California hospital suspends veteran for ‘God Bless America’ email signature

November 18, 2013

flagA Stockton hospital suspended a 10-year employee and military veteran on the Friday before Veterans Day for using “God Bless America” as his email signature. [ABC 10]

Boots Hawk served as an Army soldier for 20 years prior to taking a job as a quality analyst at Dameron Hospital in Stockton.

Just days before Veterans Day, Hawks supervisor asked him to remove “God Bless America” from his email signature. Hawk complied but told the supervisor he would consult an attorney about his right to keep the phrase on his emails.

When Hawk arrived at work the next day, he found that the combination on his locker had changed and his computer password was no longer working. The hospital then placed him on leave for insubordination just prior to Veterans Day weekend.

Hawk is now seeking legal action and has retained the Pacific Justice Institute, which wrote a letter to the hospital on his behalf demanding an apology.

“I think Dameron provides fantastic care to people and I hate to see bad publicity,” Hawk said. “I just see that we need to have justice done.”


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

One last shot at this. I’m reading the paper this morning and they talked about Lincoln and the Gettysburg address. They reprinted it. Guess what caught my eye? One of the last sentences as he finishes he says, that this nation under God.

Like I said before, I was raised in a religious home but now only attend mass about twice a year. Yea that holiday guy. I feel the way many do hear about not having to explain why I only go twice or my beliefs or non beliefs. And you know what, most religious people leave it at that and don’t bug me They don’t agree but they respect my decision. Same with me. I may not agree with everything they believe but I respect it. I do not feel that the mention of God is forcing it down my throat. If they were to continue talking and try and convert then maybe.

I get the Jehovah Witnesses at Mormons at the door all the time. I am respectful and tell them I am not interested and most of the time they leave it at thank you and goodbye. I don’t take offence that they came to my door, UNLESS it is early. They feel good about their religion and you know what, I’m happy that they are happy. They feel good about themselves. That doesn’t scare me.

Our nation again has the mention of God in many texts. If it wasn’t in there and people right now started trying to insert it then I would argue against it. But it’s not. It was there way before all of us, put there by many of our Forefathers. Why? I don’t know but it is what it is. I deal with it and move on.

Marines pledge themselves completely to the Constitution of the United States. From the day they first raise their hand and throughout their honorable service, the oath every Marine takes is a promise and a reminder of their commitment to defend our nation and its interests.

“I, [Name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Orders of the Officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the uniform code of military justice. So help me God.”

One nation, under God.

If you don’t like it, you are free to move to a nation that is not under God.

Hmm good point Tax. The last……so help me God, got me thinking. Ted, Bob, Word, what do you put your hand on in court? What is the last thing the bailiff says? So help you………..

Again, this country goes WAYYYY back with a lot of this. This isn’t new.

A volume of the Kangyur or perhaps a dictionary would be fine, swearing on “the” book is not about free worship it’s about control: tell the truth or go to hell forever, It’s enforcement.

As for the bailiff he has no choice in the matter, point.

As for history there are plenty of things we don’t do any more, plenty of bad ideas,

You’re right, it isn’t about free worship. Never said it was. Point was that, again God is used in a lot of forms and past speeches made in Gov. (See Gettysburg Address). I am just stating what has been going on long before you or I as the use of God’s name, in a lot of things.

As for bad ideas what are some of those? If you are thinking maybe slavery, apples and oranges argument and yes slavery was very wrong. What else?


In a court of law, an “affirmation” is a solemn declaration allowed to those who conscientiously object to taking an oath, or swearing to a god concept of primitive ancient times. An “affirmation” will suffice and has exactly the same legal effect as a swearing oath, but is usually taken to avoid the religious implications.


If one is a Marine, and a Christian, then when they take their pledge, or oath, and they swear “so help me god”, they’re going directly against the teachings of Jesus the Christ.

