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 Page: Profile: Notice   Total Views: 2,993,496  

Notice Specs

Acct. ID: 316220

Notice ID: 14470

Category: Action

Posted: February 2nd., 2007

This Notice has been viewed 5272 times
VA Changing Regs for Memorials -comments

Proclaimed by: A.C. Fisher Aldag
Proclaimed from: Bangor, Michigan


Proclamation...

These are the proposed new regulations for accepting new religious emblems by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Please mail, fax or e-mail comments. Information about how to do that is included in this notice.

Comments to me are appreciated but if you want something DONE about this, send your comments to the VA. I can't forward them, you have to do that yourself.

Some clauses seem to make it even harder for Pagan groups to be accepted. If you want to view our family's suggested comments, please see the blog address at the very bottom of this notice.

This is the URL where the VA regulations information is located. Some people have had a hard time accessing it.

http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=123854245342+10+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

I got this by Google-ing the congressional record, if you can't access the above URL. That info is immediately below. You might also try the document number at the bottom of this proposed regulation.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 38

RIN 2900-AM53

Headstone and Marker Application Process

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its
regulations concerning headstones and markers furnished by the
Government through the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) headstone
and marker program. The proposed amendments are necessary to update
ordering procedures for headstones and markers and to provide
instructions for requesting the addition of a new emblem of belief to
VA's list of emblems of belief available for inscription on Government-
furnished headstones and markers. The proposed amendments would also
establish criteria to guide VA's decisions on requests to add new
emblems of belief to the list.

DATES: Comments must be received by VA on or before March 20, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through http://www.Regulations.gov
; by mail or hand-delivery to the Director,

Regulations Management (00REG) , Department of Veterans Affairs, 810
Vermont Avenue, NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to
(202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in
response to ``RIN 2900-AM53--Headstone and Marker Application
Process.'' Copies of comments received will be available for public
inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room
1063B, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
(except holidays) . Please call (202) 273-9515 for an appointment. In
addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online
through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at http://www.Regulations.gov
.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindee Lenox, Director, Memorial
Programs Service, Office of Field Programs, National Cemetery
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue,
NW., Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 501-3100 (this is not a
toll-free number) .

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NCA administers VA's memorial benefits
programs, which include providing for the interment of eligible
deceased veterans, their spouses, and other eligible dependents in
national cemeteries. Currently, NCA maintains more than 2.7 million
gravesites at 124 national cemeteries in 39 States and Puerto Rico, as
well as 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. Congress has authorized
VA to promulgate all necessary rules and regulations to ensure that
these cemeteries are maintained as ``national shrines as a tribute to
our gallant dead'' and that graves are appropriately marked. 38 U.S.C.
2403 (b) and (c) , 2404 (a) and (c) .
Section 2306 of title 38, United States Code, provides that VA
shall furnish headstones and markers for the graves of eligible
veterans and their eligible family members. Under 38 U.S.C. 2404 (c) (1) ,
each grave in a national cemetery ``shall be marked with an appropriate
marker. Such marker shall bear the name of the person buried, the
number of the grave, and such other information as the Secretary [of
Veterans Affairs] shall by regulation prescribe.'' VA's current
regulations describe the process for ordering a headstone or marker and
note that the types of Government-furnished headstones, markers, and
inscriptions ``will be in accordance with policies approved by the
Secretary [of Veterans Affairs].'' See 38 CFR 38.630 (a) , 38.632. They
also provide that inscriptions ``will be in accordance with the
policies and specifications of the Under Secretary for Memorial
Affairs.'' 38 CFR 38.630 (b) .
In the National Cemeteries Act of 1973, Pub. L. 93-43, Congress
created the National Cemetery System by transferring certain national
cemeteries and the headstone and marker program from the Department of
the Army to VA's predecessor, the Veterans Administration. At that
time, the Department of the Army considered emblems of belief to be an
appropriate optional inscription for Government-furnished headstones
and markers. VA continued that policy under its management of the
program but did not promulgate regulations specifying emblems of belief
as an approved type of inscription.
In this rule, VA proposes to update ordering procedures for
headstones and markers and to clarify its policy for requesting the
addition of a new emblem of belief to VA's list of emblems available
for inscription on Government-furnished headstones and markers.
Under current procedures, headstones and markers are ordered
automatically from NCA Memorial Programs Service (MPS) during the
process of arranging

