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Thread: No Merry Christmas cards allowed at VA

  1. #21
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    I am not understanding why this is an issue. Any time I have checked into a hospital, even for an outpatient procedure there has been a form to fill out with questions like "Would you like your name to be given to clergy?" and "Do you have a religious preference?" Even in schools when wanting to find out about pictures being taken of students or any number of other issues there is just a form asking for preferences. Why can't there be a form (one amongst the hundreds that there are) asking would you like Christmas cards or other literature yes or no?

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  2. #22
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    The reason they ask about clergy at hospitals is not just for fun. Catholics, for example, will put down they are Catholic because if anything goes wrong they need last rites when possible.

    If I was in a hospital long term I wouldn't want to decide on Christmas cards upon entering. My mood might be very different come Christmas.
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  3. #23
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    I thought there was a form and that is what they are supposed to check against?
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  4. #24
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    VA Response Letter
    http://www.libertyinstitute.org/document.doc?id=125

    I guess it was illegal for them to censor the cards after all.

    In light of the VA’s response, Liberty Institute issues the following statement:
    “In the response, the VA admits that they are banning kids from freely giving veterans Christmas Cards that say Christmas. The VA further admits that it is unlawfully screening cards for religious content, and, according to the policy the VA references in its response, will only give a veteran a card that says Christmas if the veteran actually requests such a card on their own.

    The VA’s policy of banning Christmas cards unless a veteran specifically asks for a Christmas card is not only unlawful it is patently silly. We are continuing our investigation of this incident as well as numerous others we are learning about where VA facilities across the country are engaging in hostility to religion in violation of the First Amendment and federal law."
    Liberty Institute News: VA Admits Censorship of School Children's Christmas Cards and Confirms Nationwide Policy that Unlawfully Discriminates Against Religion
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  5. #25
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, why would it be unlawful for the VA to accept the cards but then only distribute them to individual veterans who agree to accept religious cards?

    Their letter doesn't say that they admit that it is unlawful for them to only distribute religious cards to people who want religious cards, it says that their policy was miscommunicated. Their policy is to take the religious cards and then distribute them to people that want the religious cards, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. It sounds like someone at the VA either didn't understand or didn't properly communicate the policy, which is too bad but sounds like it was just a mistake. However, their policy itself sounds like a good policy, assuming they actually follow it.

    Is it seriously the Liberty Institute's position that people who don't want the religious cards MUST be given the religious cards?
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I'm sorry, why would it be unlawful for the VA to accept the cards but then only distribute them to individual veterans who agree to accept religious cards?

    Their letter doesn't say that they admit that it is unlawful for them to only distribute religious cards to people who want religious cards, it says that their policy was miscommunicated. Their policy is to take the religious cards and then distribute them to people that want the religious cards, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. It sounds like someone at the VA either didn't understand or didn't properly communicate the policy, which is too bad but sounds like it was just a mistake. However, their policy itself sounds like a good policy, assuming they actually follow it.

    Is it seriously the Liberty Institute's position that people who don't want the religious cards MUST be given the religious cards?
    Still so confused by the religious stuff...
    Does this mean if JW, Mormons, members of the Church of Scientology, atheists and anyone else protected by the 1st amendment, can drop off cards sharing their message, and the VA is required to give it to all vets?

  7. #27
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    Still so confused by the religious stuff...
    Does this mean if JW, Mormons, members of the Church of Scientology, atheists and anyone else protected by the 1st amendment, can drop off cards sharing their message, and the VA is required to give it to all vets?
    The actual vet should be given the option of whether they want a card or not, it should not be censored before it even gets to them. No one has ever said anything about anyone being forced to take a card. Why should someone go through the cards and censor them to decide whether or not the message is appropriate? Isn't that subjective anyway? If a vet doesn't want a card they say no. Pretty simple.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    I'm guessing they didn't go through the vetting procedure. But it seriously doesn't matter enough to me to dig up more articles on it. There are so many real injustices in this world...this one isn't really a big deal and it just seems like part of the mythical "war on Christmas" babble.
    "I'm guessing" "It doesn't matter enough" "It just seems like" "mythical" "babble" So why even debate?
    DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivergallery View Post
    "I'm guessing" "It doesn't matter enough" "It just seems like" "mythical" "babble" So why even debate?
    I'm sorry, I guess I should have checked with you before posting to see if you think my comments are relevant or not....how silly of me.
    Last edited by freddieflounder101; 01-04-2014 at 10:00 AM.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloriaInTX View Post
    The actual vet should be given the option of whether they want a card or not, it should not be censored before it even gets to them. No one has ever said anything about anyone being forced to take a card. Why should someone go through the cards and censor them to decide whether or not the message is appropriate? Isn't that subjective anyway? If a vet doesn't want a card they say no. Pretty simple.
    I don't see the problem with the way they were supposed to be doing it. With the VA's stated policy, the actual vet is given the option of whether they want religious cards or not, just not with the donor standing right in front of them. I think that saves everyone from being in an ackward situation where a child is trying to give a vet a card, they look at the card, and then, what, give it back? Uncomfortable all around, and probably wouldn't happen anyway. What is more likely to happen in that scenario is that if it is a vet that doesn't want a religious card, they say thank you and then throw the card away as soon as the kids leave. Which, I agree, isn't the end of the world. This whole scenario is not the end of the world any way you slice it. But why not channel the cards to people who actually want them and will enjoy them?
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