Friday, December 09, 2011

Navy Drops Bible Ban at Walter Reed Hospital

Under heavy pressure from Congressional and religious leaders, the US Navy has rescinded a policy that forbade visitors from giving Bibles or religious articles to wounded troops at the nation’s leading military hospital.

No word from President Obama regarding this

-- From "Walter Reed Reverses Stance on Bible Ban" by The Associated Press 12/8/11

The ban was issued in September but only came to light last week. . . .

On its web site, Walter Reed [hospital] now apologizes and says the visitation policy has been rescinded, that patients' families may bring religious materials and that religious groups won't be barred from visiting.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "US Navy rescinds ban on Bibles for patients at Walter Reed hospital" posted at Catholic World News 12/6/11

In a memo regarding visits to patients at Walter Reed hospital, chief of staff C.W. Callahan wrote: “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” The memo, as written, would have made it impossible for relatives or chaplains to give wounded troops Bibles, Rosaries, or other religious items.

When Callahan’s memo was made public, religious leaders reacted with horror. An angry Congressman Steve King of Iowa said: “The President of the United States should address this and should excoriate the people who brought about this policy and the individual who brought it about should be dismissed from the United States military.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. Military to Rescind Policy Banning Bibles at Hospital" by Todd Starnes, FOX News 12/2/11

The decision to rescind the ban on Bibles came exactly one day after a Republican lawmaker denounced the policy on the House floor and called on President Obama to publicly renounce the military policy.

“That [policy] means you can’t bring in a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or your daughter, perhaps – or your wife or husband,” King said. “It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their death bed couldn’t bring in the Eucharist, couldn’t offer Last Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

“I don’t think there’s any excuse for it and there’s no talking it away,” King told Fox News. “The very existence of this, whether it’s enforced or not, tells you what kind of a mindset is there.”

“But beyond that,” he told Fox News, “We’ve also seen a militantly secular attitude of trying to sterilize the Defense Department of all references to faith.”

“This is Orwellian,” he said. “Who would have believed even two or five years ago that the Executive branch of government led by our Commander in Chief Barack Obama would produce some kind of document that would prohibit family members coming into our military hospitals

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Walter Reed rewriting policy on religious items" by Patricia Kime, Staff Writer, Gannett 12/7/11

The intent was to respect patients’ religious practices and preserve their privacy, explained hospital spokeswoman Sandy Dean. She said patients often are visited by volunteers from benevolent organizations as well as strangers, ranging from celebrities, politicians and well-meaning VIPs, and the guidelines were developed to respect patients’ own beliefs.

Dean said the guidelines are necessary because the hospital needs to protect its patients, who declare their religious preferences when they arrive.

“We want to make sure that visitors are respecting our patients’ religious practices and culture,” she said.

Hospital leaders are revising the policy carefully but she could not say when it would be complete.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Congressman Steve King's comments on this story begin at time marker 2 minutes, in this video: