Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] quietly joined 38 congressional lawmakers on Thursday asking Veterans Administration Secretary Robert McDonald to justify the removal of Christian Bibles from POW-MIA display tables at three VA clinics and an air force base.
The Bibles were yanked after objections from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on behalf of mostly Christian clients at the facilities. MRFF president Mikey Weinstein contended that their display violated the Establishment Clause plus military and VA regulations.
In a letter free of the vitriol usually directed at Weinstein, a practicing Jew who Breitbart.com and their fellow travelers falsely call an atheist, the lawmakers mostly suggested that his argument that the displays are unconstitutional is flawed.
“The Establishment Clause exists to ensure that the government cannot affirmatively impose or elevate one religion over another. However, it does not prohibit the government from referencing religion altogether, nor does it require that the government scrubs all reference of religion from the public square. Rather, the Establishment Clause ensures both that the government does not show preference to a certain religion, and the government does not take away one’s ability to practice religion.”
“Similarly, the Establishment Clause does not require that you remove Bibles from the Missing Man Table displays. The mere presence of a Bible coerces no one.”
To that end, they also contended that the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that “an Establishment Clause violation is not made out any time a person experiences a sense of affront from the expression of contrary views.”
The letter was reportedly rustled up by Congressional Prayer Caucus leaders Rep. [crscore]Randy Forbes[/crscore] and Senator [crscore]James Lankford[/crscore].
It was also signed by [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore], five other Republican senators and 29 congressman, including Rep. [crscore]Doug Collins[/crscore], who previously accused Weinstein of an anti-Christian crusade and assault on religious freedom for demanding the Bibles be expunged.
Meanwhile, in yet another fascinating example of non-partisan journalistic sloth—as opposed to the typical liberal bias emboldened by laziness that usually produces skewed coverage, Hill reporter Tim Devaney did a short item on the letter but omitted Cruz’s role and did not ask Weinstein to respond.
Weinstein told the Friendly Atheist blog on Saturday that the letter signatories are “spiritual rapists” throwing “red meat” to constituents as they trolled for votes this election year is not “even worthy to wipe one’s ass with.”
Weinstein, a registered Republican and veteran of both the Air Force and Reagan White House, also argued that even if a Bible could be permitted at a normal government display military installations are different because the Supreme Court has ruled armed forces personnel can enjoy less First Amendment protections than the general public.