Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bible: Court-martial Offense at Air Force Academy?

A cadet at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs is being called out for writing a Bible verse on the whiteboard affixed outside of his dorm room door.  In a congressional hearing this week, the Air Force explained that once Academy leaders became aware, the verse was immediately removed -- exactly 2 hours, 9 minutes after atheists at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) demanded action from the academy superintendent. The MRFF is now demanding the cadet be court-martialed for this grievous violation of the Air Force guidelines.
"This latest incident at the United States Air Force Academy reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of religious freedom. Not only is the notion that cadets have to abandon or hide their faith as a requisite of military service not supported by law, it is actually discriminatory to brave men and women of faith that desire to serve their country."
-- Michael Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel
For background, read Air Force & Navy Take Orders from Atheists vs. Christians as well as Air Force Drops God; Army Admits its Training Labeled Christians as Terrorists

Also read President Obama's Pentagon Says Following Jesus' Command is a Court Martial Offense

Click to view TV news report

-- From "Bible verse on Colorado cadet’s door sparks debate" by The Associated Press 3/12/14

Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said Wednesday that the message on a white board amounted to a cadet in a position of authority forcing an opinion on subordinates. Weinstein says he received complaints from cadets, and might file a lawsuit to ensure church-state separation on campus.

But Mike Berry of the Liberty Institute says the right to post such messages is a matter of religious freedom. Berry’s institute says it fights to defend religious liberty, and Berry says he plans to take up the matter with the academy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "'Whiteboard' events foster discussion on 1st amendment" by Don Branum, (U.S. Air Force) Academy Spirit staff writer 3/14/14

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson and other senior leaders here spoke with Colorado Springs reporters March 14 to clarify the sequence of events surrounding a Bible passage written on a whiteboard within Cadet Squadron 21 on March 10.

Controversy, stemming from an incomplete understanding of events, resulted in questions from members of Congress to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A Welsh III during a budget hearing before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington.

Welsh dismissed assertions that Airmen's religious beliefs were being infringed.

"I know all kinds of people at the Air Force Academy ... who would disagree with your assessment of there being a problem of religious persecution at the Air Force Academy," Welsh said in response to a question from Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). "The single biggest frustration I've had on this job is the perception that somehow there is religious persecution inside the United States Air Force. It is not true. We have incidents like everybody has incidents. We investigate every one of them. We've asked every chaplain in our Air Force if they know of these cases; they say no."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Is Air Force Losing Its Religion?" by Jordain Carney, National Journal 3/14/14

Republican Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, who is in the running to be the next Armed Services chairman, asked about reports from earlier this week that a cadet at the Air Force Academy was forced to take a Bible quote down from a whiteboard.

"Perhaps the most offensive, the Air Force said this was a teaching moment, that the cadet's action of putting the Bible verse on [the whiteboard] was inappropriate based on leadership principles," Forbes said, adding that he was going off of information he received from the Air Force.

GOP Rep. Michael Conaway of Texas said he is worried that "we have individuals who are so insecure and unsure of themselves that they can't coexist with a free expression … of traditional religious views.… I wonder if they are the right folks for that business."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Air Force Academy Scrubs Bible Verse From Hallway Board" by Ali Meyer, 3/13/14

. . . there are reports now that some cadets are posting other Bible verses and some passages from the Koran on other whiteboards at the Colorado Springs campus, in protest of the removal of the first verse.

The hallway whiteboard had been designated by the Air Force Academy for both official and personal use, according to a group of 24 organizations called the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition.

The passage was removed from the whiteboard after activist Mikey Weinstein, who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,  filed a complaint with the Air Force Academy after receiving information about the issue apparently from other cadets.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "What's going on at Air Force Academy? God's word vs. Pentagon's word" by Todd Starnes, 3/13/14

Friends of the cadet tell me the young man had posted the verse several months ago and considered the New Testament passage as a source of inspiration.

Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me that 29 cadets and four faculty and staff members contacted his organization to complain about the Christian passage.

He said the Bible verse on the cadet's personal whiteboard created a hostile environment at the academy.

Weinstein is vowing to take the Air Force Academy to court unless they punish every cadet who posted a Bible verse on their bulletin boards.

[Lt. Gen.] Johnson said the Christian cadet “voluntarily elected to erase the scripture.”

Several cadets reached out to me by phone and shared with me their grave concerns about how Christians are being treated at the Air Force Academy. They agreed to be interviewed, provided I did not reveal their identities. . . .

To read the cadet responses, and the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read President Obama's Veterans Administration Strips Jesus & Bible from Chaplains

For further background, read President Obama Redefines 1st Amendment Freedom of Religion and yet President Obama Denies Leading War Against Christianity, and so Congress Responds to Obama's Military Attack on Christians