Is Christianity welcome – even in Chapels?
A decision to turn the formerly Christian chapel at the Iron Mountain VA Hospital into a religiously neutral space has nothing to do with what people find offensive. That secret waiting lists for sick and elderly Veterans are being hidden while religious icons are being covered at the same time is not irony – but something much larger.
It is nothing less than a spiritual emergency in America.
People in Iron Mountain, in Upper Michigan are still shocked after what happened when the National Chaplain Center determined the hospital’s chapel was not in compliance with government regulations. They ordered statues of Jesus and Mary, and a cross and altar – to be hidden behind a curtain.
The chapel still has stained glass windows, but perhaps not for long – they’ve been determined to be out of step with government wishes as well – because there are Christian symbols on the stained glass.
Here from a Letter to the Editor is a woman, horrified at what she found and heard “inside a Christian chapel” at the Iron Mountain VA hospital:
Stop this insanity
May 30, 2014
The Daily News
I went to the VA Hospital in Iron Mountain today on business. While there I stopped at the Chapel and found pinky-purple curtains with mesh at the top, covering the altar. (You know the type. They use them between sick patients in the hospital).
I stopped in my tracks, shocked at what I saw. I peeked behind the curtain, and found what used to be the welcoming part of the chapel, the Cross, a picture of Jesus, and other Christian icons familiar to the majority of Americans.
I found Chaplain Bob Mueller, to ask what the meaning was of this change. This is what he told me. “A couple of months ago, an order came down from Washington DC to cover all things associated with Christianity in the VA. Their solution is to cover everything in all the VA Chapels across the country.”
Patsy Norton went on to say the Chaplain was also told to “stop talking about Jesus, and to stop reading Scripture out loud and added; “As Americans, we need to stand together to stop this insanity.”
We contacted Congressman Dan Benishek who represents the District in Upper Michigan where the Iron Mountain VA hospital is located. The Congressman is a surgeon from the area and offered us his unique perspective:
“In all my years as a surgeon at the IM VA facility I met with many families in the chapel. I never once asked anyone’s religion and I never heard a family member complain about the religious symbols in the chapel. They and I were only concerned about their loved ones and that is who this administration should be concerned with.
This Is an outrageous example of wrong priorities and political correctness from the Obama administration. Veterans across the country are dying and the VA is more concerned with spending time and money covering up Christian symbols in chapels. Our veterans deserve better.”
— Congressman Dan Benishek (R) Michigan
Fox News reports that similar actions are being taken at VA hospitals nationwide and other anti-Christian actions – out of step with any thinking human in the business of healing. Last Christmas a group of Georgia high school students were given a list of government-approved carols to sing at a VA hospital in Augusta and a VA hospital in Texas refused to accept holiday cards that included the phrase, “Merry Christmas.”
In a Veterans Administration where patient care is viewed as secondary to favorable statistics and bonuses, it’s hard to imagine a place in need of The One Who Came To Save, but there seems to be a growing and consistent trend in line with a litany of policies hostile to God and the Christian Faith going around.
The Obama administration’s new health care regulations which override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception, rights of religious conscience for individuals will not be protected under the Affordable Care Act, and speaking at Georgetown University, Obama ordered that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he was speaking are just a few examples.
When you remove God and replace God with government, it is a most wicked practice – condemned in the Bible. When you deny the authority of the Bible you are rejecting Jesus’ Lordship and defy the principle that all people need Christ in order to be saved.
This is not an attack on our leaders in this misguided effort – we all pray for those to repent and turn to Christ and His Word. We pray they do not detest the Christian founding of the country.
But when will citizens say enough is enough?