Tag Archives: chapel

Naval Academy Chapel Ceremony Derided

As covered on Military.com, some people are upset that a Protestant chapel service ritual at the US Naval Academy includes “dipping” the American and Brigade flags at the altar.

In particular, Michael Weinstein was upset that the Academy Superintendent, Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler, had issued an order that the ceremony stop, only to later allow it to continue.  In criticizing the reversal, Weinstein said, in typical fashion,

Vice Admiral Fowler…wins the ‘Fundamentalist Christian Most Intimidated Award’ for 2008…Such profound duplicity and cowardice fatally disgraces the U.S. Naval Academy…

The implication in the article is that the Vice Admiral had his order overruled.  (Given that the article also says the Admiral would refuse to return if not “obeyed,” which is an unusual thing for an officer giving an order to say, it is possible that an “order” was not given, but that he expressed a preference that is being misreported.)

It might be somewhat ironic that Weinstein, who founded the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), would back a military officer who attempted to dictate the rituals of a religious chapel service.  That very issue–that a state actor would direct a subordinate’s religious observance–was probably what led to the reversal, as such an order would be unConstitutional.

Also reported on Reasoned Audacity.

Buddhist Hall Opens in AF Cadet Chapel

As first noted on the Religion Clause, the Air Force Times reported the opening of a room in the Air Force Academy cadet chapel for Buddhists.

The paper reported that the room “opened Monday.”  Notably, Buddhists have had opportunity to use the rooms in the chapel for years, so it is possible that this is simply the first truly dedicated space they have utilized.  As noted in the article, dozens of faith and non-faith groups use the chapel facilities.

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