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Group called 'Military Religious Freedom Foundation' objects to POW's Bible being put on display at a VA hospital
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Group called 'Military Religious Freedom Foundation' objects to POW's Bible being put on display at a VA hospital

Neither side is backing down, and the battle could end up in court

Two veterans groups are fighting against each other over whether or not a Bible carried by a World War II prisoner of war may be displayed at the Manchester VA hospital in New Hampshire.

What are the details?

The Bible belonged to a 95-year-old local veteran who carried it during WWII and had it with him while in enemy captivity. He donated it for a Missing Man Table honoring the nation's missing and prisoners of war, which was displayed in the hospital by the Northeast POW-MIA Network.

According to Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, his organization received complaints from 14 veterans who felt that having a Bible on display in the VA hospital was clear a violation of the separation between church and state.

After hearing from Weinstein over the Good Book, the VA hospital moved the Bible from the table to a display case to be accommodating and to better keep it preserved as an artifact. But the MRFF objected to that too, saying it was even worse to give the Bible a more prominent home.

"Our organization represents just under 62,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces, all branches and civilians, 95 percent are practicing Christians, but not all," Weinstein told local outlet Manchester Ink Link.

"If there are people going to the VA who aren't comfortable with that display, and are intimidated to speak up for fear of retribution at the place they're going for psychological and physical healing, well, excuse my French, but it's effing bullshit," Weinstein added.

Paul Martin of the Northeast POW-MIA Network disagrees, telling Fox News, "That Bible is not just a religious artifact. 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."

Fellow POW-MIA member Bob Jones agrees, and has also dug in his heels on the issue.

"I'm happy to talk about it with anyone," Jones told The Ink Link. "I'm just not moving the Bible. If someone doesn't want to see it in the lobby, take another entrance. Turn your head. The Bible stays."

What next?

The MRFF says it isn't backing down, either. Weinstein's response to Jones' comments was "tell it to the judge," saying his organization is ready to take the issue to court.

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