[[Page 2481]]

an interment or memorialization of an eligible veteran or family member
in a national cemetery or a State veterans cemetery that uses the NCA
electronic ordering system. The cemetery staff enters the information
received from the applicant directly into the NCA electronic ordering
system, and no further application is necessary. When burial or
memorialization is in a private cemetery or other cemetery that does
not use the NCA electronic ordering system, the applicant must complete
VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or
Marker. The form, which may be submitted to the Memorial Programs
Service by mail or by fax, provides general information about the
headstone and marker benefit, to include information about the types of
headstones or markers, eligibility, required identifying information,
the application process, inscriptions, required signatures, and
available assistance for completing the application.
When ordering a Government-furnished headstone or marker, an
applicant may request that VA also inscribe an emblem of belief, that
represents the belief system of the decedent. The emblems of belief
available for inscription on Government-furnished headstones and
markers are listed at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmemb.asp. Copies of

this list are also available upon toll free telephone request to the
Memorial Programs Service Applicant Assistance Unit at 1-800-697-6947.
VA does not provide inscription of emblems identifying the decedent's
affiliation with social, cultural, ethnic, fraternal, trade,
professional, or military groups.
On occasion, an applicant will request an emblem of belief that is
not currently available for inscription. Proposed Sec. 38.632 (g) would
establish criteria for evaluating a request to add a new emblem of
belief to the list currently available for inscription. These criteria
are necessary to ensure that: there is an immediate need to inscribe
the proposed new emblem of belief on a new, first headstone or marker
based on the death of an eligible individual, unless good cause is
shown for an exception; the emblem meets the technical production
requirements in proposed Sec. 38.632 (e) (7) ; and the affiliated
organization does not promote or engage in activity that is illegal or
contrary to clear public policy. These criteria also will ensure that
the emblem is endorsed by a recognized authority or governing body of
the affiliated organization representing a genuine and non-frivolous
belief system and that the affiliated organization provides all of the
information that VA needs to determine whether an emblem should be made
available for headstone and marker inscriptions.
VA proposes to define ``belief system'' in this rule broadly enough
to accommodate religious beliefs held by groups of persons without
discriminating against belief systems that appear to be secular but
assume the functional significance of religious beliefs in the lives of
groups of persons. In any event, VA would make no attempt to
distinguish among the doctrines of various churches or other groups
holding a system of belief, provided the beliefs are genuine and not
frivolous, and the churches or other groups do not promote or engage in
any activity that is illegal or contrary to clear public policy.
While VA has never addressed recognition of belief systems in its
regulations, we note that this issue arises in other Government
contexts. For example, it is Department of Defense (DoD) policy to
accommodate the free exercise of religion in the military as guaranteed
by the Constitution of the United States, provided that it does not
interfere with the military mission. See DoD Directive 1300.17 (2003) .
To facilitate this accommodation, DoD appoints military personnel for
duty within the Chaplain Corps of each of the service departments.
