Rep Forbes: Schwartz is “Bad” at “Defending Religious Liberty”
US Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va) appears to be holding Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Norton Schwartz personally responsible for “bowing too far to appease” critics of religious freedom within the US Air Force:
Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said the logo change is the latest in an Air Force pattern that is having a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of airmen. Forbes said he partly blames Schwartz, who he said “has been as bad as I have seen…in defending religious liberties.”
That change comes after a year in which Air Force officials pulled an ethics briefing for nuclear officers because of its Christian themes and the Air Force Academy apologized to cadets for sending out through improper channels an announcement encouraging the support of a Christian-affiliated toy drive. Air Force leaders also were warned by Schwartz in a Sept. 1 memo against proselytizing and showing favoritism toward any particular faith.
Rep Forbes said the Air Force was the “least protective” of religious freedom, and then went even further in his accusations against General Schwartz:
“This chief of staff doesn’t have balance. He doesn’t call other individuals that might have an alternative view,” he said. “This is more than a word on a patch, this is the Air Force chief of staff saying legally in the Air Force you can’t have the word ‘God’ because somehow it is a violation of the law.”