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The Department of Veteran Affairs in Houston has banned God at funerals

Arleen Ocasio, the Cemetery Director, has banned the words God and Jesus at military funerals in Houston, is this right???


Asked by happymom353 at 12:36 PM on Jun. 30, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 8 (254 Credits)
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Answers (124)
  • No this is not right, if someone's family wants a prayer with God or Jesus in it then they have the right! Funerals are in fact religious ceremonies are they not?

    Answer by AF4life at 12:39 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • I'm not going to read 10 pages of bickering...I skimmed.

    Needless to say, if FAMILIES are denied the opportunity to have the funeral they wish for their loved one, there is a problem. If VOLUNTEERS are being asked to refrain from mentioning God when they don't know the religious orientation of family, then I don't see what the big deal is.

    I certainly wouldn't want a god I don't believe in shoved down my throat at my husband's funeral (it was bad enough during my stillbirth), nor do I think he would want a god he doesn't believe in shoved down his throat at my funeral--since we are both eligible veterans)...but I sure as heck don't want someone telling us as a family what prayers we can or cannot say either.

    Either way, the courts have already decided.

    Answer by thalassa at 3:59 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • I call BS. The military doesn't "perform" funerals. If military honors are presented, it's in addition to whatever funeral arrangements are made by the family. Those arrangements are done according to the religion of the soldier/family. My uncle, a WWII vet, had military honors, along with a priest. The soldiers did the whole flag ceremony and gun salute, but the funeral was performed by the priest.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 12:53 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Again, funerals are according to the deceased/families wishes NOT the Ladies Auxillary or VFW that are volunteering when military honors are presented and since not ALL military Is Christian it is only right that they too should respect the religious beliefs of the deceased and their family and either not mention their own beliefs such as saying "God bless you" or verify that the beliefs of the family/deceased before offering condolences.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:11 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • No. I think respect should be given AT THE REQUEST of the family... Your "interpretation" may be that NO ONE should be allowed to request christian prayers, words, ceremonies at a National Cemetery. I see it as let the FAMILY decide.

    Again, I have already stated that the family's wishes should be respected. Perhaps if you would read ALL the comments rather than going into attack mode for anything that does not allow Christians the right to trample over other people's beliefs. Than again, I doubt if it's on the required questionaire when requesting military honors of what religious belief the deceased is. In fact the 23 funerals I attended as Honor Guard, I was never informed as to the religious beliefs of the deceased or family, so IF I spoke to the family I only offered my condolences in a "Sorry for your loss". Often we were instructed NOT to communicate.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:42 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • The problem that you are not getting is this woman - Arleen Ocasio is trying to block the families right to having a Christian Military Honors funeral at the Houston Cemetery.

    This was not stated in ANY of the articles. It was stated that volunteers were told not to mention God or Jesus( and rightfully so unless they are given full disclosure as to the deceased's religious beliefs which they are not), and that a pray invoking Jesus for MEMORIAL DAY (which represents ALL deceased veterans and veterans in general) was attempted to be made religiously nuetral (again rightfully so as not all military members are Chirstian. I myself served as an Atheist and I had many Wiccans, Agnostics, and Muslims in my unit as well as CHristians). So what you are not seeing is this is being blown out of proportion by a few religious wingbats because the director is trying to remain religiously neutral for the Houston national cemetery.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:46 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • OP- Judges are HUMAN. They have HUMAN EMOTIONS AND BELIEFS. They are not always objective, especially in a state like TEXAS. OMFG.

    You've already chosen to believe a lie, despite the evidence to the contrary.

    By the way, I had a judge tell me I deserved to be beaten, raped and murdered by my then, soon to be ex husband- Simply because my ex pulled that ever so popular "she cheated" card and cried crocodile tears. He refused an order of protection, and told my ex to "get control" of the situation. ie- ME. Judges are human. They make bad calls.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 1:52 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • And the VFW does not need to know either, which is why the Director at Houston National Cemetery was instructing them NOT to mention God or Jesus in words or on condolence cards meant for the family..

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:54 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • And AGain it is not the family's that are complaining from any of the articles I have read, it is the volunteers complaining that they cannot mention THEIR OWN beliefs to the grieving families,and seeing as the families religious beliefs are not always disclosed, it is appropriate that the volunteers do not mention religion or religious gods in their condolences.

    See, that changes things a bit then. Yesterday, when this was first brought up, the limited information about it made it seem as though the directer was denying the families their rights. If it is the volunteers who are taking issue with not being able to mention God or Jesus when the families' faiths aren't disclosed to them, I would have to side with the Dept. of Veteran Affairs on this one. Or perhaps a compromise of disclosing the families' faiths or lack of in order for the volunteers to tailor their condolences accordingly.


    Answer by KelleyP77 at 2:57 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Face it grly, you've lost this debate. The funeral director is acting accordingly with resticting volunteers from imposing their beliefs onto the grieving families without disclosure of religious beliefs. Which is in accordance with military honor policy.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:53 PM on Jun. 30, 2011