In 1934, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) erected a cross on a non-descript area of the desert in California as a war memorial. In 2001, the ACLU filed suit to have it removed. A district court ruled that the primary purpose of the cross was to advance religion; therefore the presence of the cross on government land was unConstitutional. Currently, the now-steel cross is covered by a wooden box to obscure its shape.
The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on October 7th.
While the ACLU repeatedly claims it is not trying to remove crosses Read more
Organizations who oppose religion in public life (including the military) generally dismiss as ‘ludicrous’ the assertions that their goal is to scrub all vestiges of religious expression from government institutions, like the military.
American Atheists recently undermined that defense when they decried President Obama’s use of “God bless you” in his address to school children yesterday. The logic was particularly disturbing because it is the same as some activists who oppose religious associations in the military– Read more
Islamic US Army soldiers in Iraq, including Spc. Linda Boyed and Spc. Fatima Benasser, two Arabic interpreters, note the challenges in exercising their faith during Ramadan while still executing their mission.
Finding time to pray in a high op tempo can be difficult, Read more
President Barack Obama hosted an iftar at the White House Tuesday night, celebrating the end of Ramadan. Among the guests were Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Navy Chaplain (Lt. Cmdr.) Abuhena Saifulislam, the second Islamic Chaplain in the US Navy, and Elsheba Khan, whose 20-year-old son, Army Spc. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, was killed in Iraq on 6 August 2007.
Chaplain Saif, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was one of two Chaplains Read more
President Obama recently noted the importance of prayer in his life, saying that he “prays all the time now.” He made the statement in an interview for Nightline.
President Obama says he starts his day with a devotional that the director of his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative, Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, sends to his BlackBerry each day.
The Commander in Chief also said “I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time.” Like his military subordinates, Obama enjoys the liberties of free exercise guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as the freedom to let his exercise be known.
To date, there have been no significant complaints that Obama’s statements about religion or prayer have unduly influenced or discriminated against his subordinates. (By contrast, some military officers were the subjects of complaints a few years ago for merely mentioning the biographical fact that they were Christians.)
President Barack Obama signed a proclamation (pdf) for Memorial Day calling on Americans to remember the sacrifices of their servicmen and women, and to unite in prayer. US law calls on the President to declare each Memorial Day as a “day of prayer for permanent peace” and designate a time for the country to unite in prayer. A separate law designates 1500 local time as the “National Moment of Remembrance.”
From the proclamation Read more
Traditionally, Space Shuttle crews in orbit receive a musical “wake up call” at the end of their “sleep cycle” (“night” occurs every 90 minutes or so). From the NASA website:
Wakeup calls are a long-standing tradition of the NASA program. Each day during the mission, flight controllers in the Mission Control Center will greet the crew with an appropriate musical interlude.
Apparently, the music is chosen based on requests by the crew or their families. This morning, the Atlantis crew awoke to “God of Wonders,” as performed by members of Third Day and Caedmon’s Call on the City on a Hill album, for astronaut Michael Good. This morning’s transmission can be heard on NASA’s site. After the song was played, Astronaut Mike Good said he looked forward to a productive day that would “bring glory to the Lord of all creation.” From the transmission Read more
Updated: Obama’s proclamation can be read here. Text below the fold.
This year’s National Day of Prayer is Thursday, 7 May 2009. As discussed every year at about this time, the President proclaims a National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May in accordance with Public Law 100-307 (history).
Much ado was made of President Obama’s failure thus far to make the proclamation, in addition to questions that circulated over whether he would continue the tradition of hosting an observance at the White House. (Former proclamations by President Bush, which normally preceded the day by several weeks, have been removed from the White House website.) It has now been reported that Obama will make the proclamation, as required by law, but not host a White House observance of the day.
Last year Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened to add military associations with the National Day of Prayer task force (a private group) to his DoD lawsuit, though he never followed through on his threat. Read more