Atheist Soldier Sues Over Mandatory Prayer

The U.S. Army has been subjecting soldiers to fundamentalist Christian prayer ceremonies against their will during mandatory military events in violation of their basic constitutional rights, according to a new lawsuit filed against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates by a U.S. Army soldier.

On at least three occasions beginning in December 2007, Army Spc. Dustin Chalker claims he was directed to attend military events, one of which was a barbecue, where an Army battalion chaplain led a Christian prayer ceremony for military personnel. Chalker, who said he is an atheist, asked his superiors for permission to leave the prayer sessions and on each occasion his request to be excused was denied, according to the article

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