Why Would the VA Ban Kids from Singing to America’s Military Heroes?
Two members of Congress want answers to numerous reports that Christian-themed Christmas cards were returned, gifts in religious wrapping paper were refused and young Christmas carolers were turned away when they came to sing to hospitalized military vets.
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
Was the Veterans Administration on a Christmas jihad to bar Christianity from its hospitals and cemeteries?
“Congressman Jeff Miller says veterans administrators restricted the delivery of Christmas-specific cards, singing of Christian carols and the distribution of gifts wrapped in Christmas paper,” reports United Press International.
“Several incidents at Veterans Affairs medical centers over the holidays have prompted the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman to question whether VA has violated the civil rights of veterans in its care,” reports Military Times.
“Why did VA hospitals restrict and in some cases ban volunteers from bringing holiday cheer to patients? That’s the question Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) wants answered,” writes Todd Starnes of Fox News. “He’s the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and he’s accusing the VA of disrespecting Christmas as well as censoring and obstructing volunteers bearing gifts and Christmas cards.”
“In taking it upon themselves to restrict Christmas cards, carols and gifts in certain locations, VA officials clearly ignored longstanding federal government traditions, basic common sense and possibly a 2011 federal consent decree that ordered VA not to ban religious speech,” Miller wrote in a letter to Eric Shinseki, the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Because Christmas is a federal holiday and VA is a federal entity, VA patients, volunteers and veterans service organizations should be free to respectfully honor it without obstruction and censorship from VA,” he wrote.
But the problem is bad and getting worse, says American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger.
“Christians are more and more often targeted for censorship and restriction at VA facilities,” Dellinger said. “First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that mention Christmas is ludicrous. Second of all, VA has been down this road before, and recently. VA has been warned through a federal court decree to stop denying freedom of religious expression at its facilities. It’s pretty obvious the Dallas VA did not get that memo.”
And now the VA hospital in Dallas has admitted to “incorrectly”