‘The Bible Stays’: Pence Announces Change to VA Hospital Rules Allowing Religious Decorations, Christmas Trees

Vice President Mike Pence announced that he would be scrapping some of the previous administration’s policies when it comes to religion in Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The vice president spoke before the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Wednesday where he announced that the administration under President Donald Trump would be rolling back some of the policies put into place while President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office.

According to Pence, Obama-era rules prohibited the celebration of religious holidays in VA hospitals, including the display of Christmas trees and Bibles.

Pence promised the veterans in the crowd that those rules were a thing of the past. The Trump administration had overturned those decisions and would be fighting a lawsuit that aims to remove a WWII-era Bible from one VA hospital in New Hampshire.

Watch Pence’s speech:

“As we meet the health care needs of our veterans, let me make you another promise: This administration will always make room for the spiritual needs of our heroes at the VA as well. You might have heard, even today, that there’s a lawsuit to remove a Bible that was carried in World War II from a missing man table at a VA hospital in New Hampshire. There’s a lawsuit underway. It’s really no surprise because, under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct. Let me be clear: Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.”

Pence added that the Trump administration will “always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every faith.”

The vice president told the crowd that he wanted to let those suing the New Hampshire VA for their WWII-era Bible that “the Bible stays.”

President Trump campaigned on ending the “assault” against Christmas festivities in government-owned facilities, such as the VA.

It remains unclear how the New Hampshire VA lawsuit over the Bible will play out. The lawsuit was filed on May 7, 2019.

Published in IJR Red

Responses

  1. Would someone please get those pesky Gideon Bibles out of hotel/motel rooms? It’s hard to sleep knowing that God might be lurking about. If the Quoran, the Book of Mormon, the Baghadgavita, et al, were added, well maybe I could get a decent night’s sleep.
    For those who do not recognize sarcasm…

  2. contusion- in response to your response to Chad “No sense ridding yourself of your confusion”. More likely, he doesn’t want to dumb himself down to your level.

    1. Actually, Seidel researched his book over 8 years. It is very thorough and road-tested. He clearly negates all of the false religious claims made about the founding fathers, this nation and its Constitution by the Christian Nationalists.

  3. contusion-“In fact, I would argue that he or she would likely be MORE impartial and objective than a Christian because he or she has no poker in that fire”. That is exactly the reason you are so confused. An atheist is anything BUT impartial about the existence of GOD. For you to believe this lady you cite “has no poker in that fire” is utterly absurd. A person who, by definition, does not believe in the existence of GOD cannot be impartial about the existence the GOD. You are very confused.

  4. General, perhaps if you didn’t spend so much time playing with your privates, and spent a little more time pulling your head out of your butt, you wouldn’t be so confused.

    Being the liberal idiot that you are, it never occurred to you that your comment about Christians taking over makes you sound a lot like an “anti-Alex Jones”. Are you afraid of a Christian “saving you” to death? I’d take that over being beheaded because I refuse to accept the cult of Islam. Considering that Christians WROTE The Constitution, I have little fear that other Christians will hijack it.

    I have NO interest in reading Seidel or anything on your book of the month club list. When I see what an idiot such reading has made you, I don’t think I’ll waste my time unless I’m in the mood to be entertained.

    Perhaps YOU should read a book called the Koran. You’d like it. It was written by a psychopathic narcissist who robbed, raped and had anyone killed who didn’t agree with him. It’ll teach you about “Caliphates”.

    1. “I have NO interest in reading Seidel or anything on your book of the month club list.” Not So Well Hung Chad

      Figures. No sense ridding yourself of your confusion.

  5. “A person who does not believe in Zeus CANNOT be objective about something they do not believe even exists, just like an atheist cannot be objective in writing about the existence of GOD.”

    If the athiest is impartial, of course he or she can be objective. In fact, I would argue that he or she would likely be MORE impartial and objective than a Christian because he or she has no poker in that fire. I would cite Francesca Stavrakopoulou as an excellent example. She is currently Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter. I would rather have her teach than someone who would be willing to toe some religious line or doctrine in class. See the difference?

    “Please explain why a Christian WOULD NOT be objective when writing about science, biology or history. EVERY Christian I know believes that science, biology and history exists.
    Your argument holds no water.” banstan

    Of course my argument holds water.

    Many teachers in Texas, for example, are examples of people who are Christians and use their position of power to not follow the state subject guides or logic or impartiality. Texan teachers can even lose their jobs if it comes out that a teacher is a non-believer.

    youtu (dot) be /N0e21oaUDeU

    I am not claiming that ALL religious teachers are not objective, but experience clearly shows that the chances are greater if the teacher is religious.

  6. contusion-“The Christian Nationalists (moral majority, evangelical right, Creationists, whatever) have for decades built up a huge cadre of dangerous religious warriors and CNs can reach into that pool and pull out someone to run as a conservative judge or be a right-wing politician (Pence, Pompeo, etc).” Is this really Alex Jones? If not, just what are you smoking? I bet you think Elvis is still alive, too.

    1. Sorry, I don’t smoke.

      Look into the Chalcedon Foundation and their ultimate political goal, and the accidentally leaked WEDGE document of the Discovery Institute.

