercising my First Amendment rights

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  The Founding Fathers did not want the government to state which religion is recognized and which religion is not allowed by the government.  It also clearly states that the government may not prohibit the free exercise thereof.  A military member wanting to put a religious verse, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, or any other religion, on their dog tags is up to the service member.  Your dog tags are not something that are easily read by someone else, even when worn outside of a t-shirt when doing PT.  I am a Honorably Discharged US Navy veteran of the Cold War period.  I personally find your position against service members having a comforting verse engraved or stamped on their personal dog tags to be an egregious affront to them.  I don’t feel that you should wear your uniform at political rallies unless you are there as a command ordered function.  But your dog tags are the personal statement of who you are, Name, Service, ID number, Blood type, and Religious preference.

I may disagree with what you say, but I will still defend to the death you’re right to say it.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member John Compere

On Dec 5, 2019, at 12:54 PM, John Compere wrote:

(name withheld) – first & foremost, thank you for your service.
Your disagreement is misdirected. It would be more rationally redirected at those who disrespect & disregard our laws rather than those of us who respect & request compliance with our laws.
Military members may possess any belief & purchase any scripture they desire, but a private civilian business cannot dishonestly & illegally profit off of them by misrepresenting & mismarking its souvenir merchandise as official government issued military identification tags in violation of its lawful procurement contact with the Department of Defense & its regulatory laws.
Most Sincerely,
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

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