Skip to comments.Loosening Religious Grip at Air Force Academy
Posted on 04/24/2005 2:29:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
.............Cadets and employees are being told they can't proselytize on campus, use government e-mail to send religious messages, put up posters with religious themes or use positions of authority to endorse a particular faith. They must also attend one RSVP class.
About 90% of cadets here are Christian and many of them, as well as teachers and high-ranking officers, are evangelical.
Academy Commandant Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida is a self-described born-again Christian. Last year, football coach Fisher DeBerry hung a banner in the athletic complex that said, "I am a Christian first and last I am a member of Team Jesus Christ." He later removed it and underwent sensitivity counseling.
When the film, "The Passion of the Christ" came out, some cadets hung posters and sent hundreds of e-mails on campus computers urging people to see it.
Lt. Col. Edie Disler, an English professor who helps run RSVP programs, said some Christians questioned the value of the classes. "They have said: We are in the majority, why do we have to do this?" ......
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Thank you for your reply. My point is that the complaints within the U.S. Air Force Academy aren't coming from atheists--because there are very few atheists there--but from people with different traditions and approaches to evangelizing. Some cadets are trying to share their faith with other people in a way that has gotten somewhat too aggressive and disrespectful of other people's traditions, and with the support of certain members of the faculty.
It's not just people wanting to share their faith in Christ--that's understandable. It's repeatedly approaching Catholics and Jews who don't want to talk about the issue and then getting angry when they aren't won over. I know that few people intend to be disrespectful, but that 18 and 19 year olds can get excited about stuff that is really important to them and not recognize when they are crossing a certain line. The Air Force Academy is the first place that many of them have been in a huge environment that is strongly supportive of evangelical and pentacostal churches, often because officers are personally involved in the churches and because they'rein Colorado Springs, so they may feel like it's a sanctioned approach. That's what this issue is all about. It's not about atheists taking over the USAFA, and it's not about taking away people's freedom of religion, it's about Air Force Cadets not feeling like they have to convert to certain evangelical sects to be considered a full and respected member of the community, and for officers to treat all cadets with equal respect even if they are of different faiths.
If they can't take being witnessed to then they are too soft to be a combatant in the US Military.
If they can't take not witnessing to everyone they are too soft to be a combatant in the US Military.
By the way, single-liners aside, do you think it's a good policy when officers at the Air Force Academy favor cadets who belong to their particular church and see to their advancement? Do you think that Catholics should have to listen to an officer in their class tell them that the Pope is probably an agent of the anti-Christ--and what conclusion should they draw if their officer nods in agreement when one of their fellow classmates tries to share the good news with them about the wickedness of the Marian cult?
Does this sound like any way to build a military for the United States? Or is only ok because you feel like you'd never personally be mistreated by the government for your Catholic or Jewish or Episcopalian faith?
Does this rule also apply to chaplains?
Does the rule even define what proselytizing is? It was never well-defined to begin with, and it has come to mean saying anything connected with religion
I'd bet that such action is already prohibited by military law, just as if one were to show any other kind of favoritism. And there's always that "conduct unbecoming of an officer" catch-all to snare the higher-ups.
It probably is. The issue here is that such laws haven't been enforced recently.
Thanks for your service to our country!!!!!!!
Are you still at Pensacola? One of our boys is an officer there and my Husband flew excort for Gary Powers and the U2.
At their (our) peril, U.S. Armed Forces without Christian Patriots ceases to exist as a viable fighting force -- despite what idiots like Jesse Ventura have to say about it.
I think you overstate your case. In my years of teaching at the Academy, I never found officer instructors transgressing in the ways you allege. This is not to say that I know that it has never occured--I have not sat in every class since the founding of the Academy--but I can say with confidence that it would be very rare. Perhaps you have some firsthand knowledge. Overall, classroom teaching is at a high professional level dealing with professional subjects. Religous involvment of officers with cadets occurs in venues designed for that, such as the chapel program, off-base church attendance, private homes, etc.
Your school of hypothetical red herrings have nothing to do with what is stated in the article. Maybe you can point out to me where in the article somethign like this occured? Just because pone unknown kid CLAIMS he was called a derogatory name by one unkown person for unstated reasons is no reason to bring in the federal courts and claim there is a "systemic problem". Aggressive secularists, working through the courts, are the real systemic problem.
The Christians on that campus have just as much right to speak their beliefs as the athiests on that campus do. This is an effort to shut them up. If some cadets don't like being told they will go to hell if they don't repent then they do not have the pschological strength required for the job, IMO.
What the cadets say and learn about in their own chapel services is their business, and it should not have to be approved by atheists. We are utterly disgusted with nonbelievers playing victim to shut us up.
To state the obvious, a new regulation won't help if the ones on the books are being ignored.
Probably mostly by the members of the largest demonination in the US.
The best advice you can receive on this matter is to go worship in a church that isn't paid for by the U.S. Government, because, as you undoubtedly must know, what the government pays for, the government gets to regulate.
As for witnessing, that too should be taken off campus. I used to be a cadet at a military college in the Southeast back in the 1980s, and I was never, not once, accosted by anyone trying to convert me (I'm Episcopalian, for the record). If I had been accosted by another cadet on campus in such a manner, I would have filed a complaint with the commandant's office.
Actually, I'm beginning to wonder if this forum isn't becoming more and more of that nations largest religion.
Now you are making stuff up and attributing it to me. I never said I believed the complantants were lying, just that the complaints are trivial crap that they ought to be able to deal with by telling the prostelizer to bump a stump. See that way both sides get to exercise their freedom of religion and their freedom of speech. The way you want to do it is that the Christians have to shut up because some other "person of faith" might get offended. You don't have a constitutional right to not be offended!
You said "
Again, you think that officers of the U.S. Air Force should be telling non-Protestant cadets they're going to Hell if they don't worship God the way they do? Forget whether or not you agree with them--is that consistent with how the U.S. military operates?
I say: Yes, ever since George Washington and a long line of overtly Christian practices ever since. We stopped after WWII and that is when we started losing. Remember Patton's prayer to change the weather so he could stop the Nazis in the Battle of the Bulge? It was distributed to the troops so they could all pray the same prayer.
I don't know if you realize it, but in Gulf War I there was a genuine revival among the troops. Our faith in God, the God of the Bible not some pagan block of stone, has served our military well, but that is not why it should be ok, it should be ok because it is the truth and because every American should have the right to give their opionion without the government jumping in and shutting them up. It is NOT the official postion of the Academy that non-protestants will go to Hell, it is the position of individuals within the Academy. It is thus not a state supported establishment of religion and the PC crowd should take a hike.
As for you deriding my claim that this is about athiests wanting to control what protestants say at their own chapel services- you should read the article again. The writer clearly uses quotes from chappel as an attempt to offend PC sensibilities.
You can go round and round with me on this but you are wrong on the facts, wrong on the History, and wrong on the Constitution. Also, we have long been silenced by this same kind of jive. No more.