Vice President Mike Pence litigated a First Amendment lawsuit that caused the Bible to be shown at a New Hampshire Veterans Hospital, saying with the current administration, "VA hospitals will not be religious sites."
"will always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every religion," Pence said in a speech highlighting the National Convention of the American Legion in Indianapolis on Wednesday. "And my message to the VA Hospital in New Hampshire is this: The Bible remains.
The Military Foundation for Religious Freedom, which initially opposed the Bible, called the president a "repulsive and repulsive fundamentalist" bully.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said the mass was sponsored by a group of veterans called the Northeast POW / MIA Network.
A federal lawsuit was brought to Concord in May by U.S. Air Force veteran James Chamberlain v. Center Director Alfred Montoya, saying the inclusion of the Bible is a violation of the Constitution.The First Amendment stipulates that "no government can establish any religion. Nor can the government favor one religious faith at the expense of others, ”according to the case.
Chamberlain, a devout Christian, said in the case the table should be remembered for all who served, regardless of their beliefs. The suit says that the initial dining tradition of POW / MIA was started by a group of combat pilots in Vietnam and did not include the Bible as one of the subjects.
A mass for missing people is usually placed near military dining halls and is honored by fallen or missing service members. It is a dining set for one person and has a white tablecloth, single rose, lighted candle and more. In some displays, the Bible is also on the table, representing spiritual power.
In his speech, Pence stated that the lawsuit was not a surprise, because under the latter administration, "VA hospitals were removing the Bibles" to be "politically correct." "
" But let me be clear: under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religious-free zones, "he says.
Mike Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, in a statement called Pence is "one of the most repulsive and repulsive fundamentalist Christian leaders and bullies on the scene today" and added that "it is hardly surprising that he imparts his ugly fanaticism and pervasive prejudices in support of maintaining this Christian bible for POW MIA Mass in Manchester, New Hampshire ir, VA Medical Center. "
The Medical Center initially removed the Bible in January after the foundation objected, claiming it had received complaints from 1
But the Bible appeared again on the table in February.He was placed in a clear case and fixed to the table.A spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs said the Bible was returned after the medical center received an outpouring of complaints from veterans and others.