HOUSTON At least two members of Congress have called for the termination of the director of Houston National Cemetery amid allegations of religious censorship.
I am deeply troubled by the allegations that were brought to my attention when I met with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Houston, said U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Houston).
Poe called for Arleen Ocasio s firing days after several groups in Houston sued the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The lawsuit claims Ocasio told them to stop saying God bless you at the funerals of veterans.
Ocasio came under fire in May after a Houston pastor claimed she asked him to edit the words Jesus Christ out of his Memorial Day prayer service.
The federal government changed its position after the pastor sued the Department of Veterans Affairs and a federal judge interceded.
They re experiencing the grief of having to bury a loved one and it s really hard to have to deal with static when they re already dealing with so much negativity, said Trey Gonzales, director of Veterans Funeral Services. I think that there [are] a lot of people upset with the way things have been happening across the street and I think that the change is inevitable and I think it will happen.
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Houston) told KHOU 11 News he supported Congressman Poe s call for Ocasio s termination.
This is shocking, he said. [It is] really abhorrent to our veterans that they can t have a proper military burial and not refer to God or Jesus Christ.
The Houston Area Pastor Council has also called for Ocasio s termination.
It planned a rally for clergy and veterans at Houston National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 4th.
Ocasio s staff told KHOU 11 News she was out of the office this week and unavailable for comment.