Bible Removed From POW/MIA Display at Ohio Veterans’ Clinic Following Complaint

POW Flag-compressedAKRON, Ohio — A Veterans Administration clinic in Ohio has removed a Bible from a display honoring prisoners of war (POW) and those missing in action (MIA) following a complaint from a church-state separation group.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), led by its controversial president, Mikey Weinstein, claims that it had received complaints from 11 patients at the Akron clinic, seven of whom identified themselves as being Christian.

“Did I miss out on the memo that America was a theocracy and we are all supposed to be worshiping Jesus Christ?” one reportedly stated. “[I]t seems the vast majority of Christians want to make everything about them.”

The display at issue was a “missing man table” that included a place setting, a rose, a candle and a Bible, along with a framed Bible verse. The table had been set by area volunteers in honor of POW’s and those MIA.

Weinstein contacted the clinic after receiving the alleged complaints. Facility administrator Brian Reinhart told reporters that he had not heard any objections the presence of the Bible other than from Weinstein.

However, after receiving a call from MRFF, he agreed to remove the Bible and accompanying message.

“In discussing it with the volunteers, we thought as though it was the best course of action since several veterans did express concerns [to Weinstein] regarding it,” Reinhart told Fox’s Todd Starnes.

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He consequently sent an email to MRFF to advise that the items had been removed.

“I just wanted to let you know that the Bible has been removed from our POW table and the Bible verse has been removed from the framed Scripture,” Reinhart wrote to Weinstein.

MRFF says that it is pleased with the decision.

“MRFF’s veteran client soldiers, and we at MRFF as well, applaud this VA Clinic Administrator’s sage wisdom and courage in recognizing that the U.S. military is comprised of hundreds if not thousands of diverse faiths as well as no faiths,” Weinstein said in a statement. “We heartily commend his taking decisive and swift action to remedy the situation so that the MIA/POW table truly honors all.”

But some state that the VA should not have caved to MRFF’s demands.

“It is a sad day when the Veteran’s Administration caves to one narrow view of the proper way to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who have dedicated their lives in service of their country,” Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told Starnes. “Many have died to protect the right of Americans to have and read the Bible. Surely we can honor their sacrifice by allowing a Bible at their table of remembrance.”

According to the National League of POW/MIA Families, the Bible is traditionally present at “missing man” tables, and “represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.”


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  • Cady555

    The POW/MIA display is intended to honor all American POWs and MIAs. A display that only honors those with the “correct” religion is wrong. The fix is easy.

    Why would anyone want a POW/MIA display that excludes many brave Americans who sacrificed all?

    • Amos Moses

      “Why would anyone want a POW/MIA display that excludes many brave Americans who sacrificed all?”

      Which ones were “excluded”? If A-theists had a book they wanted to put there, then let them bring one…………….. Oh, right……. No, it is better to be outraged at something they say does not exist……………

      “A display that only honors those with the “correct” religion is wrong.”

      So dishonoring those who do believe is the answer…………….. SMH.

      • Cady555

        Seriously? A quiet table honoring the missing man, and you would stack a couple dozen religious texts on it? Why not just skip the divisive religious text and include those objects that are cherished by all soldiers?

        • Amos Moses

          Again, your answer is to strip all “religious texts” away to………. i’m sorry…. how does that go again….. because your “sensitivities” are offended…… SMH.

          The only one dividing here is you for your own “sacrilegious” reasons.

          • Cady555

            If i were asked to decorate a table meant to honor missing and fallen soldiers, I would make sure it truly honored all of them. An American flag, a letter from home, flowers, a picture of 4th of July fireworks.

            I would be embarrassed if I added something that made a large number of soldiers feel second class or like outsiders. I wouldn’t include a copy of The God Delusion. I wouldn’t include a Republican or Democratic campaign button. I would ask myself if I am being respectful to all soldiers, setting a table that any soldier would find welcoming. I would double check to make sure I’m not favoring only those who are most like me.

            But then, being an immoral godless heathen, I find empathy, compassion and inclusion preferable to me first tribalism.

          • Amos Moses

            “I would be embarrassed if I added something that made a large number of soldiers feel second class or like outsiders.”

            And your evidence that it would be a large number……. Right, none…. No, you just want to spread your offense about religion to others.

            FYI, if it were not for soldiers and their belief in religion, there would be no US for you to make such statements in.

            “But then, being an immoral godless heathen, I find empathy, compassion and inclusion preferable to me first tribalism.”

            Empathy, compassion, and any other such concepts come FROM religion, not the absence of it. There is no right and wrong outside of religion, inclusive or otherwise.

          • Cady555

            Empathy and compassion come from religion, you say. Yet several people here think a Christian bible, complete with the New Testament, is a fine way to honor a missing soldier who might be Jewish. If Christians find the NT comforting, doesn’t everyone?

            I strongly suggest Googling the word “empathy.”

          • Amos Moses

            Right and wrong come from religion. Empathy and compassion come from those. No one has objected to a Torah being there, except maybe a few atheists.

        • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

          Because not all soldiers are going to cherish everything.

          • Cady555

            Exactly. That’s why one has to think about which things are most likely to be viewed fondly and work to be welcoming.

      • acontraryview

        How does removing the Bible “dishonor” Christian veterans?

        • Amos Moses

          How does it honor a-theists?

          • gogo0

            it doesn’t, that’s the point. it returns full honor to all of those who are POW/MIA

    • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

      No, its American history/tradition. It doesn’t impose anything by sitting there on the shelf or wherever it was so long at other things like American Flag and other artifacts are present. IT’S TRADITION NOT RELIGION!

