Obama’s V.A. hospital forbids Christmas cards made by children for wounded vets

More BAH! HUMBUG! from Pres. Obama’s Veteran’s Administration.  First, they ban Christmas carols.  Now, they ban cards made by children.

From FNC (where there is also video):

Boys and girls at Grace Academy in Prosper, Tex., spent most of last Friday making homemade Christmas cards for bedridden veterans at the VA hospital in Dallas.
Fourth-grader Gracie Brown was especially proud of her card, hoping it would “make their day because their family might live far away, and they might not have somebody to celebrate Christmas with.
“I’d like them to know they’ve not been forgotten and somebody wanted to say thank you,” Gracie told
Gracie’s card read, “Merry Christmas. Thank you for your service.” It also included an American flag.
But the bedridden veterans at the VA hospital will never get to see Gracie’s card. Nor will they see the cards made by 51 other students. [Get this…] That’s because the Christmas cards violated VA policy.
“It really didn’t occur to me there would be a problem with distributing Christmas cards,” said Susan Chapman, a math teacher at the academy. [Nor would most normal people think that children’s cards for Christmas were double-plus-ungood in the eyes of the Obama Administration.] She’s married to a veteran and volunteers with the American Legion and other veterans’ organizations.
On Monday morning the boys and girls were planning on hand delivering the cards to the wounded veterans. [I’ll be the vets would have liked that.] Chapman called the hospital to make final arrangements and that’s when she learned there was a problem.
“I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans,” Chapman told the television station. “And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.’[VA: GOD NOT ALLOWED.]
A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook:
“In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”
Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, said it was a new low “even for the Scrooges and Grinches at the VA.”
Targeting the benevolent work of little children for censorship is disgusting,” Sasser told me. “Do the Grinches in the administration of the VA really believe our bravest warriors need protection from the heartfelt well wishes of small children saying Merry Christmas?” [No, its the Obama mandarins who cannot bear that any views smacking of religion be permitted in the public square.  This is all of a piece.]
Andrea Brown, Gracie’s mom, was dumbfounded by the news.
This wasn’t the country I grew up in, when you couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ you couldn’t say ‘God bless you’ or reference any scripture,” she told MyFoxDFW.com.
She told the television station the boys and girls were heartbroken that the military personnel would not be able to receive their cards.
“They couldn’t believe the people that these people they wanted to honor weren’t going to get the chance to see what they had done,” she said.
The cards will not be thrown away — they are being shipped to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and to a private facility for veterans in Louisiana.
Sasser said at some point, “does the VA have no shame?”
“Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ wouldn’t even ban little children from wishing our veterans Merry Christmas,” Sasser said.  [But this is Mr. Obama’s VA.]

Disgusting.

Obama’s V.A. hospital forbids Christmas cards made by children for wounded vets
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38 Responses to Obama’s V.A. hospital forbids Christmas cards made by children for wounded vets

  1. McCall1981 says:

    Yeah, I’d say “disgusting” is the right word for it.

  2. greenlight says:

    At some point, simply disregarding these corrupt, inane, ludicrous, bureaucratic, and immoral laws and regulations becomes the only right thing to do. I would like to think that if I were in that situation I would’ve said “I’ll be coming down to hand out the cards and if you want to try to stop me you’re welcome to try. It’s a stupid rule. You know it and I know it, and I won’t follow it.” and then been brave enough to deal with the fallout and consequences. I don’t know what I would’ve done, but we all better start thinking about what we’re willing to do (and NOT do) in the face of such lunacy.

  3. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    This is very poor, of course. But there might be a silver lining. Let us hope that these children remember this experience when they reach voting age.

  4. Kerry says:

    If’ the television version is correct, when John Paul II was still in O-Commie Poland, he lead a procession in the streets carrying the empty frames where the Saints pictures would have been except for the oba-VA.