Chaplains must be endorsed by organizations that hold exempt status
under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.
501 (c) (3) ) as a church for Federal tax purposes. Thus, an Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) determination that an entity is exempt under
section 501 (c) (3) and classified as a church for purposes of sections
509 (a) (1) and 170 (b) (1) (A) (i) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.
509 (a) (1) and 170 (b) (1) (A) (i) ) is generally sufficient for purposes of
appointing military chaplains. See DoD Directive 1304.19 (2004) ; DoD
Instruction 1304.28 (2004) .
Certain characteristics generally are attributed to churches for
Federal tax purposes. These attributes of a church have been identified
by the IRS and by court decisions. They include: distinct legal
existence; recognized creed and form of worship; definite and distinct
ecclesiastical government; formal code of doctrine and discipline;
distinct religious history; membership not associated with any other
church or denomination; organization of ordained ministers; ordained
ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study;
literature of its own; established places of worship; regular
congregations; regular religious services; schools for the religious
instruction of the young; schools for the preparation of its ministers.
The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together
with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an
organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes. The IRS
makes no attempt to evaluate the content of whatever doctrine a
particular organization claims is religious, provided the particular
beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held by those
professing them and the practices and rites associated with the
organization's belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly
defined public policy. See IRS Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches
and Religious Organizations.
In our view, the IRS criteria for determining whether an
organization is a church for Federal income tax purposes may be helpful
in determining whether an emblem of belief represents a genuine and not
frivolous belief system and should be available for a VA Government-
furnished headstone and marker inscription. If the IRS has determined
that a group holding a particular belief system is a church under the
Internal Revenue Code, we believe that determination should be one of
the factors that VA considers in reviewing requests to add a new emblem
of belief to the current list of emblems available for inscription on
Government-furnished headstones and markers. Accordingly, in Sec.
38.632 (g) (2) , we propose to state that VA will consider whether the IRS
has issued a determination letter to an affiliated organization
recognizing the organization as exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the
Internal Revenue Code and classifying it as a church for purposes of
sections 509 (a) (1) and 170 (b) (1) (A) (i) of the Code. We also propose to
consider whether an affiliated organization that has not sought an IRS
determination of its status under section 501 (c) (3) appears to have the
characteristics generally attributed to churches under IRS guidelines.
Under proposed Sec. 38.632 (e) , affiliated organizations will be
required to address these factors and provide supporting documentation
when endorsing an applicant's request for a new emblem of belief.
Using the evaluation criteria proposed in Sec. 38.632 (g) will
ensure that available emblems represent only genuine and not frivolous
belief systems and that the practices and rites associated with the
belief system are not illegal or contrary to clear public policy.
Establishing procedures and criteria for the inscription of emblems in
this manner will help ensure that VA effectively

