Air Force Caves to Atheists, Creates Hostile Religious Environment
From Fox News:
From the American Family Association:
“The Air Force and its Secretary, Michael B. Donley, have created the most hostile “anti-religious” environment in the history of the United States military.”
The Air Force’s decision to remove the Bible from the standard checklist for its military lodging facilities continues to get press (much to the chagrin of Michael Weinstein, who wasn’t involved in this story but has been trying to sensationalize another one).
A group of chaplains and chaplain endorsers, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, has expressed its “concern,” saying that the decision has already been misinterpreted to a negative end:
“The people on the ground, like at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, were interpreting this new policy as Take the Bibles out of the rooms. If they’re not on the checklist, that means they’re not supposed to be there,” [Chaplain Ron] Crews reports. “So, we’re still trying to get clarity from the Air Force as to what exactly they mean by this action.”
Other than a local paper’s story, there isn’t a citation to support the characterization of the lodging facility at Warner-Robins. Still, the outcome is not unforeseeable, as previously noted. It is entirely consistent with the culture of operations in the Air Force. (Worse, at least one atheist supporter indicated she made a point of tossing hotel Bibles in the trash. In Air Force lodging, those Bibles would now not be replaced, even if they weren’t “officially removed.”)
Chaplain Crews also highlighted that taken in context, this decision represents a data point on a continuing trend of the Air Force “bowing” to pressure to create a “religion free zone.”
“We are concerned that it appears this is just one more incident where the Department of Defense is caving in to remove any semblance of spiritual support for our soldiers, airmen, [and] sailors in the military,” the Chaplain Alliance spokesman notes.
This is the same thing former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt noted on FoxNews in the video above.
Congressmen have previously taken Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz to task, with US Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va) saying General Schwartz is “as bad as I’ve seen…in defending religious liberty.” The American Family Association went a step higher, laying it at the feet of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley:
Under Donley, Air Force leaders have repeatedly caved to the demands of a small band of rebels who call themselves the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers (MAAF).
When MAAF speaks, the Air Force can’t rid itself of anything religious fast enough…
The Air Force has caved to every whim of anti-Christian zealots and Secretary Donley is content to allow every vestige of religious faith to be silenced.
(The “small band” is actually just atheist and former US Army Captain Jason Torpy.) In its trend, the AFA notes the prior story of “God’s work” at the RCO, USAFA’s participation in Operation Christmas Child, and an ethics class in an ICBM course — all of which the Air Force rapidly reacted to in deference to the critics. They left out the attack on Travis AFB’s Nativity and Menorah last December, where the Air Force let the Christian, Jewish, and secular displays stand but allowed the addition of one mocking religion.
CARL is the same group that called on Congress to investigate the unusually free access to Air Force leadership given to critic Michael Weinstein — which appears to have included the Air Force’s top lawyer.
The US military generally does an admirable job of defending the religious liberties of it troops. These organizations note, however, that the appearance of rapidly “caving” with such ease to critics, without regard to the virtue of the subject policies, may create the perception of an environment hostile to religion — which is just as contrary to religious liberty.
Also at Fox News and Commentary.