Jesus stated: “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, DO NOT TAKE AN OATH AT ALL, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, OR BY THE EARTH for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. AND DO NOT TAKE AN OATH BY YOUR HEAD, for you cannot make one hair white or black. LET WHAT YOU SAY BE SIMPLY ‘YES’ OR ‘NO’ ; ANYTHING MORE THAT THIS COMES FROM EVIL.” (Matthew 5:33-37) What is Jesus asking his disciples to do? The answer is quite obvious – he wants them to be truthful all the time. He wants their word to be so trustworthy that a simple yes or no will be sufficient.

The irony in the Marines swearing to a god, or using “One Nation Under God” in their pledge, aka, oath, barring the fact of going directly against the teaching of Jesus, where it is evil to do so in protecting the US Constitution, is the fact that neither a God or Jesus are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. Nor are they mentioned in the Bill of Rights.

In fact, the only mention of anything religious in the Constitution is Article VI Section (3) referencing; “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution: but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public Trust under the United States.

The framers of the Constitution were saying that there shall be no test as to whether one shall be a Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, Jehovah Witness or any other member of a religious community, or division thereof, to hold office.

There’re too many gods to be under in the USA as I mentioned below in another post, so no one has to leave because the phrase “one nation under god” covers all of the different and contradicting gods that still remain in the 21st Century.

who here goes to AA? don’t they talk about a higher power? oh, God, i said it again


Oh God, there’re so many different “higher powers” to choose from. We can only assume that hopefully the one an individual picks will be the right one, even though others pick different ones.

Oh God, how sad if the individual picks the wrong one, especially just before their demise, because I am sure they’ll start to smell the fragrance of hot sulfur. Oh well, it’s like the lottery.

maybe Consumer Reports could help us out


“You gave me free will, did you not give it to everyone?”

Since you included this statement as a foundation to this story, and you as an assumed Christian, you do not have this concept of Free Will because your Jewish God of the Judeo-Christian bible is omniscient, therefore He knows EVERYTHING (1 John 3:20).

He knows not only the minutest details of your life, but those of everything around you, for He mentions even knowing when a sparrow falls or when you lose a single hair (Matthew 10:29-30). Not only does your rendition of God know everything that will occur with you until the end of history itself (Isaiah 46:9-10), but He also knows your very thoughts, even before you speak forth! (Psalm 139:4).

Your Jewish God even saw you in the womb (Psalm 139:1-3, 15-16), and being omniscient, anything less wouldn’t be a god, He knew what you were going to do before time had presented itself!

Since your particular God is in fact omniscient as explicitly shown, therefore you think you have free will, but in fact, your God has already determined in how you will act and what you will do 24/7/365, and is basically a “Puppet Master” pulling your strings to do what he wants, not what you perceive to want, until the end. God forbid, but he even knows whether you’ll be going to Heaven or Hell!

Ted remember what I said about ignoring things, every time you start quoting scripture since you have been here I tune the rest out. I do like reading your posts when you think for yourself.


Those damn biblical FACTS do get in the way sometimes of what one perceives when they worship the Jewish God of the bible, don’t they? :)

You missed my point Ted. No arguing if facts or not. I find a lot of your perspective can be interesting on it’s own weather I agree with or not. I don’t understand why you lean on it for a crutch so much and not just give us your opinion and what you think. A lot of people know what the bible may think about it but what is Ted’s thoughts about it?

I’ve been in conversations where people constantly say, this says this about that and this about the other. I find it more interesting when I hear one’s own perspective on something that may give an angle I hadn’t thought about before.


Consider my bible FACTS as an “angle” that you’ve obviously never heard, nor thought about before.

You’re welcome.

This one is too petty to comment on.


Oh for God’s sake, why is there this discussion?….oh wait….can’t say that. Anyway, if i walked into church XXX would strike me dead. Actually, I liked to attend midnite mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. Maybe we should bar the doors.

As if Stockton doesn’t have enough problems….

