by Frank Holmes, reporter
The Trump administration has come out swinging for the military — and they’re going hard after Democrats.
The White House says that the Left’s decades of using activist judges and liberal presidents to bully veterans and Christians is coming to a close.
A display honoring POWs and MIAs is in the center of the firefight.
VA hospitals and other veterans’ organizations regularly feature what’s called a “missing man” table — a way to remind America of the 23,575 men reportedly left behind in Vietnam and thousands more in other conflicts.
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One of these at the VA medical center in Manchester, New Hampshire, had a small table with a tablecloth, settings for a meal, and a Bible.
That was too much for a group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, founded by Mike Weinstein to banish God from public life. MRFF complained about the Bible to hospital administrators.
This Bible was donated by a World War II vet who had been captured by the Nazis. Weinstein called the Bible “grotesque” and compared it to a gang symbol.
“When you put one particular religious sign on a sacred memorial like that, that’s like a gang sign of the Bloods and the Crips, a middle finger to everyone else,” Weinstein said.
The hospital ripped the Bible off the table… until the Trump administration got wind of it, and the vet’s Bible was returned.
The MRFF, which regularly files losing lawsuits to harass Christians in government, filed a federal lawsuit that said seeing the Bible violates the “separation of church and state.”
The Trump administration replied: Bring it on!
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“You might’ve heard… 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,” Vice President Mike Pence told the annual American Legion conference in his home state of Indiana.
“Let me be clear: Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones. We will always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every faith,” Pence said.
“And my message to the New Hampshire VA hospital is: The Bible stays!”
Pence even got the local hospital to apologize for disrespecting veterans who honor the Bible.
“Manchester VAMC has again placed the Bible on display, where it will remain indefinitely as part of the POW/MIA table, a secular tribute to America’s POW/MIA community,” the hospital said in a statement. “We apologize to the Veterans, families and other stakeholders who were offended by the facility’s incorrect removal of this Bible.”
That’s a huge change from the Obama administration when, Pence reminded vets, “VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct.”
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On Christmas Eve 2013, the Charlie Norwood VA kept out a group of Christmas carolers from singing to sick veterans.
The Augusta’s Alleluia Community School just wanted to sing “Silent Night” — but the Obama administration-era VA tried to stop the vets from catching holiday cheer.
The next year, the Navy agreed to remove Bibles from Navy Lodge rooms.
The VA took Bibles out of POW/MIA memorials in Houston, Akron, and Youngstown as late as April 2016.
The Obama administration was out-of-touch with the military and clueless, or hostile, when it came to veterans needs.
“The last administration … had a very historic approach [to veterans],” said Trump’s VA secretary, Robert Wilkie. “They did not know the makeup of the force,” like the fact that the overwhelming majority of vets consider themselves part of a religion.
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Obama regularly swiped at America’s founding fathers and “did not know the history of this country when it came to religious foundations, the religious support for those in uniform,” Wilkie said.
But Donald Trump went to a military school, and Mike Pence is the son and father of military men. They respect the men and women who put on a uniform to defend our country.
Wilkie reversed Obama’s policy this year and said Trump will “allow the inclusion in appropriate circumstances of religious content in publicly accessible displays at V.A. Facilities.”
If veterans want to have a Bible in public, let them show the Bible, the Trump administration says.
Christians love the new tone, and the nod to the faith of soldiers and the importance of the Bible in American history and life.
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“I appreciate your boldness Vice President Pence,” wrote Rev. Franklin Graham on Facebook. “We are grateful to you and President Donald J. Trump for consistently defending our religious freedoms.”
Defending freedom of religion is the reason America was founded—and the reason veterans fight. Now they have a president who is fighting for them.
Frank Holmes is a reporter for The Horn News. He is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”