Monday, July 4, 2011

VA Endangers Religious Freedoms of Veterans

Here's a little something that should make everyone's blood absolutely boil! It's from an article out of a Houston Tx newspaper, I believe. I don't have the link for it yet, but I'll find it and post it later. Once again, our illustrious government officials have deemed it necessary to censor free speech and the freedom to practice religion as we see fit. God help us all if this is allowed to continue unabated!

ARTICLE: Local veterans say the Department of Veterans Affairs is consistently censoring their prayers, banning them from saying the words “God,” and “Jesus” during funeral services at Houston National Cemetery. Three separate organizations have come forward complaining the cemetery’s director and other government officials are violating the First Amendment. Members from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion and the National Memorial Ladies all complain of “religious hostility” at the cemetery. On Tuesday they told a federal judge what’s been going on there. “People are doing things out there that I feel like they shouldn’t be,” said Jim Rodgers, a Vietnam veteran. “We are private citizens in a private organization, and yet we are restricted from saying what our ritual calls for,” said John Spahr, Veterans of Foreign Wars. A 26-page complaint outlines the allegations. According to the court papers, the cemetery’s director, Arleen Ocasio, bans the word “God” and requires prayers to be submitted for government approval. “We were told we could no longer say “God bless you” and “God bless your family,” said Marilyn Koepp, a volunteer with the National Memorial Ladies. The group attends about 60 funerals a week to honor veterans and console families.Yesterday Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) called for the termination of Houston National Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio.Your Houston News reported: Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) on Wednesday, June 29, sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, and issued the following statement in response to recent allegations regarding religious discrimination by the Director of the Houston National Cemetery: “I am deeply troubled by the allegations that were brought to my attention when I met with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Houston,” said Poe. The director of the Houston National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, allegedly has engaged in aggressive hostile censorship of religion at the second largest cemetery for veterans in the United States. “The First Amendment is a sacred right of all Americans, especially those who have honorably served — and given their lives — in the name of protecting the United States. Denying their families their constitutional right to the free exercise of religious freedom is disgraceful and shows blatant disrespect for America’s veterans. If these allegations are true, I formally call for the termination of Arleen Ocasio as the director the Houston National Cemetery. This display of authoritarian behavior and religious discrimination should not be tolerated.” LIST OF ACCUSATIONS 1) Director Ocasio and other Cemetery Officials instructed Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 to remove prayers from its burial rituals and to no longer utter remarks when handling the discharged shell cases from the rifle salute to the family of deceased veterans. 2) Cemetery Officials instructed American Legion Post 586 to remove prayers from its burial rituals. 3) Director Ocasio told the National Memorial Ladies that it could no longer include “God Bless” in its condolence cards or speak a religious message to veterans’ families. 4) Director Ocascio shut down the Cemetery chapel; it is now a “meeting facility.”


Here's your link:

Arleen Ocasio

Director Ocasio has already been successfully sued this year for religious discrimination. Obviously, she is not qualified to be the director of a National Cemetery and should step down.

Send an email to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki. Ask him to 1) stop his department's religious discrimination and 2) relieve Director Ocasio of her duties.  Here's your link to send the e-mail.  Takes only a minute. ~Faye

It is very important that you forward this alert to your friends and family members.


Lordhawke said...

In my opinion, Arleen Ocasio should be terminated immediately, and then tried and found guilty of traitorous acts against the United States and her people, who are guaranteed their God given rights by the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America! Ms. Ocasio has done no less than suborned these documents!

Faye said...

I am a veteran and I will serve my God and my country undtill the day I die. It is my opinion that no one should work for the VA in any capacity unlessm they are a veteran or have family in the military. For a director of VA affairs, especially one in Texas, to forbid the use of God in prayer or condolances to military families goes beyond outrage.
I have sent an e-mail to the Director of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC callinf for this persons dismissal.
I hope some of you will stand with me.

God Bless you all
Robert Clack
United States Navy veteran.

via e-mail

Faye said...

I've had just about enough of this. They stopped the Chaplains from mentioning God 2 or 3 years ago. Now they're going for the rest of us. ENOUGH! I've forwarded to vets I know and the Odessa American Legion. I'd have forwarded it to the Odessa VFW but I couldn't find their e-mail address. I will be sending an e-mail to the Director of Veterans Affairs in DC also, Robert.

Faye Hall
U.S. Navy Veteran
Widow of Retired, Disabled U.S.Navy Veteran
Kenneth M. Hall


Faye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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