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Remove Christian Prayers From School Sponsored Events

This petition had 194 supporters

The video attached to this petition was shot at this year's Corps of Cadets Memorial Retreat during the Parent-Alumni Weekend and demonstrates just one instance of the Corps' violation of the constitutional rights of some of its own members.

The University of North Georgia Corps of Cadets may be nestled in the hills of the Bible Belt but we must remember that the people who make up this great organization come from all different persuasions. Many Corps of Cadets events are started with a prayer specifcally sanctioned by the Corps and each prayer is filled with specifically Christian overtones and ended with the phrase, "In Jesus' name we pray." A large number of these Corps events are required participation for every cadet, meaning that any cadet who isn't Christian is required to stand in formation and listen.

Aside from being offensive to any Corpsmen and women of faiths other than Christianity, this is also offensive to those Corps members without religion of any kind and has been shown by the Supreme Court to be unlawful on many occassions.

  • Engel v. Vitale - 1962
  • Abington School District v. Schempp - 1963
  • Lee v. Weisman - 1992
  • Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe - 2000
    and specifically,
  • Lemon v. Kurtzman 1971

Lemon v. Kurtzman set up what is now known as the Lemon Test for determining whether a prayer at a school sponsored event is constitutional by requiring the prayer meet 3 criteria: 1. Must have a secular purpose, 2. Must neither advance nor inhibit religion and 3. Must not result in excessive entanglement between government and religion.

The prayers included at the beginning of these Corps events violate all three of these criteria by not having any secular purpose, by advancing the Christian religion over all others, and by creating an environment in which the Corps and School (both government entities) are fostering this Christian religion to the detriment of any other religions which may be available.

Our proposed solution to this issue is to replace these prayers with a brief moment of silence for all Corps members and the attending families. This moment of silence, upheld in Supreme Court case Wallace v. Jaffree (1984), could be used by any person of any religion to pray to whomever they wish without forcing their religion on others around them or could be used by those without religion to simply contemplate and remember their fallen allies.

We are currently organizing a sit down conversation with Corps of Cadets leader, Colonel Palmer, but we need your help. By signing this petition, you are showing him and the University that the Constitutional rights of Corps members of dissenting faiths are more important than having a prayer at the beginning of their events.

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David Gormley needs your help with “UNG Corps of Cadets Leaders: Remove Christian Prayers From School Sponsored Events”. Join David and 193 supporters today.