Monday, April 23, 2007

Religious Discrimination at the VA

Your book was the most powerful book I had read in some time. It energized me to keep up the fight here. I will not stop until the VA system changes and people of all faiths, or no faith, are afforded the same rights as Christians. I am leaning on Senator Harkin and the aide that heads up his office in Dubuque is incensed at how I've been treated. I have also contacted Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. If what nothing else my engagement in this fight lends some meaning (in my own eyes at least) to the bias and discrimination I've experienced at the VA. Your story - and I can't even imagine how difficult it was for you to tell it, particularly chapters 18, 19, ect. - renews my own courage and I imagine I am just one of many thousands.

The work you are doing, the sacrifices you are making will continue to make a difference. If not for people like you fighting the good fight our nation would be even further on its way toward devolving into America's own Christian Taliban. I think it important for you to know it is not just because I feel a kinship with your cause as a fellow Jew, it is even more my kinship with your absolute dedication to the Constitution - all of us who have served our Country have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States; unlike so many these days, you take that oath seriously and have never abandoned it. I can't thank you enough for that. It gives me hope and it gives me the courage and strength to fight on with my own fight.

I ended up having to go to the (VA) hospital by ambulance early
yesterday evening. When I called the advice nurse and gave her my
symptoms she told me to hang up immediately and call 911. I did.

I spent about 24 hours in the hospital and once again they couldn't
seem to produce any kosher food - I went without food the whole time.
I also expressed directed that no chaplain visit me; however a
Christian chaplain came to see me anyway, he said, "just to see if you
want us to get you a Rabbi" then handed me the chaplains office tract
with its Christian message. I also noticed, while waiting to be
discharged this afternoon, that the patient lounge on the hospital
ward was filled with Christian tracts, magazines and Bibles. I don't
see that there's any end in sight in regards to their total disregard
for faiths other than Christianity.

Finally, it looks like I'm not going to be physically up to the trip
to Colorado Springs next week; for that I am sincerely sorry. You
can't imagine how much I wish I could be there to support you against
those conniving assholes.

BTW, I managed to take with me to the hospital Barry Lynn's book,
Piety & Politics - I am already about half way through it - another
great read.

Wishing you strength & success,

Akiva David


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