  5. jhayes says:

    Sounds as if someone at the hospital was referring to the VA Manual that says that one of a chaplain’s responsibilities is “to protect patients from having religion imposed upon them” and that chaplains are to review all donated religious literature and not allow distribution of any that is “intended to proselytize”.

    That manual is dated July 2008.

    26. RELIGIOUS LITERATURE
    Religious literature may be purchased to benefit the spiritual health of patients.
    a. Various religious denominations offer literature free of charge. The chaplains are responsible for reviewing all donated or purchased religious literature and determining its appropriate distribution.
    b. Upon a patient’s request, a chaplain may provide literature that describes a particular religious or denominational viewpoint.
    c. Material must not be distributed that may interfere with patient care, for example: material intended to proselytize, or material that makes offensive or defamatory references to race, gender, or a religious faith group.

    HERE

  6. Beau says:

    FWIW, I was in the U.S. Army many moons ago. At the time of my enlistment, I had to raise my right hand and take the Oath of Enlistment, which ended with (and still ends with) “So help me God”. I double checked, and The Oath of Enlistment still ends with “So help me God” as does The Oath of Office (which is given to officers).

    Granted, you can opt to not say “So help me God”, but as I recall, there was an officer who said “repeat after me…” and we all did. Including the “So help me God” part. I was an atheist at the time, and I still said it. So did everyone else in the room.

    I think that if you’re a non-Christian, you could just as easily be offered the same option while in the VA hospital. “Soldier, I have here some cards that reference certain religiously inspired holidays that take place this time of year, and if you’re offended by such things, you don’t have to take one. If not, there are some kids that think you might appreciate a little holiday cheer”. Sheesh.

    Every time some by-the-book twit hides behind regulations like the ones sited I want to reach through the internet and smack him.

  7. LadyMarchmain says:

    As a former Sovietologist, I find this very disturbing.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    Indeed. And obviously not the slightest chance that there is more to this story than FauxNews has reported.

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    frjim4321,

    Do please pass it along if you find any more to this story (though there are so many ‘faux’ news sources around, it may involve some interesting sifting).

    In general, assuming the story is accurate as far as it goes, this would seem a not uncharacteristic example of doing something quite the opposite of literalist ‘going by the book’, while pretending to be so going.

  10. Stephen Matthew says:

    It seems that the problem was someone understood this to be the VA distributing the cards, and thus endorsing the message in those cards, but that clearly doesn’t work for otherwise the post office would censor all of the mail for fear of giving offense.

    We must understand that not only our present administration, but in fact the entire governmental structure, is secular in such a way as to de facto favor a sort of agnosticism or atheism. In fact that is true of most governments presently throughout the world, except for those that directly embrace false religions. For most of history governments and politicians have either been negligent toward their divine duties, or used them as so much cheap political theater. Caesar will be most often either the willing disciple or the unwitting tool of the lord of this world (but then we all have our moments in at least that latter category).

  11. Nurse Ratched must still be practicing. That is, prescribing lobotomies at the VA. That and a steady heavy dose of liberal medication:

    Nurse Ratched: If Mr. McMurphy doesn’t want to take his medication orally, I’m sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don’t think that he would like it.

    . . . “medication time, medication time” . . .

  12. C N says:

    I’d like to know how veterans all over the country reacted to this story. What a terrible thing, to fight for basic freedoms, suffer terrible physical and mental health issues just to find out that the very thing you fought against overseas is now very real where you live.

    I can’t help thinking of our many veterans we get on our (psych) unit that always tell us how lonely they are, how no one cares, etc. Even if the vets are not Christians, they still deserve a card or a child visiting them, telling them their service was appreciated. Especially the men who were criminalized after they came home from fighting.

  13. Nurse Ratched practicing on the administrative policy making staff, that is.

  14. anilwang says:

    Beau says: if you’re a non-Christian, you could just as easily be offered the same option while in the VA hospital. “Soldier, I have here some cards that reference certain religiously inspired holidays that take place this time of year, and if you’re offended by such things, you don’t have to take one.”

