Joint Hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the U.S. Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
Statement From Chairman Jeff Miller on Houston National Cemetery
“The First Amendment of the Constitution grants all Americans the right of free speech and religion. This week, however, there are allegations that these basic liberties are being violated at the Houston National Cemetery by prohibiting the use of the word ‘God’ on cemetery grounds.
If true, then we, and the Courts, must take immediate action against the activism that is being imposed on our hallowed grounds. Our citizens have the right to express themselves and their beliefs. A government official does not have the right to interpret the First Amendment on a whim. And regardless of personal religious belief, all of us must remember that the practice of religion is protected by our Constitution.
The questions we must have answered are: On whose authority does the Houston National Cemetery have the right to ban God from its grounds? Furthermore, if religion can be banned, who then will protect our other freedoms from falling prey to the same outcome?
As we witnessed over Memorial Day, the Constitution is still relevant, let us hope it is so this Fourth of July on our Nation's 235th birthday. I urge all Americans to reflect on the Fourth of July’s true significance—the Declaration of Independence and the men who risked their lives to ensure the rights ‘endowed by their Creator’ to secure independence was more significant than just a single piece of paper.”