The gift shop at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico has become a battleground over religious liberty.
The “Patriot Shop” had erected an Easter-themed display featuring story books and bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs. But the table also included Bibles and that was a problem for a notorious anti-religion group.
“That display of Christian bibles and associated Christian reading materials completely violated the time, place, and manner restrictions of the VA’s own regulations as well as the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights and its construing Federal caselaw,” said Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a darling of the godless heathen crowd — known for bullying Christian military personnel. They are especially triggered by Nativity Scenes and Holy Bibles.
Weinstein said that he received complaints about the Bible display from seven alleged “Christians” along with a staff worker at the gift shop.
“As an employee of the VA I was distressed to see an Easter display in our Patriot Store that included a table full of Christian books and Bibles for children and adults. There was no corresponding display for Passover, nor have I ever seen any materials there for religions other than Christian,” the alleged employee wrote.
It’s important for journalists to generously use the word “alleged” when covering Mr. Weinstein’s organization. In nearly all of their cases the so-called victims have always been anonymous. There’s no way to independently verify any of the complaints.
Nevertheless, the VA hospital’s woke leadership freaked out after they got a letter from MRFF and immediately removed all the offensive materials.
The chocolate bunnies were permissible, but the Holy Bible was not.
The American Center for Law and Justice says the VA Medical Center violated the law by removing the Bibles.
“Displaying religious literature and offering it for sale in a gift shop along with other items does not violate the Establishment Clause or any other clause of the Constitution, no matter how forcefully one claims it does,” said Skip Ash, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.
“Along with Christmas, Easter is a time when many Christians exchange gifts. It makes sense for a gift shop to offer the type of items popular at Easter,” Ash said. “Offering a religious product that visitors to your gift shop are looking for and wish to purchase—even in a gift shop in a federal facility like a VA Medical Center—does not mean that the government is either endorsing the message contained in the literature offered or favoring the faith group the literature reflects. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.”
The ACLJ fired off a letter to the medical center to “demand that the display of Christian literature be returned forthwith to the gift shop.”