The Obama administration cracked down hard on religious liberty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The administration punished soldiers for their Christian faith, removed nativity scenes from military bases, and prohibited “Merry Christmas” cards in VA hospitals.
Religious freedom, especially for Christians, was limited more each day.
But President Trump and his administration is trying to turn back the tide.
Under the Obama administration, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) was behind many of these attacks on faith.
Most recently, the organization filed a federal lawsuit against the inclusion of a veteran’s family Bible in a New Hampshire VA hospital’s ‘Missing Man’ exhibit. The veteran, Herman Streitburger, had been held as a German prisoner of war in World War II.
Mr. Streitburger donated his family Bible to the Missing Man exhibit as a way of “honoring missing military personnel and prisoners of war.” The MRFF, however, claimed that the inclusion of a Bible violated the U.S. Constitution.
This is not a new accusation from the MRFF. In fact, the organization has made similar claims many times in the past, and under the Obama administration, VA hospitals and other Army representatives capitulated to the MRFF’s demands more often than not.
But that’s changing under President Trump’s administration.
When presented with the MRFF’s lawsuit, Vice President Mike Pence said, “We will always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every faith. And my message to the New Hampshire VA hospital is: The Bible stays.”
Pence confirmed suspicions that the MRFF had had free reign under the previous administration and that President Obama had not acted to protect religious freedom. This latest attack, he argued, was only to be expected.
“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,” Pence continued.
“But let me be clear,” Pence warned. “Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.”
Of course, the MRFF was outraged by these words. The organization’s founder, Mikey Weinstein, attacked Pence in inflammatory terms for opposing the lawsuit.
“Mike Pence is one of the most repulsive and repellent fundamentalist Christians supremacists and bullies on the scene today,” Weinstein said.
“It is hardly surprising that he is lending his ugly bigotry and pervasive prejudice in support of keeping that Christian Bible bolted down on that POW/MIA table.”
Weinstein’s insults reveal who the true bully is. The MRFF will stop at nothing to erase all traces of religion, especially Christianity, from VA hospitals and other facilities.
Because of the Trump administration’s support, however, VA officials are standing up to the MRFF and fighting to keep their religious freedoms.
VA representatives argue that the MRFF does not represent their true interests.
“They did not know the makeup of the force,” said one VA official. “They did not know the history of this country when it came to religious foundations, the religious support for those in uniform.”
In other words, the MRFF isn’t fighting for the religious freedom of those in the Armed Forces. The organization simply wants to eliminate religion from the military sphere altogether.
The VA official continued, “It is offensive to me that we send our troops into the most godforsaken places on the planet, and yet we have people suing us because they’re offended by the presence of a Bible at a table memorializing missing soldiers.”
“That makes no sense to me,” he finished. “It hides another agenda, which is to completely secularize the country. That doesn’t work in the military world.”
“There is nothing like [VA] culture. This culture, in order to survive, depends on…having a very strong foundation that includes the family and faith community within the military.”
President Trump and Vice President Pence agree and they’re working to defend the religious freedoms of everyone in the Armed Forces.
Going forward, religious-themed Christmas cards and other expressions of faith will be permitted in VA facilities.
And Bibles will be present wherever VA patients want them!
Weinstein and the MRFF are still fighting bitterly against the Trump administration’s defense of religion, but people of faith in the Armed Forces are grateful.
Pray for the current administration’s continued success in defending religious freedom across the country!