Tuesday, July 05, 2011

This is Outrageous! VA Cemetery Accused of Censoring Religious Speech, Banning "God Bless" . . .

Local veterans and volunteer groups are accusing Department of Veterans Affairs officials of censoring religious speech -- including banning 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 the families, "God bless you," at funerals and that they had to remove the words "God bless" from condolence cards.

The new allegations of "religious hostility" by VA and cemetery officials follow on the heels of a controversy over a prayer in Jesus' name by Pastor Scott Rainey at a Memorial Day service in the cemetery.

U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled May 26 that Ocasio couldn't stop Rainey from using the words "Jesus Christ" in his invocation.

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