N.C. Congressman Re-Introduces Bill to Protect Prayer at Military Academies

July 27, 2005

Source: Army Times


On July 27, 2005 the Army Times reported, "A North Carolina congressman re-introduced legislation July 26 that would authorize the superintendents of West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy to offer a voluntary, nondenominational prayer as part of their activities. In a press release, Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., sponsor of legislation called the Military Academy First Amendment Protection Act, described it as an effort to protect the religious rights of men and women within the nation’s service academies. Jones offered similar legislation in September 2003, after a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled that the Virginia Military Institute’s dinner time prayer was unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union had sued VMI on behalf of two cadets who opposed the prayer. In the press release, Jones stated that if passed, the legislation would allow superintendents of the three service academies to offer a prayer, if they so chose. The issue was raised again this year when the Anti-Defamation League called for ending the noon meal prayer at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md."