The US Air Force Academy is holding a Religious Respect Conference this week, inviting “religious and First Amendment advocacy groups” to meet with cadets and chaplains on the topics of religious tolerance and dignity.
On the topic of training in religious respect, the Academy had a noble goal for its future officers:
“The…goal is teaching an ethic of respect regardless of who people are, whether they follow one faith or another faith or no faith at all,” said Chaplain (Col.) Robert Bruno…”What we are trying to teach is a fundamental ethic of respect. We recognize the inherent dignity of every human being…”
“We agree to disagree agreeably, civilly, respectfully, professionally,” he said.
On accommodation, Jewish Chaplain (Maj) Joshua Narrowe made an Read more
Critics of religious freedom in the US military have sometimes claimed that speaking one’s faith while being associated with the military is forbidden. For example, Michael Weinstein’s MRFF used to have a stockpile of chaplains’ articles from local base papers they would re-publish, often with little comment except shock and the implication that what the military member (a chaplain) was doing was wrong (an implication their acolytes were quick to assume was fact).
MRFF volunteer Rick Baker has gone further, saying uniformed officers can’t even put a religious bumper sticker on their private car. Chris Rodda, Weinstein’s research assistant, has gone so far as to explicitly state it is wrong for officers to “publicly espouse” their religious beliefs on the internet, even when they do so as private citizens. (She’s wrong, of course, but that hasn’t stopped her in the past…)
It is worth noting that these criticisms have been aimed Read more