This is a hospital that has a large foreign staff, but I’ll bet that the supervisor is a white overly politically correct jerk who thinks someone will be offended by the use of “God Bless America” when in actuality, no one else cares. He/she made the mistake of “punishing” this veteran over the Veteran’s Day weekend so it appears that he/she is anti-veteran , anti-God, and anti-USA. Hopefully, the supervisor will be reprimanded or fired. Who would choose to go to a hospital for treatment that is anti-vet, anti-God, and anti-USA? Devil worshiper tourists from Zimbabwe?


“Who would choose to go to a hospital for treatment that is anti-vet, anti-God, and anti-USA?”

HOLY CHRIST! Your statement is the best definition of circular reasoning, “Assuming as a premise, the conclusion in which you wish to reach,” that I’ve ever seen, bar none! You should send it to Wikipedia fallacy definitions as an example;

Don’t forget to give your real name so you’ll go down in history!

This decision does not bode well for praising Allah and is a travesty to the religion of Islam! Just because “Boots” is a veteran does not change a thing. I wonder if the Pacific Justice Institution would have represented a Muslim in the same situation?

What if Mr. Hawks signed off his government workplace emails with “In Science We Trust”, or the phrase; “In White People We Trust?” Mind you, his emails would still hold their intended content, so does it really matter? Would religious and non-white people be upset, and if so, why should they care? After all, it’s just a particular phrase. Get it?

For people that have to have a god concept, even though we’re going into the 21st Century, there is always a way out for them when this godly phrase is used! When this faction sees; “In God We Trust,” they can just think of their particular and separate God concept, whether it’s Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Allah, Apollo, Aphrodite, Jesus, Hermes, Dionysus, Mithra, Yahweh, Mercury, Demeter, Nike, or whatever god concept they want to acknowledge! They have it simple.

I’ll answer that Ted. If we had been using Allah as you say, in phrasing since this country was founded then I would say fine, let’s use it.

Your brush is wide that you are painting with. Can you answer me this. Why do we always have to change established polices in life, from this here, to everyday to accommodate people who come along later? I have never gone to work someplace and found something I didn’t like and start demanding everyone else change. I adapt to EXISTING POLICES and structure. Same here with the use of God talking about and country.

BeenThereDoneThat says: “I have never gone to work someplace and found something I didn’t like and start demanding everyone else change. I adapt to EXISTING POLICES and structure.”

Most organizations forbid pushing religion to customers. What is so hard to understand that it might be “EXISTING POLICES and structure”

Sorry Word, I meant that in terms of attire. Like hair length or is suit and tie required, etc. I understand on the religion part and agree on that.

I look at it this way Ted. while I have never been a Marine, I love their motto.

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

If people just do that, put on their big boy pants, they will survive and be fine.


“Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.”

To use my hypothetical even further, could you overcome and ADAPT to ol’ “Boots” signing off his government emails TO YOU with: “In Science We Trust”, or the phrase; “In White People We Trust,” or to even go further, “In Atheists We Trust?” Yes or no?

As a sidenote to your statements, which God concept do you acknowledge of the ones that I’ve shown?

Yea Ted I have no problem with any of those phrases, except maybe the white people comment. Atheists wouldn’t bother me. I wouldn’t run around screaming……….they don’t agree with me, they don’t agree with me, sue, sue, sue. I would just smile and say I don’t agree but that is their opinion and they are entitled to it, IF THAT WAS the established protocol first.

So Ted I answered your question, now how about mine. Why does everyone else have to change something that has already been established?

semper gumby

BeenThereDoneThat says: “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”

Follow your own words and get over it.

What is there to get over. I’m not the one’s offended by words or phrases. Look in the mirror.

Open letter to my Forefathers and God.

Hi, here we are over 230 years after the forming of our country and boy are things a hell of a lot different around here. Back then you used the word God and most people didn’t object. Most people went to church and didn’t see what the big deal was.

Well today if you show any pride in God or county, it is like a big sin has been committed. And it doesn’t matter if you use in a positive way and the majority aren’t offended. You have to make sure it is 100% and if even one person gets their feelings hurt, the rest just have to deal with it and go along.

