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.”
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. 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. 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. 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.'"
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."
This is bovine fecal matter of the highest order and nothing any bloviating smart ass might say could make me believe otherwise.
It's especially vile when you know that it comes on the heels of this story:
The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center announced the new policy Monday according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
“Military service veterans, male and female, represent people of all faiths,” hospital spokesman Brian Rothwell said in a statement according to Athens-Banner Herald. “It is out of respect for every faith that The Veterans Administration gives clear guidance on what ‘spiritual care’ is to be given and who is to give it.”
A group of high school students from Augusta’s Alleluia Community School were prevented from singing traditional holiday songs that honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ to veterans by the medical center last week.
The school principal, Dan Funsch, told the newspaper that he was disappointed that the Veterans Affairs hospital’s “spiritual care” grants holiday exemption only to secular characters that make up the 12 Days of Christmas.
“This is not a religious proselytizing, evangelistic issue,” Funsch explained, arguing that Christmas songs are broadcast during the holidays on area radio stations and in local retail outlets. “The song Joy to the World is as much a part of the holiday spirit as the Christmas tree.”
The principal noted that the peculiar part of the policy is its recent enforcement.
The hospital spokesman could not provide an accurate date of when the ban began, but Funsch stated his students were welcomed with open arms in 2011 and 2012.
I guess we chalk this complete stupidity up to the fundamental transformation promised by this administration.
The secularization of culture is the harbinger of said culture's demise.
This should rile us. But good.