Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Faith Blog

Why in the world would any decent country ban Bibles from ailing servicemen at a facility like Walter Reed Hospital?   Why deny communion or the Last Rites to soldiers who have faith and have given so much for their country?  By the way, what exactly does Sandy Dean mean below? :-)

Todd Starnes of Fox News asked Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed, about the policy change.
From Sandy Dean: “The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded. It will be written to articulate our initial intention which was to respect religious and cultural practices of our patients… We don’t want there to be any misinterpretation of what we’re trying to say. We appreciate Congressman King bringing this to our attention. We don’t want our instructions to be ambiguous.”

Wait...doesn't respecting religious practices of patients include the right and ability to read religious works?!

HERE is the article which includes: Arizona Congressman Steve King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”
“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.

Where does America go from here?  Must we ban all religious information from everywhere that government is?  When UCLA bought Santa Monica Hospital, the staff were told to remove all Bibles from all hospital bedside table drawers.   Is it so offensive?  Were nurses spoon feeding Christianity to patients as they spoon fed them their salt-free meals?  Of course not.

Where do we go from here?   Why the purge?  What is with our government?  

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."  Proverbs 18:10


z

36 comments:

Always On Watch said...

In my recent experience, all medical institutions accommodated the differing faiths of the patients.

I know that Mr. AOW really took courage from the Gideons when they visited the nursing home. As always, the Gideons gave the patients as choice as to whether or not they wanted to hear the Gospel and to receive a Bible.

I have been in motels without a Gideon Bible in the drawer. I was dismayed as I typically didn't pack a Bible when traveling. I always relied on the availability of the Gideon Bible.

In my view, our military should be allowed to have whatever last rites their religious practices allow for. Yes, even Muslims -- as long as jihad is not preached in those rites.

sue hanes said...

Z - If this were't so pathetic it would be funny - kinda like Joseph Heller's Catch 22.


Have a great Sunday - Z.

Scotty said...

Dean said the instruction was “in no way meant to prohibit family members from providing religious items to their loved ones at all.”

And I believe that statement. I spent almost a year in the hospital at Fort Devens, in Massachusetts, between surgeries and therapies.

I remember so many religious groups coming in to visit. Some times it was like a swarm of locust. And, it wasn't just Christians...it was also many of the main line cults too....I'll let you make your own assumptions as who they were.

They all would leave their tracts and reading materials and in some cases bibles. Most were variations of the New World Translation.

And sometimes they got under foot.

And most times the majority of us were not interested it what they were offering. One could spot these groups a mile a way! I think THAT'S what they were trying to stop at Walter Reed.

A wounded warrior would not be interested and some would get down right intrusive. I think we all have seem that type....

I think that is the real underlying issue in all this. But, of course, edicts can be interpreted many ways.

Don't misunderstand where I'm coming from as I am a Christian and do soldiers need evangelizing? Yep. But, there is a way to do it and a time to do it.

Christians, do you want to make a wounded warriors day as he lays in that hospital bed? Just talk to them. Talk about the beautiful day it is. Talk to him about his family and show interest in that. Love 'em, show your love and appreciation.

Don't pry about what he/she did while deployed. Let them volunteer that information. Most combat vets aren't interested in re-hashing experiences.

Just sit with them.....hold their hand. More often than not, nothing needs to be said....actions speak louder that words.

Z said...

Scotty, I don't know that that's what was meant in this law but you could have a point. To me, and other writers I read before posting this, it was that Christian soldiers are banned from HAVING Scripture with them at all. I can't imagine a more important time to have it.
Andrew, who I wrote about 2 months ago is a devout, strong Christian and, having just lost both legs and part of one arm (two weeks after his wedding) in Afghanistan, there is nothing but medical help he wanted more than Christians and the Bible around him. He's doing amazingly well, by the way. The docs are calling it a miracle.

But, if people of all types were coming and pushing anything on anybody (including CHristians pushing), that's wrong.
Maybe THAT's what the person interviewed means when he/she (Sandy) says they're going to try to write the rule correctly, or whatever it says...

