HomeNewsNationalVA Changes Policy to...

VA Changes Policy to Protect Religious Liberty

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.”

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

‘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.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘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.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

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

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.

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.

Gen Z Could Change the Faith Landscape in Australia

Two recent surveys on Christianity and the church in Australia found that Gen Zs are generally open to conversations about faith and spirituality.