The politicization of the Veterans Administration continues apace under Obama.
Last month, TRN highlighted how two VA hospitals went out of their way to squelch religious liberties, under a new directive from the Obama Administration. One hospital in Texas rejected Christmas cards for wounded vets from schoolchildren. And a VA hospital in Georgia banned Christmas carols that contained any hint of religious content.
Now a VA hospital in New Mexico is removing all ‘Duck Dynasty’ products from its canteen’s shelves in response to a complaint from a single veteran, who is not even a patient there.
Robert Anderson was upset over a magazine interview in which Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson expressed his personal religious views on homosexual acts. In the January issue of GQ, the 67-year-old family patriarch called homosexuality a sin, but expressed love for every man, and promised redemption for homosexuals in Jesus Christ.
On Dec. 27, Anderson — who served in the Air Force in Vietnam in the 1960s, and is currently a Central New Mexico Community College instructor — wrote to the canteen and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that he was “greatly offend(ed) that the Veterans Administration Patriot Store would sell items promoting an entertainment group that “clearly stands for racism and bigotry”.
“The reactionary views incorporated into the Duck Dynasty group are contrary to the policies and mission of the VA medical system to not discriminate among veterans based on race or gender,” he continued. “Please remove these ugly divisive items immediately.”
Despite the canteen receiving no other complaints about the products from other vets — and despite the fact that Anderson is not even a patient at this hospital, it took no time at all for the VA to comply.
Last week, Debra Abeyta, assistant chief of Canteen 501 in Albuquerque, advised Anderson that she, too, was “very upset by the remarks made” by Robertson, adding, “We here at the canteen service in no way promote such ideas and have taken steps to remove the product from the store.”
Abeyta said Monday that the canteen ordered the items before the controversy erupted over Robertson’s comments. “(We) are doing all we can to get (the product) out of our stores,” she said.
Already, Abeyta said, the canteen had persuaded the distributor of Duck Dynasty DVDs to take them all back and give the store credit. The canteen drastically slashed prices on other items to get rid of them but was trying to “cut our losses as much as possible.”
So while in the real world, both Cracker Barrell and A&E reversed their bans on Robertson, in the now-political Veterans Administration, the left-wing’s wishes rule the day, free speech be damned.