It Pays to Complain: January 2015

An Ohio complainant writes to recount how it paid to complain about a religious display encountered Dec. 4 at the Louis Stokes Veterans Hospital in Cleveland:

“I am a veteran from 1968. While walking toward the gift shop called the Patriot Mart, I was saddened by a display outside the mart. Tables were set up selling the usual veterans T-shirts and hats, but there was also a table set up selling Christian hats and license plate holders. The hats carried such messages as “God’s Army,” “Jesus Is My Boss” and 10 other pronouncements that Christianity and veterans were one and the same. No other religion was represented. To me it was a blatant act against the Constitution. I kept wondering how the Veterans Administration could be so unaware that this was against the law.”

After emailing FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover on how to proceed, the complainant called a VA patient representative. Assurances were given that the vendor was operating against policy. A follow-up email:

“I returned on 1/29 . . . and was happy to see all religious articles were gone. Vendor was selling only military connected clothes and trinkets. The patient rep. had done her job and I was glad I was able to keep religious endorsement off public space. My next mission will be to oppose the nativity scene being displayed on my local town’s public square.

Freedom From Religion Foundation