Texas Legislators & Christian Groups Fight to Insert God Into Vets’ Funerals Against Families’ Wishes
These politicians are attempting to use veterans’ funerals to to advance their far-right religio-political agenda. Their pious pretense and shameless dissembling deserve nothing but contempt.
Anyone who enables this behavior by continuing to vote for these jackasses after they’ve tried to pull this kind of crap is every bit as bad as they are.
[…] “It makes my skin crawl that liberals are attempting to drive prayer out of a funeral ceremony for our heroes,” Texas Rep. John Culbersontold Fox News, which has given significant airtime to the controversy. “We’re going to fix this so that no Obama liberal bureaucrat will interfere with the funeral of a hero.” In addition to supporting the lawsuit, Culberson has threatened to stop the salary of the cemetery director who enforced the no-consent-no-God rule and to hold hearings in the fall investigating the VA’s anti-Christian stance.
Republican Texas reps. Culberson, Ted Poe and Michael McCaul portray the issue as denying American heroes the religious funerals they desire. In a post with the tongue-in-cheek headline “Texas Congressmen to force Christian prayer over my dead body,” American Atheists military director Justin Griffith accuses the trio of outright lying in order to use “military funerals for political gain.” The fantasy story they’re peddling certainly plays better than the truth: that they’re expending energy and resources fighting for the right to “use Christian themes, prayers, speeches without seeking consent in every single military veteran funeral statewide.”
While the VA couldn’t comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, it stated its support for the besieged cemetery director and provided an official statement slamming the broader accusations:“The idea that invoking the name of God or Jesus is banned at VA national cemeteries is blatantly false. The truth is VA’s policy protects veterans’ families’ rights to pray however they choose at our national cemeteries. Put simply, VA policy puts the wishes of the veteran’s family above all else on the day it matters most — the day they pay their final respects to their loved one.”
If the VA has anything to say about it, it will continue to be up to veterans’ families whether or not to have a religious service — and whether the religion is Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or a multitude of other faiths. The VA further confirmed that the changes advocated would mean imposing religious prayer against the wishes of the family. […]