The Air Force Times notes the US Air Force has yet to replace the introductory ethics course taught to ICBM officers that was pulled late last summer. The Air Force withdrew the course “for review” after the MRFF complained about content mentioning Christian beliefs. The Air Force had previously stated it could reinstate the course, replace it, or simply delete it.
On a related point, there has been no public release to Senator Cornyn’s request for the Air Force to explain its actions, either.
As noted previously, the MRFF’s Chris Rodda took issue with the Senator’s words defending the Constitution.
As predicted, it wasn’t long before Chris Rodda came out in defense of Michael Weinstein’s “big victory” for his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation that Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) recently seemed to undermine. From the Huffington Post:
This summer, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) scored a big victory…
Senator John Cornyn…doesn’t like the Air Force’s decision…
Rodda’s article is essentially a rehash of the prior writeups, with the addition of Cornyn’s letter. One “new” piece of information is Rodda’s claim that Read more
A few other media sources are catching up to Senator John Cornyn’s (R-TX) letter to the Secretary of the Air Force released on Monday.
Suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misinterprets the First Amendment. [The Constitution] does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references.
(Some continue to use the word “misrepresents,” though the published letter says “misinterprets.”)
Michael Weinstein’s MRFF — which claims a Constitutional Read more
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has expressed “concern” over the Air Force’s response to complaints over religious content in an ICBM training course.
Suspending a course like this because of references to religious texts misinterprets the First Amendment. Although our Founding Fathers rightly included language in the Constitution that precludes the Federal government from establishing an official religion, this language does not, as some have argued, protect them from exposure to religious references… Read more
According to the Air Force Times, the Air Force is reviewing “all” materials it uses to teaches “ethics, core values, and character development.” The reason?
More Christian-themed course work surfaced.
The gross misrepresentation of the Chaplain briefing at Vandenberg, promoted by Michael Weinstein and his “religious freedom” allies, has already been discussed. The latest issue is a “complaint” about ethics training in ROTC.
The ROTC briefing, called “Core Values and the Air Force Member,” contains references to the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments as examples of ethical values. Two additional slides list the New Testament teachings of Jesus known as the Beatitudes, and seven of the commandments, including “Have no other gods before me.”
The 22-slide briefing also cites the Golden Rule as an example of ethical values. One of the slides points out that the Golden Rule — “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — is found in five of the world’s major religions.
Shocking, isn’t it? A slideshow on ethics gives Christian Read more
The coincident timing of the recent US Air Force ICBM training “scandal” with the upcoming anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Japan has lent additional wind to the sails of this manufactured controversy.
Rev. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, writing at the Washington Post column “On Faith,” demonstrates how the “Air Force nuclear training” addressed over the past week has been woefully (or willfully) misconstrued.
Wigg-Stevenson says Read more
In what may be one of the more unbiased presentations of the “media controversy” thus far, the Christian Post presents a somewhat fuller picture of the nuclear missile officer course that floated to the surface a few days ago. They are the first large media organization to highlight the fact the brief wasn’t exclusively Christian:
The section also cited biblical figures including Abraham, Samson and David as religious figures that fought wars in a righteous manner. Additionally, a picture of a menorah was featured on a slide highlighting the Maccabees’ revolt against their oppressors.
In fact, they are also the first to consciously highlight that the brief wasn’t even exclusively religious: Read more
A variety of news sources are now reporting the US Air Force ended a training class after an internet article belittled its religious content. Contrary to some assertions, this is actually not a big deal.
This much has been accurately reported: The Air Force training slides had Bible verses, and the course was led by a Chaplain. There was a public article. The Air Force pulled the course to “review it.”
Beyond that, much of the other reporting has been misrepresented or inaccurate.
The Washington Post said
The Air Force has suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery to teach them about the ethics of war.
Unfortunately, that’s essentially a misrepresentation, likely because the conclusion was drawn solely from a copy of the slides used in the brief — sans notes or context. The course did not use Biblical citations to teach ethics. The ~40-slide PowerPoint presentation was an ethical discussion on the conduct of war, with emphasis on the application of nuclear weapons. (The title of the first seven slides is “Ethics;” the second section is “Nuclear Ethics and Nuclear Warfare.”)
The course’s focus was to address common Read more