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, Read more
Yesterday, the Federal District Court in New Hampshire allowed the lawsuit against the VA Medical Center POW/MIA display to proceed, and it also permitted the Northwest POW/MIA Network, which erected the display, to intervene. (The POW/MIA Network is represented by First Liberty.) In one of the more interesting arguments, the presiding judge questioned whether the plaintiff had standing because he’s a Christian. Judge Paul Barbadoro [emphasis added]
acknowledged no shortage of case law and legal precedent regarding religious symbols on public property…
But Barrington resident James Chamberlain, the plaintiff in the challenge, is a Christian who attends a Congregational church, and therein lies the rub, according to the judge.
Barbadoro said he knows of no prior case stemming from a Christian challenging a symbol of Christianity.
“If he were an atheist, he would have standing and that would be clear,” the judge said.
There are certainly legal reasons to require “standing” in a judicial proceeding — but Read more