As predictable as the sun rising in the East, the US Air Force Academy sent out an announcement that had a topic related to religion, and Michael Weinstein complained.
In fact, he’s “livid.”
The situation: Apparently, Air Force Academy Chaplain (Col) Robert Bruno distributed a mass email about an upcoming ‘marriage and family seminar.’ The email was approved by the Vice Superintendent, and represented the “regularly” advertised chaplaincy programs occurring daily at USAFA. Michael Weinstein said:
It could not possibly be clearer that the academy deserves its terrible reputation for fundamentalist Christian bias.
To be clear, even the publicized article notes the USAFA email explicitly followed (and even referenced) the Air Force Chief of Staff’s Read more
The Commandant of Cadets at the US Air Force Academy, BrigGen Richard Clark, reportedly distributed a memorandum to all USAFA cadets on Wednesday. He included the memorandum from the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Norton Schwartz, as an attachment.
As predicted, Michael Weinstein claimed victory.
Of course, Weinstein is claiming “victory” about something over which he had neither control nor influence. In fact, his demands were completely ignored. To wit, Weinstein said:
MRFF has twice demanded that Gould so [sic] distribute this directive…to all Academy personnel, staff, cadets and government contractors…
For the record, an assessment: Read more
Though it seems they’re most often the object of Michael Weinstein’s criticism, cadets who organize into faith groups recently made the news for the positive event of coming together to support a local food bank.
Council members and chaplains spent two hours at Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado packing and palletizing boxes for distribution to families in need of assistance.
Chaplain (Capt) Shawn Menchion received permission from Read more
Religious freedom is uniquely valued and protected by the US military. The US Air Force Academy has done a generally admirable, if sometimes imperfect, job of defending religious freedom from those who would demand the government restrict it, like perennial USAFA critic Michael Weinstein. Though there’s been a quiet interlude with regard to Weinstein and the Academy for a little while, Weinstein has indicated he isn’t done with USAFA yet.
But it looks like USAFA is done with him.
Michael Weinstein apparently filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Air Force Academy in November of last year, which was finally completed in July of this year. He then provided the information to his apparent ally-reporter at the Colorado Springs Independent, Pam Zubeck, who started her article in the CSIndy this way:
Leaders at the Air Force Academy seem to think that dealing with some complaints about religious bias isn’t worth their time.
That’s the most obvious takeaway from several of the 2,516 pages of documents, mostly e-mails, the academy recently turned over to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation…
The first sentence out of the chute is a mischaracterization of USAFA’s Read more
Christian fighter pilot (more accurately, Christian attack pilot) Chad Hennings recently had the opportunity to address cadets at the US Air Force Academy during its annual National Character and Leadership Symposium.
Hennings, a former A-10 pilot and member of the SuperBowl winning Dallas Cowboys, was a member of the Sports Panel:
Filled with all the excitement of an NFL championship game, three-time Super Bowl champion Hennings combines hard-hitting sports action with moral truths to convey powerful, behind-the-scenes insights on what it takes to become a winner.
Others addressing the NCLS included Read more
Michael Weinstein, ever the critic, apparently doesn’t take kindly to criticism himself.
The Colorado Springs Independent reports Weinstein’s lawyers sent a “warning” to the publisher of the Colorado Springs Gazette over its recent editorial criticizing Weinstein’s attack on the US Air Force Academy’s prayer luncheon.
[Gazette Editor Wayne] Laugesen’s editorial scolded Weinstein for attempting to infringe on free-speech rights, and said Weinstein opposed McClary’s appearance “because he is Christian.”
“That is false, and I have no doubt Mr. Laugesen and the Gazette know it full well,” Dallas attorney Randal Mathis writes…, adding that “publishing the statement is obviously calculated to offend, scare, and potentially mislead to the point of inciting unstable people.” Mathis makes Read more
And, no, this isn’t about Michael Weinstein.
Ralph Palmer, USAFA Class of 1967, has been campaigning for a few years to get the US Constitution put back into the pocket-sized cadet “Contrails,” which the Colorado Springs Gazette says is “better known as the ‘Cadet Bible.'” The small tome is a collection of history, facts, and miscellaneous details that fourthclass (first year) cadets are often required to memorize.
It is not unusual to see pictures of cadets braced at attention with the small book gripped firmly a few inches in front of their face. They’re supposed to be reading it and learning.
Apparently, the US Constitution — which had been routinely included in Contrails for decades — was removed, though supposedly it wasn’t done for malicious reasons:
“Sometimes it has to do with space, flat out,” said Air Force Academy spokesman Master Sgt. Chris Dewitt. “Everyone has things they want in ‘Contrails’ and it has the potential to grow to the size of ‘War and Peace’.”
Like the other USAFA grad often in the news, Palmer is a former lawyer, but Read more
According to an Air Force Academy press release, General Michael Gould, USAFA Superintendent, had this to say about the upcoming National Prayer Luncheon:
[Gould] took on what he called “the big elephant” surrounding the Air Force Academy in the media in recent weeks: the National Prayer Luncheon, scheduled to be held at the Falcon Club Feb. 10. The event will feature retired Marine Lt. Clebe McClary as keynote speaker in addition to readings from followers of Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, Catholic and Islamic faiths.
“Let me just set something straight: this is Read more