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#1 User is offline   Ladybird 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 05:33 AM

‘Devout Christian’ sues to remove Bible display from veteran center in New Hampshire

MAY 07, 2019 12:16 PM, UPDATED MAY 07, 2019 12:59 PM
Excerpt:


A “devout Christian” and Air Force veteran is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs to remove a Bible display at the Manchester VA Medical Center (MVAMC) in New Hampshire.

The lawsuit was filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on behalf of veteran James Chamberlain.

“Despite his strong personal religious beliefs, (Chamberlain) believes that the Christian Bible has no place being displayed on the (Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action) table at the entrance way to the MVAMC, where he gets his care,” the lawsuit says. “As a Christian, he respects and loves all his military brothers and sisters and does not want to be exclusionary by the placement of the Christian Bible.”

The Bible was carried by a World War II prisoner of war, USA Today reported, “commemorating missing and imprisoned service members.”

That table is also known as “the missing man or fallen comrade table,” according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation says fourteen patients of the MVAMC complained during the first week of January about the Bible on the table at the main building’s entrance lobby.

Of the 14 who complained, nine identify as Protestant or Roman Catholic, the lawsuit said. The others identify as Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Buddhist or atheist/agnostic.


“All fourteen objected to the placement of the Christian Bible on that POW/MIA table and believed it to be an unlawful display,” the lawsuit says. “All fourteen requested that (the foundation) give immediate voice to their objections to the leadership at the MVAMC ... They did so on the condition that MRFF would protect their identities. They feared reprisal.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says the Bible display was removed on Jan. 28, 2019, after President Michael L. Weinstein called and demanded that it be taken down.

About a month later, though, the Foundation received more complaints about the Bible being back on display.

“It was in a locked plexiglass box on the POW/MIA table located right near the main entrance of the MVAMC,” the lawsuit says.

It was then that a 15th military veteran complained about the display, according to the lawsuit. That veteran was Chamberlain.

He was “willing to publicly prosecute this action, although he receives his medical care at the MVAMC,” the foundation said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the table “has special meaning to all service members and veterans,” as it “helps honor the men and women who have sacrificed to protect and serve us all.”

Because of that, the foundation says the memorial should be for all who have served — regardless of religious beliefs.

“The original POW/MIA table tradition was started by a group of Vietnam combat pilots and did not include a Bible as one of the table items,” the lawsuit said. “We would all be outraged if the MVAMC only provided care to Christians, or denied care to non-believers, or those who worship their God in other ways. The placement of a Christian Bible on this sacred table is just as objectionable.”

Chamberlain is seeking the Bible to be removed from the display.

Weinstein “declined to make Chamberlain available for an interview,” according to USA Today.

“This lawsuit – backed by a group known for questionable practices and unsuccessful lawsuits – is nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community,” VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said in a statement to McClatchy. “Make no mistake: VA will not be bullied on this issue.”

In the statement, Cashour confirmed that officials “temporarily removed the Bible from the display out of an abundance of caution,” but put it back on display after complaints that it was removed.


<snip>

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#2 User is offline   JerryL 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 06:55 AM

View PostLadybird, on 08 May 2019 - 05:33 AM, said:

‘Devout Christian’ sues to remove Bible display from veteran center in New Hampshire

MAY 07, 2019 12:16 PM, UPDATED MAY 07, 2019 12:59 PM
Excerpt:


A “devout Christian” and Air Force veteran is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs to remove a Bible display at the Manchester VA Medical Center (MVAMC) in New Hampshire.

The lawsuit was filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on behalf of veteran James Chamberlain.

“Despite his strong personal religious beliefs, (Chamberlain) believes that the Christian Bible has no place being displayed on the (Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action) table at the entrance way to the MVAMC, where he gets his care,” the lawsuit says. “As a Christian, he respects and loves all his military brothers and sisters and does not want to be exclusionary by the placement of the Christian Bible.”

The Bible was carried by a World War II prisoner of war, USA Today reported, “commemorating missing and imprisoned service members.”

That table is also known as “the missing man or fallen comrade table,” according to the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation says fourteen patients of the MVAMC complained during the first week of January about the Bible on the table at the main building’s entrance lobby.

Of the 14 who complained, nine identify as Protestant or Roman Catholic, the lawsuit said. The others identify as Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Buddhist or atheist/agnostic.


“All fourteen objected to the placement of the Christian Bible on that POW/MIA table and believed it to be an unlawful display,” the lawsuit says. “All fourteen requested that (the foundation) give immediate voice to their objections to the leadership at the MVAMC ... They did so on the condition that MRFF would protect their identities. They feared reprisal.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says the Bible display was removed on Jan. 28, 2019, after President Michael L. Weinstein called and demanded that it be taken down.

About a month later, though, the Foundation received more complaints about the Bible being back on display.

“It was in a locked plexiglass box on the POW/MIA table located right near the main entrance of the MVAMC,” the lawsuit says.

It was then that a 15th military veteran complained about the display, according to the lawsuit. That veteran was Chamberlain.