  7. contusion-“A person who doesn’t believe in Zeus can still be objective in writing about him in the same way a Christian believer can still be objective when writing about science or biology or history.” A person who does not believe in Zeus CANNOT be objective about something they do not believe even exists, just like an atheist cannot be objective in writing about the existence of GOD. Please explain why a Christian WOULD NOT be objective when writing about science, biology or history. EVERY Christian I know believes that science, biology and history exists.
    Your argument holds no water.

  8. I wrote a comment yesterday addressing tolerance of all opinions regardless of religion and stated that the Left will only tolerate your opinion if it is in line with theirs. What happened to my reply? Did the Left disagree with me so it “disappeared”?

    1. See the button “Load More Comments”, below? Click on it.

      Welcome to the new IJR.

      1. I do know about the button. The comment is no longer there.

  9. “I can honestly say as an observer with no dog in this fight that Christianity is under attack.” Barely Hung Chad

    No, they are not.

    The Christian Nationalists (moral majority, evangelical right, Creationists, whatever) have for decades built up a huge cadre of dangerous religious warriors and CNs can reach into that pool and pull out someone to run as a conservative judge or be a right-wing politician (Pence, Pompeo, etc).

    This is a very dangerous situation because these guys will gladly go up against the Constitution. They will make all kinds of false accusations to make everyone THINK that Christians are under attack or that this country was founded on Christian values, etc. Rubish, but YOU have to see this danger first before you can rid yourself of your confusion.

    Nearly everyone here fears a fundamentalist theocracy when it is somewhere else or some other religion, such as a caliphate, but they chear on the fundamentalists here when they are Christian. Hypocrites. Christian Nationalists should be feared even more.

    You need to read Seidel’s book, too.

  10. >WellHungChad<

    Most will probably say "Amen" to your post; but as an Agnostic, I'll just say "YOU are spot on". Rather than spending time and taxpayer money on incidental nothings, I'd – personally – like to see the time and money spent on improving the VA Healthcare System for the veterans who sacrificed so much to be given between little and nothing but a "Thank You for your service". WHERE's the medical care WE were promised?

  11. I’m an atheist, yet I respect those beliefs of others that don’t agree with my own as long as MY beliefs aren’t disrespected. On a side note, I HATE militant atheists who want to tamp down any beliefs contrary to theirs.

    I DO, however, study religions of all kinds because I recognize what a strong motivation religion has in society.

    I can honestly say as an observer with no dog in this fight that Christianity is under attack. For the sake of the longevity of the human race, Judeo/Christianity values are the ONLY ones that promote the human race’s survival..

  12. contusion-“I hope you are actually brave enough to read it because it will dispell (sic) a LOT of nonsense that currently confuses you.” The book you cite dispels NOTHING. It is written by the Director of Strategic Response at the FFRF. He is also a self-proclaimed atheist. I find it laughable that you would cite a book written by an atheist and tell us it is gonna tell the truth about Christianity. That’s like coming out here and telling us there is a new book out that will tell us just what a stooge President Trump REALLY is. It’s called, “The Truth About Donald Trump and the Trump Presidency”, written by Hillary Clinton. And then asking us if we are “brave” enough to read it. YOU are the confused one.

    1. You are confused, banstan.

      A person who doesn’t believe in Zeus can still be objective in writing about him in the same way a Christian believer can still be objective when writing about science or biology or history.

      You would do well to read his book just for the history lessons in it.

  13. Sorry Barry but the Koran will not replace the Bible and Omar and Talib I hope you get the message.

  14. Obama disliked anything that to pertained to Christianity. All Muslims are like that. I am glad Trump and Pence put down their feet and brought back Christianity, lawsuits or not. Obama can have his day again, in hell.

  15. especially after the removing of military flags at the VA, and replacing them with the deviant homosexual flags ! That was disgusting and immoral !

  16. People who fought for our religious rights shouldn’t be denied their religious rights. How dumb can you be?
    It was mostly Christians who founded this country. 54 of the 56 signers were Christian I think is what I heard recently. Wallbuilders has documentation of this.
    If it wasn’t for God we wouldn’t even be a nation. Why slap Him in the face? Why tell Him we no longer need Him watching over our vets? Obama and his dumb, anti-Christian/anti-God policies were a nightmare.
    It’s such a relief to have genuine Christians in the WH. I’m eternally grateful.

  17. God Bless You.

    Oh, did that offend you? Would you feel better if I cursed at you?

  18. To remove religious items is pretty extreme. I’m not Christian, but i have a really hard time relating with people who try to block being exposure to Christian related items. As long as I’m not being forced to participate (forced being key word – i always participate when asked) and things are not displayed in a way that is unwelcoming to others then it doesn’t bother me.

    1. Your feelings are not the point.

      The placing of a Bible in a federal facility was justified before the change in V.A. policy on the basis that it was not a “religious” object but an historic artifact, and thus exempt from the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against favoring one religion over another. This angle, apparently crafted by Department of Veterans Affairs lawyers, was necessary as a Bible clearly is a religious object. It has now been revealed that the Manchester VAMC and VA lawyers used a legal argument based on fantasy. The Bible was never in battle and its owner never claimed that it was.

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