Suit Threatened Over VA Sweat Lodge Dispute

A religious liberty group is now threatening to sue over the ongoing Native American sweat lodge dispute at the VA hospital in Wichita.

The Liberty Institute sent another letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs alleging discrimination against Native American religious practices of veterans at the Robert J. Dole Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The sweat lodge’s spiritual leader, who is a substance-abuse counselor at the center, has been indefinitely suspended. Members of the sweat lodge have been unable to meet for religious worship there without him.

Their letter calls the VA’s effort to replace July’s ceremony with a meal and a movie an act of “religious insensitivity.”

The VA did not immediately comment, but has previously said it supports the religious practices of its staff, volunteers and veterans.