A Dallas-area teacher, who is also the wife of a military veteran, recently collected Christmas cards from elementary students for bedridden Dallas VA Medical Center vets.
When she went to deliver the holiday messages, two days before Christmas, an employee at the VA said they couldn’t accept them because they included the phrases “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You.”
The Liberty Institute sent a “demand” letter to the VA informing them the messages on the cards are protected under the 1st Amendment and if they don’t accept them, they will file a lawsuit.
Jonathan Saenz, with Texas Values and a rep for the Liberty Institute, said, “To suggest or think that an eight-year-old child who writes on their own and puts together a card that says “Merry Christmas” is somehow going to offend some wounded warrior in our hospital is just absurd. They’re involved in religious discrimination and they seem to not think there is anything wrong with that, but there is. It’s illegal and that’s why there are already a lot of lawyers looking into this and we haven’t heard the last of this.”
The VA responded via letter, stating their national policy allows them to accept the cards, but that they would be separated from secular messages and only handed out if a veteran specifically asks for a holiday card with a religious message.
The Liberty Institute adds this is happening in other states too.
They plan on filing a lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs soon.