Sandra Bell Joins POW/MIA Bible Lawsuit, but Standing Issue Remains
One of the MRFF’s ill-defined “clients,” former Airman Sandra Bell, has joined the lawsuit against the VA over the POW/MIA display in the foyer of the Manchester, NH, VA Medical Center. The reason, it seems, for adding Bell was to make sure one of the plaintiffs was a non-Christian (Bell says she’s an atheist) to alleviate the Judge’s qualms over a Christian being offended over a Bible.
While the MRFF publicly treats Bell as “new,” she’s been around the MRFF for a few months. She penned a self-described “op-ed” earlier in the year about the POW/MIA Bible. (She’s been a fairly prolific volunteer writer for them since.) Bell took particular issue with the fact it was a “Catholic” Bible, and essentially went on to equate Catholic Christianity and rape. (Bell has said she specifically wanted to point out it was a Catholic Bible because “the devil is in the details“.) Bell says when she enters the VA she “rushes past” the Bible,
reflecting on the dishonorable actions of Catholic clergy who sacrificed children’s innocence for their pleasure…
As I wait to see my psychiatrist, I think of the veterans with PTSD that decide suicide is their only way out. To have the VAMC protect that “holy” book under lock and key mirrors how the Church has protected their predator priests for centuries. How can the VAMC endorse this organization? There is no honor in that.
To those who tell me to look the other way when walking by the bible, I tell them this: don’t look the other way when children are being raped.
Clearly, the judge will have no problem seeing Bell is offended by Catholicism — though whether that, by projection, equates to a legally justifiable opposition to publicly displaying a Bible is another thing altogether.
Adding Bell to the lawsuit fails to remedy the fundamental issue of standing, however — at least, from a logical point of view. No doubt, the judge will be happy to proceed, simply because an American citizen has come forward claiming they are hurt by the presence of a Bible, ergo they somehow have legal standing to sue over said Bible.
But merely being offended isn’t standing. Remember, the lawsuit claims the POW/MIA Table
should be a memorial to all who have served regardless of their beliefs or faith traditions.
Chamberlain and Bell claim they have some right to sue because they’re veterans and they feel excluded because the Bible doesn’t represent them.
But it is not a “memorial to all.” It was never intended to be a “memorial to all.” The Table has nothing to do with them.
It is not an “all veterans table.” This is not about them. It is a table set up to memorialize POW/MIAs. Neither Bell nor Chamberlain are POW/MIAs.
The person who donated the Bible is one.
What right do they, as offended interlopers, have to tell a POW/MIA how to honor his service and sacrifice?
Their actions are the height of arrogance and bigotry.
It’s times like this when it is disappointing the Plaintiffs can suffer no penalty for the meritless basis of their lawsuit.