The Genesis of the Bible's Exodus from Troop Hospitals
***Breaking News*** As we were about to hit the send button on this email, FRC received word that the military may have rescinded its Bible ban. We will have more to report on Monday.
The soldiers who wake up in Walter Reed Medical Center are in Maryland--not communist China. But under the Navy's new rules, they may not know the difference! After months of peeling away the military's core values, Obama's army is on the move. And this time, it has a high-value target: the Bible. In a memo obtained by FRC, Navy officials have announced that "no religious items (including Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit." The new orders are buried in a four-page document about patient care, which an Army officer forwarded to us in disbelief. Effective immediately, families, friends, and even pastors will have to check their beliefs at the door to visit one of the largest military hospitals in the United States .
Last night, after we circulated the memo to leaders on the Hill, an outraged Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) took to the House floor and blasted the policy. "Mr. Speaker, these military men and women who are recovering at Walter Reed and Bethesda have given their all for America ... They've defended and taken an oath to the Constitution, and here they are. The people that come to visit them can't bring a religious artifact? They can't bring a Bible? ...A priest can't walk in with the Eucharist and offer communion to a patient who might be on their deathbed because it's prohibited in this memo from the Department of the Navy?"
This is Obama's military, where homosexuality is celebrated and Christianity is censored; where witches are financed and crosses are scorned; where bestiality is embraced and Bibles are banned; where same-sex "weddings" are encouraged but international charity is not. After three years of ideological warfare, the administration's intent is clear: to disarm the military of its biggest weapon. Faith. Regardless of President Obama's agenda, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that empowers the government to stop family members from giving Bibles or crosses to their loved ones. And from a PR standpoint, I'm not sure the best way to boost approval ratings is by denying comfort to wounded warriors. Unfortunately for our troops, who have endured so much turmoil under the Obama administration, this is another blow. Hopefully, with the help of Congressman King and others, it's only a temporary one.
Grant Central Station
It was a grueling three hours for officials at Health and Human Services (HHS), but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) certainly got his point across. Yesterday, in a packed room, House leaders pounced on the Obama administration for its religious bias in government outreach. At the heart of the discussion was HHS's decision to cut off funding for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) program for sex trafficking victims. Despite scoring the second highest in HHS's own evaluation process, political appointees refused to renew USCCB's contract, and sources inside the agency say the group's pro-life beliefs--not its program delivery--were to blame. George Sheldon, the Obama appointee who made the final decision (against the recommendations of his own staffers), took the brunt of yesterday's criticism.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who regularly highlights the problem of sex trafficking in Congress, talked about the abuse of the HHS process. "In this system, grants are becoming earmarks." Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asked Sheldon what was on everyone's mind: " Why do you have a point system if you are going to ignore it? ...What score would have been good enough to award the USCCB? What else could they have done other than scoring high enough, performing well and being recommended by career staff?" Another friend of FRC, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), explained how traumatizing it would be to push abortion on women who are already suffering physically and emotionally. While the matter is far from over, we congratulate Chairman Issa and others for taking the time to spotlight the corruption at HHS. Maybe next time, officials will think twice about discriminating against organizations like the USCCB.
** Don't miss Washington Watch Weekly with Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), who was in studio to talk about the new outdoor wiccan worship center at the U.S. Air Force Academy. I also will be joined by Paul Blair, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma to discuss the not-so-tolerant behavior of homosexuals after he testified at an Oklahoma City council meeting on its anti-discrimination policy. For more information or to find a radio station near you, visit FRCRadio.org.
*** Earlier this week, I dropped by Andrea Mitchell's show on MSNBC to talk about the presidential race. To watch, click below.