Religion in Society

Mandatory Prayers Aboard USS Abraham Lincoln?

| by American Atheists

By Kathleen Johnson

An active duty member of the Navy, who is currently at sea aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, reported that the only available meal on a particular day during the holiday season contained a program and menu that specifically included a sectarian prayer as part of the meal.

According to our informant, who must remain anonymous in order to safeguard his career, the menu included this prayer: “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Eternal God, this joyful day is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds. May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. May we share in the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity. Bless us and the feast that you have provided for us, let us be thankful for the true gift of Christmas, Your Son. Amen.”

You can see the actual menu here (Word document).

This situation has been verified by several sailors aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, and according to our source, complaints through leadership and equal opportunity channels resulted in no action.

This is just another example of the military’s failure to ensure religious parity. If you were on the USS Abraham Lincoln during the holidays and didn’t want a Christian prayer with your dinner, on this day, you were out of luck.