For months now, there’s been controversy involving a “Missing Man” table display inside the Manchester VA Medical Center in New Hampshire. These displays are dedicated to prisoners of war or those missing in action, and they’re fairly commonplace at military bases. But this particular display had a Bible on the table, suggesting that POW/MIAs were only Christian, and that atheists and people of other faiths didn’t make the same sacrifices as other soldiers.
After the Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained, the Bible was removed. But then it was returned in a more permanent way. In May, an Air Force veteran who now belongs to the United Church of Christ filed a lawsuit to have the Bible removed. That case is still pending.
Just last week, Vice President Mike Pence referenced the situation by spreading the lie that President Obama ordered the Bible out of those displays at VA hospitals.
Now there’s a new twist to the story: Longtime rabble-rouser and one-man Hindu “statesman” Rajan Zed is now calling for the Manchester VA to include a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in the display. Because if there’s a space for holy books, he wants in.
… [Zed] said that the presence of sacred texts at the entrance of hospitals was highly beneficial as scriptures provided us comfort and strength and God wanted us well.
Moreover, inclusion of pre-BCE Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), which was a treatise on yoga, in the display was highly appropriate as Manchester VAMC offered various yoga classes in Manchester, Concord, Portsmouth, Nashua; some of which included meditation; and organized a “Mindfulness Group”; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.
In addition, Bhagavad-Gita was about a battle and it taught us that “action is better than inaction” and thus was very fitting to be displayed at a facility for veterans who fought battles for our country. It also went well with the Mission of VAMC Manchester, which included improving “health and well-being” of veterans; Rajan Zed indicated.
Is he trolling them? Not necessarily. The VA needs to decide if a Missing Man table is about promoting Christianity, promoting religion as a whole, or honoring sacrifice without connection to any religious dogma.
For now, the Manchester VA says it hasn’t received any formal request from Zed. But I hope that comes. And then I hope Satanists aren’t too far behind.
(Thanks to @MarcNo for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)