July 1, 2011 9 Comments
A battle is brewing at a V.A. cemetery in Houston where director Arlene Ocasio is attempting to ban God and Jesus from being uttered at Memorial Day and funeral services. Suit was filed before Memorial Day after a pastor was told he was not allowed to pray using the name of Jesus at a Memorial Day service. He won that suit but the V.A. continues to demand that families submit prayers in writing prior to funerals for her approval.
It doesn’t end there. The National Memorial Ladies have been told they are not allowed to say “God bless’ orally or in writing to the families of deceased veterans. Vietnam veteran Nobleton Jones hands shells from 21 gun salutes to families and tells them “We wish that God grant you and your family grace, mercy and peace.” Miss Ocasio has told Mr. Jones that he isn’t allowed to say this to families.
The First amendment to the Constitution does not allow Congress to establish a nationwide religion. However, that doesn’t mean that religion is banned from Federal property. Congress has prayers each day, the Supreme Court has the 10 Commandments posted in their building and prayers are a regular part of Presidential inaugurations. The notion that the first amendment means no religion can ever be part of anything associated with government is ludicrous.
The first amendment doesn’t entitle people to be free from any religious speech. It only entitles people to be free from government creating a nationwide religion. Military funerals are private events and it is disgraceful that the V.A. would attempt to censor religious speech. Just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you get to censor everyone else so that you don’t have to hear religious speech. That’s not how the first amendment works nor is it how it should work. You cannot deny others their right to free speech in order to satisfy your selfish desire not to be confronted with the name of God of Jesus Christ.
The notion that pastors must submit prayers for government approval is surely a violation of the so-called separation of church and state the left so loves to talk about. But it’s worse than that. Having pastors submit prayers for approval not only denies pastors their right to religion but it is also a chilling effect on their free speech. After all doesn’t a pastor have the right to speak as he sees fit? Doesn’t a family have the right to hire the pastor of their choosing to conduct their loved ones funeral? Veterans families have enough to deal with when their loved one dies, to force them to submit prayers for approval from a V.A. bureaucrat is outrageous.
These men fought for freedom and the very government they fought for is now attempting to deny them freedom in death. Freedom does not mean being free from hearing things you don’t like. It doesn’t mean freedom from every hearing something religious. The freedom these men fought for includes freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Now the government seeks to deny their families and their pastors both in order to satisfy the selfish desire of a bureaucrat who doesn’t want to hear God mentioned. What an absolute disgrace.