Re: Vet organizations want to force Christian ceremony
- Here's what I wrote to Culberson just now, I ask that everyone here do the same, both to him and the two other politicians who support this attack on us.
"Congressman Culberson, I'm a Vietnam veteran and a life member of the VFW, and I'm Wiccan. In fact, I am the National Coordinator of the Pagan Veterans Headstone Campaign and founder and Past National Commander of Pagan Veterans of the United States of America.
I think that you can probably guess why I'm writing you already; you support for the mandatory inclusion of Christian prayers at the funeral of ALL veterans, Christians or not.
Needless to say, I oppose your position and will do so in any and every way that I can and I will call on all members of both organizations to do the same; including our members in Texas.
We beat the VA and forced them to allow Pentacle headstones for Pagan veterans. It tool eleven years but we held firm. If anything, our campaign against your forced imposition of an alien religion will face the same fortitude and zeal.
Charles P. Arnold"
--- In Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher Blackwell" <myrddin@...> wrote:
> How about forcing Christian funerals on non Christian vets?
> Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:51pm
> Texas Legislators and Christian Groups Fight to Insert God Into Vets' Funerals
> -- Against Families' Wishes
> Christian military groups are suing the VA to force families to include prayer
> during the burial services of veterans.
> August 23, 2011 |
> Shouldn't veterans and their families have the right to decide whether religion --
> and what kind -- is welcome at their own funerals? The Department of Veterans
> Affairs says yes. But three Texas Congressman and Christian military organizations
> want to strip away this basic right. Instead, they want to be allowed to impose
> unwanted Christian ceremonies on the military funerals of everybody who has
> served the red, white, and blue.
> I am sorry but just because some vets organizations are very Christian does not
> give them the right to force their religion and their Christian prayers at the funeral
> for non-Christian vets against the will of their families. This is outrageous and
> more so because the Vet organizations are lying about what is happening. I have
> run into this Christian pushing at vets organizations and it is one reason that I as
> a Marine Vietnam Veteran refuse to belong to them. They make it very unfriendly
> for nonChristian Veterans. Just as a Christian might not wish to take part in a
> Pagan ceremony, I have no desire to be forced to take part in a Christian ritual,
> regardless of the excuse given. NonChristian vets deserve what ceremony they
> want at their funeral and not have Christians trying to take over.
> Jason Pitzl-Waters on Aug 27th 2011 at 10:44 am Paganism,Religion
> The Fight For Christian Prayers at Non-Christian Veteran Burial Services
> However, this case of government trampling the rights of Christians takes on a
> different hue once you ask veterans and soldiers who aren't Christian about the
> situation. Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and
> Freethinkers, says that what's really happening is that these groups are "promoting
> special Christian privilege in government activities."
> "Imagine you are at a funeral for a fallen veteran, possibly your husband or wife or
> uncle, and cemetery volunteers begin publicly praying to their god despite the fact
> that your family doesn't share their beliefs. [...] The nation remembers Richard
> Tillman, who jumped on stage to stand up for his brother Pat Tillman's wishes.
> The Veterans Affairs Cemetery Administration protects the family when it restricts
> the religious speech of volunteers, and volunteers can opt out of funerals where the
> family has not requested a religious service consistent with the religious interests
> of the volunteer. Volunteers are given access to funerals to support the family, not
> to promote personal religious beliefs."
- Here's a reply to a letter I sent today. Please read carefully and if you are a member of the VFW, you might want to rethink your membership:
This case has nothing to do with forcing Christian values on anyone and it is not a case of District 4 spearheading the charge. The National VFW and the Liberty Institute are pushing the issue. The VA cemetery just happens to be in District 4 and the case does not force anyone to do anything. It allows a family to ask for specific prayers, which include the word "God" and Veteran Service Organizations Color Guards and Honor Teams to say those prayers which, prior to this action, was not allowed by this particular cemetery director. So, if the family asks for Christian prayers, then this suit will allow those teams to do Christian prayers. The same policy was not enforced at other VA facilities.
Roy J. Grona
Department of Texas VFW
8503 N I35
Austin, TX 78753
Phone: (512) 834-8535
Fax: (512) 834-9232