Whoops! Walter Reed Temporarily Bans Bibles

"No religious items (i.e. Bibles...) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit," memo stated in part

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Shutterstock

    In need some comfort from a bible?

    Not if you're a soldier in the hospital, you're not!

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center inadvertently banned them in a memo released Sept. 14. The memo stated in part, "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit."

    The medical center is now backpedaling on its apparent Bible-banning policy, which had aimed to "preserve people's religious rights," but was written in such a way that it seemed to ban all bibles and religious material, reports the Washington Examiner.

    Walter Reed officals have now published a statement that reads in part, "Bibles and other religious materials have always been and will remain available for patient use at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The visitation policy as written was incorrect and should have been more thoroughly reviewed before its release. It has been rescinded."

    The statement also notes that Walter Reed offers daily Catholic Mass as well as Protestant, Hindu, and Muslim services; bedside Eucharist services; weekly Torah studies; multiple weekly Christian bible studies, and weekly Qur'an study.

    A spokeswoman for Walter Reed told the Washington Examiner that the ban on religious items was never enforced.

    The memo, written by a group of people, came from the desk of Col. Norvell Coots, commander of the Walter Reed Healthcare system, and was signed by his chief of staff. It was released on the date the region's two military medical centers were officially merged.

    Walter Reed repealed the policy earlier this month after the Christian organization Family Research Council brought it to the attention of several members of Congress, who then contacted Walter Reed, the Examiner reports.

    The medical center is now trying to rewrite its policy. With any luck, they can put that off until after the holidays... just in case.