Taking A Knee in Prayer. Was a Line Crossed After Army Football Game?

Army football players are shown praying together after beating Temple last week. (Photo: Screen Shot from Youtube)

Army football players are shown praying together after beating Temple last week.
(Photo: Screen Shot from Youtube)

September 12, 2016

By Lorra B.

Coach Jeff Monken, the U.S. Military Academy’s Army football coach at West Point, finds himself in the spotlight after the top general at the academy raised “valid concerns” about prayer.

After West Point was victorious in last week’s game, Monken requested that a staff assistant lead the team in prayer, according to Checkpoint. This has apparently opened a can of worms and brought up the question of separation of church and state.

“The issue emerged after Coach Jeff Monken was shown in a video produced by West Point celebrating with his players and directing a member of his staff to lead a prayer after an upset victory Sept. 2 over Temple University,” reports Checkpoint.

Complaints were received about the prayer and the video was taken down at the request of Athletic Director Boo Corrigan. The superintendent at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, stated that to leave the video online would be “like grinding salt into the wound.”

According to Army Times, the video was taken down but replaced with a shorter version. The shorter version shows the celebrating players and that they are ending the game in prayer, though the video does not show the prayer itself.

The majority of the people, about 90 percent, supported the prayer, according to Caslen. He then went on to say, “But, when you look at it from a legal basis and from a legal standpoint, and then you look at it from a leadership standpoint, there were some concerns, and I think they’re valid concerns.”

It is Caslen’s belief that for Monken to encourage or ask anyone to lead in prayer was a mistake when looked at from a leadership or ‘legal standpoint.’

“It creates an atmosphere where it is expected from everybody to say a prayer regardless of their faith or no faith,” Caslen said. “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.”

Students are free, according to the Supreme Court, to lead religious activities and even to lead in prayer. School-sponsored prayer, however, has been ruled against time after time.

Funny how it seems to be Christianity continually in the hot-seat while other religious public displays are rarely talked about in the media. Why is that?


By Lorra B.

23 thoughts on “Taking A Knee in Prayer. Was a Line Crossed After Army Football Game?

  1. OT but goes with the current mindset and diss Vets.
    ‘U.S. Agrees To Give Israel $38 Billion In Military Aid Record new U.S. military aid deal for Israel will be signed in days’
    ‘The US and Israel have reached their final agreement on a record new package of at least $38 billion in US military aid over a 10 year period.’
    Now ‘why’ is this going on? Just shows their control over America’s leaders. ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem has nothing to do w/ giving them money like this. That’s been warped, just as the Pharisees Jesus confronted back then when they were conning people.
    ‘The deal requires at least $3.8 billion in annual aid, up from $3.1 billion per year under the current pact, which expires in 2018. Israel had originally requested at least $4.5 billion a year. … America’s military assistance to Israel has amounted to $124.3 billion since it began in 1962, according to a recent congressional report.’
    Who knows how much of the missing Trillions from the Pentagon have been shuffled over to, Isis, contractors etc. All going to the wrong people, for the wrong reasons.

