They fought for their country, now they’re fighting against it.
A trio of Houston area veterans groups is suing Veterans Affairs and the director of the local National Cemetery claiming they’re trying to censor religious freedom during funerals and other ceremonies.
This all started just before Memorial Day when a pastor giving the annual prayer at the National Cemetery was told he could not use Jesus’ name. A federal judge blocked the VA’s attempt to censor him and the two sides were back in court Tuesday.
Attorney Jeff Mateer represents the Liberty Institute; he says **the cemetery director won’t allow the use of “God” or “Jesus” unless the family submits the prayer in writing for her approval.
“In addition, director Arleen Ocasio has stated the National Memorial Ladies cannot tell families ‘God Bless,’ they cannot communicate in writing or orally,” says Mateer. “And that violates the U.S. Constitution.”
Marilyn Koepp is with the National Memorial Ladies. “I would have been appalled if when the VFW did my father’s funeral in 2004, if they could not have said ‘God,’ what is happening to our country?” she asks.