I wonder what you would have said Mr. Jefferson? Or how about you Mr. Hancock who so boldly signed you name in large to make sure the King could read it without his glasses. Would you think we are right to listen to the small majority or go with the fact that it is next to impossible to have a 100% consensus? I wonder did everyone in the colonies agree 100% with what you guys were doing?

How about you God. I don’t go to church every Sunday but I believe in you. I don’t care if my fellow man wants to say something about you in public. I can chose to listen or daydream about something else while they speak. You gave me free will, did you not give it to everyone?

Well in closing, I just want to say that I think we are in a sad state, that while the rest of our problems, from education and economy etc. we spend more time worrying about the use of your name God.

So God bless you God, God bless my Forefathers and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

You doth protest way too much, please take your relegion back to your home or church.

BeenThereDoneThat says: “we spend more time worrying about the use of your name God. ” Yes your comment is a perfect example.

Any business that pushes there religion on me (dosen’t matter what kind) looses my business.

No, no protesting. Read my comments. What is the big deal. You know the ol sticks and stones………….but words can’t hurt you? Did those hurt in some way?

Man everyone today wants to be offended about something.

So your open letter to “god” is just a troll, noted.

Comon give me some kind of dialogue or thought, maybe a disagreement but call me a troll? Really? Read my posts. Far from it.

I did not call you a troll, your letter comment is a troll by definition.

Also Fox News is baffled as to why the bible can be found in the fiction section at Costco

“I wonder what you would have said Mr. Jefferson?” Considering that many think of Thomas Jefferson as a Diest, perhaps he would have said (and he actually did say this) “The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.”

Here is the link where that quote came from.

NICE cherry picking Bob!! Glad you linked the article. That way I could read the WHOLE thing. How about this ditty…….

In correspondence, he sometimes expressed confidence that the whole country would be Unitarian

Hmm yea sounds like he had a problem with or how about this………….

“During the first winter, Mr. Jefferson regularly attended service on the sabbath-day in the humble church. The congregation seldom exceeded 50 or 60, but generally consisted of about a score of hearers. He could have had no motive for this regular attendance, but that of respect for public worship, choice of place or preacher he had not, as this, with the exception of a little Catholic chapel was the only church in the new city. The custom of preaching in the Hall of Representatives had not then been attempted, though after it was established Mr. Jefferson during his whole administration, was a most regular attendant. The seat he chose the first sabbath, and the adjoining one, which his private secretary occupied, were ever afterwards by the courtesy of the congregation, left for him and his secretary.”[6]

The line I like best in that is this one……….

He could have had no motive for this regular attendance, but that of respect for public worship.

He didn’t say he agreed or not BUT it didn’t kill him. He didn’t go whining about it. He basically was saying, if others believe I can respect that.

So again to you and the other’s here disagreeing I ask, what is the big deal? If you don’t like or are so offended, you can’t ignore? You don’t have the will or power to do? He didn’t ask ANYONE to go to church. He didn’t ask anyone to believe in a certain religion. He said God Bless America. He probably believes in God and is asking his God to bless our nation. What is so offensive about that? I say….great if there is a God, a little extra help never hurt.

As a non-Christian, I can live with this point-of-view just fine. My problem is that too many “Christians” want to force other elements of their religion down the collective throats of those of us who believe otherwise or not at all. As the predominant general religion in the US, they have the political power to do this if it weren’t for the Constitutional protections in the form of the 1st Amendment’s statement about separation of church and state.

This is why many protest at the mention of “God,” “Jesus,” or even “higher power” in matters having to do with the government. It is just as valid a concern about small steps leading to larger ones as is the case in “Freedom of Speech,” “The Right to Bear Arms” and the protections against “Unreasonable Searches and Seizures” also found in the Bill of Rights.

At about the same time as the US Constitution was being written, an Irish lawyer/politician came up with the saying “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” This quote has been repeated many times by many of the most ardent defenders of the individual liberties whose inclusion in our Constitution which set new standards for the concept of human rights. It applies at least as much today as it did back then. (Edward Snowden is a true patriot, the NSA heads and their enablers in Congress and the White House are the ones who have been tossing aside the Constitution.)