Department of Justice defunds youth group for mentioning God

by Alexander Griswold, Juicy Ecumenism


Since 1958, the Young Marines have helped countless young men and women learn to live healthy, responsible, and principled lives. Molded after the U.S. Marine Corps, the Young Marines are an independent organization designed to instill such positive traits as teamwork, loyalty, hard work, and leadership. The Young Marines have been specifically commended by the U.S. Congress, and their Drug Demand Reduction Program was awarded the last year’s Annual Fulcrum Shield Award for Excellence in Youth Anti-Drug Programs by the Department of Defense.



But now at least one chapter of the Young Marines in Bossier Parish, Louisiana has been defunded by the Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights. The decision to remove $30,000 in funding came after the chapter’s sponsor, Sheriff Julian Whittington, refused to sign a pledge forbidding voluntary prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.



The prayers at meetings had been completely voluntary and led by students, not organizational leaders. But despite being entirely voluntary, the Department of Justice balked at the notion of the nondenominational prayer, as well as references to God and church in the Young Marines creed and oath. One of the tenets of the Young Marines creed is to “Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.” The Young Marine Obligation is as follows:



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