Military Religion Question of the Day: Email
This week’s question is a summary of a frequent critique that takes many forms. In varying degrees, the US military has been accused of illegal activity for allowing personnel to use their official government email system for the distribution of email with religious content.
To narrow the controversy, one specific example occurred at Creech Air Force Base, as noted by Jason Leopold, a journalist with a colored history who often advocates for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. In the incident, as described by Leopold, the base Chaplain asked the command staff to forward an email advertising a Bible study on leadership.
[O]fficers at Creech Air Force base in Nevada circulated an e-mail at the request of the senior base chaplain to all personnel…inviting them to attend a Bible study class [on] “Moses the Leader: How would you like to lead 1,000,000 whiners?”
[T]he flyer…was widely distributed to Creech Air Force base’s e-mail list, which is prohibited by long-standing military regulations.
[N]umerous recipients of the e-mail…complained…that religious announcements were not supposed to be circulated using e-mail accounts maintained by the federal government.
“This e-mail distribution has violated the separation of church and state…and [the Constitutional prohibition of a] “religious test”, Weinstein wrote…“It also specifically violates well established” military regulations.
What do you think? Did the distribution of the Bible study announcement violate military regulations? If so, which ones? Did it violate any other policies or standards, including the separation of church and state or the Constitution?
Stay tuned for an update.
Update: Read the answer to this Military Religious Question.