The last thing anybody needs is religious types of any ilk pushing anything aggressively at them.

The best thing anybody could get is the kind of talking to which you mentioned.
But I still think bibles should not be banned.

Sue, thanks. you, too.

AOW, I couldn't agree with you more. And I'm glad Mr AOW was able to take courage from the Gideon bible. One of the women in my 250 member bible study group works actively in the Gideons and I'll tell her that; they need encouragement.
thanks

Silverfiddle said...

I wonder what the original intent was? Perhaps this policy was aimed at groups who visit troops in order to proselytize them? That's what it appears to be about.

All military facilities have chaplains, chapels, etc, and WRMC never banned any of that.

Nonetheless, the level of hostility towards the free exercise of our first First Amendment rights is chilling.

Silverfiddle said...

What Scotty said. I left the computer for a few hours and didn't see his comment until I posted mine.

You know, I like Glenn Beck, but he and others get some kind of thrill at sensationalizing stuff like this. It's irresponsible journalism to not report such stories in context. We just don't have the time to investigate these things on our own.

This is also why I stay away from World Net Daily, and warn my fellow truth lovers to do the same.

My advice to anyone is if you hear something this outrageous, view it with a jaundiced eye. Of course, in the age of one Obama outrage after another, anything is possible...

Z said...

Silverfiddle, before I wrote my post, I researched fairly extensively and most of those writing about this were talking about how it's Obama's fault.

I never found a shred of support for that position and never mentioned it here. It's that kind of blame Glenn Beck likes to do and something I'm very sensitive about because the validity of the information in the post (and Beck's information, too, on many subjects) gets obfuscated in the "OBAMA DID NOT SAY THAT!" complaints.
Yes, it's Obama's people who made this rule but it's military people and I'm quite sure Obama isn't involved in every situation like this.
But, the rule is the rule, I believe it was wrong, and it's clearly displayed in my piece;

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states."

It sounds tough to me to consider a pastor unable to 'used' a Bible on a visit to a Christian soldier.

No, there's plenty of truth in this but, thankfully, the Republicans from Arizona spoke up and, the next day apparently, the new rule was rescinded and will be rewritten. A good thing!

Z said...

Also, I knew firsthand about the Bibles being immediately removed from hospital bedside tables days after UCLA purchased the private hospital in Santa Monica. That was included in my post, too.

This trend is the point of my post.....And I think it's a valid discussion and would like everyone's input on that. Thanks.

Scotty said...

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states."


If you keep that statement within the context of my point, Z, it makes sense.

Trust me, NO one is going to stop a loved one from bringing anything into that hospital. That statement I highlighted is directed at outside groups. Those that are not family or tied in with the veteran facility.

If a veteran asks the chaplain for a bible, trust me, he'll get one!

As SF said....you have to stand back a bit from the banter that is going on.

The military has to tread a fine line when it comes to issues of faith and the many differing religious viewpoints of the many soldiers.

Next to that Christian wounded soldier could be a "non" Christian. And many of the outside groups that come in are often not very sensitive to that fact, be it intentionally or simply out of ignorance. Either way the result is the same.

Most "groups" are well meaning but in an effort to quell those that come in with agendas and are looking for head counts as a basis as a validation of their own Christianity. There is NO place for those folks in that environment.

What I experienced back in the 70's is still going on today. If religious groups are going to come into the Military and veteran hospitals they are going to need to come in somewhat generically.

Z said...

Scotty...“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states."

Does that not mean Bibles can't be given by a pastor to a Christian soldier? All my post's saying is it's good that the rule is being better articulated now!

And are you worried a boy on another bed might overhear the word Jesus and be offended? Another point of my post is "Have we come to that?" It's unreal and it's ideological aggression; nobody's really SO upset to overhear tidbits of anothers' faith.

Are we this careful about trying to squelch the Islamist training our prisoners are getting in jails, which is just plain fact? I hope so.

