USAFA Relationship with Atheists “Bears Fruit”
Despite Michael Weinstein’s continuous ridicule of the US Air Force Academy, Jason Torpy and his Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers paint quite a different picture — and Torpy looks like a calm foil to Weinstein’s blustering grandstanding:
Continuing what is now nearly a year of collaboration, the Air Force Academy has made significant changes to training as a result of reviews by the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers…
This effort continues previous successes between MAAF and the Academy…Continuing a trend of over a year, MAAF collaborative efforts have led to tangible action – humanist alternatives for trainees, meaningful changes in policy, effective diversity training, and continuing collaboration with nontheist leaders.
Torpy’s characterization is in stark contrast to Weinstein’s unceasing criticisms and accusations of Constitutional violations, criminal acts, and general lawlessness at a government institution run amok. There is one important distinction, however. Torpy claims primarily to be after equality for humanists and atheists, with a large focus on the military chaplaincy. Weinstein, by contrast, continues to claim Christians are trying to take over USAFA (and the world). Side by side, Torpy highlights Weinstein for the fringe conspiracy theorist he is.
As for the substantive content of Torpy’s remarks, it is difficult to assess as he describes only the “changes” he suggested and does not provide the complete material or the necessary context. Much of it seems semantic and remains open to interpretation.
It is true Weinstein and Torpy have occasionally co-signed letters in their shared activism. (Chris Rodda enacted quick damage control the last time Torpy and Weinstein were out of step with each other.) It is also true Torpy hasn’t always been on the side of mutual respect and religious freedom in the military. Still, Torpy risks positioning himself as a legitimate voice with reference to religion and USAFA, as Weinstein fades into irrelevancy.