Some 40 U.S. Navy Seals are poised to file a lawsuit against the Pentagon over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, claiming they should be given religious exemptions.
Attorney Michael Berry of the First Liberty Institute, the group representing the Navy Seals, says his clients are “fighting for their careers” after being denied a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate.
“You would think in this country, the Department of Defense would respect religious beliefs, but instead the Navy is using religious beliefs as some sort of ideological litmus test to purge anybody who opposes the vaccine from our military,” Berry said.
“Our clients, these Navy Seals, they’ve been told that even if their request is ultimately approved, they’re going to be removed from the Navy Seal community,” he added.
A spokesperson with First Liberty Institute told The Christian Post this week that they would file a lawsuit soon if the vaccine mandate was not lifted.
Berry said his clients were also upset that the DoD was limiting travel for unvaccinated family members of Navy Seals personnel.
“Since when does the DoD have authority or jurisdiction over family members?”
In August, the Pentagon announced that all U.S. military personnel would be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-September.
“These efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby at the time.
The mandate was also supported by the surgeon general for the U.S. Navy, Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham.
“The DoD’s mandatory vaccination policy is the proven way to ensure the readiness and the safety of our naval force, DoD civilian workforce and the American people and our allies and partners,” he said.
According to the Washington Post, there are still hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel who are either not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Benny Winslow
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.