The anti-Christian Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), founded by Mikey Weinstein, has a history of controversial, secular lawsuits such as attempts to censure faith-based speech, efforts to prohibit the mentioning of God at military ceremonies or promotions, and calls to eradicate military memorial crosses that honor fallen soldiers. What is the new microaggression that triggered the oh so delicate MRFF? It is the sight of a bible on the “Missing Man” table display at the Manchester Veterans Affairs hospital in New Hampshire.
The “Missing Man” display is a military custom consisting of a white tablecloth draped over a small table, a yellow candle symbolizing everlasting hope for reunion with servicemembers not yet accounted for, an empty chair for those not with us, and a bible to represent the pledge to our country.
This particular Bible was a cherished donation from U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant, Herman Streitburger who was held captive in WWII. Mike Berry of the First Liberty Institute said the Bible is a “historic artifact” and something that helped Streitburger in his horrific time as a Prisoner of War.
A number of individuals began complaining about the Bible on the table and filed complaints to the MRFF, who demanded the bible be taken down. The New Hampshire VA did take the Bible down late last January but overwhelming cries to have the Bible put back by veteran groups prompted the VA to return the Bible but now in a plexiglass case.
James Chamberlain, Air Force veteran made an addition complaint upon witnessing the new Bible and filed a lawsuit against the VA claiming the display violates the First Amendment by appearing to favor one religion over another.
Lawrence Vogelmen, Chamberlain’s attorney claimed, “The bible in the memorial is just as objectionable as it would be if the MVAMC only provided care to Christians, or denied care to non-believers, or those who worship their god in other ways.” Union Leader reported. The threats and legal attacks continued but in an interview with Fox News, VA representatives held their ground and exclaimed the Bible “isn’t going anywhere!”
The MRFF couldn’t accept that the VA wouldn’t give in to their adolescent temper tantrum so in their next course of action they arranged for a plane towing a banner that conveyed anti-Christian verbiage to fly over the Medical Center, as reported by Air Force Times.
The MRFF showed the world why it is so controversial. Marginalization and attacks are sadly something Christians have grown immune to, but the blatant disrespect and demeaning of a memorial for absent American heroes is something we can never become familiarized with. There is no telling how far the MRFF will go in their attempts to outlaw Streitburger’s memorable donation, but you can rest assured that we will go further.
This millennial ideology of entitlement that has infected the intolerant and led them to believe if they kick and scream enough then they will get their way will not work this time. Curt Cashour, Veterans Affairs Press Secretary reaffirmed this when he told Fox News, “Make no mistake: the VA will not be bullied on this issue.”
“Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I think it would be a shame. It would be a shame that that bible be taken from that table.” said veteran Paul Martin to WMUR.