Several prayer videos recorded by two United States Army chaplains were removed from Facebook recently after a watchdog group complained about them.
“The videos – made by Captain Amy Smith and Major Scott Ingram – were targeted by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which complained the videos were ‘illicit proselytizing’ of Christianity,” according to WWNYTV.
MRFF Founder and President Mikey Weinstein then sent a demand letter to the commander at Fort Drum claiming the videos violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, the Christian Post noted.
The videos should have been shared on the Fort Drum Chapel page, not the brigade’s main page, the foundation argued.
“The alleged violations include Smith discussing the Fort Drum Spiritual Fitness Trail in a video that was posted April 17, saying, ‘You are invited to pray, to pray for the family, to pray for the sick, and to pray for our leaders,'” Fox News stated.
In a second video, she encouraged viewers to visit the Fort Drum Labyrinth and said it was a good place to hear God speak.
The report continued:
Addressing the coronavirus pandemic on April 2, Ingram said, “God encourages us not to be dismayed by what we see around us, things we cannot control. We can, however, with the best intel in this moment, place our trust in him, walk forward in his strength, and treat others with kindness.”
Monday on Twitter, Weinstein called the videos’ removal a “victory” for the foundation:
— Mikey Weinstein (@MikeyWeinstein) April 21, 2020
Later, First Liberty Institute lawyer Mike Berry questioned Weinstein’s actions amid the ongoing health crisis.
“At a time when our nation is hurting and many feel hopeless, why on earth would Mikey Weinstein attack prayer? America has the strongest military in history, but our brave service members are not immune to the havoc COVID-19 has wreaked,” Berry said.
“I cannot believe the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division raised the white flag of surrender to an anti-religious freedom zealot. Every president, from Washington to Trump, has publicly prayed for our military,” he commented, adding, “If the commander in chief can pray, then our soldiers can, too.”