“Shields of Strength”, a small, family-owned, faith-based company, is suing the Pentagon after it blocked it from continuing to produce replica dog tags with Bible verses on them.
First Liberty Institute, on behalf of the company, filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon on December 17, asking a federal court to review and reverse decisions that forbid the company to print inspirational Bible verses on replica dog tags.
Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty, said in a statement, “It’s a cruel insult to our service members to deny them a source of inspiration, hope, and encouragement simply because it contains a religious message.”
“DOD officials caved to the empty threats of those who make their living by being offended. There’s no legal reason for the military to discriminate against Shields of Strength,” he said.
Shields of Strength has been making dog tag replicas with Bible verses for the past 20 years, including for military units at the request of commanders. According to Berry, now-Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had requested them once for his unit.
Berry said after the military branches in 2011 trademarked certain words and logos associated with them, Shields of Strength obtained licenses to continue making dog tags featuring the words or logos associated with the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force on one side and the Bible verses on the other side.