Monday, June 25, 2012

Air Force called out for 'denigrating' religious liberty (

Air Force called out for 'denigrating' religious liberty (

Air Force called out for 'denigrating' religious liberty
U.S. Air ForceA coalition of military chaplain endorsers is commending 66 members of Congress for sending a letter to the Defense Department outlining the Air Force leadership's pattern of attacks on faith.

The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty is pleased that the 66 lawmakers sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with a long list of actions by Air Force leaders that they believe are "hostile to religion." The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Randy Forbes (R-Virginia), Todd Akin (R-Missouri) and Diane Black (R-Tennessee). They are concerned that the Air Force has repeatedly succumbed to the demands of organizations that seek to remove all references to God and faith from the military.

Specifically, the letter blasts the Air Force for removing religious references in missile training, removing Bibles from Air Force Inn checklists, and barring commanders from telling airmen about chaplain Corps programs. The letter states:
"When our sons and daughters join the military, they are not signing away their First Amendment right to religious liberty. Unfortunately, it seems that some parts of the military are intent on prohibiting religious expressions rather than protecting it."
Brig. Gen. Douglas Lee (retired Army chaplain)Brig. Gen. Douglas Lee (USA-Ret.), a former Army chaplain and a founding member of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, says, "The Air Force over the last several years seems to be running scared as potential threats have come their way that have actually restricted mostly Christians from being able to carry out their activities in the Air Force."

He is concerned that the Air Force always seems ready to cave in to the demands of anti-Christian activist Mikey Weinstein.

"I think he has way more influence in the Air Force than is necessary," Lee decides. "Certainly when he has threatened suit, the Air Force seems to have jumped very quickly. His organization claims to be concerned about religious liberty, but I personally interpret their actions as trying to denigrate religious liberty rather than celebrate it. So, yes -- he's very much involved."

The former Army chaplain concludes that creating an atmosphere in which one is not allowed to have a Bible on his or her desk or to invite someone to a home Bible study is not the environment America's Founding Fathers envisioned for the military.

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