HomeNewsNationalVA Changes Policy to Protect Religious Liberty

VA Changes Policy to Protect Religious Liberty

Published on

spot_img

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on July 3 revisions in its policies to allow religious symbols, literature and displays at VA facilities.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said the changes aim to simplify the department’s policies regarding religious symbols, and spiritual and pastoral care across all VA facilities, reports Australian news website, Sight Magazine.

We want to make sure that all of our Veterans and their families feel welcome at VA, no matter their religious beliefs. —Sec. Robert Wilkie, Department of Veterans Affairs

“We want to make sure that all of our Veterans and their families feel welcome at VA, no matter their religious beliefs. Protecting religious liberty is a key part of how we accomplish that goal,” said Wilkie.

The revised policies permit “religious content in publicly accessed displays at VA facilities.” Patients are allowed to be provided with religious materials during treatment at VA facilities or visits to VA chapels. The VA can also “accept donations of religious literature, cards and symbols at its facilities and distribute them to VA patrons under appropriate circumstances or to a patron who requests them.”

The policy changes came after a US Air Force veteran filed a complaint and sought the removal of a Bible displayed on a POW/MIA table at a VA facility. The veteran argued that the Bible excludes fellow veterans who are not Christians.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which received similar complaints from 14 other veterans, criticized the revamped rules, reports Catholic News Agency.

Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the group, said the policy change was “nothing more than a transparent and repugnant attempt to further buttress and solidify fundamentalist Christianity as the insuperable official religion of choice for the VA, our Armed Forces, and this country.”

Weinstein claimed that the VA changed its policies following a recent Supreme Court ruling which allowed the Peace Cross to remain at the World War I monument in Bladensburg, Maryland. However, the VA maintained that the case “reaffirmed the important role religion plays in the lives of many Americans and its consistency with Constitutional principles.”

Meantime, non-profit organization, First Liberty Institute, welcomed the VA’s move. Mike Berry, Director of Military Affairs, said the revised policy is “a welcome breath of fresh air.” He added that, “On the eve of our nation’s Independence Day, this is the perfect time to honor our veterans by protecting the religious freedom for which they fought and sacrificed.”

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Latest articles

Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

More like this

Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

A New Biblical Worldview Study Series is Now Available Online

Family Research Council and Summit Ministries announced a partnership launching a new biblical worldview series called Now We Live.

Christian Political Group Plans to Prioritize the Poor

Center for Christianity and Public Life was launched on October 17 and it will prioritize public service to the less fortunate.