General Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, has apparently issued a memorandum to his commanders entitled “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion.” It makes what is probably the most significant official change to the religious environment in the Air Force in some years (reference the “Religious Guidelines” of 2006).
First, it notes that “leaders at all levels”
must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion.
which is substantially similar to previous military positions. Of course, the complexity of the environment prevents a detailed explanation as to what constitutes “apparent use” or what may be “apparent…preferential treatment” vice the expected (and required) accommodation of religion. This has long been an understandable challenge with regard to religion and the government, not just the military.
The memorandum then raises new content: Read more