A School-Sponsored Military Memorial Retreat Featured a Christian Prayer and Skeptics Are Pushing Back

Over the weekend, the University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus held a Memorial Retreat for its Corps of Cadets. While most of the retreat went well, one portion of the ceremony stood out to the skeptics in attendance.

When a chaplain delivered the invocation prayer, it was purely sectarian, made “in Jesus’ name.” This would be a problem if that happened at a city council meeting — the Supreme Court will be ruling on that very issue soon — and it’s a problem here, too. At a public university, any invocations must be offered in a non-denominational way.

Thankfully, Saara Wintersgill of the UNG Students for Secular Freedom was in attendance and shot this video of the prayer:



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U.S. Military Finally Approves “Humanism” as an Acceptable Religious Preference for Soldiers

When you join the U.S. military, you can choose to tell them your religious identification. There are more than 100 options — no problem if you’re some type of Christian, as you can see in a snippet of the list below — but the options for non-religious men and women are pretty minimal:

For the non-theists in the military, you can say Atheist, Agnostic, or various degrees of “Other.” If you prefer a label like “Humanist,” because it more appropriately describes what you do believe in rather than what you don’t, you’re out of luck.

Until now, that is.

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A New Billboard Near the Air Force Academy Reminds Cadets It’s Still Okay to Be Christian… As If Anyone Doubted It

There was a time when students who finished Basic Cadet Training at the U.S. Air Force Academy would recite this Honor Oath:

“We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”

“So help me God”?

That clause finally became optional last October thanks to Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The Air Force Academy even issued a statement explaining why it was a common sense change:



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After Radio Host Implies That Activist Should Be Beaten Up, Fox News’ Todd Starnes Does the Right Thing

Normally, when we talk about Fox News’ Todd Starnes (below), it’s because he’s making up a story of Christian persecution.

But Starnes actually did something decent yesterday. Appearing on Christian fanatic Rick Wiles‘ radio show to discuss a story about Bible verses appearing on Air Force Academy dorm room white boards (and an atheist who complained about it), Starnes and Wiles had this exchange:

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Air Force Academy Dean of Faculty Tells Staff They Cannot Proselytize While Working

The United States Air Force Academy has not been a very pleasant place for non-Christian cadets. (It was only this past October when the phrase “So help me God” was made optional in the Honor Oath.)

But there was a major shift in the right direction yesterday when recently-appointed Brigadier General Andy Armacost (below) addressed the entire faculty and told them in no uncertain terms that they could not proselytize while on duty.

Once faculty member wrote to Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to explain the details:

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