"The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of our prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War. The manner in which this table is decorated is full of special symbols to help us remember our brothers and sisters in arms.""The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God." Yet somehow over the years some folks seemed to manage pretty well putting their lives on the line for others they served with but cannot manage to put up with seeing something like this on a table. Pretty astonishing when you think about it.
Ohio VA Clinic Swaps Bible for 'Prop' Book After
by Bryant Jordan
Apr 06, 2016
A Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Youngstown, Ohio, substituted a "prop" book for a Bible after a civil rights organization accused the facility of endorsing a particular faith by having only the Christian holy book displayed at a table set up to honor American prisoners of war and missing in action.
In a note to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on Monday, Kristen Parker, chief of external affairs for Cleveland VA Medical Center -- which handles media for the Youngstown clinic -- said the Bible was "replaced with a generic book, one whose symbolism can be individualized by each of our veterans as they pay their respects" to POWs and MIAs.
Parker told Military.com on Tuesday that because the VA cannot endorse, favor or inhibit any specific religion, "we are supporting our local veteran organizations with their decision to use a prop-book on the POW/MIA Table at our Youngstown [clinic]."
Parker previously said the clinic would support the Disabled American Veterans -- the group that set up the table -- in its decision to display the Bible on the missing man table.
The switch was made after the veteran who initiated the complaint, working with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, responded to the clinic's initial refusal to pull the Bible by demanding a separate table be set up with the Jewish Torah and a copy of "The God Delusion," a popular book on atheism. "If in the future I decide to add the Quran, or Mormon book of Latter Day Saints, that is my implied right," retired Army Capt. Jordan Ray wrote.
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