PENTEGON RETREATS FROM BIBLE BAN IN MILITARY HOSPITALS


Here is another example of US government thinking which was a little too early to be accepted, and so had to be reversed for the time being. This was a real policy put into effect briefly. It is a sign of things to come should US governent not change direction.

My computer developed a strange problem which the Geek squad is trying to fix.  Four days so far.

Just got it back today, Monday.  Hooray.

Fr. Orthohippo

Pentagon Retreats from Bible Ban in Military Hospitals

Posted on December 6, 2011

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.

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 Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

Now the ban has been lifted.

“The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded,” said Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed. “We appreciate  Congressman King bringing this to our attention. We don’t want our instructions  to be ambiguous.” King said the military has some explaining to do…

Read more here.

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About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
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