    It’s even simpler than that. The problem is that the government is interpreting “respect everyone’s religion” as being “assume everyone is an atheist” and unfortunately, most Americans/Canadians/Europeans have bought into this lie. That’s nonsense.

    Just be direct. “Some kids from some faiths regularly prepare cards for vets. If you’d like to receive these cards and bring joy to these kids, please opt in to the faith that you are.”

    Of course, only faiths with feast days will get cards (e.g. Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhist oddly enough) and faiths without feast days won’t (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Atheists, Deists, Solipsists), but that’s the choice of the adherents of those faiths and not discrimination on anyone’s parts.

  15. Uxixu says:

    How is this not bigger news?

  16. Bob B. says:

    I remember receiving a couple of Christmas cards from a school in the U.S. when I was in Vietnam (even the VC gave a rather flimsy little piece of propaganda on Christmas). If it happened today, I wonder if some regulation exists that would “try” to prevent troops from receiving the children’s cards?
    Is this what we’ve become?

  17. av8er says:

    I can’t wait until the day these “leaders” are no longer in my chain of command.

  18. Dennis Martin says:

    Dear Fr. Jim,

    Ad hominems are not terribly persuasive. In the absence of substantive argument on the merits of the case, you attack the messenger.

    The story has been out there on the conservative media for four days now. Were it a case of right-wing falsehood, surely the MSM outlets by now would have gleefully pointed out that fact.

    Google for Christmas Cards VA hospital and you find total silence among the MSM. If we are going to play the ad hominem game, that deafening silence from the MSM suggests rather strongly that the Fox News report is essentially accurate.

    If and when you have solid evidence to the contrary, please bring it to our attention. Until you do, the Faux News thing is just a tad tiresome. No, it’s more than tiresome. It’s a despicable form of detraction and calumny. Fox News (1) is not nearly as right wing as its detractors claim it to be and (2) is upfront and honest about its political orientation. Which is an awful lot more than can be said for the False News from NBCCBSNPRABCCNN. I leave out MSNBC because it, like Fox, is honest about its bias.

  19. Dennis Martin says:

    Let me be clearer. I would not object had Fr. Jim merely stated that there might be more to the story. That’s a reasonable reaction.

    But tossing in the Faux News canard made the comment into ad hominem and detraction.

  20. incredulous says:

    I swear that I never realized lobotomies were so pervasive in America. However, every time I hear “Faux News” coming from somebody over 12 years old, I cringe that an adult can be so deluded; therefore, it must be the result of a lobotomy. If anything, it’s obvious that when push comes to shove all major media outlets are bought and paid for by the federal government and will do the bidding of their masters. They ALL are playing good cop/bad cop with us by stirring up this FAUX dichotomy among any of them that they aren’t state sponsored mouthpieces with CIA assets in the news bureaus of each and every one of them. Enough. The truth shall set you free.

  21. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    Indeed. And obviously not the slightest chance that there is more to this story than FauxNews has reported.

    I am a dedicated cable news surfer, mostly because all seem to lack in certain areas the requisite of skepticism.

    IMHO, Fox was too much a cheerleader for 43’s Iraq war, with frequent appearances by Bill Kristol and other chicken hawks encouraging certain Americans (which does not include them) spill their blood. In fact, I think a good argument can be made that the Zionists influential in the govt (e.g., Feith , Perle, Wolfowitz) were more interested in Israel’s security than in ours. Such is the stuff that borders on treason.

    When Ronald Dumsfeld appeared on Fox pushing a litany of excuses for blowing it, I quickly changed the channel. They are just updated versions of McNamara’s Viet Nam war excuses.

    MSNBC? A few years ago I liked Chris Mathews, but he now has joined the anti-Catholic forces, probably because he likes his fame and his $5 million/year income. Maddow has no insight into any issue. Include Rev Al and Ed Schultz in this conspiracy of dunces, whose membership explains why so few people are watching.

