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Military urged to stay away from National Day of Prayer event

- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2014

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, run by former Air Force member Mikey Weinstein, is petitioning U.S. military leaders to abstain from attending a National Day of Prayer, saying the annual event is nothing short of right-wing Christian fundamentalism.

Mr. Weinstein penned a letter to military chiefs and to White House officials, asking them not to send any speakers, the Army Times reported.

"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 [Department of Defense] regulations and instructions," the letter said. "The U.S. military absolutely cannot endorse these searingly sectarian events by its public participation in them."

Mr. Weinstein said his letter came on the heels of complaints received from a couple dozen senior Pentagon civilians and officers about the nature of the prayer event. Mr. Weinstein refused to identify the complainers, the Army Times said.

The foundation isn't railing against the National Day of Prayer observation, but against the National Day of Prayer Task Force, the group in charge of organizing the event on Capitol Hill. Task force members say the event is nonpartisan and nondenominational, and wants only to "pray for the well-being of America and for those in leadership," the Army Times reported.

But Mr. Weinstein said that's not true.

"The National Day of Prayer Task Force is to the National Day of Prayer as what a National Football League al Qaeda chapter would be to the National Football League," he said, the Army Times reported.

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