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  2. You know, if the secularists out there don’t want to pray, there is a very simple solution. Don’t pray. No one is forcing you with a gun to your head. But the minute you take away my first amendment right of freedom of religion, you are asking for a big ol’ can of whoop-ass to be unleashed on you. If you find it too offensive to thank our Creator for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, whether it’s for a win in football, a meal, or just making it through the day with a smile on your face, you need to seriously examine your life. I’m not a huge evangelist, I leave that to my wife, but I will say, if you can’t find solace in reaching out to the greatest power in the universe, you have much bigger problems than a football coach praying!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is what drives me nuts. The atheists don’t believe in God, yet become incensed, when Christians want to honor Him. My question. If you don’t believe He exists, why get angry at someone, or something that’s not there? Why waste your breath on what many of you say is a myth! Is it hurting you, or could it be, that His name is so powerful, so as to bring you to your knees? What scares you about His name? Has He hurt you in any way? He is love, so, please, try to explain, what drives you insane when you hear His name? Another thing. We Christians will encounter opposition from the those who worship the other side. Other religions, don’t have the awesome power our God has, and that’s why these pundits don’t feel convicted. They go their merry way. I can almost guarantee, that had this been a Muslim prayer, no one would have said a word. Blessings.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You bring up a good point… (bare with me on this) Every adult should be under the realization there is no Santa Clause yet almost everyone has a tree with presents under it and telling their kids some of them are from Santa Clause. Santa poses no threat because they KNOW he isn’t real so they all play along. God, on the other hand, they just are not too sure about. There is something telling them that maybe, just maybe, God does exist. Otherwise God would be just like Santa Clause in their lives and ZERO threat. Well, that’s my take on it anyway. LOL! Blessings!! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • Spot on! No other so called god brings conviction, except the God of the Bible. The Holy Spirit prompts these individuals to believe, but they won’t respond to His prompting. Great analogy on your part. Blessings.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Could it be, when we blow all the smoke away, the light will shine? It is going too far, if the one protesting against the US anthem and pledges are persecuted or unfairly treated. but it comes to a basic rule of law; the first amendment, right to free speech, both individuals have an equal right to use their free speech, regardless of how tasteless it may seem to others around them. The NFL on the other hand to require sportsman like behavior, and that could include showing due respect for the flag, and the nation, and not using his position to show disrespect. A prayer jester is not disrespecting the nation, nor subjection others to participate, like the players following the oppressed multi-million dollar player. guess it goes to moral obligation of respect. you know the one that Obama and the BLM demand from everyone else… to respect them.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Before any conflict were there will be competition or warfare, it is only just, to seek the blessing of the Almighty, and reaffirm the cause and battle, is not vain or superficial.
        The players of any professional sport, represent America to the world, and my feelings are, if the players desire to disrespect our nation or our God, they have no business accepting the big money contracts with all the perks. I don’t know where they belong,m but it is not in professional sports.
        If we take a look at the US Navy sailor who did similar, she is being reprimanded. Possibly broken down two pay grades. What if, Marines, at any public event, refused to salute the flag? What if we decided that we would not go into the jungles on patrol? What if, we refused to help people caught up in war, and failed to try our best to ease their suffering? I simply cannot think of it, not even today. Also, when at any event, a minister gives prayer, I bow my head, I take that prayer into my soul. I don’t run up and say that I was raised a Catholic. In fact, I have spent most of my time in Protestant churches, and, unlike Catholics, I truly read the Holy Bible, NIV and 1873 Authorized KJ Version. If I were to die this instant, I have absolutely no fear of meeting the Lord God Almighty, face to face, to give account of my life. I am Right with the Lord. I will stand tall and proud at attention, eye straight, no fear. How many people can honestly say that? It seems to me that, those who resist showing respect to anything, and refuse to give Thanks, have so much to be thankful for, and, should take a knee, as the prayer and sermons, and specifically what they need in their life. I always say, the more difficult sermons are directed at me so I pay closer attention, as the Lord gave the minister the words for me, to receive and benefit from something within the prayer and sermon. Yes, I do at times get salty, but considering my background and what I direct my language towards, usually something bad, or evil, I draw a line, and I do not stand down. Every kid and young man, would relish a change for big money pro sports contract, but the arrogant ones get the spots, and then spit in everyone’s face. I am boycotting the NFL this year. I played on concrete sidewalks of Brooklyn (NY), and in the streets, and on high school fields. I tried out in open tryouts for the NY Giants (they said they were looking for an ILB with just a little more speed. Today my speed exceeds pro players); and the NY Jets (who wanted taller, though I am 6’0″. Can’t do anything with that). My wife wears my Pro jersey NY Giants and still as good as new. Really good jersey. But if I had gotten a pro spot, like all the NFL back then, no drugs, it was steak and eggs, then go hit the sled or play the game. I would have been the happiest and most grateful and thankful player.
        GOD & COUNTRY. Get back to basics. Get back to SELFLESS hard work. These players today are too prima donna, and really, think about it, they are immature.

        Liked by 5 people

  4. The atheists are straining on a gnat but swallowing a camel. This doesn’t hurt me or any other Believer, only themselves. What gets me is, it’s not that they don’t believe in God, but that they hate Him so very much that they want every symbol (real or manmade) of Him removed from their sight. I really fear for these people’s eternal judgement.

    Liked by 4 people

      • For some Lorra, the scales are still on their eyes. I was thinking of Saul and when the time came: ‘there fell from his eyes as it had been scales:’ Acts 9:18 The lie and beguiling serpent’s spell can be broke by God’s Truth – like Brit stated hearing words from the LORD for him to hear, and understand! When the truth of what Christ Jesus performed for ‘whosoever will believe Him’ then this verse will result:
        Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:105
        There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 16:25
        We can only take one path at a time, choosing the BEST one to travel can be the difference between life and death!

        Liked by 3 people

      • So true Z! I love that you includes Proverbs 16:25. Even as a Christian there will be times we are challenged because sometimes a path seems soooooo right, but it’s not. That’s when Satan rears his ugly head to egg us on, Pom-Poms shaking and cheering us down the wrong path. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit alive in us to set off the alarms and steer us back on the right path. For the one still wearing the scales, that journey surely leads to death. 😦

        Liked by 3 people

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