Midday prayers at USNA challenged by ACLU

From the Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog:

ACLU Complains About Noon-Meal Prayers at Naval Academy

The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it had asked the U.S. Naval Academy to discontinue its longstanding requirement that all midshipmen attend prayers at the daily noon meal. …

In a letter sent to Naval Academy officials on May 2, Deborah A. Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland, argues that the academy’s practice violates students’ “religious freedom and rights of conscience,” according to an ACLU news release. A spokesman at the academy told The New York Times that the institution “does not intend to change its practice of offering midshipmen an opportunity for prayer or devotional thought during noon-meal announcements.”

—Elyse Ashburn

It is always a thin line that has to be walked between freedom of religion and state-established or promoted religion. Without the details of how the USNA implements the mid-day prayers I cannot offer any substantive comments about its acceptability in the US. More on this late I am sure…

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