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PRESS RELEASE

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

CONTACT: BEKKI MILLER (337) 356-8696


YET ANOTHER VA CLINIC IN OHIO VIOLATES THE US CONSTITUTION

Military Church-State Separation Group Demands Removal of Bible from Youngstown Multi-Specialty Outpatient VA Clinic

MRFF Demand Letter to Carl Schneider, Youngstown VA Facility Director

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Carl Schneider,
Youngstown VA Facility Director
2031 Belmont Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44505

Dear Mr. Schneider,

Sir, on behalf of its 7 highly decorated and severely wounded former military member clients, who are also current veteran patients of the Youngstown, Ohio Multi-Specialty Outpatient VA Clinic, which you manage and direct as its senior leader, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) hereby officially demands that you immediately cease and desist from further utilizing the Christian New Testament as an integral part of the POW/MIA "Missing Man" Memorial which is currently being displayed in your VA facility. Any accompanying narrative being used with this display, attempting to justify/explain the illicit inclusion of that sectarian religious text, must also be immediately removed.

You, sir, have chosen to openly and publicly honor and display ONLY the religious text of what happens to be currently the majority faith group in this country; Christianity. This solemn military memorial is intended to justly honor the formidable sacrifices of so many American armed forces members who practice a veritable plethora of faiths other than Christianity, and even no faith. Thus, your intolerable actions of Christian religious sponsorship, bias, favoritism, supremacy and endorsement are blatantly violative of not only the bedrock policies of the Department of Veterans Affairs but also the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and its litany of well-established Federal and State case law regarding the mandated separation of church and state.

Sir, simply put, as a matter of Constitutional and governmental regulatory law, you are strictly prohibited from including one religion's sacred text in your POW/MIA display in your VA Facility to the exclusion of all others. As a practical matter, why in the world would you ever want to make ANY of our nation's cherished veterans feel as though they were less valuable as American citizens and as human beings by singularly elevating, to venerated and celebrated status, one religion over all others and no religion? You have tragically done just that, sir. MRFF demands that you comply with all laws and regulations and remove that Christian bible forthwith.

Please note, that of the 7 honored veterans who are also patients of your VA medical facility in Youngstown, and whom MRFF is representing on this demand to you, 6 are practitioners of the Protestant and/or Roman Catholic faiths.

As I am quite sure you are well aware, a very similar situation to this instant unconstitutional matter occurred merely 3 weeks ago at your neighboring VA medical facility in Akron, Ohio, only a few miles from your VA facility. There, your counterpart, upon being contacted by MRFF immediately agreed that the Christian bible, and any accompanying material attempting to justify its usage, needed to be expeditiously removed from their facility's POW/MIA display and he courageously did so immediately.

Please reply to this demand not later than 48 hours from your electronic or hardcopy receipt of same.

Thank you for your attention and consideration to this matter of critical importance, Description: mikey_signature
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
[email protected]
(505) 250-7727

CC:     
Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Randal G. Mathis, Mathis & Donheiser P.C. – MRFF Lead Trial Counsel