Intolerance among leftists toward any expression of faith has reached a fever pitch in recent years. An increasingly secular culture conflates any mention of a higher power with an incorrect understanding of the First Amendment.
While Congress is constitutionally prohibited from passing laws that establish a national religion, too many treat an individual’s show of faith as an act worthy of rebuke.
U.S. Army veteran Boots Hawks discovered this disturbing trend firsthand when his employer reprimanded him for included “God Bless America” near the signature line of his email template. While he immediately complied with his supervisor’s demand to remove the text, Hawks expressed his desire to seek legal advice regarding his rights in the matter.
As a result, Dameron Hospital informed Hawks he would be placed on administrative leave for his supposed insubordination. Legal experts at the Pacific Justice Institute have taken up his cause and sent a response to administrators at the Stockton, Calif., medical facility.
According to attorney Matthew McReynolds, Hawks has spent a decade working at the hospital, during which time he has been frequently recognized for his work. He once was even awarded the exclusive title of “Employee of the Year.”
By all accounts, he was a valuable employee whose 20 years of service to his country provide some context for his patriotic email signature. PJI President Brad Dacus explained Hawks’ ordeal is among the most egregious examples of improper disciplinary action he has witnessed.
“Rarely do we see something as shocking as supervisors placing a hardworking military veteran on leave right before Veterans Day for saying something patriotic,” he explained. “The hospital’s actions were outrageous and illegal.”
Attorneys say they gained little, if any, clarity from a written response from the hospital. While backpedaling on the prior accusations his actions amounted to insubordination, hospital officials claim his placement on leave was really not a punishment at all. The facility continues to demand he remove “God Bless America” from his email account, though.
“We view the hospital’s response as a retreat from some of their earlier positions,” Dacus said, “but clearly they have a long way to go toward making this right.”
PJI “will continue to press for fair and equal treatment of Mr. Hawks’ speech,” he continued, saying a veteran should be the very last person “censored for fear that someone will be offended by their patriotism.”
When political correctness is the primary criteria through which expression is approved, we might as well shred the First Amendment. Thankfully, attorneys who understand the U.S. Constitution are on board to fight for Hawks’ rights – and, as a result, the rights of all other Americans.
–B. Christopher Agee
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