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Friday, November 3, 2017




After a contentious back and forth, Mikey received a four minute twelve second phone call at 12:33 PM Mountain Time, today, 11/3/17, from the Denver VA Medical Center Director's executive assistant, Khristie Barker, confirming removal of the Bible
from the "Missing Man Table"
in their Patriot Cafe

"Thank You" Email Sent To
Denver VA Medical Center Director

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mikey sent the following thank you email to Denver VA Medical Center Director, Sallie Houser-Handfelder:

From: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]>
Subject: Thank You for Bible Removal
Date: November 3, 2017
To: Sallie House-Handfelder

Dear Director Sallie Houser-Hanfelder,

I am the Founder and President of a large civil rights advocacy organization called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). MRFF currently represents over 52,500 active duty, national guard and reserve armed forces members as well as thousands of veterans. The main MRFF mission is to ensure that the Constitutionally-mandated wall separating church and state is enforced in the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Veterans Administration (VA).

The purpose of this quick note is to express MRFF's gratitude to you and your staff for their quick action to ensure that this church-state wall stays intact at the Denver VA Medical Center, which you are in charge of. MRFF is presently representing 41 honorable military veterans who are patients at your facility on this specific matter. For the record, Director Houser-Hanfelder, 17 of them are practicing Christians and the remainder are from other faiths including the Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist faiths as well as those who identify with non-faith groups such as agnostic, humanist, secularist and atheist traditions.

Yesterday, I contacted your staff at two levels after asking to speak with you; your Executive Assistant Ms. Khristie Barker, and a male staffer who is working for your Chief of Staff. I communicated to them the complaints from MRFF's 41 veteran clients in this matter that the "Missing Man Table" in your Patriot Cafe currently was in egregious violation, inter alia, of the No Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution because there was a New Testament Christian bible prominently placed on that table as below: (picture taken on Nov. 1, 2017, in your Patriot Cafe)

Having not heard back yesterday and after another phone call to your staff today to repeat our valid complaints, about 90 minutes ago I was contacted via telephone by your Executive Assistant, Ms. Barker, and advised that you agreed that the Christian bible's placement on that "Missing Man Table" was wrong and that, consequently, it was being expeditiously removed.

Ms. Barker mentioned that, to the Denver VA’s knowledge, it was possible that none of its VA staff had placed the bible there and that perhaps a patient or someone else had done so. We have heard the same thing from other VA medical facilities and military bases before which we at MRFF have engaged over the very same matter. In fact, please see the list below:

Here's a current list of MRFF's Bible removal activities at VA facilities and Air Force bases:

9/16/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Eglin AFB, FL Allergy Clinic Table

4/19/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Tobyhanna, PA VA POW/MIA Table

4/11/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Houston, TX VA POW/MIA Table

4/8/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Wright Patterson AFB, OH POW/MIA Table

4/4/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Youngstown, OH VA POW/MIA Table

2/25/16 - New Testament Bible Removed from Akron, OH VA POW/MIA Table

Ma'am, I am sure that we can both agree that, irrespective of whether one of your own Denver VA staffers or someone else placed that bible on that "Missing Man Table", it is essentially irrelevant. Indeed, in ANY case it is YOU who are responsible for this matter as the Director of the Denver VA Medical Center. Had a Koran been placed there, the mind boggles as to the vast magnitude of what would have most assuredly been an incredibly furious outcry of unbridled rage, wrath and anger. Or perhaps ponder what would have occurred had the object placed there been the Book of Mormon, Book of Satan or Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" et al?

I any event, MRFF offers its sincere appreciation to you and your staff for recognizing that it was wrong and unlawful for the Christian bible, or any other religious faith on non-religious faith group's foundational documents, to have been placed on that "Missing Man Table" in your Patriot Cafe. As a "State Actor", the VA must comply with the U.S. Constitution, its construing Federal case-law and all VA directives, instructions and regulations.

The photo below, taken only a few minutes ago at your facility, confirms the promise your staff made to MRFF to expeditiously remove the bible from the "Missing Man Table" display:

Director Houser-Hanfelder, thank you again for the quick action to comply with the United States Constitution.


Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Esq.
Founder and President, Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Thank You Email From
MRFF Client At
Denver VA Medical Center

From: [Name withheld]
Date: November 3, 2017
To: Mikey Weinstein <[email protected]>

As a proud [rank, title withheld] veteran and patient at the Denver VA Hospital, wanted to express my profound gratitude for your work on this. I sent an email asking you how to remove the bible from the Missing Man table at the Denver VA Hospital. Within hours I received an email with your personal phone number. You asked for very specific contact information and within hours it was gone. As a member of a different faith, I would be equally appalled at the government propping my religion over others. You are doing great work for our military service members and their families in keeping the government from promoting religion.

Again, Thanks for everything you do.

[Name Withheld]

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