"generically"...in a country where 87% identify as Christians kind of begs my point, I think.

My point is that we're all far too sensitive. I don't know nuts who'd come in banging Bibles and pushing Christianity on anybody, personally. If they're there, of course they need to be asked to leave! I know sensitive pastors who'd come in and ask if anybody'd like prayer or a Bible, etc.

And, from what we hear about, for instance, that Houston military cemetery which tried to ban the words God and Jesus at funerals, etc...(there are so many stories like this), I'd say we can't stand back from any of this at all.

I feel our kids deserve to have religious input when needed. And that includes any religion.

And, really, Scotty, that's the whole thing! They went from an overly broad statement like the one you bolded in your comment to being corrected by a Republican Congressman and now it will read more clearly...that's all I'm trying to say!

Does my blog sound like one which pushes only Christian information at any place like a military hospital? Have I ever called for rampant proselytizing?
Do I believe it would make the world a better place? Yes. Do I do it or push for it? Absolutely not.

Silverfiddle said...

Z: I was not directing my criticism at you, but at people in the press who are supposed to report on these issues straight up.

Pris said...

"“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states."

This hospital policy, can be used and abused according to the whims of whomever is in charge of visiting "privileges". Frankly, it seems pretty clear to me.

Scotty, with all due respect, I believe you're being naive. It's no secret that Christianity in America today is under assault in all areas, which at one time, were not just accepted, but, welcome.

I somehow doubt, for instance, that given PC today, this policy would prohibit the Koran, under the same circumstances.

Furthermore, if occasionally a group came in the hospital staff disapproved of, that's no reason to throw the "baby out with the bathwater".

Rep. King is exactly right. The hospital has no right to prohibit religious books, or bibles, or whatever a patient may feel he/she needs to give him strength and hope. Sometimes, it can be a matter of giving a patient the will to live.

I was born in a hospital called "The Jewish Hospital". My family is not Jewish, but my parents had no complaints or problems with it.

My children were born in a Catholic hospital, and I found the nuns who made their rounds everyday, to be wonderful, caring and looking for anyone who might need their counsel.

I'm not Catholic either, but I appreciated their visits. They were so kind.

There is no way to please everyone, and those who wish to eliminate what they see as a nuisance, are bound to step on another's rights, or needs.

I say, leave well enough alone. You can't please all of the people all of the time, right? So let's not eliminate something as important as enriching the souls of so many, to appease the few.

Scotty said...

And are you worried a boy on another bed might overhear the word Jesus and be offended? Another point of my post is "Have we come to that?" It's unreal and it's ideological aggression; nobody's really SO upset to overhear tidbits of anothers' faith.

Nope, just trying to show you the military logic behind it all. And most times, it doesn't jive with civilian logic.

The chaplains also have to dance on the fine wire of a tightrope on this also. They are required to be versed in all flavors. Regardless of their own convictions.

"generically"...in a country where 87% identify as Christians kind of begs my point, I think.

It's a fact of life, the military cannot dance that dance. It's not allowed to address faith in that sense.

beamish said...

Makes you want to put government in charge of everybody's health care, doesn't it?

BB-Idaho said...

I wonder...we can turn away the front porch Jehovah Witness, Mormon lads and whatever flavor
comes by. If we were confined and missing three limbs and in great pain...it would be more difficult.
Scotty pretty much nailed it. They are can be pests; years back as I
lay in the hospital in and out of conciousness with pneumonia, a new nun came by and asked me to join her in prayer. I said I wasn't that sick. She gave me SUCH a look....

Z said...

THanks, Silverfiddle, I appreciate that, but it did feel like it was aimed at me because you'd said to view this information with a jaundiced eye and it did seem that you were discounting my information...
You're so right about the media, of course; but the media doesn't even cover these things at ALL! And, when Conservatives do, they tend to embellish it just to slam Obama (as if he hasn't enough legit stuff we can criticize!)?...I just got this same information in an email from another friend and hers had even more hyperbole in it.
This can't really be blamed on Obama as some of the 'editions' are purporting and that type of 'direction' in a conservative's criticism of anything negates from legitimate criticism that IS deserved in this case, in my opinion.
Thanks, SF.

