Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Onward Christian Soldiers

According to this article in today's NY Times, the military continues to shove religion down the throats of its soldiers, especially at the Naval Academy and West Point.

Three years after a scandal at the Air Force Academy over the evangelizing of cadets by Christian staff and faculty members, students and staff at West Point and the Naval Academy are complaining that their schools, too, have pushed religion on cadets and midshipmen.

At the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., nine midshipmen recently asked the American Civil Liberties Union to petition the school to abolish daily prayer at weekday lunch, where attendance is mandatory. The midshipmen and the A.C.L.U. assert that the practice is unconstitutional, based in large part on a 2004 appellate court ruling against a similar prayer at the Virginia Military Institute. The civil liberties group has threatened legal action if the policy is not changed. ...

In interviews at West Point, seven cadets, two officers and a former chaplain said that religion, especially evangelical Christianity, was a constant at the academy. They said that until recently, cadets who did not attend religious services during basic training were sometimes referred to as “heathens.” They said mandatory banquets begin with prayer, including a reading from the Bible at a recent gala.

While the evangelical atmosphere at the two academies isn't as pervasive as it was at the Air Force Academy, it is clearly woven into the daily lives of students. Prayer at lunch at which attendance is mandatory puts each student in the position of either bowing his/her head or sticking out as a rebel (not a desired leadership quality).

Look, the oath all members of the military take is to the Constitution, not Jesus, Yahweh, or Allah. The Constitution makes it clear that there was to be a clear separation between the state and religion of any kind. What is so hard about that to understand?

Apparently a great deal. Hopefully the ACLU will take the military leaders at the academies to school on the issue.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin' Lib'rul/Rogue Scholar & O'erall Helluvafella!) said...

Do you know about Mike Weinstein? He's an activist in this struggle, when his kid got shit at the AirForce Academy...

4:41 AM  

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