    CNN is improving but still has too many thick headed liberal ideologues to justify anything but a cursory glance

    The Sunday news shows come up short. When David Brinkley had his Sunday show, it was always worth watching. He never let politician dulia interfere in his work. But he retired, then died.

  22. jhayes says:

    Clarification from Fox news Dallas:

    An spokesperson for the VA clarified the policy Monday, which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook, by stating the following:

    “In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones [themes?] are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.”

    HERE

  23. frjim4321 says:

    Either I’m having a stroke or there really are several points of agreement between RobtBrwn and I. As might be anticipated I’m much more tolerant of some of the MSNBC material and think Maddow is good on many things. I really don’t like that she is militantly pro-choice bordering on pro-abortion.

  24. Sonshine135 says:

    Continued open hostility towards our religious men and women in uniform will not help this country in the least. This is how moral bankruptcy is introduced into a military force- where blind loyalty to a commanding officer is upheld over the objection to an unlawful and/or immoral order. There is a lot more to this than the simple prevention of our troops from receiving Christmas cards.

  25. SKAY says:

    “There is a lot more to this than the simple prevention of our troops from receiving Christmas cards.”
    Exactly., Sunshine. It goes along with why chaplains are being told what they can and cannot talk about concerning the Bible.

    It has always been clear where you get a lot your news, frjim.

  26. Kathleen10 says:

    I was wondering about the date of the VA handbook. Thanks to jhayes we see it is 2008. Well that’s when the Grinch took office so that works. He must have worked double fast but I feel certain scrubbing the government and military of anything godly was high up on his list of to-do’s, so in this instance we must say he and his minions were marvelously efficient! Motivation is everything.
    To see this handbook’s rules described as “reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team led by chaplaincy services” is one thing, but law is not just what is written on a page but how it is applied. It makes all the difference doesn’t it. Isn’t that what is called the “letter and spirit”? At some point we see we all have to look to our fellow Americans (or whatever your countrymen) and hope to see some shining examples of integrity, courage, and willingness to sacrifice, maybe alot, in order to do the right thing, not the easy thing. Where ARE these people. I believe, I hope, I would have handed out those cards. There are surely people who have sacrificed and said no to the prevailing heads and we need alot more of it. God bless those people. If we all continue to roll over and do the bidding of the atheistic administrators, the outcome is certain. They have made great strides and there are no signs of resistance. How tragic.
    In addition the people of Texas, being in the location, should be heard from. This is a time for gathering outside, lighting candles, singing hymns, making signs, phone calls, and so on. Have children make MORE CARDS, and en masse, arrive and insist they be delivered. People of Texas. It’s in your backyard. There are alot of Christians in Texas. Where are they.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Horrible, but this cloud has a silver lining in that these good children are learning first hand what it means to be members of the Church Militant. They will grow up realizing, unlike so many adults who have their heads in the sand, that America is fast becoming a nation which persecutes, hates, and want s to destroy Christianity in the public sphere.

    God bless these children.

  28. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    It would be nice if, as the statement on applying policy quoted by jhayes suggests, all cards are in fact eventually offered (on the basis of possible-recipient discretion) – though presumably this could also be accomplished immediately (as I understand anilwang to suggest) by a chaplain accompanying the visiting children. But, in fact, there sounds like a lot of dicretionary room in point c of “26. RELIGIOUS LITERATURE” to suppress arbitrarily by interpreting any item’s “references” as “offensive”.

    Kathleen10, if the handbook appeared in July 2008, before the November election (and January 2009 ceremonies), the initial problem would seem perhaps closer to what Stephen Matthew suggests, “that not only our present administration, but in fact the entire governmental structure, is secular in such a way as to de facto favor a sort of agnosticism or atheism.”

