US Navy Asked by ADL to End Lunchtime Prayers

June 24, 2005

Wire Service: AP,1,4806024.story?coll=bal-local-headlines&ctrack=1&cset=true

On June 24, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "The Anti-Defamation League has asked the U.S. Naval Academy to end its practice of having a prayer each day before the noon meal that is attended by all 4,000 midshipmen.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the organization, said the league would not object to a moment of silence before meals, which is the practice at the other service academies. Only the Naval Academy offers a chaplain's prayer at the noon meal that all midshipmen must attend... A letter to the academy dated June 17 said the prayer violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting establishment of a specific religion by the government.

Cmdr. Rod Gibbons, spokesman for the academy, said today the letter had not been received, and 'it would be inappropriate to comment on something we don't have.'

'Certainly once we receive it, we will have to read it and make a determination what we want to do,' he said... The request from the Anti-Defamation League comes as the Air Force has been investigating complaints about a pervasive religious climate at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs."