Orlando, FL -The so-called “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” has called for the court martial of Maj. Gen. Craig Olson for speaking at a National Day of Prayer event, calling the personal testimony and prayer “brazenly illicit and wholly unconstitutional, fundamentalist Christian proselytizing.” Liberty Counsel whole-heartedly disagrees and has offered the major general pro bono representation.
“Military prayer and the invocation of the blessings of Almighty God pre-date the founding of the Republic, remain constitutional, and are core parts of service members’ liberties,” said Richard Mast, Litigation Attorney with Liberty Counsel.
A call to prayer and discussion of a personal faith testimony in uniform is in keeping with America’s history, such as the calls for corporate prayer set forth by George Washington in his 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation and President Obama’s 2014 National Day of Prayer Proclamation.
Recently in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the United States Supreme Court upheld the practice of prayers before legislative bodies. The Court based its decision on the long history of legislative prayer dating back to the Constitutional Convention. In the decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “It is presumed that the reasonable observer is acquainted with tradition and understands that its purposes are to lend gravity to public proceedings and to acknowledge the place religion holds in the lives of many private citizens, not to afford government an opportunity to proselytize or force truant constituents into the pews.”
“Letters from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and other atheist groups are nothing but paper tigers,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “These complaints concerning military code violations are disinformation used to intimidate service men and women into silence,” Staver pointed out. “Our men and women in uniform do not lose their constitutional rights when they take the oath of office. Liberty Counsel pledges to defend in the courtroom those who defend our freedoms so courageously on the battlefield.”
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