The Times
  • Religious critic positive after West Point meeting

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  • WEST POINT — An advocate who has accused West Point of improperly promoting religion said Thursday he is greatly encouraged after meeting with the academy’s new superintendent.
    Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he met Monday with Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr., who took command at the U.S. Military Academy last month. Weinstein said Caslen and other academy officials seemed receptive to his points, including the argument that cadets should not be asked in class about their religious inclinations.
    Weinstein released a post-meeting letter from Caslen calling it “productive.”
    “I view this as an extremely positive step,” Weinstein said.
    A West Point spokeswoman confirmed that there was a meeting at the academy, but had no further information.
    Weinstein’s group has accused the military in general and West Point in particular of not respecting the wall between church and state. Last year, the group demanded that West Point withdraw an online survey of cadets that asked about religion, claiming it violated their constitutional protections.
    And the foundation raised concerns years ago about the ties Caslen and other officers had to the evangelical group Christian Embassy. The Defense Department’s Inspector General recommended in 2007 that Caslen be disciplined for wearing his uniform in a video for the group. Caslen and another officer received “written memoranda of concern” from the Army.
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