Lawmakers are demanding the Biden administration restore a Christian cross it ripped off the wall of a Veterans Administration clinic.
Texas Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX) led 16 members of Congress in a letter formally demanding Veterans Administration Secretary McDonough restore the decoration to the lobby of Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Austin.
The decoration displayed a cross, the emblems of American military branches and the words, “Remember our Veterans.”
The emblem was removed after an unnamed person reportedly claimed it violated the First Amendment. Courts have consistently ruled cross displays do not violate the First Amendment and are, in fact, First Amendment-protected speech.
“Reports indicate CTVHCS took this step following a complaint that the display somehow violated the U.S. Constitution. CTVHCS’s decision exhibits remarkable disregard for the First Amendment and hostility toward basic military history and the traditions of the United States,” the lawmakers write.
“From the Distinguished Service Cross established in 1918 to the Air Force Cross in 1960, our country has used the symbol of the cross to honor U.S. military personnel for over a century,” the lawmakers write. “Arlington National Cemetery is also home to at least two beloved cross memorials to the nation’s fallen: the Argonne Cross, dedicated in 1923, and the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice, dedicated in 1927.”
“If a cross can adorn the uniforms of the most heroic among us and can stand on the hallowed grounds of Arlington it certainly should be welcomed and honored at the VA clinic in Austin,” the lawmakers point out.
“The greatest members of our founding understood that the religious and moral nature of America’s heritage was critical to this Republic’s preservation and to our veterans and men and women in the Armed Forces,” the letter continues. “Attempts to sterilize the public square – in this case a clinic that provides medical care to the veterans that sacrificed for our Republic – of all symbols of Christianity flies in the face of the very founding of our nation…out of respect for the veterans who have borne the battle for this Republic, its principles, and the freedom it guards — we request that you immediately return the cross to its original display.”
“Out of reverence for our country’s military history and longstanding traditions — out of respect for the veterans who have borne the battle for this Republic, its principles, and the freedom it guards — we request that you immediately return the cross to its original display,” the letter concludes.