Mikey Weinstein, MRFF President/Founder, was contacted on behalf of 41 honorable military veteran patients at the Denver VA Medical Center on November 1, 2017 regarding the display of a sectarian religious item (i.e., Christian bible) on the POW/MIA ‘Missing Man Table’ located within the cafeteria of the Denver VA Medical Center. This MRFF client succinctly, and correctly, stated that this type of religious branding “…is not appropriate at a government building meant to serve all people.” As a reflection of the obvious and constitutionally inappropriate nature of this attempt at sectarian religious branding, MRFF’s 41 clients in this matter consisted of 17 practicing Christians with the remainder representing other faiths including the Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist faiths as well as those who identify with non-faith groups such as agnostic, humanist, secularist and atheist traditions.
Mikey contacted members of the facility director’s staff on November 2, 2017, seeking to speak directly with the facility director, to inform them of this complaint and demand immediate compliance with the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution at the facility’s ‘Patriot Café’. After receiving no satisfactory response, Mikey again contacted the director’s staff on November 3, 2017 seeking immediate resolution of this matter. VA staff told Mikey that the Director was too busy to focus on this matter at the present time and, consequently, the matter could not be addressed until the following Monday at the earliest. Mikey made it clear that that delayed timetable was unacceptable. A couple hours later, the Director’s executive assistant informed Mikey that the Director had been managed to be consulted and swiftly agreed that the bible’s placement on that “Missing Man Table” was wrong and it had been removed. The executive assistant further stated that, to the Denver VA’s knowledge, it was possible that none of its VA staff had placed the bible there and that perhaps a patient or someone else had done so. In response Mikey informed the director that:
…irrespective of whether one of your own Denver VA staffers or someone else placed that bible on that “Missing Man Table”, it is essentially irrelevant. Indeed, in ANY case it is YOU who are responsible for this matter as the Director of the Denver VA Medical Center. Had a Koran been placed there, the mind boggles as to the vast magnitude of what would have most assuredly been an incredibly furious outcry of unbridled rage, wrath and anger. Or perhaps ponder what would have occurred had the object placed there been the Book of Mormon, Book of Satan or Richard Dawkins ”The God Delusion” et al?
Mikey also thanked the facility director for the quick action to comply with the United States Constitution after visual/photographic confirmation of completion of the Denver VA Medical Center staff’s promise to expeditiously remove the bible from the ‘Missing Man Table’ display.
MRFF has now assisted its clients in removing unconstitutional religious branding of ‘Missing Man Tables’ at 7 locations:
11/3/17 – Denver, CO VA Medical Center
9/16/16 – Eglin AFB, FL Allergy Clinic
4/19/16 – Tobyhanna, PA VA
4/11/16 – Houston, TX VA
4/8/16 – Wright Patterson AFB, OH
4/4/16 – Youngstown, OH VA
2/25/16 – Akron, OH VA