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Religion | IN BRIEF / CHARLESTON, S.C.

Citadel Trades Prayer for Moment of Silence

August 23, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

The Citadel military college has started having a moment of silence instead of spoken prayers before meals in response to a recent appellate court decision.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused this month to reconsider an April decision by a three-judge panel that declared dinnertime prayers at the Virginia Military Institute to be unconstitutional.

As a result, Maj. Gen. John Grinalds, president of the Citadel, announced that his college will observe a moment of silence before meals in the mess hall.

"This moment of silence will allow you to express your individual beliefs in your own way," Grinalds told a gathering of cadet leaders two days after the decision. "While the 4th Circuit Court ruling will create some changes here, the college will abide by the law."

The school said that cadets can meditate, pray or simply be quiet during the moment of silence.

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