The editorial page of the Colorado Springs Gazette, local to the US Air Force Academy, came down with both feet on Michael Weinstein’s MRFF, clearly saying Weinstein’s group “opposes the free exercise of religion in government.” The article, entitled “Anti-religion suit is based on a myth,” was written by editor Wayne Laugesen in response to Weinstein’s lawsuit precipitated by the invitation USMC Lt (Ret) Clebe McClary to the Academy National Prayer Luncheon. Laugesen said
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that opposes the free exercise of religion in government, is suing U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould in an effort to forcefully censor an evangelical Christian from speaking at the National Prayer Luncheon — a private event scheduled for Feb. 10 at the academy. (emphasis added)
The paper also jabbed at Weinstein’s lawyer and Weinstein’s own demonstrated record in the American judicial system: Read more
Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has reportedly sued the US Air Force Academy over its decision to invite a Christian to a Prayer Luncheon. In an increasingly common scene, even the Air Force Times was able to accurately summarize the self-contradictory nature of the “religious freedom” group’s actions:
Five Air Force Academy instructors and an advocacy group are suing to stop the school from holding a religious event. (emphasis added)
One Academy faculty member, David Mullin of the Economics Department, is listed by name; four others are listed as “John Doe.” Counsel appears to be David Lane, of Killmer, Lane & Newman in Denver. Lane appears to have previously represented Ward Churchill, the “Balloon Boy” parents, and a student suing her school over a canceled William Ayers speech.
Contrary to his prior demands, the complaint indicates Weinstein no longer simply wants US Marine Corps (Ret) Lt Clebe McClary disinvited. He wants the entire event canceled.
It is contended in this law suit [sic] that for the command structure of the AFA to undertake a purely religious activity such as this is a violation Read more
Michael Weinstein has faced an onslaught of criticism in the past few days over his demand that the US Air Force Academy rescind Lt Clebe McClary’s invitation to the 10th Air Base Wing’s National Prayer Luncheon. Several organizations, and even some of his own supporters, are seeing the hypocrisy and extremism in his call for LtGen Gould’s ouster over the religious beliefs of an invited speaker.
Apparently seeing no movement after their initial accusations, Chris Rodda, the MRFF research assistant, has now called McClary’s conduct “illegal:”
Lt. McClary also regularly violates Titles 10 and 18 of U.S. Code by appearing at his speaking engagements, both military and civilian, in a Marine uniform, something that, apparently, not a single military attendee at any of his numerous appearances on military bases has informed him is illegal.
In an unusual move for her, Rodda actually cites the law she claims McClary broke. Of course, she doesn’t say what part of the hundreds of paragraphs of law within Titles 10 or 18 are at issue. Here are some that are: Read more
Michael Weinstein has written a letter to the USAFA Superintendent, LtGen Michael Gould, “demanding” that an invitation to Lt Clebe McClary (USMC, Ret.) be rescinded. Lt McClary — an internationally recognized motivational speaker and wounded Vietnam Veteran — has apparently been invited to speak at the 10 February National Prayer Luncheon for the 10th Air Base Wing, the wing that runs the facilities surrounding the Air Force Academy.
Weinstein’s reason? McClary is the ‘wrong kind of Christian:’ Read more
The Air Force Times notes the push by the US Air Force Academy to inspire cadets about a career field most still dread: UAVs.
Flying a drone isn’t sexy — and the cadets at the Air Force Academy here don’t pretend that it is… Read more
As previously noted, the US Air Force Academy responded to Freedom of Information Act requests by holding a press conference and releasing the previously withheld results of the 2009-2010 climate survey.
The release was part of an official Air Force announcement; the Academy announcement contains a link to the presentation made by USAFA Superintendent Lt Gen Michael Gould at the press conference (available here, 5.6MB pdf).
The Academy made a concerted effort to explain the results (or, more accurately, describe how the results couldn’t be explained). It appears the Academy survey was “imperfect” in several respects: Read more
According to the local Colorado Springs Gazette, the US Air Force Academy plans to release a portion of the results of its annual climate assessment survey. The press conference date is 29 October, and the release appears to be at least partially linked to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
The Academy’s refusal to release the results has been a point of contention with Michael Weinstein, who seems to believe they will add credibility to his cause. USAFA Superintendent General Michael Gould has maintained the Academy is under no obligation to release the results of an internal climate study.
The Colorado Springs Independent, which previously reported on both Michael Weinstein’s declaration of “war” on the Air Force Academy and his letter to the Secretary of Defense, apparently obtained access to three cadets to discuss the religious climate at USAFA.
The members of the Cadet Interfaith Council had little negative to say: speaking of religious mistreatment, a Jewish cadet says “not much of that goes on these days;” a Buddhist has “not experienced any discrimination due to his faith.” The Protestant of the three agrees.
All agree with a cadet’s statement that
Right now, I think it might be getting blown out of proportion.
(It is worth noting these cadets were likely provided by the Academy for the purpose of the interview. Given the opportunity, Weinstein could likely produce cadets supporting his point of view.)
Superintendent LtGen Michael Gould is also quoted, and the article offers an intriguing look at religious “complaints” over the past two years. Ironically, there Read more