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Beliefnet News

Pentagon retreats from Bible ban in U.S. military hospitals, but how did it happen?

One day after an outraged Congressman denounced a Pentagon ban on Bibles or any other religious literature in U.S. military hospitals, the Obama Administration has dropped the policy.

But questions linger. Why would unelected bureaucrats think they can ban Bibles? How did such a policy ever get approved? Who is responsible?

In Texas, an ongoing battle has been waged by the Veterans Administration and volunteers from the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Officials at Houston’s national cemetery barred any religious ceremonies at graveside and ignored denunciations by members of Congress as well as infuriated families. Calls have resounded nationwide for the firing of the cemetery’s director — but she has remained in office.


Page 1 of the order

Now, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) has demanded that officials explain why bureaucrats have prohibited family members of wounded military troops from bringing Bibles or any religious reading materials to their loved ones.

“The President of the United States should address this and should excoriate the people who brought about this policy and the individual who brought it about should be dismissed from the United States Military,” said Congressman King.


Speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives, King blasted an order from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”

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

“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,” King said. “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

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Hutch

    As a member of the Gideons and a teacher of US Government, I find this abhorrent that our 1st Amendment Rights to read scripture at a hospital would be banned or that it was even considered is unbelieveable. America Bless GOD!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jim W

    This is what you get when you elect a Muslim ilegel alien to the highest office in this country. Mr. Obama is decidedly against any christian beliefs. Just simply look at the requirements he places on places he graces with his presence. The only way this will stop is if we, the AMERICANS put our foot down.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment George A

    This carring the restrictions of Religiuos frredom too far Let us remember our country was founed on freedom of Religion by our fore fathers.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment USMCPiper

    Funny how the people trying to ban religion in the military have never served, or so it would seem. Those of us who have understand how important one’s faith can be to them. Nobody’s forcing anyone to have faith or choose a faith, but everyone has the right to observe their faith, or not to observe as the case may be.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Don & Janese Montgomery

    I belive that who ever issued that directive should be publicly admonished and dismissed.

    This is one of the most disgusting directives I have ever heard of that involves our people in the military and giving thier selves to protect our shores.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment DJH TRUTH

    Unfortunately “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet”! This is only the beginning, not only will THE BIBLE be banned but Christians persecuted, jailed, and executed. The book that you are crying foul to preserve will tell you all that in the book of Revelations. Brace yourselves, draw closer to Jesus, he’s our only protection!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rowena Neely

    Thank goodness. Glad that it was recinded!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment george gillis

    Another assult on our religious freedom, I didn’t know that change meant an attack on our core values. This administration has pitted the poor aganist the rich, one race aganist the other and a federal government that assults the religious values of many americans. Instead of a united country we are further apart than ever. It must be stopped..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John Hatch

    This is “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” not
    one nation under Oboma!!!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Will Teague

    Never thought I would see the day when it was even a question of a bible being allowed in a government facility of any type. What happen to God, honor, country? I guarantee a lot of warriors feels the same way this one does. Great job for that representative that stood up and led the charge. Let’s put him in the running for Commander and Chief..

  • http://WND Lois W Lillico

    It is time the American People “WE THE PEOPLE

  • http://WND Lois W Lillico

    It is time that we the people rise up and demand the Congress and the Pentagon stop violating the RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE from our Constitution, which at this time, I believe is still the LAW OF THE LAND, and it definitely states the government cannot impose “it’s” religion on the the People.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ken steger


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