Houston VA accused of censoring religious speech
By LINDSAY WISE
Copyright 2011 HOUSTON CHRONICLE
June 28, 2011, 9:40PM
Local veterans and volunteer groups accuse Department of Veterans Affairs officials of censoring religious speech — including the word "God" - at Houston National Cemetery.
In one example cited in documents filed this week in federal court, cemetery director Arleen Ocasio reportedly told volunteers with the National Memorial Ladies that they had to stop telling families "God bless you" at funerals and that they had to remove the words "God bless" from condolence cards.
"It's just unfair that somebody would ask us to take God out of our vocabulary," said Cheryl Whitfield, founder of Houston National Memorial Ladies.
"I could've kept my mouth shut and let things happen, but when it comes to standing up for your belief in God and giving comfort to the families, I don't want to regret not saying anything," Whitfield said. "We all had to stand up for what we believe in."
Read the entire article here.
JD wants you to take action if you feel inclined to do so. Here's who you need to contact to share your displeasure with the decision Cemetery Director Arleen Ocasio has made:
Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary: Eric K. Shinseki
810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Room 1000
Washington, DC, 20420
Phone: (202) 273-4800
Fax: (202) 273-4877