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Veterans, hospital in Bible dispute agree to mediation

October 18, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Two U.S. Air Force veterans and New Hampshire’s veterans hospital involved in a legal dispute over the display of a Bible have agreed to mediation.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in 2019 by the veterans against the Manchester hospital director said the Bible’s inclusion on a table near the entrance honoring missing veterans and prisoners of war is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The veterans said the table should be a memorial to all who have served, and they had suggested replacing the Bible with a Book of Faith containing the writings and prayers from seven religious groups.

Government lawyers argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the lead plaintiff acknowledged he wasn’t offended by the display.

A judge on Friday supported a joint statement from the veterans and the hospital that said mediation should occur by Dec. 17, and that a magistrate judge preside.