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Jewish vet accuses hospital of proselytizing

A Jewish Navy veteran accused a Veterans Administration hospital of denying him kosher meals and trying to convert him to Christianity. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that David Miller, 46, was hospitalized at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City three times in the past two years for kidney treatment. Miller, an Orthodox Jew, said he went hungry because the hospital refused to provide kosher meals or allow him to contact his rabbi, who would have brought them. “I am not trying to get rid of the chaplain corps,” Miller said. “I believe in the value of the chaplain corps, but not using it to bludgeon people, for heaven’s sake.” Hospital spokesman Kirt Sickels said Miller’s complaints were being investigated. “The Iowa City V.A. respects the rights to religious beliefs for every patient,” he said. Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which is aiding Miller, doesn’t think it’s the first case of religious discrimination at that hospital. “He has been in the situation where clearly his faith… is the wrong faith for the Veterans Administration,” Weinstein said, adding that he intends to sue the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over the matter.