October 22, 2016 – MRFF Action Leads to Immediate Apology from Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ Regarding Unconstitutional Distribution of Sectarian Religious Text at Federal Facility

On October 20, 2016, a MRFF client was solicited multiple times by sectarian religious proselytizers illegally distributing their religious text at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ.  When the MRFF client confronted the proselytizers with the illegal and unconstitutional nature of their activity an argument ensued that drew a substantial crowd.  When two facility security officers arrived, they escorted the MRFF client away from the proselytizers table while ignoring the ongoing illegal actions of these proselytizers. 

After contacting MRFF for assistance, this client sent the following message to MRFF:

I was able to get in contact with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation that Saturday and the wonderful staff took immediate action even though it was a weekend! Mikey and his team reassured me that the incident at the Phoenix VA was absolutely wrong and needed to be addressed. The MRFF was absolutely relentless in pursuing my issue, which had now grown to include 5 of my supportive VA employee colleagues and 35 VA supportive veteran patients of many different faiths and no faith. MRFF handled this situation in an extremely effective way for all of us and the issue was resolved that very Monday!  It is my greatest pleasure to announce that the deputy director of the Phoenix VA Hospital, Shawn Bransky, fulfilled his promise by reaching out to me and personally apologizing about the incident that happened regarding the unconstitutional Bible distribution table that was set up in the Phoenix VA hospital. He was very kind and sincere in his apology.

However, when the “official apology” was issued to the VA facility employees, it came up extremely short of being sincere and attempted to shift blame for the incident to the ‘Phoenix VA Employee’s Association’.  On behalf of all 41  VA employee & veteran patient MRFF clients (made up of 25 Christians along with others of Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Native American faiths) at this facility, MRFF publicly noted the long history of administrative failures at this facility and the ongoing malfeasance of its leaders to appropriately address these issues.

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