Tired of Prayer at USAF Cermonies

How is it still acceptable that prayer is authorized as a part of formal ceremonies?  I was at the 51 Fighter Wing (Osan AB) Quarterly Awards ceremony today and asked to pray, which was followed by a 2-3 minute speech praising “all mighty god” during the chaplains invocation…  I’ve been on active duty almost 18 years and had enough.  What can I do?

Also, you guys rock, thanks for what your doing for our servicemen and women!
(name withheld)

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  1. Rev Bob

    Nothing, deal with, chaplains can pray anytime!!

  2. Mark Sebree

    Don’t listen to “Rev Bob”. He wants to turn the country into a Christian theocracy or theonomy.

    The truth is that Chaplains CANNOT “pray anytime”, or more exactly, they cannot publicly lead prayers at any time. They are not supposed to lead prayers at military events and formations, especially ones where everyone is required to attend. This is a violation of the First Amendments Establishment Clause since it gives the appearance of the government preferring one religious system over all others. And that is not even considering the fact that it is against Air Force Regulations, specifically AFI 1-1, para 2.12 and 2.13, IIRC.

    Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF can direct you to whom you need to contact on your base so that you can remain anonymous, which is in your best interests, especially with retirement 2 years away at a minimum. From there, he can make sure the right people know about the problem.

    Chaplains are not allowed to proselytize to a captive audience. And they are supposed to respect everyone’s beliefs. Apparently this one does not remember that from Chaplain school.

  3. Tom O

    If there was some public event which Rev Bob was required to attend to keep his job that included several prayers led by Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim clergy, he’d be singing a different tune.

  4. Mark Sebree

    Tom O.

    Or better yet, if he did not attend without a good reason that was acceptable to his superiors, he would be criminally liable and likely would be punished. And the punishment could be heavier (but within allowable limits) because you do not follow the religion being proselytized at the event.

  5. Joe Odom

    Perhaps there is some clever way you might slip a note to the “powers that be” or even the Chaplain her/himself. What I would recommend is a note that refers to Matthew 6:1-8 being the salient part.

    It shows that prayer is commanded to be behind closed doors and without needless words – and to definitely not boast as the others.

    Just a thought,

    Joe – in sunny central Florida…. oh yeah, ex-USAF and a long term $upporter for the MRFF

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