MRFF received numerous complaints regarding a religious banner posted at the main gate at Ft. Sill near Lawton, OK. Based on these complaints, MRFF’s highly experience client representative at Ft. Sill petitioned the garrison commander to remove this unconstitutional religious messaging at the installations main gate. On June 3, 2021, the USAG Ft. Sill Commander Col. Rhett A. Taylor emailed the following statement to the MRFF representative at Ft. Sill:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. After legal review, I have determined that there is concern with the signage and as a result the signs will be removed today.
MRFF’s Ft. Sill client representative summarized this issue and interaction with the Ft. Sill command:
As the Military Religious Freedom Local Representative of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, I am pleased to announce that after receiving numerous complaints regarding a Vacation Bible School advertisement with the slogan, “Jesus Power Pulls Us Through” posted at the main gate, we have successfully petitioned for the signs removal as of this afternoon. This signage was problematic at this particular location, as it would appear that the United States Army is endorsing a specific evangelical Christian Vacation Bible School event to the exclusion of others as events for people of varying faiths (and no faiths) were not being equally promoted.
One of MRFF’s clients in this matter followed up this quick action with the following email summary:
On my most recent visit to Fort Sill, I was astonished to see a banner with an explicitly Christian evangelistic message at the main gate. The placement of this particular banner in such a public location sends an exclusionary message to not only non-religious servicemembers, but also religious servicemembers who are not evangelical Christians. It also sends a message of exclusion to the broader Lawton/Fort Sill community, many of whom have to drive through this gate every day for work.
When I reached out to the Mikey Weinstein at the MRFF, I didn’t know what to expect, but was surprised to hear back from him within an hour, and then was even more amazed to hear that within only a few days, they had secured the removal of the banner
I deeply appreciate the Military Religious Freedom Foundation for their work and especially for being ready to go to bat so quickly for the rights of us all. I am also very thankful to all of the people out there who donate to MRFF. Their ability and capacity to respond so quickly is directly related to this generosity.