Watkins defends prayer in the Pentagon because, he says, without strong belief in the Deity people become immoral, hedonistic, and hopeless.
He has never seen anyone at a prayer meeting who was "less than absolutely sincere?" The heart of another is a dark forest, but the admiral is apparently clairvoyant. What would happen to an ambitious military person if he publicly stated that he would not attend a prayer meeting? His name would be mud, as the admiral knows full well.
He tries to promote the common confusion of the Declaration of Independence, a propaganda document, with the Constitution, the basic law of the land. There is no mention of God in the Constitution. The source of the power to ordain and establish it is stated right off: "We the people . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution."
There were no prayer breakfasts before Dwight D. Eisenhower's time. How did our poor country survive a century and a half without these displays of piety?
Our country has no shortage of churches. We are free to go or stay at home. The admiral and his intolerance would have sickened our Founding Fathers--Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Monroe, the Adamses, Madison, and also Lincoln, the "immoral hedonist."
MARION D. BLYTH