Officials with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) are threatening to evict an 84-year-old widow from the California Veterans Home unless she halts longtime Bible studies she has been leading for fellow residents.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) represents Artis Breau, the widow who has come under fire. Artis and her late husband moved to the Veterans Home about nine years ago. Her husband had served as a Merchant Marine in World War II, served in the famed 82nd Airborne Division overseas, and then served in the Air Force during the Korean War. Meanwhile, Artis worked as a civilian employee in the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon during the Korean War.
For much of the past decade, Artis has volunteered with the chaplaincy program and led Bible studies in the Home. She began encountering opposition from officials last September when it was claimed that a discussion between herself and another resident about heaven and hell had allegedly caused him to lose sleep and therefore was elder abuse, emotional abuse, and otherwise illegal.
In mid-December, the Home notified Artis that her volunteer status was being suspended indefinitely due to the ongoing investigation. Nearly three months later, CalVet has yet to schedule an interview with Artis about the alleged complaint; yet she remains barred from volunteering in any official role. However, until this past week she had been permitted to continue leading Bible studies for some of the Home’s most elderly and mobility-challenged residents—many of whom cannot get to chapel services.
On Friday, March 1, PJI received an alarming e-mail from an attorney for CalVet, claiming Artis’ Bible studies were in violation of prior directives and would subject her to “involuntary discharge” from the Home if they continued. The Home claims it needs to protect residents from this elderly widow, even though attendance at her Bible studies is entirely voluntary. Artis has explained to PJI that the real issue is that she is an evangelical Jewish believer in Jesus, which does not sit well with some of the chaplains.
Full story at Pacific Justice Institute.