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ACLU Calls for Academy to Rescind Invite to “Member of Lord’s Army”

The ACLU of Colorado, and other activists for religious freedom, are calling on the United States Air Force Academy' to withdraw its inviation to fomer Marine Lt.  Clebe McClary, a self-professed "Member of the Lord's Army," who is scheduled to speak at the USAFA's February 10 National Prayer Luncheon.

In a letter to Lt. Col. Gould of the USAFA, C. Ray Drew, Executive Director of the ACLU of Colorado, wrote, "The ACLU has no wish to to limit Lt. McClary's feedom of speech in an off-campus setting. However, we are gravely concerned about his presentation at a government sponsored religious event where military personnel and cadets will be subjected to a clear endorsement of one religiion. The fact the event invitation was sent by senior leadership at the Academy is troubling as well. …

"Government sponsored religious events such as the prayer breakfast are problematic , and are strictly out of bounds if the intent or effect is to proselytize the military audience. We endorse Michael Weinstein's letter of of January 20, 2011 as well as the issues and principles included in the letter by Jeremy Shaver of the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. We believe the Academy certainly can find a more appropriate speaker for the luncheon than Lt. Clebe McClary, with his description of a complete Marine:  "USMC will always mean a U.S. Marine for Christ."

"The ACLU strongly supports religious freedom for all members of the military, but not at the expense of demanding allegiance of all to one government-endorsed faith or denomination. … We look forward to a quick resolution of this issue."

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