[[Page 2482]]

administers the headstone and marker program, efficiently produces
headstones and markers upon request, and fulfills its obligation to
maintain VA's cemeteries as national shrines. VA intends to preclude
the addition of any emblem that would have an adverse impact on the
dignity and solemnity of cemeteries honoring those who served the
Nation.
Under proposed Sec. 38.632, the process for requesting a new
emblem of belief varies based on the place of burial or
memorialization. When burial or memorialization is in a Federally-
administered cemetery or a State veterans cemetery that uses the NCA
electronic ordering system, an applicant must submit a written request
to the cemetery director for a headstone or marker bearing a new emblem
of belief. The applicant must also arrange for an affiliated
organization to endorse the proposed new emblem of belief as
representative of the belief system and to submit the supplemental
information specified in proposed Sec. 38.632 (e) . When burial or
memorialization is in a private cemetery or other cemetery that does
not use the NCA electronic ordering system, the applicant must request
a new emblem of belief in the Remarks section of VA Form 40-1330. This
applicant must also arrange for an affiliated organization to endorse
the proposed new emblem of belief as representative of the belief
system and to submit the supplemental information specified in proposed
Sec. 38.632 (e) .
VA would only consider requests for the addition of a new emblem of
belief on a new, first, Government-furnished headstone or marker for a
deceased eligible veteran or family member, unless good cause is shown
for an exception. With regard to the good-cause exception, for example,
if a request for a new emblem of belief had been denied under previous
VA procedures and a Government-furnished headstone or marker had been
issued without an inscribed emblem, VA would consider a request for the
previously denied emblem under the procedures and requirements of this
proposed rule.
Requests for new emblems of belief would only be accepted from the
decedent's next-of-kin or personal representative. VA would not accept
requests from organizations independently seeking the addition of a new
emblem of belief.
If a new emblem of belief request is received for a deceased
eligible individual interred or memorialized in a Federally-
administered cemetery or a State veterans cemetery, VA would furnish a
headstone or marker without an emblem of belief to mark the grave while
the request is being processed. If the requested emblem of belief is
subsequently added to VA's list of emblems, VA would furnish a
replacement headstone or marker that bears the new emblem of belief.
If a request for inscription of a new emblem of belief is received
for a deceased eligible veteran interred or memorialized in a private
cemetery, the applicant would be able to request that VA furnish a
headstone or marker without an emblem to mark the grave while the
request is being processed (with the option to replace the headstone or
marker if the emblem is made available) or may choose to delay delivery
of a headstone or marker to mark the grave until a decision is made.
All costs for installation of a Government-furnished headstone or
marker in a private cemetery are the responsibility of the applicant.
Proper disposal of a replaced headstone or marker is also required to
ensure that no portion of the inscription is legible and that the
replaced headstone or marker cannot be used for private, personal, or
commercial activities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Although this proposed rule will impose a new information
collection on affiliated organizations that endorse individual requests
to add a new emblem of belief to VA's list of emblems available for
inscription on Government-furnished headstones and markers, VA has
concluded that this new requirement will affect fewer than ten
affiliated organizations within any 12-month period. Under 5 CFR
1320.3 (c) , requests that do not impose a collection of information on
ten or more entities within any 12-month period do not constitute a
collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C.
3501-3521) . Therefore, this proposed rule contains no provisions
constituting a new collection of information. The Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) previously approved all collections of information
referenced in this proposed rule under control number 2900-0222. This
rule does not change those collections.

Executive Order 12866

Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety,
and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity) . The Executive
Order classifies a ``significant regulatory action, '' requiring review
by the Office of Management and Budget unless OMB waives such review,
as any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may:
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or
communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or interfere with an
action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the
budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs
or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel
legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's
priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.
The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy
implications of this proposed rule have been examined, and it has been
determined to be a significant regulatory action under the Executive
Order because it is likely to result in a rule that may raise novel
legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's
priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5
U.S.C. 601-612. The rule may have an insignificant economic impact on
the few affiliated organizations that endorse a new emblem of belief
and provide supplemental information in support of an individual's
request. VA anticipates that fewer than 10 affiliated organizations
will be affected by this collection of information in any one year.
Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605 (b) , this rule is exempt from the
initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5
U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C.
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by
State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for
inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such
effect on State, local, and

[[Page 2483]]

tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program numbers and
titles for this proposed rule are 64.201, National Cemeteries; and
64.202, Procurement of Headstones and Markers and/or Presidential
Memorial Certificates.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 38

Administrative practice and procedure, Cemeteries, Veterans.

Approved: November 7, 2006.
Gordon H. Mansfield,
Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 38
CFR part 38 to read as follows:

PART 38--NATIONAL CEMETERIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

1. The authority citation for part 38 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501 (a) , unless otherwise noted.

2. Revise Sec. 38.632 to read as follows:

Sec. 38.632 Headstone and marker application process.

