The holidays are a time to spend with our loved ones and let those who are important know that we appreciate them. Elementary students at a Texas school intended to show gratitude to veterans through Christmas cards made in class, but their well-intentioned praises was blocked from ever being seen by the soldiers.
Fifty-two students at Grace Academy in Prosper, Texas, sent their hand-made cards to the VA hospital in Dallas on Monday, but authorities declined to accept the cards and would not allow the kids visiting to hand them out, Fox 4 in Dallas-Fort Worth reported. Asked why she was making cards for our wounded soldiers, fourth grader Gracie Brown said, “I’m hoping that it might make their day because their family might live far away, and they might not have somebody to celebrate Christmas with and I’d like them to know they’ve not been forgotten and somebody wanted to say thank you.” But when teachers from Grace Academy tried to deliver all the cards their kids made the VA said thanks but no thanks.
To justify their decision, the VA explained their policy to Fox:
In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.
The cards included the words ‘Merry Christmas’ and phrases like ‘Thank you for your service’, seemingly harmless features of an ordinary season’s greeting. How could this be offensive? The VA says this is an attempt to not rub any of the irreligious the wrong way. But if you ask any atheist, they often still celebrate the fun of Christmas in a non-religious way. Christmas is far from the level of taboo to atheists as the VA’s actions suggest.
The VA, among other groups try to quiet or censor speech so that the feelings of some may not get hurt, but how far is too far? Today we live in a world where somewhere somebody is going to be offended by everything you say. If we try to go out of our way to quiet everything that just might offend somebody, we end up with harmless children’s Christmas cards being censored.
Source: Fox4 Dallas