West Point: “Valid Concerns” About Post-Game Football Prayer
By Todd Starnes
The top general at the U.S. Military Academy said Army’s head football coach “crossed the line” with a post-game locker room prayer and admitted that critics had “valid concerns” about Constitutional violations.
“It creates an atmosphere where it is expected from everybody to say a prayer regardless of their faith or no faith,” Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen told the Washington Post in an exclusive interview.
The controversy arose after Coach Jeff Monken asked a staff assistant to lead the football team in a prayer after their upset victory over Temple University. It was first reported by Army Times.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, filed a complaint over the post-game petition to the Almighty. They alleged that 90 West Point graduates, staff members and football players were apparently horrified that young men were praying in a locker room.
MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein contacted Caslen and shortly afterwards – a video of the prayer was removed from school’s Facebook page. The military then edited out the prayer and reposted the video.
Lt. Gen. Caslen told the Post that leaving the prayer in the video would be “like grinding salt into the wound.”
There’s no word on whether the coach will face any repercussions because of the prayer but
The Post reports that the West Point athletic director had a “teaching effort” with Coach Monken.
“It’s like me as the superintendent of the Corps of Cadets saying, ‘Let’s take a knee and say a prayer together.’ I don’t have the authority to do that. I cannot use my position of authority – my public position of authority – to direct my subordinates to do something that is inconsistent with their rights. So, that’s probably where we crossed the line.”
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin told me he was disgusted by the military’s capitulation to Weinstein.
“This is a typical reaction by the Obama Army,” he said. “It reflects an atmosphere and environment that has been created that is hostile towards Christianity.”
Boykin warned that cracking down on post-game prayers at West Point is simply the latest in a series of blatant attacks on Christianity within the Armed Forces.
“Every vestige of Christianity is being driven underground in the military” he told me.
I can only imagine what Lt. Gen. Caslen would’ve done had he discovered Gen. George Washington praying at Valley Forge.