Pris, what great examples of true tolerance, not this tolerance crap liberal PC wants to foist on us. Thanks for those examples you gave.
And yes, in a country in which 87% of its inhabitants veer toward CHristianity, let the rest suck it up. I certainly wouldn't mind if someone in the bed next to me was getting Islamic consolation from her religious leader, would you?

I remember asking my Jewish friend Michael, who converted to CHristianity five years or so ago, if he minded singing Carols as a child or seeing the Christmas displays in shopping malls, etc...he said "OH, sure, Z...seeing sweet little children sing happy songs and enjoying bright lights and lovely images REALLY ticked me off" :-) My Mikey isn't PC!

BB and Scotty...
I just am not making myself clear, I guess...or SOMETHING!!! :-)

THE WORDING OF THE RULE THAT FINALLY GOT OVERTURNED SAYS A FRIEND OR FATHER OR MOTHER CANNOT BRING A BIBLE IN TO A CHRISTIAN SON OR FRIEND...that CANNOT AND MUST NOT be stopped; that's insensitivity and stupidity to the Nth degree. Okay, we're talking military here, but ... :-)


BB...I"m sure the nun had no nefarious motivations.......prayer never hurts. And I do not think ANYBODY should put their faith on anybody else.
This is quite the opposite, come to think of it...this is about taking away a person of faith's ability to get consolation from the writings of his or her faith. THAT must NOT be a possibility.

Pris said...

"I certainly wouldn't mind if someone in the bed next to me was getting Islamic consolation from her religious leader, would you?"

Thanks Z. No, I wouldn't mind at all. I understand the apprehension one can have while a patient in a hospital.

Anyone who represents God, is perfectly welcome to wish me well also.
That doesn't make me a convert, it makes me grateful.

Scotty said...

THE WORDING OF THE RULE THAT FINALLY GOT OVERTURNED SAYS A FRIEND OR FATHER OR MOTHER CANNOT BRING A BIBLE IN TO A CHRISTIAN SON OR FRIEND...

I've spent most of the day trying to find the exact wording....(it's raining today). I haven't, only bits and pieces.

The consensus from what I read said nothing about family, members..mothers, uncles fathers, etc.

It's was a blanket statement "those that visit". It says nothing to the fact about those(the wounded) within the hospital having those things or not being allowed to have those things.

“The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded,” said Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed. “It will be written to articulate our initial intention which was to respect religious and cultural practices of our patients.”

Fox News reports a spokeperson for the medical center said the policy will be rewritten and its intent will be made "crystal clear."


I think the points that will be made "crystal clear" are going to address the points I made.

And spare me, Pris, I am not naive..

Silverfiddle said...

As a retired military member, I have to back up Scotty on this one. All military branches do their best to accommodate all religions while favoring none.

Prayers are given at many functions and ceremonies, but they are generic, no "In Jesus name," etc, and everybody is OK with that.

It is a different culture and I don't expect people who have never lived it to understand it, but it works.

Z said...

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.'

Scotty, there's the crux of it.

Here's an article that's fairly comprehensive:

http://newmediajournal.us/indx.php/item/3770
Representative Steve King from AZ took it the way it looks (to me, anyway)...I think the hospital is right in rewriting the rule to be more specific...

Just as I don't think Obama should be blamed for this (as some are), I don't think we can ignore that the words do sound like nobody can provide religious writings...Last Rites, Communion, etc.

I guess "those that visit", to me, would include parents, friends, etc.

I'd sure agree with you that nobody who's NOT of any particular faith should ever have ANY faith pushed on them just because they're a 'captive audience' in a hospital bed :-)

Whatever........it's going to be rewritten, we'll probably never hear how it was rewritten and we can only hope that it keeps family love and faith IN and nutty kooks pushing some faith OUT!


