Saturday, May 6, 2017

POTUS Religious Rule Took Right Away from Wounded!

In 2010 I spent Memorial Day weekend in Washington and had a tour of Walter Reed. As a Chaplain, I received VIP treatment. Between the DAV Auxiliary and the IFOC, Nam Knights and Point Man International Ministries, plus the work online, they knew what I was all about and I knew about their rules on religious items. I respected that and turned over all the religious gifts I brought so that the Walter Reed Chaplain would be able to give them out. They let me give out the pegboard games I brought.

The Administrator knew which of the wounded would be willing to accept a visit from me. I was prepared to pray with them if I was asked. None of them asked for anything more than polite conversation. I prayed for their healing in my head as I hugged those who would accept one.

I had no right to cross the line and push what I wanted to give them when they didn't want it. I had no right to invade their privacy as a stranger if they did not welcome me. I had no right to say anything more to them than "hello" as they walked in the hall while I passed by them. I had no right to try to stop them and speak to them but willingly stopped when they wanted to talk to me.

They paid the price for the freedom we all have to decide on our own what we believe, or what we choose to not believe. They paid the price with their broken bodies and blood. The countless hours of facing death for month after month was a price that came with their jobs for the sake of the rest of us. They paid by being away from their families and friends and those they loved while we were able to enjoy the company of ours and ignore what they were willing to give up for us. 

Had I not understood all that before I walked in the door of Walter Reed, I would have had no business being there, because it would have been all about me and what I wanted to do instead of them and what they were willing to do for me!

This "policy" just took away their rights and gave it over to strangers!
AP FACT CHECK: Trump Misses Whole Story On Hospital Policy
Posted: May 05, 2017


THE FACTS: The policy, in 2011, was a bungled rule that was never enforced, Walter Reed officials said at the time. So it’s unlikely that patients who wanted a Bible or religious item from a visiting family member or friend were denied.

The policy was meant to stop benevolent organizations from bothering patients by proselytizing to them, after complaints surfaced that visitors from some groups were persistent and occasionally even threatening. But it was written too broadly, stating no religious items could be given away or used during a visit.
WASHINGTON - Pitching religious free expression, President Donald Trump accused the former Obama administration Thursday of banning patients at a military hospital from receiving religious items from visitors. That episode is not quite as the president described it.
Here’s what he said and what happened more than five years ago at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland:

TRUMP, citing lawsuits against the Obama administration alleging violations of religious freedom: “The abuses were all over. As just one example, people were forbidden from giving or receiving religious items at a military hospital where our brave service members were being treated, and when they wanted those religious items. These were great, great people. These are great soldiers. They wanted those items. They were precluded from getting them.”
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