A group of high school students from Augusta’s Alleluia Community School were prevented from singing traditional holiday songs that honor and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ to veterans by the medical center last week.
The school principal, Dan Funsch, told the newspaper that he was disappointed that the Veterans Affairs hospital’s “spiritual care” grants holiday exemption only to secular characters that make up the 12 Days of Christmas.
“This is not a religious proselytizing, evangelistic issue,” Funsch explained, arguing that Christmas songs are broadcast during the holidays on area radio stations and in local retail outlets. “The song Joy to the World is as much a part of the holiday spirit as the Christmas tree.”
The principal noted that the peculiar part of the policy is its recent enforcement.
The hospital spokesman could not provide an accurate date of when the ban began, but Funsch stated his students were welcomed with open arms in 2011 and 2012.
“We regret any inconvenience or misunderstanding that this (policy) creates,” Rothwell said. “VA policy is welcoming but respectful of all faiths and the protection of each veteran’s right to religious freedom and protection from unwelcomed religious material, to their individual beliefs.”
You will recall that it was this same Veterans Administration that refused to report the increasing violent threats by Dr. Nidal Hassan, the Ft. Hood shooter, out of worry it would offend his religious sensibilities. Similarly, Obama’s Justice Department declined requests from survivors and family members of the slain to categorize the Fort Hood shooting as act of terrorism, or motivated by militant Islamic religious convictions
What a country.