  29. Angie Mcs says:

    I also think about the children, they who have personal, direct and door-slamming in your face experience with this government. May they remember as they grow older, and may their parents help them remember its importance, without fear and intimidation. But there are comparatively so few of them. How many will be raised by numb, uninvolved people whom we see today, uninvolved, content with their smartphones, totally complacent, and fed garbage by the MSM? As an example, the NYTimes hit an alltime low, rehashing the Benghazi story and claiming the attack was really a result of a video. They must be clearing the way for “what difference does it make” Clinton, but first they have to erase the truth. It will be hard for these children to remember. Every week it gets worse and more dangerous to speak up. God bless these children, truly.

    Perhaps some of our govt. officials with be hoisted by their own petard, including No. 1. One can only hope. This story is very sad.

  30. Gail F says:

    Christmas cards are not “religious literature.” That’s absurd.

  31. Pingback: Keeping Wounded Vets Safe From Christmas Cards | The American Catholic

  32. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Either I’m having a stroke or there really are several points of agreement between RobtBrwn and me.

    If memory serves, you and I agreed on the non negotiability of the seal of Confession.

  33. MAJ Tony says:

    Apparently, this isn’t the first time this issue has come up. In fact, it appears to have already been made a “Federal case.” Here’s the current American Legion Commander, Dan Dellinger being quoted on the subject.

    “First of all, VA’s decision to prohibit the delivery of Christmas cards that mention Christmas is ludicrous,” Dellinger said today after Texas teacher Susan Chapman was told Monday that her students’ cards would not be delivered to veterans. “Second of all, VA has been down this road before, and recently. VA has been warned through a federal court decree to stop denying freedom of religious expression at its facilities. It’s pretty obvious the Dallas VA did not get that memo.” http://www.legion.org/news/218127/va-christmas-card-ban-defies-law

  34. SKAY says:

    ” As an example, the NYTimes hit an alltime low, rehashing the Benghazi story and claiming the attack was really a result of a video. They must be clearing the way for “what difference does it make” Clinton, but first they have to erase the truth. It will be hard for these children to remember. ”
    When I saw this story yesterday my thoughts mirrored yours exactly, Angie Mcs. It is clear what the new “story line” will be to try and cover for Hillary going into the election season. I saw a segment of an ABC interview of Senator Ted Cruz this morning in which the ABC “reporter” tried to insist that the shutdown was all the Republican’s fault–when they were asking for a one year delay before implementing Obamacare in order to try and fix some of the (many)problems they saw within it for the American people. Cruz responded by citing what Obama and the Democrats said to the Republicans when they all were summoned to the White House and that was—no compromise–so shut it down. This is exactly how this White House sees itself–on every issue- since they have no intention of following the Constitution and most of the media falls into line. That will also be true on religious issues as well. There will be a favored religious way to “think”

    Had the Obama administration compromised on the timing of the rollout–they would have speared themselves the disaster that we are going through. Their arrogance got the best of them but real people are the ones suffering.

  35. brhenry says:

    What does “so help me God” or “One Nation under God” mean, if “God” is not defined? No nation has survived under an undefined “god.” At some point, “God” must be formally and legally defined(and declared) or the USA will find herself in the same ash heap as all other pagan(undefined god) nations of history.

  36. chantgirl says:

    So, the military has no problem sending our servicemen into enemy territory to fight terrorists (often without providing them adequate armor), but when schoolchildren show up at the VA with Christmas cards, suddenly the servicemen must be protected?! Servicemen are coming home from the Middle East and committing suicide, and the VA denies them a bit of Holiday cheer from children? Servicemen aren’t even allowed to open carry on US bases to protect themselves, but the VA must protect them from Christmas cards?

  37. dcs says:

    I was wondering about the date of the VA handbook. Thanks to jhayes we see it is 2008. Well that’s when the Grinch took office so that works.

    Obama (the Grinch?) took office on January 20, 2009. So Bush the Younger was in office when the manual in question was published. Of course it is very possible that there have been additional regulations added since Obama took office.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Nice to know that tax dollars are being spent on staff meetings held to determine whether Christmas cards are appropriate.

    Calling Dr Howard . . . Dr Fine . . . Dr Howard