He was “willing to publicly prosecute this action, although he receives his medical care at the MVAMC,” the foundation said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the table “has special meaning to all service members and veterans,” as it “helps honor the men and women who have sacrificed to protect and serve us all.”

Because of that, the foundation says the memorial should be for all who have served — regardless of religious beliefs.

“The original POW/MIA table tradition was started by a group of Vietnam combat pilots and did not include a Bible as one of the table items,” the lawsuit said. “We would all be outraged if the MVAMC only provided care to Christians, or denied care to non-believers, or those who worship their God in other ways. The placement of a Christian Bible on this sacred table is just as objectionable.”

Chamberlain is seeking the Bible to be removed from the display.

Weinstein “declined to make Chamberlain available for an interview,” according to USA Today.

“This lawsuit – backed by a group known for questionable practices and unsuccessful lawsuits – is nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community,” VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour said in a statement to McClatchy. “Make no mistake: VA will not be bullied on this issue.”

In the statement, Cashour confirmed that officials “temporarily removed the Bible from the display out of an abundance of caution,” but put it back on display after complaints that it was removed.


<snip>

Link

I hope the VA stands their ground. Let's forget for one second that with the Bible there, Congress has made no law and no one's right to free exercise, or not, of religion has been impacted in any way.

The Bible was carried by a US POW from WW2. It is the POW/MIA table, the makeup of which is not trademarked or copywrighted. So what if the "original" didn't have one. Has it been a Torah or Koran that gave comfort to a US POW during a war, I would not care.

What is it with people these days? The perpetually butt hurt.

This post has been edited by JerryL: 08 May 2019 - 06:57 AM

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#3 User is offline   Moderator T 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:04 AM

View PostJerryL, on 08 May 2019 - 06:55 AM, said:

I hope the VA stands their ground. Let's forget for one second that with the Bible there, Congress has made no law and no one's right to free exercise, or not, of religion has been impacted in any way.

The Bible was carried by a US POW from WW2. It is the POW/MIA table, the makeup of which is not trademarked or copywrighted. So what if the "original" didn't have one. Has it been a Torah or Koran that gave comfort to a US POW during a war, I would not care.

What is it with people these days? The perpetually butt hurt.

Exactly. Showing what a POW carried is not a state endorsement of religion.
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#4 User is offline   DJGoody 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:23 AM

It is freedom OF religion. Not freedom FROM religion. This man is no 'devout' at all if the bible sitting in a display offends him. I would also doubt he is a Christian at all.
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#5 User is offline   JerryL 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 08:58 AM

View PostModerator T, on 08 May 2019 - 07:04 AM, said:

Exactly. Showing what a POW carried is not a state endorsement of religion.

No, it's not. Not even close.

But I wouldn't care if it did. Obama could have said that he endorsed Islam and would like for that to become the predominant religion in the US. No law would have been made and no one would have been impeded in their worship.

He would have to live the political consequences, but it would not have been unconstitutional as the amendment reads. I know some unelected black robes disagree, but they are wrong.
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#6 User is online   SARGE 

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 03:50 PM

View PostModerator T, on 08 May 2019 - 07:04 AM, said:

Exactly. Showing what a POW carried is not a state endorsement of religion.

View PostJerryL, on 08 May 2019 - 08:58 AM, said:

No, it's not. Not even close.

But I wouldn't care if it did. Obama could have said that he endorsed Islam and would like for that to become the predominant religion in the US. No law would have been made and no one would have been impeded in their worship.

He would have to live the political consequences, but it would not have been unconstitutional as the amendment reads. I know some unelected black robes disagree, but they are wrong.


I agree with both.

As a vet, when I view a memorial like this, I focus on the context.

Bible, Koran, or Torah doesn't matter to me.

It's the context, and if it gave strength and comfort to the veteran it belongs in the display.

It's not a promotion of a religion. Those that whine about this are the perpetually aggrieved.

I'm a Christian, maybe I'm just not devout enough.

This post has been edited by SARGE: 08 May 2019 - 06:34 PM

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#7 User is offline   Howsithangin 

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 12:12 AM

View PostModerator T, on 08 May 2019 - 07:04 AM, said:

Exactly. Showing what a POW carried is not a state endorsement of religion.

Precisely.

Side note: I'll lay a Franklin on the table that the complaintant is not a "Devout Christian"
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#8 User is offline   JerryL 

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:21 AM

View PostSARGE, on 08 May 2019 - 03:50 PM, said:

I agree with both.

As a vet, when I view a memorial like this, I focus on the context.

Bible, Koran, or Torah doesn't matter to me.

It's the context, and if it gave strength and comfort to the veteran it belongs in the display.

It's not a promotion of a religion. Those that whine about this are the perpetually aggrieved.

I'm a Christian, maybe I'm just not devout enough.

You and me both, brother!

View PostHowsithangin, on 09 May 2019 - 12:12 AM, said:

Precisely.

Side note: I'll lay a Franklin on the table that the complaintant is not a "Devout Christian"

I will NOT take that bet.
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