Veterans Affairs hospitals will not be “religion-free zones,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a speech in Indianapolis Wednesday.
“You might’ve heard even today that there’s a lawsuit to remove a Bible that was carried in World War II from a Missing Man Table at a VA hospital in New Hampshire,” the vice president said at the 101st American Legion convention in Indianapolis. “It’s really no surprise because, under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct.”
“And my message to the New Hampshire VA hospital is: The Bible stays,” he told the audience:
During the last Administration the VA was removing Bibles & even banning Christmas carols to be politically correct, but under President @realDonaldTrump, VA hospitals will NOT be religion-free zones. Message to the New Hampshire VA: the Bible STAYS! –@AmericanLegion pic.twitter.com/f35NY28Jc5
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) August 29, 2019
In May, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed a lawsuit against a VA hospital in New Hampshire for using a Bible as part of its public POW display, according to Breitbart News.
The group, which has a history of attacking Christians, said it filed the lawsuit on behalf of New Hampshire veteran James Chamberlain.
“As a Christian, [Chamberlain] respects and loves all his military brothers and sisters and does not want to be exclusionary by placement of the Christian Bible,” the filing stated.
Mikey Weinstein, founder of the MRFF, said the Bible should not be allowed to remain in the display.
“From our perspective, it’s a repugnant example of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, exceptionalism, superiority, and domination, and it cannot stand,” he commented.
However, in a recent statement, First Liberty Institute’s director of military affairs and chief of staff, Michael Berry, praised the Trump administration’s stance on religious liberty:
We are grateful to Vice President Pence and the entire administration for their steadfast defense of religious liberty and America’s veterans. Anti-religious hostility has no place in the V.A., yet we continue to see activists roaming the country seeking to purge any and all religious symbols.
Berry concluded by saying that the removal of the Bible would be a “cruel insult and dishonors our veterans,” adding that “First Liberty will fight to make sure the Bible stays.”