The American Center for Law and Justices confirms it has written to a gift shop at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, N.M., suggesting that managers there quickly restore Bibles to the store shelves.
They were removed on the insistence of activists who apparently want to eliminate any reference to religion, even if those references are protected by the Constitution.
The organization explains the dispute isn’t complicated:
“The gift shop at the Albuquerque VA Medical Center is a business, not a charity. It selects and offers goods for sale that it believes will sell. If it offers goods that do not sell, it can reasonably decline to carry such goods in the future. Bottom line: The Bibles and other literature dealing with Easter were on display for sale because there was a demand for such items. That is a business decision, pure and simple. Such decisions are made daily by business owners. To say that a sound business decision regarding what products to offer violates separation of church and state is nonsense.”
The organization said it has written to the interim director of the facility “to inform her that her decision, rather than upholding the Constitution, actually violated it; to explain the applicable law; and to demand that the display of Christian literature be returned forthwith to the gift shop.”
The ACLJ explained it holds a “special place” for those who have served in uniform, and have been injured during their service.
“These are trying times. At home, we have runaway inflation, attempts to indoctrinate our kids while telling parents they have no say their children’s education, an unending influx of illegal immigrants crossing our sieve of a southern border, and a president who always seems to make the wrong decision, to name but a few of our problems. Abroad, there is war in Ukraine, the Russians are threatening to use chemical or nuclear weapons, China is engaging in provocative military drills aimed at Taiwan, and North Korea is once again testing long-range missiles,” the ACLJ reported.
Then there’s the problem with those trying to “secularize the country.”
This time it was a “well-known anti-Bible advocate” who charged that the store was selling Bibles, alongside chocolate Easter bunnies, and that crossed the line “separating” church and state.
The problem is that the management at the medical center “apparently swallowed his argument hook, line, and sinker and within 24 hours, they had ordered the display of literature removed.”
The ACLJ reported that the Constitution actually requires the government to be neutral toward religion, but “By removing only the religious display while leaving the secular display of Easter bunnies, the government singled out religion for special detriment—which it may not lawfully do.”
The organization explained, “Along with Christmas, Easter is a time when many Christians exchange gifts. It makes sense for a gift shop to offer the type of items popular at Easter. Offering a religious product that visitors to your gift shop are looking for and wish to purchase—even in a gift shop in a federal facility like a VA Medical Center—does not mean that the government is either endorsing the message contained in the literature offered or favoring the faith group the literature reflects. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.”