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ACLU Objects to Praying Marines Hoax

Summary:
Email forward claims that the ACLU objected to a group of US Marines bowing their heads in prayer during a military ceremony (Full commentary below.).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, May 2006)
What's wrong with this picture?

Praying Marines

If you look closely at the picture above, you will note that all the Marines pictured are bowing their heads. That's because they're praying.

This incident took place at a recent ceremony honoring the birthday of the corps, and it has the ACLU up in arms. "These are federal employees," says Lucius Traveler, a spokesman for the ACLU, "on federal property and on federal time. For them to pray is clearly an establishment of religion, and we must nip this in the bud immediately."

When asked about the ACLU's charges, Colonel Jack Fessender, speaking for the Commandant of the Corps said (cleaned up a bit), "Screw the ACLU." GOD Bless Our Warriors, Send the ACLU to France.

Please send t his to people you know so everyone will know how stupid the ACLU is Getting in trying to remove GOD from everything and every place in America. May God Bless America, One Nation Under GOD!

What's wrong with the picture? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

GOD BLESS YOU FOR PASSING IT ON!




Commentary:
This email forward claims that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) objected to a group of Marines bowing their heads in prayer at a recent ceremony. Versions of the message have been circulating for several years. The email includes a photograph of Marines praying and asks concerned recipients to pass on the message in order to raise awareness of the actions of the ACLU.

However, research reveals that the ACLU did not make the comments attributed to it in the message and has no spokesperson named "Lucius Traveler".

An FAQ on the ACLU website states:
The ACLU has no knowledge about the photograph of Marines praying that has circulated on the Internet. The ACLU has also never had a spokesperson -- quoted by news organizations as "Lucius Traveler" -- by this name.
Also, searches of the US Marine Corp website and a number of other sources reveal that there is no credible references to a "Colonel Jack Fessender" as being a spokesperson for the Commandant of the Corps.

Thus, the claims in the email are unfounded, and it should not be forwarded. Certainly, the ACLU may have policies about the observance of religion with which many people disagree. However, even if you strongly object to the policies of the ACLU, forwarding this sort of breathless nonsense about the organization will do nothing to further your cause.

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References:
ACLU FAQ
US Marine Corp
American Civil Liberties Union : Religious Liberty

Last updated: 23rd November 2009
First published: May 2006

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen