The American Civil Liberties Union is threatening to sue the U.S. Naval Academy unless it abolishes its daily lunchtime prayer, saying that some midshipmen have felt pressured to participate.There is a good chance that in the end the Navy may lose,
In a letter to the Naval Academy, Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland, said it was "long past time" for the academy to discontinue the tradition. She said the practice violates midshipmen's freedom to practice religion as their conscience leads them.
The Naval Academy rejected the ACLU's request that the prayer be eliminated.
"The academy does not intend to change its practice of offering midshipmen an opportunity for prayer or devotional thought during noon meal announcements," the university said in a statement. It said that some form of prayer has been offered for midshipmen at meals since the school's founding, in 1845, and that it is "consistent with other practices throughout the Navy."
The debate over whether to pray at U.S. service academies and colleges is several years old.The above is from the WaPo, but there is a better article about it in, shock, the NYT.
When the Air Force responded in 2005 to accusations of proselytizing at its academy in Colorado Springs, it issued guidelines that discouraged public prayer at most official events.
And in 2003, a Virginia appeals court struck down the Virginia Military Institute's mealtime prayer as unconstitutional. The ACLU and the Anti-Defamation League have asked the Navy to stop the lunch prayer at the Naval Academy based on the VMI ruling.
The Navy is "ignoring the law," said T. Jeremy Gunn, director of the ACLU's Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. "The government shouldn't be deciding what kind of prayer is the right kind of prayer and then coercing people into accepting their preferred kind of prayer."
This is worth the fight. This is one of many cultural battles the Left is lined up to fight against the culture in general and the US military specifically. You have to fight every one; accept defeat when you must while mitigating the damage with an effective rear-guard action, and relish every victory while you attempt to exploit it to your advantage. They will not stop - so neither can we. You buy time with each battle.
Hat tip The Corner and OPNAV.