HUFFINGTON POST – Pentagon to Join in ‘One Voice United in Prayer’ (On Separate Days in Separate Locations, Depending on Your Religion)

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Next Thursday, May 1, is the National Day of Prayer — that abhorrently unconstitutional congressionally mandated day each year when our government tells us all that we should pray.

Now, the organization that I work for, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation(MRFF), is not trying to completely abolish the National Day of Prayer — not because we approve of it, but simply because the issue of the existence of this infelicitous day just doesn’t fall within the purview of our organization’s mission. What does fall within our purview, however, are any violations of military regulations or any religious discrimination against members of the military that occur because of the National Day of Prayer. And this year we have two such within-our-purview situations happening.

The first of the two is one that we are taking direct action to stop — the planned appearance of uniformed military personnel at Shirley Dobson’s big shindig at the Cannon House Office Building.

Each year, the big National Day of Prayer shindig in Washington, D.C., includes a whole bunch of participation by active duty uniformed military personnel — a military brass quintet, a military color guard, a military vocalist singing the national anthem, a military speaker, and a military chaplain. The problem? Well, there are actually several problems, the first of which is that event is run by the National Day of Prayer Task Force (NDP Task Force), and the NDP Task Force is a non-federal entity (i.e., a private organization), and a slew of military regulations, directives, and instructions strictly prohibit the military from promoting or endorsing, or even appearing to promote or endorse, a non-federal entity. This prohibition applies to all non-federal entities, whether they are religious organizations, other non-profit organizations, or commercial enterprises.

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