Michael “Mikey” Weinstein announced that his MRFF — which is currently suing to have a Bible removed from a POW/MIA display at the Manchester VA — had staged a stunt in which a “client” placed a stack of texts on the POW/MIA table of varying faith traditions.
The VA said it would not “tolerate” organizations messing with the displays and would remove the other books, which mirrored their other forceful statement protecting the display.
Importantly, having other faith texts placed on the display is not the “relief sought” in the current lawsuit. The suit seeks only the removal of the Bible.
James L. Chamberlain, the token plaintiff and Read more
VA spokesman Curtis Cashour’s statement was quoted in the last article, but it turns out it had been slightly edited. This was the full sentence that spoke to the VA’s feelings on the lawsuit — and Mikey Weinstein [emphasis added]:
“This lawsuit – backed by a group known for questionable practices and unsuccessful lawsuits – is nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community.”
or, as paraphrased at Read more
As previously noted, both the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation claimed they contacted the VA Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, to demand a Bible be removed from the POW/MIA display in the foyer. The Bible was removed “out of an abundance of caution,” but the backlash — and a subsequent legal review — led the VA to apologize and return the Bible, which was donated by World War II POW and Army Air Corps TSgt Herman “Herk” Streitburger [emphasis added]:
“Manchester VAMC officials temporarily removed the Bible from the display out of an abundance of caution,” VA spokeswoman Kristin Pressly said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “Following that removal, Manchester VAMC received an outpouring of complaints from Veterans and other stakeholders – many of whom dropped off Bibles at the facility – in protest of this action.”
Pressly said that after consulting with lawyers, the facility determined the Bible will stay and “remain indefinitely as part of the missing man display, a secular tribute to America’s POW/MIA community.”
“We apologize to the Veterans, families and other stakeholders who were offended by our incorrect removal of this Bible,” she said.
Note that this apology came from Kristin Pressly, speaking for the VA, not the Manchester medical facility.
Now, James Chamberlain, described as a “devout Christian” and “Air Force veteran,” has filed a lawsuit (PDF) to force the Manchester VA to remove Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein continues to scour the country in search of POW/MIA remembrance tables about which he can complain — if they should have the gall to have the traditional Bible on them.
Weinstein has had some (though not total) success over the years wielding his “ignoramus’ veto” over the Bibles in the displays. It has tended to be the gift that keeps on giving, because no matter how the targeted organization responds, Weinstein will try to vaunt the story in the press and use it as fundraising material. Either it is a great victory for his anti-Christian cause, or it is an indicator of Christians trying to take over the world. Either way, he tells his followers, send more money.
Many of the groups that have responded by removing Bibles from POW/MIA tables have done so simply because it seems like the “easier” course of action — to make the loudest critic go away. As a result, when the opposing viewpoint raises cries later, the organizations shrug.
However, the First Liberty Institute recently weighed in Read more
Update: A WWII pilot’s family reports on finding the nose art from their grandfather’s plane… in the risqué section of the museum.
The Commemorative Air Force has loaned a collection of nose art saved from to-be-scrapped B-17s and B-24s to the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for display for at least the next year.
The collection of 34 pieces of “nose art”…is the largest of its kind…
The double-entendres, bravado and pride reflected in the nose art speak to the intimate bond the crews had with their planes. Young men, some not even in their 20s, put their Read more
In a relatively recent tradition, each class of US Air Force Academy cadets since 2000 has chosen an “exemplar” representing the character and fortitude to which they would like to aspire. Exemplars have included airpower giants like Mitchell and Doolittle, famous fighter pilots like Olds, and Major David Brodeur, USAFA Class of 1999, who was killed in Afghanistan.
The USAFA Class of 2018 recently chose as its exemplar Capt Louis Zamperini, Army Air Corps bombardier, POW, and outspoken Christian:
Cadet 3rd Class J. Benson Anderson, Jr., an Exemplar Committee official, said Zamperini was selected because he demonstrated the character and conviction the Class of 2018 strives to maintain.
“His loyalty in Read more
Louis Zamperini was an Olympian in 1936, went on to become a B-24 bombardier, and would eventually become famous for surviving 47 days afloat in the Pacific Ocean — followed by two years in Japanese POW camps.
Zamperini died last Thursday, July 3rd, at the age of 97.
Zamperini wrote a book about his experiences entitled Devil at My Heels, which was reviewed here. Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote Seabiscuit and heard about Zamperini during her research, wrote another biography entitled Unbroken (reviewed here), which Read more
A local paper, repeated at the Stars and Stripes, highlights the fascinating story of 91-year-old VA Chaplain Ben Vegors, who has served at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s chapel for more than four decades.
[Over the years], he’s helped many men and women recover their faith as their bodies recovered from the effects of military service.
“Here in the chapel it’s been a real good thing,” said Vegors, his voice rich with the memory. “I’ve directed hundreds back to their churches.”
The story starts much earlier, with his conversion in 1940 and his service in B-24s during World War II. Read the full story here.