July 18, 2018
Another Day…Another MRFF Client Victory for Secular Government over Sectarian Religious Supremacy
A patient at the VA Medical Center located in Buffalo, NY requested assistance from MRFF regarding recurring attempts to religiously brand the POW/MIA Missing Man Table maintained at the facility. The situation was described in an email to MRFF President/Founder Mikey Weinstein:
I truly appreciate the excellent care I receive at the VA Medical Center in Buffalo, NY. However, the POW/MIA table display is improper.
I recall that last year I sent MRFF a picture of the POW/MIA table in their entrance lobby area which included a bible located on the table. I recently was there and there were two additions to the display: A 2nd bible and also a instruction plaque with how to “Set [the table] with pride” — note that a bible is not included in the table setting guide.
This display does not acknowledge our fellow non-Christian countrymen and women who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms.
Mikey immediately contacted the Executive Secretary to the Director of the Buffalo VA Medical Center on behalf of 25 clients seeking assistance in standing up for their religious freedoms and against these recurring blatant attempts to brand this important memorial with clearly implied sectarian religious supremacy over those U.S. Military members being memorialized. The Executive Secretary quickly responded to Mikey’s inquiry in a series of emails:
In response to your inquiry, the Bibles had already been moved, as we monitor the area on a regular basis. We appreciate your interest in letting us know that the Bibles were there. We are aware the Bibles should not be there, and we do check on a regular basis and take them away.
They are not supposed to be there, are not put there by the Agency; employees and Vets are free to remove them.
The Bibles can be turned in to the Greeters’ Desk at the Veterans entrance.
One of the MRFF client’s emailed a gracious response to Mikey’s quick action. In this email, MRFF’s client clearly and succinctly detailed why ending these deceitful attempts at sectarian religious branding must be challenged:
Those who suffered and endured the hellish hardships of being a prisoner of war and those who have died in captivity and are still missing are rightly remembered and honored by this meaningful display — may it be a comfort to their families to know that we all share their loss and sorrow and will keep their memory alive.
The men and women who have served our country reflect the great diversity and strength our democracy. POWs/MIAs are from those of all faiths and those who have no religious beliefs. Placing a bible on the table denies the sacrifice of those of all other faiths or of no faith. To me it seems to say to those of other or of no faiths, “Your sacrifice doesn’t count;” or, “it is of lesser or no value compared to those of our faith.”
Or perhaps those who place a bible on this display are indifferent to the sacrifice made by non-Christians.
I have had the honor of serving my country of nearly 40 years, serving as a [names, titles, ranks withheld] I have repeatedly seen the dedication and patriotism to our country of persons of multiple religious faiths and those having no specific religious faith — their willingness to dedicate their lives and endure family separation and physical hardships for our freedoms — indeed, to “support and defend the constitution of the United States.”
MRFF commends the quick and decisive action taken by the Buffalo VA Medical Center administration. MRFF would also like to recognize the administrators of other facilities who have also done the right thing on behalf many other MRFF clients in similar situations who we have been unable to publicly acknowledge due to fear of personal and/or professional reprisal against our clients from scheming individuals bent on imposing their twisted version of religious supremacy over the U.S. Constitution and all who so honorably defend it.
This is the 9th victory MRFF has been able to publicly report on behalf of MRFF clients who have bravely stood up for their 1st Amendment rights and against these obvious attempts to religiously brand POW/MIA Tables and all who are being so honored and memorialized.