Attack on Bible display 'latest in a disturbing trend to dishonor veterans': First Liberty

An atheist group's attempt to remove a 95-year-old WWII veteran's Bible from a POW/MIA memorial in Manchester, New Hampshire is just the latest in attacks on veterans, a religious liberty group told Fox News.

The Bible was donated to Manchester VA Medical Center by former U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant Herman Streitburger, of Bedford, who was held captive during World War II.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the group suing the VA, slams Streitburger's Bible as "a repugnant example of fundamentalist Christian triumphalism, exceptionalism, superiority, and domination, and it cannot stand."

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Mike Berry, chief of staff at the First Liberty Institute who represents the Northeast POW/MIA Network, said the veteran's Bible is a "historic artifact" and something that helped sustain Streitburger when he was held captive.

"This is the person we want to attack now? This is the person we want to dishonor?" Berry said. "That's outrageous."

A Bible donated by a World War II veteran on display in a Manchester VA Medical Center memorial is being targeted by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

A Bible donated by a World War II veteran on display in a Manchester VA Medical Center memorial is being targeted by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. (Office of Public Affairs, Manchester VA Medical Center via AP)

He added: "If the VA were to give in to the radical demands of this outside group, then we would say that violates our client's free speech rights."

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The Marine Corps Veteran himself called the case just the "latest in a disturbing trend of attempts to dishonor veterans."

Berry's comments come as First Liberty has a case before the Supreme Court defending the Bladensburg "Peace Cross" memorial and a Pennsylvania school stopped saying "God bless America" after the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained.

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Despite the VA temporarily removing the Bible after the first complaint, the VA told Fox News it isn't going anywhere.

"This lawsuit – backed by a group known for questionable practices and unsuccessful lawsuits – is nothing more than an attempt to force VA into censoring a show of respect for America’s POW/MIA community," Department of Veteran Affair Press Secretary Curt Cashour said. "Make no mistake: VA will not be bullied on this issue."