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June 29, 2011
Houston Cemetery Bans the Word 'God' from Military Funerals
This morning, just five days before the celebration of our nation's independence, I was shocked into wakefulness by a news item on Fox and Friends. It seems that the Houston National Cemetery has now begun banning "God" from military funerals.
The director of the Houston VA National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, has ordered the burial teams to instruct that religious references, as well as prayer, are no longer to be included as part of the burial services. Requests for messages or prayers can be formally submitted for her approval, but the mention of "God" is not allowed.
Ocasio has also ordered the closing of the cemetery chapel, which used to be available for grieving family and friends to gather and pray. The space is now used to conduct personnel meetings, and for storage.
Perhaps Ocasio is not aware that this country was founded by people who willingly uprooted their families and risked their lives crossing a violent and deadly sea to reach these free shores. These God-fearing people carved a righteous civilization out of a wilderness and raised their children with the moral principles handed down from God. Great consideration was taken by our founders, when creating a constitution that would protect the individual liberties of all. They defined citizen rights in a divinely inspired and distinctly indestructible manner, because our rights come to us from God -- not from man. Countless heroes have died defending the freedoms -- religious and other -- that were established as the foundation of the American way of life. How sacred is our religious freedom. How sacred is freedom, period.
As a resident of Houston, I am profoundly ashamed that my wonderful city has become the epicenter of an issue so vile, so evil. It is one thing for a Christian valedictorian to have to fight for the right to mention God, or to pray, as part of her valedictory address -- a right protected by the 1st Amendment, I might add. But this takes the fight to a whole new level.
It is beyond my ability to comprehend what a family must feel when they bury a loved one who served voluntarily, honorably, and with great sacrifice, for the freedoms we take for granted every day of our lives. These people are keenly aware of the America-haters who live among us, who rely upon the very freedoms, earned with military bloodshed, to rain their hatred down upon our heads. Yet these military families stoically bear in their hearts the understanding that their loved ones' sacrifice was for the rights and freedoms of all Americans, even those who don't deserve them.
If anyone in this country deserves the right to have prayers and religious speech, take place over their graves, it is those who have sacrificed the most. The ban on "God" at these funerals is an insult -- not only to Christians, but, more importantly, to our military Christians. How very shameful it is that this attack comes from within the Veterans Administration itself.
The words spoken at a funeral service are intended to bring comfort to those left behind. For a Christian, the most soothing and reassuring words come from our Creator. The prayers offer a salve on the open wounds of our souls. Our military families deserve this type of a farewell, if that is what they choose.
This is a lesson to us, as we sit in the comfort of our freedoms. The left-wing war against the liberties that our military heroes have fought for is being waged here, at home. We must take up the fight to preserve what has been won for us, with a rain of e-mails, phone calls, complaints, and political action to root out those in our administration who would treat our warriors in such a vile way. Whether you believe in God or not, please do what you can to safeguard religious rights -- you never know when a freedom you hold dear will be in jeopardy.
Here is the contact information for the cemetery:
Houston National Cemetery
10410 Veterans Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77038
Phone: (281) 447-8686
FAX: (281) 447-0580
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