My Turn, Lisa C. Rudisill: Disrespecting Veterans – Salisbury Post


My Uncle Frank was treated at the Bill Hefner Veterans Hospital after WWII which was extremely helpful. Although complaints occur with all veterans benefits and facilities, it is a great privilege for America to continue to help its veterans who have been wounded in war in the service of their country and throughout their lives – and to help their families in various ways.

Since opening in 1953, as one of 50 veterans hospitals across the United States, the Hefner VA has helped approximately 320,000 World War II veterans, not including veterans of other wars. .

In the city of Salisbury, however, things have taken a turn that shows contempt and disrespect for the men who have given so much to defend, protect and serve, many of whom have even made the greatest sacrifice for their country – their very life. This happened in two ways.

Beginning in 2013, a lawsuit was filed against the Rowan County Commissioners for the invocation prayer they had had since at least 2007 prior to their meetings (“Memorandum on Motion and Order Signed by Judge James A. Beaty , Jr.” (May 4, 2015 case). The lawsuit was filed by “three non-Christians” including one identified as Jewish in court documentation. This is a sad turn of events during which the commissioners offered public comment on the matter, which resulted in about 100 citizens rising to prayer by their words at a special meeting (myself included).

The commissioners have withstood several court cases, with the North Carolina 4th Circuit Court of Appeals being the latest court to say prayer “should go” before sending the case to the U.S. Supreme Court for exam. In 2017, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the commissioners’ appeal to be allowed to continue the prayer.

While almost 100% of citizens would probably say they believe that all religions in America should be respected, including the right of non-believers to maintain their own views, it is also true that the majority of citizens in Salisbury as well as the commissioners wanted the prayer to remain in place.

The courts (and those taking the case and their supporters, the ACLU) believe that the US Constitution says there is freedom of religion…period. They do not read that the guaranteed right is protection from religious persecution. No one practices any religion in America box be persecuted because of their religious beliefs or practices. However — it is not This is to say that the majority religion in America cannot be practiced publicly – even by government officials until no money is given to a church or religious body or representative to do so.

Prayers do not cost taxpayers money like they did in the Old World where the Roman Catholic Church and monarchs collected taxes to pay for churches, priests or ministers and other church business . And America does not burn at the stake or kill citizens who do not obey the state church. In fact, it does not persecute them.

The way WWII veterans are abused by this is that approximately 185,000 Americans died defending Europe against Hitler, who really persecuted and caused the death of an estimated 5.7 million Jews across Europe (wikipedia, “World War II Casualties”). In a 1994 US Army survey, 80% of soldiers said they “believed in God”, while 85% of those believers were Catholic or Protestant. This figure was probably even higher in the early 1940s during World War II. Do we not, as citizens, have an obligation to respect the lives given to help non-Christians in this war in Europe? We slap those World War II veterans who stood up for the Jewish people. And to think that a non-Christian would find a Christian prayer – a voluntary act before a meeting – as “persecution” in the face of Hitler’s persecution is laughable – but not funny.

A second element of disrespect for veterans shown by Salisbury is the removal of the Angel of Mercy which was a landmark and source of spiritual support for veterans and their families in the town centre. “Fame” or “Gloria Invictus” (Glory to the vanquished) has represented for decades the love of heavenly forces and the comfort of the wounded soldier, as seen in the incredible statue. In fact, is it doubtful that more than 1% of the general population ever equated the statue with the Civil War in any way, but saw it as a true tribute to veterans, to their lost memory and their comfort in suffering and healing at Hefner Veterans Hospital.

This is another tragic way our veterans have been denigrated by the recent ACLU and thoughtless, selfish citizens with only their personal agendas.

Lisa C. Rudisill attended Hood AME Zion Seminary for a year and graduated from Liberty University.


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