Young Marines win fight to keep “God” in prayer


A Young Marines program in Louisiana is getting attention after refusing to back down over a prayer.

The Shreveport Times of Shreveport, La., reports that the Bossier, La., Young Marines program lost at least $15,000 worth of federal funding because of a voluntary prayer program cadets can recite.

Fifteen cadets graduate from the Bossier sheriff’s office Young Marines program Photo by Kristi Johnston/The Shreveport Times

The decade-long institution of praying during program meetings has never been questioned or criticized, staff said, but a random audit of the program called its federal funding into question.

According to reports, the Department of Justice requested that the word “God” be removed from the prayer in order to maintain the subsidy, though the DOJ said in a statement that the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement was the entity that decided the program was not in compliance.

Despite the financial hit, Bossier sheriff Julian Whittington has said he won’t have the prayer removed or altered.

“We’ve never had one complaint from anybody for anything,” Whittington told the Shreveport Times. “”I said, ‘Keep it. We’re not doing it. Game over.”

The move has led to an outpouring of donations from locals to keep the program going  and messages of support from all around the state. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and country music star Lee Greenwood paid a July 4 visit to Bossier for an “In God We Trust” rally to celebrate the Young Marines’ decision to keep God in their prayer.

“The First Amendment guarantees us freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” Jindal reportedly said.  “It was written to protect people of faith from government officials, and we are going to hold on to that freedom.”

Jindal said if the decision regarding the program’s funding wasn’t overturned, he would personally donate money to help keep it going.


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  1. Would like to make a $25 donation. Need address.

    The stand they took was also for our family, you are

    helping us to be able to freely serve God through Christ.

    Thank you and God bless,

    Dan, Jane, Armani, Tanya, Caige, and Alecia.

  2. Jane,

    The local radio station KISS 93.7 is taking donations for this cause. They are trying to raise money so that the program does not go away. You can find a link to donate at

  3. My question is; what’s the language in the law that says the term God etc cannot be used in order to obtain a subsidy?? That’s the real issue. Our tax dollars are going for all kinds of things we don’t necessarily like or agree with and that’s the way it’s always been so why in the hell do we have to deny the young Marines a subsidy for some miscreant at DOJ that makes the call!! Our Marines Hymn uses refers to “heaven” and that’s certainly implied to mean the same thing. Is our fighting song under attack next??!! Am I the only one getting fed up with this death of our culture via a thousand little cuts?

  4. I find it odd that our government hastily pulls funding for this program, but we recite prayer and swear on the holy bible at each and every presidential innauguration? Each and every religion refers to some type of god, each person who chooses to pray should have the right to pray and those who chose not to can surely benefit from a moment of silence.

  5. Johnny Johnson on

    I am in total agreement with William Hanrahan’s comments listed above. To amplify on that comment, by what authority does the Dept of Justice retain the funding? Our First Amendment is the Law of the Land and it is extremely precise in it’s wording.

    Nowhere in our founding documents is the use of any Deity restricted. We are ALL Fed up with the illegal restrictions imposed on our God Given Rights. It is now time to take those rights back.

    Who within our Government has decided this action to restrict funding and by what Authority???

  6. Proud of all you young men.. be strong and be brave even in the face of our own government … and the unconstitutional message they push… thank you gentleman …

  7. Chris Porter on

    This is the tip of what the “Anti-Christ” has up his sleeve for us. Those of us who believe in God, in the near future will be “prosecuted, marginalized, vilify,malign and ostracize” by these folks. Standby, and watch how the devil is taking over this country. Those in power at D.C. taking their cues from Europe. The next move, is the freedom to marry “animals!” The “Anti-Christ” is here before our eyes. The liberal media is our biggest problem. As a nation, we are not any better than the North Korean people. Because our media only showed or reported to us the biases and lies; they are so good in selling their lies, that even our scientist are. afraid of the liars. Welcome to the “chosen one” new world!

  8. God bless those young men and their courageous leader. Despite the politically correct madness coming out of DC, and speaking as a “next door neighbor” in Texas, I say “way to go” This is the faith and convictions that made America great and their action-especially seeing these young heroes-gives me hope that the rising tide of tyranny under a secular fundamentalist state in Washington will not endure-as long as faith and freedom loving people like this continue to stand tall! Way to go Louisiana and young Marines!

  9. I have to say that it’s that I am truly proud of these Marines!!! It’s a sad day that “Our Government” will take away funding from our Marines, who works and gets paid from “Our Government” to take away the word GOD, which is what WE Americans believe in and PRAY for asking GOD to protect our families and friends and “Our Marines” We, as Americans need to stand up to our government and say We WILL NOT tolerate this ANYMORE!!!

  10. Thanks for Standing Up Sheriff Whittington. It only takes a spark, one person standing up at a time, to keep the fire burning bright & Lighting the way for Freedom.

  11. Frederick W Winkler on

    Let us not change a word in our Constituton or Bill of Rights but uphold every word of this great document.

  12. Cheryl Baker on

    Keep fighting the good fight! This battle belongs to the Lord! Never give in and Never give up! May the Lord bless you and keep you; may His face shine upon you; And be gracious to you, The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

    Numbers 6:24-26

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