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First Amendment Prevails at Houston VA National Cemetary

Posted at 01:40 AM on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 by newJersey

The Veterans of Foreign Wars today(Friday) declared victory in a Federal Lawsuit ( Rainey v VA) filed over allegations of religious hostility and unlawful censorship by the VA and its director of the Houston National Cemetery.

Federal District Judge Lynn N. Hughes signed a consent decree ordering the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to lift the ban on prayer and the word "God" at national cemeteries, to revoke national policies hostile to religion, and to reopen the Chapel which identity was previously changed to "meeting facility" at the Houston National Cemetery.

Texas-based Liberty Institute filed suit on behalf of the VFW over allegations of religious hostility and unlawful censorship by the VA and its director of the Houston National Cemetery. Officials told the VFW they could not have prayer during the burial services of veterans unless the family requested it specifically in writing and submitted the prayer to VA officials for pre-approval.

"The VFW is grateful that the government has restored the basic tenets recognized in the U.S. Constitution which guarantees fundamental rights of religious expression and freedom of speech to patriotic Americans who sacrifice everything to defend it. This is indeed a victory." said VFW National Commander Richard DeNoyer.

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