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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, three times a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Jun 4, 2018

FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) sent a letter to commanders of the air national guard base in Pease, New Hampshire to demand an end to prayer at official events. Learn more about the letter and how we responded at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


Military chaplains have been leading prayer at military events for as long as this country has had a military.  But one group wants the military to silence the prayers of chaplains.

In February of 2017, a group sent a letter to commanders of the air national guard base in Pease, New Hampshire.  The letter, signed by an attorney, had the look and feel of a legal demand letter.  But, while it tossed around legal lingo and cited to a case or two, it stopped short of actually threatening a lawsuit.  Nonetheless, their message was clear: prayer at official events violates the constitution, is “beyond the scope of a government entity,” and is “unnecessary and divisive,” it said.

Our friends at the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, a group of endorsers that speaks for about half of our armed forces chaplains, asked us to respond. Mike Berry, one of our attorneys and a former Marine JAG officer, calmly explained that the Constitution, federal law, military regulations, and court precedent make it clear that not only maychaplains pray at official events, chaplains are protectedwhen they do. The Air National Guard says the invocations will now continue.

You should visit FirstLiberty.org and read the rest of First Liberty’s letter. Military chaplains play an essential role and should never be censored or prohibited from providing invocations at official military events.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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