(a) General. This section contains procedures for ordering a
Government-furnished headstone or marker through the National Cemetery
Administration (NCA) headstone and marker application process for
burial or memorialization of deceased eligible veterans and eligible
family members. It also contains procedures for requesting the addition
of a new emblem to VA's list of emblems of belief available for
inscription on Government-furnished headstones and markers.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
(1) Affiliated organization refers to an organization that
practices the system of beliefs that were held by a deceased eligible
individual and that has a religious purpose. The term ``religious
purpose'' includes a purpose that appears to be secular, but which
nevertheless assumes the functional significance of a religious
purpose. This term does not refer to any organization representing or
affiliated with social, cultural, ethnic, fraternal, trade,
professional, or military groups.
(2) Applicant refers to the next of kin or personal representative
of the deceased eligible individual who applies for a Government-
furnished headstone or marker.
(3) Belief system refers to a genuine and non-frivolous group of
religious opinions, doctrines, and/or principles believed or accepted
as true by a group of persons. This term includes a belief system that
appears to be secular, but which nevertheless assumes the functional
significance of a religion in the lives of a group of persons.
(4) Emblem of belief refers to an emblem that represents the belief
system of the decedent. It does not include social, cultural, ethnic,
fraternal, trade, professional, or military emblems, or any emblem that
is obscene or would have an adverse impact on the dignity and solemnity
of cemeteries honoring those who served the Nation.
(5) Federally-administered cemetery refers to a VA National
Cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, the Soldier's and Airmen's Home
National Cemetery, a military post or base cemetery of the Armed
Forces, a service department academy cemetery, and a Department of the
Interior National Cemetery.
(6) Headstones and markers refer to headstones or markers that are
furnished by the Government to mark the grave or memorialize a deceased
eligible veteran or eligible family member.
(7) State veterans cemetery refers to a cemetery operated and
maintained by a State or territory for the benefit of deceased eligible
veterans or eligible family members.
(c) Headstone and marker application process. (1) Headstones or
markers will be ordered automatically during the process of arranging
burial or memorialization for a deceased eligible veteran or eligible
family member in a national cemetery or a State veterans cemetery that
uses the NCA electronic ordering system. Cemetery staff will order a
Government-furnished headstone or marker by entering information
received from the applicant directly into the NCA electronic ordering
system. No further application is required to order a Government-
furnished headstone or marker when the cemetery uses the NCA electronic
ordering system.
(2) Submission of a completed VA Form 40-1330 (Application for
Standard Government Headstone or Marker) is required when a request for
a Government-furnished headstone or marker is not made using the NCA
electronic ordering system. VA Form 40-1330 provides general
information about Government-furnished headstones and markers available
to mark the graves of deceased eligible veterans or eligible family
members. There is a space in the Remarks section of VA Form 40-1330 for
applicants to clarify information or make special requests.
(d) Emblem of belief application process. When an applicant
requests the addition of a new emblem of belief for inscription on a
Government-furnished headstone or marker for a deceased eligible
individual, the following procedures will apply:
If the burial or memorialization of an eligible individual is in a:

(1) Federally-administered cemetery or a State veterans cemetery that uses the NCA electronic ordering system.

The applicant must:

(i) Submit a written request to the director of the cemetery where burial is requested indicating that a new emblem of belief is desired for inscription on a Government- furnished headstone or marker; and

(ii) Arrange for an affiliated organization, as defined in paragraph (b) (1) of Sec. 38.632, to provide the supplemental information specified in paragraph (e) of Sec. 38.632 to the NCA Director of Memorial Programs Service.

If the burial or memorialization of an eligible individual is in a:

(2) Private cemetery (deceased eligible veterans only) , Federally administered cemetery or a State veterans cemetery that does not use the NCA electronic ordering system.

The applicant must:

(i) Submit a completed VA Form 40- 1330 to the NCA Director of Memorial Programs Service, indicating in the REMARKS section of the form that a new emblem of
belief is desired; and

(ii) Arrange for an affiliated organization, as defined in paragraph (b) (1) of Sec. 38.632, to provide the supplemental information specified in paragraph (e) of Sec. 38.632 to the NC Director of Memorial Programs Service. (e) Supplemental information from the affiliated organization. The supplemental information provided by the affiliated organization must identify the deceased eligible individual for whom a request has been
made to add a new emblem to VA's list of emblems of belief available
for inscription on Government-furnished headstones and

