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Seems the Houston National Cemetery Director has ruled that grieving families cannot use the words “God” or “Jesus” at any funeral ceremony without her approval.
The 26-page complaint also alleges that any prayers with religious language must be pre-approved by the cemetery director, Arleen Ocasio.
Ocasio couldn't be reached for comment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Hinrichs told the judge:
"We're in the process of going through the claims. Some are true, and some are not true."
Read more: www.myfoxhouston.com...
This year, for the first time Pastor Rainey was asked to submit his prayer before the ceremony (click here to read prayer). Subsequently, Ms. Arleen Ocasio (Director, Houston National Cemetery) gave Pastor Rainey an unconstitutional demand to edit his prayer to be more "inclusive."
Upon this outrageous request, noted defender of religious freedom, the Liberty Institute, filed a brief with the VA (click here for brief) demanding that this unconstitutional position be reversed.
HOUSTON, May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Federal District Judge Lynn N. Hughes granted a temporary restraining order preventing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its Director of the Houston National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, from preventing Pastor Scott Rainey from praying in Jesus’ name during his invocation at a Memorial Day ceremony sponsored by the National Cemetery
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But how can the director stop them from uttering religious words? She has no power to do that. Why don't they just blow her off?
VA Press Secretary Josh Taylor issued the following statement:
"Invoking the name of God or Jesus is not only allowed, it is common at VA National Cemeteries across the country. However, VA's policy is that VA-sponsored honor guards should not make recitations at commital services unless requested to do so by the deceased's survivor(s.)'
Taylor also directed FOX 26 to a little known policy dated 2007. It says Honor Guards "shall not provide texts of any such recitations to the deceased's survivors for consideration."