V.A. Censoring References to God in Houston?

Just sad and pathetic, really.  Not only is Arleen Ocasio (the director Houston VA National Cemetery) insulting God, she is directly insulting families who have lost loved ones:

Is The V.A. Censoring ‘God’ Out of Funeral Prayers At Houston Cemetery?
Mike Opelka – The Blaze

Imagine how you would feel if you lost a loved one serving in the military. Your family has paid the ultimate price, protecting the freedoms that all Americans enjoy. And now friends and relatives have gathered at the “National Cemetery” for a funeral service and to pay respects to the departed. However, nothing can proceed until the words of the memorial service have been screened and approved.

Sound a little far-fetched? Well, That‘s the battle that’s been happening between Texas veterans and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) for months.

Earlier this year, the (VA) asked that all specific references to God be removed from the Memorial Day ceremonies slated to be held at the Houston cemetery. A judge granted a stay against the VA and the prayers were allowed to go on without government oversight or editing. But the battle continued, despite a very clear warning from the bench:

the judge warned the agency it had stepped too far, saying officials were essentially “decreeing how citizens honor their veterans.”

But despite the judge’s warning, it seems the censorship has continued. 740 KTRH NewsRadio in Houston has interviewed several people who have experienced it first-hand:

Attorney Jeff Mateer represents the Liberty Institute; he says the cemetery director won’t allow the use of “God” or “Jesus” unless the family submits the prayer in writing for her approval.

“In addition, director Arlene [Arleen] Ocasio has stated the National Memorial Ladies cannot tell families ‘God Bless,’ they cannot communicate in writing or orally,” says Mateer.  “And that violates the U.S. Constitution.”

Marilyn Koepp is with the National Memorial Ladies.  “I would have been appalled if when the VFW did my father’s funeral in 2004, if they could not have said ‘God,’ what is happening to our country?” she asks.

Vietnam veteran Nobelton Jones hands out shells from the 21-gun salute to families, but says the cemetery director is trying to censor him as well.

“On March 15, she said that at the District 4 ceremony, that I could not say ‘We wish that God grant you and your family grace, mercy and peace,’ she specifically said that,” claims Jones.

“It’s just unfair that somebody would ask us to take God out of our vocabulary,” Cheryl Whitfield, founder of Houston National Memorial Ladies, told the Houston Chronicle.

“I could’ve kept my mouth shut and let things happen, but when it comes to standing up for your belief in God and giving comfort to the families, I don’t want to regret not saying anything,” she added. “We all had to stand up for what we believe in.”

The Liberty Institute has filed a formal complaint alleging “a widespread and consistent practice of discriminating against private religious speech” at the cemetery.
Get more of the story from KTRH-RADIO.

Explore posts in the same categories: Military, Religion

8 Comments on “V.A. Censoring References to God in Houston?”

  1. Gonzo Says:

    From another source, just one of the many rules from that cemetary, “Statues, vigil lights, breakable objects or similar commemorative items are not permitted on graves at any time. Likewise, unauthorized tributes — including those with flags — will be removed, as will any items deemed unsightly.

    “It’s mainly to maintain the dignity of the cemetery,” Houston National Cemetery director Arleen Ocasio says. Such objects also could damage headstones and interfere with mowing and trimming around graves.”

    Why do I get the impression that Arleen lives in a housing community with an HOA dictating everything residents can, cannot, or must do with their own property – the little nazi sharia.

  2. Leatherneck Says:

    I’ll bet a pay check the Texas VA will kick some atheist butt.

  3. Bob Says:

    Wasn’t the clueless leader the first to publicly omit “under God” from the Pledge? I’d bet a paycheck this bullshit is coming straight from the top of the dungheap.

  4. Big Frank Says:

    Nothing happens in this regime of our ‘Dear Leader’ without complete approval from the ‘Anointed One’ or his Commissars.

  5. CavMom Says:

    Ocasio is a native of Chicago. I am willing to bet she is just another one of the obama stooges

  6. Big Frank Says:

    It;s no longer separation on church and state, IMHO it’s elimination of church in the United States.

    • memaw Says:

      So true Big Frank… It just makes me sick to my soul at what is happening to “God” in our country … and I truly believe Obama had this in mind from the beginning and set this in motion by kicking God to the curb and under the bus in his out and out omission of God in the constitution and our Pledge of Allegiance.

      • Big Frank Says:

        The only time we see the political class in church or at church sponsored events is when these feckless, and devious empty suits suddenly get ‘religion ‘is right before elections. After elections they go right back to the status quo.

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