VFW refusal to allow us to participate


Here is as exact a copy of the letter I received from the local VFW Post Commander.

“Pagan Veterans of the United States of America
Abraham ooiman Post #1
Attn: Charles Arnold
Interim National Commander”

“Please review and in good faith receive this response to your request to carry your organizational flag in the 2010 Yardley-Lower Makefield Memorial Day Parade Honor Color Guard.”

“Memorial Day is a Nationally recognized, thoroughly secular Holiday,
established to honor veterans, and most significantly, fallen comrades from all wars and conflicts the United States has dedicated its fighting forces to,
regardless of religious affiliation of those comrades. Per my research and
understanding, no specific religious group, Christian, Jewish, Moslem, not any social group, Gay, Lesbian, Heterosexual, not or any racial not ethnic group, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. has ever been granted the separate privilege to participate or be specifically represented upon or whithin the Honor Color Guard in the Parade.”

“In your request, you state several times that your organization is in fact
‘social, fraternal and religious’ in nature. while I respect your role and right
to gather and participate in such an organization and I certainly respect the
beliefs of all Americans and while I understand and recognize your recently won right to have your religious symbols displayed on headstones of deceased veterans, allowing any specifically affiliated and identified religious group to participate upon or within in the Memorial Day Parade Honor Color Guard would set a inappropriate precedent and would violate the long-held United States principle of separation of church and state. We cannot advocate nor indorse such practices.”

“Therefore, I, in my role as Commander VFW 6393, and representative Veterans organization for the 2010 Yardley-Lower Makefield Memorial Day Parade, cannot grant your request.”

“Thank you for your cordial and professional request. I trust in your
understanding of my denial of this request.”

“Very Respectfully, Yours in Comradeship
Christopher Desmond
Commander VFW6393
Yardley-Lower Makefiled, PA 19067

Some comments from me.

First, if this ever gets to the point where legal action is necessary, conspiracy to deny our civil rights will be right up there. Not only did the Legion Commander state that he talked the issue over with my VFW Post Commander, the wording of parts of this letter are identical.

I’ll try to keep you all up on what is going on.

Charles

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About paganveteran

National Coordinator of the Pagan Veterans Headstone Campaign and current National Commander, Pagan Veterans of the United States of America. Author, writer, poet, speaker and general disturber of the peace.
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