Naval Academy to Rethink Required Mealtime Prayer

March 30, 2002

Source: The Baltimore Sun

On March 30, 2002, The Baltimore Sun reported that the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD may have to rethink their required mealtime prayer because of a pending case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. "In January, a federal judge ruled that the Virginia Military Institute's practice of leading cadets in a mealtime grace - nearly identical to the academy's - violates separation of church and state... The case highlights the tensions between constitutional protections of religious freedom and the military's often conservative culture of obedience and conformity." Although VMI is in the process of appeals, "Annapolis, the only U.S. service academy with a daily grace, has already begun a review of the legality of its lunch prayers."