Scotty, do you think CHristianity is under siege at all by certain fairly vociferous aspects of our society?

In Santa Monica, CA, a church I was associated with had started a Nativity Display at a public park overlooking the ocean....about 20 churches participated...they were, frankly, pretty cheesy displays of various steps in the CHristmas story! Pastor used to keep the mannequins in his office until they got put up down at the beach and every time I'd walk in, it would scare the heck out of me because they're big bulky mannequins and it looked like some cretin was sitting there :-)

Anyway, we've all been stunned that "the People's Republic of Santa Monica" has allowed this still even until today....but this year, the Atheists got there early and reserved about half of the spaces before the typical churches did.
So, I believe there are now 10 displays and 10 empty spaces atheists got dibs on to make sure the churches were OUT. One sign, from what I saw in the paper, says "Happy Solstice" now.

Z said...

Silverfiddle, the information in this post is so different a subject, in my opinion, than what you're saying!

I've commented here a few times above saying that I don't believe ANY faith should be pushed anywhere and I'm good with that ..!!

Maybe I'm missing something here.

The new rule said Bibles and any written faith information are banned from being brought into the hospital. We all agree with that statement.
I'm pretty sure what you're saying there, SF, has pretty much nothing to do with this...what am I missing?

Don't say JESUS, FINE! What father or friend or mother would go anywhere BUT his son's bed and talk about faith anyway (and if they did, that's wrong!)? Or give a Bible to a stranger?

This isn't strictly against CHristians, anyway!!

Yikes.....maybe we're talking at cross purposes.

I TOTALLY understand the military situation...nobody should talk about any one faith in a military environment.

This was about bringing in to patients things they'd want to have with which to console themselves through their faith when they're ailing.

I don't see the connection of the military culture and this point at all.

:-)


That's not the point..is it?

liberaldude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liberaldude said...

Psst...as with Pris' comment ("It's no secret that Christianity in America today is under assault in all areas,"), the story is BS to keep people like you all outraged. It worked!

Z said...

liber..psst! the story's true, but good try :-)

Impertinent said...

"I was dismayed as I typically didn't pack a Bible when traveling."


Because they're al owned by Paki's and Hindi's now.

Same as your "convenience" stores, liquor stores, Dunkin' Donuts, gas stations and 7 11's. Oh...Taxi's too.

Impertinent said...

"I certainly wouldn't mind if someone in the bed next to me was getting Islamic consolation from her religious leader, would you?"


You damn well might if you're recovering from terrible wounds inflicted on you by an adherent of the "religion of peace".

Not a good place for an imam to venture I'd say.

Last damn thing I'd want to hear is "allah akubar" while i'm in a hospital ward. Especially after remembering the last thing I remembered was these loons shouting that before they damn near killed me and my fellow soldiers.

I wonder if those who survived the FT. Hood massacre would like to hear the majors words again?

Obummer might...he's thinks it's such a sweet sound. This from a man that's attended church 3 times since he's been in office.

Scotty said...

The new rule said Bibles and any written faith information are banned from being brought into the hospital. We all agree with that statement.
I'm pretty sure what you're saying there, SF, has pretty much nothing to do with this...what am I missing?


The edict was a feeble attempt to stop those that would come into the hospitals, that are not related and directly connected with the patient, for only evangelization purposes. That happens, I’ve seen it happen. That’s what ties this all together, Z.

More times than not, this evangelizing includes, leaving bibles and other religious centered items.

There’s always a clean up being done at even the VA clinic I frequent. Among all the end tables and tables are not only magazines but, there is a constant bombardment of “Watch Tower” propaganda tossed in.

I don’t believe it was intended to attack any religious persuasion. Was the wording poor? On that I’ll have no argument. They said they were going to clarify it. I believe they will.

Scotty, do you think CHristianity is under siege at all by certain fairly vociferous aspects of our society?

