From today's NYT:
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.
The controversy led the Air Force to adopt guidelines that discourage public prayers at official events or meetings. And while those rules do not apply to other branches of the service, critics say the new complaints raise questions about the military’s commitment to policies against imposing religion on its members.
Religion in the military has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, especially because the close confines of military life often put two larger societal trends — the rise of evangelicals and the rise of people of no organized faith — onto a collision course.
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.
I'm not sure what I think of this. I think the article (read down further to get the whole view) is pretty balanced, in that comments from, for example the Commandant of Cadets at the Naval Academy, were nothing more than the "civil religion" that is OK, for instance on our coins and bills. Others obviously don't agree. As one who professes Christianity and encourages others to do the same, I have to wonder about the perceived forcing it on students.
It's worth a further look.
Read it all here.