After a complaint was lodged by curmudgeon Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation about the Air Force Academy football team engaging in prayer before and after games, the school’s athletic department conducted an inquiry into the matter.
That inquiry has now determined that players will be permitted to continue to pray.
“The United States Air Force Academy places a high value on the rights of its members to observe the tenets of their respective religion or to observe no religion at all,” academy officials said in a statement on Wednesday. “Recently the United States Air Force Academy received a complaint about its football players kneeling in prayer. An inquiry was initiated, which found the football players’ actions to be consistent with Air Force Instruction 1-1 and its guidance on the free exercise of religion and religious accommodation.”
“The United States Air Force Academy will continue to reaffirm to cadets that all Airmen are free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all,” academy officials said in the statement. “The players may confidently practice their own beliefs without pressure to participate in the practices of others.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom had entered the fray on behalf of the praying students after Weinstein’s group’s complaint.
Weinstein says he “believes the issue is far from settled,” employing his usual splashy adjectives:
“This outrageous internal administrative decision to allow its football team to engage in massive orchestrated sectarian Christian prayers right before kickoff for the world to see on television is a monstrous travesty and brutal breach of federal constitutional law and Department of Defense/Air Force regulations,” he told the Times.
Outrageous! Massive! Monstrous! Travesty! Brutal!
Merry Christmas, Mikey.
IMAGE: Paula Lively/Flickr