You’re not going to like my answer. No…..no I don’t. Certainly, not in a biblical sense.

We Christians, here in the Americas are allowed to worship Jesus, our God, in any form we wish. We worship Him in churches that sit on property that is exempt from taxation. Nobody is telling us what we can or cannot say within the confines of those buildings. What we can do or not do in those buildings.

Personally, and I include myself in this roster, I think American Christians are soft. There isn’t a hint of callouses on our spiritual hands.

When I see what is happening to Chinese Christians, the Coptic Christians and knowing the many missionaries that are risking their lives at the mere mention of Jesus’s name, I wonder, what their thoughts are on us “being under siege”.

When I see my brothers and sisters get in a tizzy over not being able to put a nativity scene on public property, I look at those in other countries and I’m embarrassed.

It's all a mere bump in the road in the scheme of things....it going to get worse, much, much worse. We'd all better buck up!

Z said...

Well, Scotty, I certainly wouldn't compare what we Christians are going through HERE with Iranian ex Muslims in jail awaiting execution for their faith, you're sure right, there.
But, the siege has started, make no mistake.
Who'd have ever thought Americans would call 'those trees' Holiday Trees (as if there is another holiday with a tree?


"was the wording poor?" is my point...thanks. But, I do believe this is beyond a few Watchtowers (that should NOT be happening, by the way, you're right)...when we have a cemetery in Houston banning the word God or Jesus at Christian funerals, you KNOW we're starting our tough times...thankfully, I believe that got overturned, too.

I just never thought we'd have to fight for our faith in this country so full of Christians......
thanks for your excellent input.!! xxx

Pris said...

Scotty, the way to prevent Christians here from becoming victims as in other countries, is to stand up and nip it in the bud now!

I feel your attitude is typical of many. Why is it, that people wait until their backs are against the wall before they're ready to act.
By then it's probably too late.

Scotty said...

I feel your attitude is typical of many. Why is it, that people wait until their backs are against the wall before they're ready to act.
By then it's probably too late.


I believe getting worked up over, where a nativity is set up, if one says Merry Christmas or happy holidays and if a tree is called a Christmas tree or a holiday tree non-issues.

There is more important work that needs to be done.

Dave Miller said...

Maybe I am missing something here...

Z, your post quoted the following... “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states."

I am probably more in line with Scotty here. It does not say you cannot bring a bible to the hospital. It seems, as I read it, and I am one who sometimes visits people in the hospital tp pray, that it is aimed at people who are intent on proselytizing soldiers.

As a Christian myself, I don't need Watchtower tracts, a book of Mormon, or any other faith info. And I am pretty sure the military was just trying to protect injured soldiers from unwanted stuff.

If a soldier asks for a bible, or any other religious info, I am pretty sure he, or she will get it.

Good call Scotty...

Z said...

Dave, we all agreed with Scotty. But, of course, it does say "No Bibles" which is why I posted this. It's important.

Thankfully, the Rep from AZ has had this changed.

And nobody feels anybody should push ANY faith on anybody anywhere, that's for sure.

My post was about the wording of the rule...it was wrong, it DID say that Bibles can't be brought in, and I'm grateful things have not become that bad. Yet. They will.

Chakam said...

Blessed is the nation whose God is The LORD.

When our government officials and federal organizations continuously vilify and demonize the God of Heaven and His very words, we are heading towards a very steep cliff.

I must wonder, though, if The Koran is banned as well, for those soldiers who espouse the muslim faith? Hmmm.

Z said...

I don't know, Chakam, but I doubt if the Koran can be there, even THESE days, and the Bible would have to go.
It only goes in Muslim countries, the same people who demand respect and tolerance here.

It's a curiosity to me that only after 9/11 did Muslim butchers refuse to cut pork, and Muslim cabbies refuse to accept fares with dogs or alcohol, or muslim students couldn't learn without having foot washing basins installed by the universities for them. It's all very odd. And true.

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