Gov. Jindal Speaks at Bossier City’s ‘In God We Trust’ Rally, Says US Government Is Assaulting Religious Freedoms [VIDEO]
During today's In God We Trust rally in Bossier City, Governor Bobby Jindal didn't hide his disapproval with the Justice Department reportedly pulling funding from the Bossier Parish Young Marines after Sheriff Julian Whittington refused to remove religious language from the program.
Jindal slammed Washington, claiming it was intruding on the religious freedoms of Louisianans.
"This isn't just a $30,000 grant from the federal government. This isn't just a department of justice picking on one sheriff or one group of kids," said Jindal. "This is Washington, D.C. assaulting our rights and our freedoms. And we have to draw a line in the sand, and say 'no retreat' at some point."
Jindal urged that funding be reinstated, saying that the federal government shouldn't "hurt [the children helped by the youth programs] because of their radical leftist ideology."
Following public outcry over the news that the Bossier Parish Young Marines program would lose $30,000 in federal funding, two of the organizations involved in the funding of federal youth programs -- the Office of Justice Programs and the Louisiana Commission of Law Enforcement -- have both pointed the finger of blame elsewhere.
The LCLE claims it was ultimately Sheriff Whittington's decision to refuse the money.
"We never revoked any money," Louisiana Commission of Law Enforcement Executive Director Joey Watson told KEEL News. "The Sheriff withdrew his offer."
The Department of Justice has echoed those claims, offering the following statement:
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) never defunded the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Youth Diversion Program or Young Marines Program and does not make funding determinations for these subgrantees. The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE), the state administering agency, is responsible for ensuring its subgrantees are in compliance with grant requirements, and for determining whether the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office receives funding. OJP is coordinating with its grantee, the LCLE, to ensure all OJP funding complies with grant requirements and federal civil rights laws and regulations.
Governor Jindal was joined on stage by State Rep. Jeff Thompson and Congressman John Fleming, who also both spoke in favor of keeping the Bossier Parish Young Marines program funded.
Watch some of Gov. Jindal's speech below