Saturday, January 02, 2016

Air Force Rejects Atheists' Demands Against Prayer

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), made another of his obligatory complaints, this time about the Air Force Academy football Falcons' tradition of kneeling in the end zone for prayer.  In response, the Air Force "found the football players’ actions to be consistent with Air Force Instruction 1-1 and its guidance on the free exercise of religion and religious accommodation."  So now, the MRFF is considering action to seek an injunction in federal court.

For background, read Air Force Drops God After MRFF Complaint but Pentagon Dismisses MRFF, Supports National Day of Prayer

Also read Bible: Court-martial Offense at Air Force Academy After MRFF Complaint?

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Wyoming School Allows Prayer Under Lawsuit Threat

Ohio School Board Wants Prayer, Ignoring Atheists

Texas School Supt. Tells Anti-prayer Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

-- From "Air Force to review end-zone prayers following advocacy group complaint" by John Taylor, NBC Sports 12/9/15

“This end zone praying is just another territorial conquest of the religious Christian right,” MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein said. “This stands in a long line of conservative Christian acts like this.”

Because of the complaint, the academy is conducting a review of the situation.

“The Air Force Academy Inspector General opened a third-party complaint and referred the issue to the athletic department for an informal inquiry,” an Air Force spokesperson said in an email.

The players are not being required, compelled or forced to pray by any program or academy official. Rather, according to the academy’s official stance, they do it of their own volition.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayer allowed at USAFA games" by Pam Zubeck, Colorado Springs Independent 12/28/15

The U.S. Air Force Academy has ruled football players' prayers in the end zone at games is allowed under its rule dictating religious practice and observance.

Here's the academy's ruling:
The United States Air Force Academy places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religion or to observe no religion at all. Recently the United States Air Force Academy received a complaint about its football players kneeling in prayer. An inquiry was initiated, which found the football player's actions to be consistent with Air Force Instruction 1-1 and its guidance on the free exercise of religion and religious accommodation. The United States Air Force Academy will continue to reaffirm to cadets that all Airmen are free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all. The players may confidently practice their own beliefs without pressure to participate in the practices of others.
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "[MRFF] Foundation is on the wrong side of history and the law" by Michael Berry, Esq., Liberty Institute (posted at Colorado Springs Gazette) 12/27/15

For years, football players at the Air Force Academy have knelt in the end zone and prayed before each game. Their voluntary, personal prayers, which cannot be heard by spectators, are a private act of devotion that should be respected. . . .

To its credit, the Air Force Academy has not resorted to the sort of knee-jerk response Weinstein seeks. Instead of issuing a unilateral ban on prayer, as MRFF requested, the academy wisely referred the matter to the proper legal entities for review.

The Constitution, federal case law and military regulations all protect the right of service members to freely exercise their religious beliefs or no belief at all. This includes religious expression, while on duty and in uniform, such as prayer before a football game.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Florida Bans Prayer at Christian Football Game

North Dakota Bans Prayer at Catholic School Football Game

Atheists Threaten Indiana School Coach over Students' Prayer

Football Coach Forced to Stop Praying AFTER Games in Washington