      • Cady555

        As I understand it, it’s a table, set and ready, for the one who won’t come home. It is supposed to represent every fallen soldier but has a religious text that excludes many.

        Why?

        • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

          Because the Bible is part of AMERICAN HISTORY. The Union Flag left southern slave owners out, its part of our history, like it or not. The Confederate flag left northerners out because of what it represents. There are tons of signs, pictures, and other artifacts from the Jim Crow era, and despite being despicable, American soldiers died for the cause and should be remembered for what they stood for because they paid the ultimate price for it. What part of IT’S ENGRAVED IN OUR NATIONAL HISTORY don’t you understand. Most WW2 veterans were Christian, so why does the Bible have to be removed? Many of them died as Christians and stood by their faith. Taking the Bible down is disrespectful to those who believed. For those who didn’t believe, there are other artifacts that represent them. No one artifact can represent all of the people that died in the wars. It’s a fact, some of them who fought and died for this country were drafted and hated this country. They wouldn’t have fought if they were paid. Others gladly went and paid the ultimate price. Its a given not all of them loved America. Point being, have multiple items on display that represent every one of them historically, and the Bible is one of those items whether you like it or not.

          • Cady555

            An estimated 500, 000 soldiers in WWII were Jewish. One of the four Immortal Chaplains on the SS Dorchester was Jewish.

          • gogo0

            disqus_SUijHfDO8w: “Taking the Bible down is disrespectful to those who believed”
            disqus_SUijHfDO8w: “IT’S TRADITION NOT RELIGION!”
            you would be better off just admitting that it’s all about Christianity, and nothing else, being front and center for you, the ‘tradition’ aspect is disingenuous and contradictory.

  • bowie1

    The Bible would include both Jews and Christians since they still have what we call the Old Testament, so it is not an entirely exclusive display.

    • Cady555

      Jews aren’t overly fond of the new testament. A torah would represent them. A christian bible, not so much.

  • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

    It’s a historic piece showing the tradition of our nation’s history. The Bible, despite being religious is part of this nations history. Remove this, and we are removing a piece of history. There are things about the U.S. history that I don’t like, I don’t like them when I see them on display, but its a part of our history whether we like it or not and should be left to remind us what we were so we can compare and contrast at a future date.

    • Cady555

      There are hundreds of objects that could be placed in the table. People chose one that is divisive and treats some missing soldiers as outsiders rather than honoring them. Why, when there are so many inclusive alternatives?

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    I have read a lot on POW’s going back to the Civil War. These men sacrificed tremendously for our country. In the case of many POW’s, particularly WWII ones, escape operations and attempts were a way to get back at the enemy as best they could. I seriously doubt there are many who survived the barbed wire who would be happy that they sacrificed so much so that Mikey Weinstein could have his continuous hissy fit acted upon in any way, shape, or form.

    This is the kind of absurdity our country is in – where real men once stormed the beaches of Normandy, but now faux and feminized “men,” like Mikey, devoid of any true purpose in their lives, think their big “cause” is to fill their diapers every time they see a Bible or cross some where. Not in my worst atheist days would I have demanded a Bible or cross be removed – I guess I had more important things going on in my life than that. I thank the God I once did not believe in that He converted me from Old Atheism, before New Atheism descended into delusion and absurdity.

    • C_Alan_Nault

      They could have left the Bible there, as long as they added a Torah, the Quran, some books from other religions including Wicca, and some books espousing atheism.

  • Jeff N

    Does it matter that I’m complaining because they removed the Bible from the display?.

    • localhistorywriter

      Well, heck no – didn’t you get the memo. This “diversity” is “ABC” – “anything but Christianity.” Atheists are sensitive little dears. They prove that by all their genocides in the past century.

      • C_Alan_Nault

        Name one genocide done in the name of atheism.

    • Terri Finley

      It matters to me…

  • localhistorywriter

    Poor little things, they see that horrid old Bible and they have to reach for their smelling salts. Pobrecitas abuelitas.

    • C_Alan_Nault

      Yeah, that Bible IS filled with horrid passages condoning slavery, eating of feces, drinking of urine, ripping unborn babies out of pregnant women, dashing young children against the rocks, and killing anyone who worships a different god or no god.

  • Josey

    “It is a sad day when the Veteran’s Administration caves to one narrow view of the proper way to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who have dedicated their lives in service of their country,” Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told Starnes. “Many have died to protect the right of Americans to have and read the Bible. Surely we can honor their sacrifice by allowing a Bible at their table of remembrance.”

    Indeed a sad day! Why cave in to these ridiculous demands? It’s as bad as churches signing up with the 501c, Where are the Elijah’s that believe God is Great and Creator of all? Remember the prophets of baal, God destroyed everyone of them and their queen jezebel.

  • Brad F

    The Dominican Republic actually has a Bible on its national flag. It must be a theocracy down there. Once a Bible is seen in public, that’s it – theocracy, Inquisition, the whole nine yards. Scary to think about it.

    Wasn’t it horrible of George Washington to take his oath of office on a Bible – and then afterward, he went off the script and actually KISSED the Bible. * shudder *

  • BarkingDawg

    What did Donald Trump say about POWs?

    Oh, Yeah:

    “I like people who weren’t captured”

    Remember that when it comes time to vote.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    ““It is a sad day when the Veteran’s Administration caves to one narrow view ”

    You mean when the VA decides to follow the US Constitution?

    “the Bible is traditionally present at “missing man” tables, and “represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.””

    Sure, one nation under god is a common phrase. But saying that doesn’t limit it’s interpretation to one nation, under one specific god.

    By placing a Bible there, you are in effect saying “one nation under god, and that god is the god of Christianity, all other gods are false gods”.