Group wants to ban WWII POW's Bible from veterans memorial

A Bible at the center of a Manchester VA Medical Center display has been targeted by an outside group for being "intolerable" and "unconstitutional."

The Bible, carried by a prisoner of war in World War II, was donated and displayed on the Missing Man Table memorial honoring missing veterans and POWs. But it was removed when the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) complained about its presence.

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The VA then moved it to a display case, but Mikey Weinstein, the founder of MRFF, complained again, calling it even more objectionable.

But veterans in the area say the Bible is a historical symbol, not an attempt to stuff religion down anyone's throat.

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"That Bible is not just a religious artifact," Paul Martin of the Northeast POW-MIA Network told WMUR. "What it means is this guy held on to love, faith, and hope, family, and trust in this nation -- that they would do everything they possibly could to bring him home."

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)

The POW-MIA network said it is doing all it can to move the Bible back to the memorial that was set up last year.

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VA officials said in a statement that they "consulted with appropriate legal counsel before placing this treasured WWII artifact, which happens to be a Bible, with the display and is confident that this does not impinge on Constitutional protections."

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But Weinstein disagrees.

"That is still a Christian Bible," Weinstein said. "It is still promoting -- particularly in the surrounding aspect of the POW-MIA remembrance, one of the most sacred things you could do in the military -- one faith over another faith."