The following email recently took a turn around the “religious complaint” circuit:
From: [ ] LtCol USAF AETC 58 OG/CD
To: 58 SOW All Personnel
Subject: 58 SOW Bible Study: Every Wed, 1200-1300 in the TRS Auditorium
You are invited to a weekly 58 SOW Bible Study on Wednesdays, from 1200-1300, in the 58 TRS Auditorium-a Chaplain-sponsored event. If you are interested, read below for more details:
We will be beginning a study on the book of Romans, starting with Chapter 1 this Wed (6 April), and would love for you to join us.
Romans is a powerful book that lays out the foundational truths of Christianity and the riches of our personal relationship with God, once we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is the most complete treatise on the Christian faith in the entire New Testament. The book of Romans also has a central part in the history of western civilization. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the foundational truths of this book had a powerful impact on the Roman Empire and God continued to work through his Church and the Bible to shape the rest of western civilization, including our own great nation. Come join us for an amazing journey through God’s Word.
Hope to see you there!
[ ] Lt Col, USAF
Deputy Commander, 58 Operations Group
Naturally, this was publicized by Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
So, a simple question: Can a military officer advertise a Bible study?
More to follow.
See prior discussions on Chaplains expressing religious speech (in two separate cases), the propriety of Chaplains’ sermons, espousing religious beliefs, standing near religious symbols while in uniform, appearing on a religious program in uniform, and the use of “official email” to announce religious events.