The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a suit against the VA and it’s about time. The god crap was annoying enough when I was in the service and I’m quite thankful that I don’t need the services of the VA as I’ve been aware of their blending of god and state due to both of my father’s experiences with them over the years.
Examples from the lawsuit:
- The VA Health Care Network Upstate New York requires a “pastoral visitation” of each patient within 24 hours of hospital admission. It publishes prayers that do not involve patient treatment, as well as sample prayers, meditations and invocations, such as “Invocation for a Volunteer Luncheon.”
- Some veterans receiving treatment at the VA are given a “Multilevel Spiritual Assessment Test” to “diagnose spiritual injuries” to be treated by VA chaplains. The MLSA test score becomes part of the veteran’s health care records. If there is purported significant spiritual injury, an “intervention” of attending a “Spiritual Recovery Support Group” is recommended. The “operating premise of SRSG is that when God’s gift of spiritual faith and grace is applied, good medicine is received.”
- The Augusta VA Medical Center, Georgia, prints monthly devotions for the Southeastern Paralyzed Veterans Association newsletter, written by chaplains to signify the “alleged integral role of spirituality in health and healing,” the complaint says.
A sample of “spiritual assessments” can be found here and in a PDF document on the main news release. If you support the seperation of church(es) and state, this is your kind of organization – especially if you’re a non-theist. It’s the only one of it’s kind in that it concentrates solely on first amendment issues.