ACLJ Was Shocked To Learn Bibles Were Removed From a VA Hospital Shop and We're Taking Action To Find Out How This Happened

By 

Marshall Goldman

|
May 11

2 min read

US Military

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We recently told you about how one of the country’s anti-Bible advocates “charged that displaying Bibles and other Christian literature alongside a display of chocolate Easter bunnies and other goodies commonly associated with Easter in a gift shop at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has crossed the dreaded red line that separates church and state.”

Unfortunately, within 24 hours of this anti-Christian group’s demand letter, the leadership at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center apparently caved and ordered the display of literature removed.

In response to this horrible decision, we sent a legal letter to Ms. Sonja Brown, who, at the time, was the VA New Mexico Health Care System’s Interim Director, in which we explained the following. First, the decision to remove Bibles and other religious literature from the Patriot Store violated the Constitution by singling out religious expression for special detriment while favoring non-religious expression. Second, we demanded that the officials who made the decision remedy their mistake as soon as possible.

To date, as far as we know, no such remedial action has been taken.

We, however, refuse to ignore this unconstitutional decision and, as such, we recently submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request demanding answers. In our FOIA, we sought

records pertaining to information exchanged between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“USVA”) officials and employees, former USVA officials and employees, USVA General Counsel officials and employees, former USVA General Counsel officials and employees, and/or any other Government official(s) and employee(s) concerning the removal of Bibles and other religious literature from the “Patriot Store” in the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which occurred on or about March 23, 2022.

Basically, we are looking for any and all information related to those involved in this appalling decision. The FOIA process can take time, but we will not waver until we get answers. The ACLJ is committed to getting to the bottom of this.