Air Force Report: Cadets “Content” with Religious Freedom

The Air Force Times reports that the recent team led by General (ret) Patrick Gamble to assess the religious climate at the Air Force Academy found cadets were actually more fed up with bad press than they were at issue with their religious freedoms:

Air Force Academy cadets are happy overall with their level of religious freedom there but are distressed by the “constant negative press” the academy receives…

The AFTimes cited the MRFF as the source of the report, as it has not been publicly released; however, the AFTimes appears to have come to quite a different conclusion than Michael Weinstein’s crew.  In fact, the short article concluded with this apparent summary:

The team found that cadets, faculty and staff “expressed a near-uniform belief that they can (and do) make their own choices to participate — or not — in religious activities, without repercussion,” according to the report. But it found that cadets feel “that mistaken or uninformed assertions are one-sided and tend to be blown way out of proportion” by the media.

This theme has been present in every similar review since Weinstein’s initial complaint more than 5 years ago.  (At the time, some cadets first heard about the supposed ‘coercive religious environment’ they were in from the media.)  Of course, Weinstein and his MRFF are the source of “mistaken or uninformed assertions” which he then “blows out of proportion.”  Weinstein berated the assessment before it even occurred, and his ally on the USAFA faculty appears to continue the trend.

The following comment was posted below the MRFF’s Chris Rodda’s article on this subject.

Why does the Dean of Faculty at the AF Academy remain?

Dean of Faculty Brigader General Dana Born has commited academic malpractice claiming that it was a scientific study using random sampling. Such a claim in an undergraduate research paper would laughed at and given an “F” at a respectable university. Add this to her long history of religious bigotry, and one should ask why is she Dean of the Air Force Academy?

by David Mullin

More accurately, add this to Mullin’s other repetitive and hateful attacks on his own employer, supervisors, and institution, and one should ask why he is still employed by the Air Force Academy…


  • The report reflects on a conversation General Gamble and his entourage had with the Academy’s Earth-Centered SPIRE group the first night they were at the Academy. To my recollection — as, unlike Dr. Mullin, I was present for the conversation — one of the cadets did mention having an issue with another cadet, but she was able to resolve the issue with the cadet without involving the chain of command. Another cadet remarked that the climate wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good — and certainly a lot better than the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was making it out to be.

  • But if cadets are content with religious freedom, the donations to MRFF (Military Religious Freedom Falsehoods) will dwindle. Mikey needs controversy…if there isn’t a controversy, Mikey will come up with something. His bank account is counting on it!

  • I suspect the money Mikey gets these days comes from folks who were here when things were bad at the Air Force Academy and from folks who’ve never been to the Air Force Academy and are therefore taking Mikey’s word for it. So yes, we’ll continue to see manufactured controversy, despite the very real religious discrimination challenges that are facing people throughout the armed services.

  • @Phoenix…I’ll bite. What “very real religious discrimination challenges”? Not saying it’s not true, but can you provide some examples taking place right now?

  • Please bear in mind, I’m going off memory … and my memory’s not what it used to be. :) But as far as I recall, the cadet in question faced discrimination from her AMT, to the point that he marked her down on her military performance appraisals. I believe she resolved it by going to her AOC, i.e., she used her chain of command and got a favorable resolution.

    There are still bigots out here, and there are going to be some problems in any organization, but it’s easier to get problems like this resolved than it was when the senior leaders actually were part of the problem six years ago.

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