by Jorge Gomez & Mia Gradick, Contributing Writers.• 5 min read
Many of us will celebrate America’s independence this Fourth of July weekend, as we enjoy the incredible liberties we have in our country. At the same time, we should remember that we owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve in uniform, including those in the military as well as those in law enforcement.
And in this critical time for our nation, when many in our military and in law enforcement are coming under severe attack, First Liberty client Shields of Strength is reaching out in solidarity, letting their families know that Americans are deeply thankful for their sacrifice.
Recently, Shields of Strength teamed up with Point 27, a faith-based nonprofit, to help honor America’s fallen heroes. The two groups coordinated with 105 police departments around the country that have experienced a death in the line of duty since January of this year.
They’re working together to extend a phone call to the family members of fallen officers within hours of a death, and then send them a personal letter along with an inspirational “Thin Blue Line” dog tag made by Shields of Strength, all with purpose of paying homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during their service.
Fellow officers in police departments voluntarily receive tags inscribed with Matthew 5:9 (“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”), and Folded Flag necklaces with John 15:13 (“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”) are given to the family of the fallen officer.
This incredible act of respect, compassion and patriotism is why First Liberty continues to fight on the frontlines for religious freedom. We’re grateful for the opportunity to represent and defend Shields of Strength, and we’ll continue fervently fighting to stop radical groups from censoring businesses and ministries who use their faith to offer hope, encouragement and comfort to people in need.
Join First Liberty as we fight for the rights of our military service members.
With YOUR support, we can stop brazen violations of their religious liberty.
As one of our Insiders, you’re familiar with First Liberty’s ongoing defense of Kenny Vaughan, owner of Shields of Strength, who’s facing an outrageous legal attack from the deceptively-named Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
The MRFF—notorious for their All Out assault on religious freedom in the military—are trying to have Shields of Strength tags removed from the military simply because they have a religious message.
But the MRFF is simply creating a problem where none exists, because over the years it’s more than clear that military service members love, want and have worn Shields of Strength without complaint.
Since 1997, Kenny and his wife Tammie have been producing the replica dog tags with the noble mission of encouraging the brave men and women who serve in uniform. These inspirational tags engraved with Bible verses have helped thousands of service members find strength and courage when they needed it most.
More proof of how much America’s heroes and their families want the tags is evident by the fact that in 2015, Shields of Strength expanded the production of the tags after law enforcement officers began asking for them.
To date, the Thin Blue Line tags have been given to nearly 110,000 police officers cross the country, approximately 10% of the nation’s law enforcement force.
America has a long history of using faith and religious expression as a way to strengthen and give courage to those in uniform, including members of the military as well as those serving in law enforcement.
The MRFF’s attack and attempt to force Shields of Strength to pull its dog tags isn’t just harsh and unkind—it’s illegal. The fact is, it’s perfectly constitutional for Americans who love their country to encourage its heroes with inspirational religious messages.
America’s finest, our military and law enforcement heroes, need YOUR support to help put a stop to the barrage of violations against their religious liberty—including their constitutional right to wear religious jewelry and find strength in their faith.
Will you consider making a critical donation today to help us defend and reclaim the freedoms of America’s heroes?