A cadet is reportedly quitting West Point over religion less than six months before he is scheduled to graduate, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Blake Page explained that his clinical depression played a role in decision to quit the military academy. He went on to say the unconstitutional focus of religion in the military was also instrumental in his decision to leave West Point behind.
“I’ve been trying since I found that out: What can I do? What can I possibly do to initiate the change that I want to see and so many other people want to see?” the cadet explained to The Associated Press. “I realized that this is one way I can make that change happen.”
Page explained that cadets who don’t put an emphasis on religion were deemed “heathens” by instructors. One individual reportedly told Page that he would never be an officer until he “filled the hole in his heart.” West Point Spokeswoman Theresa Brinkerhoff insists that prayer and religious activities are voluntary.
“I don’t want to be a part of West Point knowing that the leadership here is OK with just shrugging off and shirking off respect and good order and discipline and obeying the law and defending the Constitution and doing their job,” Page explained.
The cadet expressed his concerns about West Point’s stance on religion in a recent article at The Huffington Post. In the piece Page included this excerpt from his resignation letter:
“I do not wish to be in any way associated with an institution which willfully disregards the Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which run counter to the same. Examples of these policies include mandatory prayer, the maintenance of the 3rd Regiment Shield, awarding extra passes to Plebes who take part in religious retreats and chapel choirs, as well as informal policies such as the open disrespect of non-religious new cadets and incentivizing participation in religious activities through the chain of command.”
What do you think about the cadet who quit West Point over religion? Do you think religious practices should be kept out of the military?