The U.S. military has no plans to back out of a National Day of Prayer event after being urged by a prominent activist group to withdraw, reports state. Mikey Weinstein, the president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, recently sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, asking that the Department of Defense distance itself from next month’s observance in Washington. Weinstein said that military participation in the event would suggest the government endorsement of Christianity. “The planned participation by uniformed U.S. military personnel in this private fundamentalist Christian religious event, run by a non-federal entity, is an unequivocally clear violation of [a] plethora of DoD regulations and instructions,” the letter stated. “The U.S. military absolutely cannot endorse these searingly sectarian events by its public participation in them.” The event, which will be held at the Cannon House Office building on May 1st, is organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, led by Shirley Dobson.
Weinstein said that he takes no issue with the National Day of Prayer itself, but believes that the Task Force is using the event to push Christianity on the people. “The National Day of Prayer Task Force is to the National Day of Prayer as what a National Football League al-Qaida chapter would be to the National Football League,” he stated, according to the Army Times. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) had requested military participation in the event, which will include a color guard, a military band, a vocalist and a chaplain. Other scheduled speakers will include Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, James and Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family and Vonette Bright, the co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Weinstein says that he has received over two dozen complaints from Pentagon workers who object to military participation the prayer gathering. He also expressed disappointment in his correspondence that the only Jewish representation at the event will be a messianic leader, since Weinstein himself is a Jew. More