Judge dismisses Air Force Academy prayer lawsuit

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A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block a prayer luncheon at the Air Force Academy.

U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled Wednesday in Denver. She said associate professor David Mullin and a watchdog group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, didn’t show they had legal standing to bring the suit.

They alleged the event violates the constitutional separation of church and state because it appears to be sponsored by the academy itself and because Mullin and other faculty members believe they’ll face retribution if they don’t attend, even though it is officially voluntary.

Following the judge’s ruling, the academy’s chaplain agreed to make it clear at the start of the luncheon that it’s an event sponsored by the chapel, not the academy as a whole.