[[Page 2484]]

markers. The supplemental information submitted by an affiliated
organization also must include the following:
(1) A signed letter from a recognized authority, board of directors
or equivalent governing body, for the affiliated organization
certifying that:
(i) The proposed new emblem of belief is widely used and recognized
as the symbol of a distinct belief system; and
(ii) The affiliated organization endorses adding the emblem to VA's
list of emblems of belief available for inscription on Government-
furnished headstones and markers.
(2) A copy of an IRS determination letter, if available,
recognizing the affiliated organization as exempt under section
501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and classifying it as a church
under sections 509 (a) (1) and 170 (b) (1) (A) (i) of the Code.
(3) If the organization has not applied for tax-exempt status, a
statement explaining the extent to which the organization otherwise
meets the characteristics generally attributed to a church by the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) , as described in paragraph (g) (10) (ii)
of this section.
(4) A concise written description of the main tenets of the
affiliated organization's belief system.
(5) Information about the structure of the affiliated organization,
including the locations of congregations or other religious membership
groups that comprise the affiliated organization.
(6) A statement certifying that the affiliated organization does
not promote or engage in any activity that is illegal or contrary to
clear public policy.
(7) A three-inch diameter digitized black and white representation
of the requested emblem that is free of copyright restrictions and can
be reproduced in a production-line environment in stone or bronze
without loss of graphic quality.
(f) Incomplete supplemental information provided by an affiliated
organization. If VA determines that a request to add a new emblem of
belief is incomplete, VA will notify the applicant in writing of any
missing information and that he or she has 60 days to submit such
information or no further action will be taken. If the applicant does
not submit all required information or demonstrate that he or she has
good cause for failing to provide the information within 60 days of the
notice, then the applicant will be notified in writing that the request
for a new emblem of belief will be deemed withdrawn and no further
action will be taken.
(g) Evaluation criteria. The Director of NCA's Office of Field
Programs shall forward to the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs the
request, any pertinent records or information, and the Director's
recommendation after evaluating whether:
(1) The emblem represents a belief system, as defined in paragraph
(b) (3) of this section.
(2) The emblem meets the definition of an emblem of belief, as
defined in paragraph (b) (4) of this section.
(3) There is an immediate need to inscribe the emblem on a new,
first, Government-furnished headstone or marker for a deceased eligible
individual, unless good cause is shown for an exception.
(4) The emblem is endorsed by an affiliated organization, as
defined in paragraph (b) (1) of this section.
(5) The affiliated organization endorsing the emblem does not
promote or engage in any activity that is illegal or contrary to clear
public policy.
(6) The letter provided under paragraph (e) (1) of this section is
from a recognized authority, board of directors, or equivalent
governing body of the belief system represented by the emblem.
(7) The emblem meets the technical requirements for inscription
specified in paragraph (e) (7) of this section.
(8) The affiliated organization provided all of the supplemental
information listed in paragraph (e) of this section.
(9) (i) The IRS has determined that the affiliated organization is
exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is
classified as a church under sections 509 (a) (1) and 170 (b) (1) (A) (i) of
the Code; and,
(ii) If the affiliated organization has not applied to the IRS for
recognition of tax-exempt status, whether the organization has
characteristics generally attributed to a church, such as: a distinct
legal existence, a recognized creed and form of worship, a definite and
distinct ecclesiastical government, a formal code of doctrine and
discipline, a distinct religious history, a membership not associated
with any other church or denomination, an organization of ordained
ministers, ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed
courses of study, a literature of its own, established places of
worship, regular congregations, regular religious services, schools for
the religious instruction of the young, and schools for the preparation
of its ministers.
(h) Decision by the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. A request
to add a new emblem to VA's list of emblems of belief available for
inscription on Government-furnished headstones and markers shall be
granted if the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs finds, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that the request meets each of the
criteria in paragraphs (g) (1) through (7) of this section. In making
that determination, the Under Secretary shall consider the Director of
NCA's Office of Field Programs' recommendation and may consider
information from any source. The Director of Field Programs will
provide the individual who made the request written notice of the
decision of the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. The decision of
the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs is final.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2404)

[FR Doc. E7-644 Filed 1-18-07; 8:45 am]
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