Citadel drops pre-meal prayer
The Decline of American institutions has begun. This time it is once again one of the great military bastions of our society.
This is the academy that has known such great Chaplains as Vance Havner among those that have served it. Though its history is illustrious, the past does not mean that the future will be great.
The Citadel has dropped mealtime prayers because once again federal courts have unconstitutionally interfered in the exercise of religion in American institutions. This time it was a decision involving the Virginia Military Institute.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reconsider a ruling that declared VMI's nondenominational group prayer unconstitutional. Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Until now, a prayer was said aloud at the start of all three meals at the Citadel. The prayers were delivered by cadets. They were not forced to do so. They volunteered to lead the blessing while members of the assembled corps bowed their heads.
Upperclassmen returned from summer break, observed a moment of silence at meals. The 650 soon arriving freshmen will do likewise, school officials said. Cadets now have the option to pray silently, meditate or just wait until the period of silence is over.
Any prayer that cadets offer must be silent "so they don't impose what they are doing on whoever is next to them," Citadel President Maj. Gen. John Grinalds said Friday.
The enemies of such institutions know that meals among soldiers are more than just an opportunity to draw nourishment. They are an exercise of discipline and unity that is so necessary to the founding of an Army of leaders that can preserve the nation. The goal is the destruction of the America that fears God.
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