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-Pentagon Backs Down on Hospital Ban on Bibles

by Dr. D ~ December 3rd, 2011

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

              (Image by MilitaryHealth via Flickr)

Pentagon Bureaucrats banned Bibles and religious literature from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in September but backed away from that policy this week after a Congressional complaint.

Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan at Walter Reed instituted the ban in a September 14th memo covering guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care” at the hospital:

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”

The policy was lifted the next day after a complaint was made on the floor of Congress by Representative Steve King (R-Iowa). King demanded Pentagon officials to explain why family members of wounded military troops were prohibited from bringing Bibles or any religious reading materials to their loved ones. He also called upon the President to take action in this case:

“That means you can’t bring in a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or your daughter, perhaps – or your wife or husband. It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their death bed couldn’t bring in the Eucharist, couldn’t offer Last Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

Even though action was taken and the policy was immediately rescinded, Congressman King is calling for an investigation of why the policy was issued in the first place and who was responsible. After all, it was an obvious violation of Constitutional rights:

“This is Orwellian. We are seeing a shocking level of hostility towards religious faith but beyond that – we’ve also seen a militantly secular attitude of trying to sterilize the defense department of all references to faith.”

“I don’t think there’s any excuse for it and there’s no talking it away. The very existence of this, whether it’s enforced or not, tells you what kind of a mindset is there.

The idea that these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have fought to defend our Constitution, and that includes our First Amendment rights to religious liberty – would be denied that religious liberty when they are lying in a hospital bed recovering from wounds incurred while defending that liberty is the most bitter and offensive type of an irony that I can think of.”

As you can well imagine a storm of protests have been released upon the administration following the public airing of this ‘anti-religious’ policy. 

Response: Rep. King has said it better than I could ever hope to. It is really shocking that this policy was implemented in the first place. It reminds me of the recent controversy at Houston National Cemetery where administrators tried to limit religious services and prayers until a Federal Court overturned the policy.

Also this Christmas season, military bases which traditionally used to collect gifts and toys for needy children are being discouraged from participating in such divisive ‘religious’ activities, particularly if Christian organizations are involved.

I don’t think that these crazy policies are accidents at all but actually reflect a secularist environment encouraged by the Obama administration.

Even though the Constitution guarantees ‘freedom of religion’ in this country, many secularists in government positions do not believe that it necessarily applies to government institutions. They view the court enforced ‘separation of church and state’ as having precedence over personal religious freedoms. I believe that this is just the beginning.

If the present administration is able to stick around for another term, the Judicial Branch will be transformed by the appointment of hundreds of new ‘secular minded’ Federal judges and maybe even a couple more Supreme Court Justices. If so, in ten years or even sooner America will be far different than it is today. Our ‘freedom of Religion’ will be diminished and superseded by a legal onslaught of new civil rights that are judged to be far more important.            *Top

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1 Response to -Pentagon Backs Down on Hospital Ban on Bibles

  1. The Death Of the Constitution | Grumpy Opinions

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