Monday, June 06, 2005

This article in Haaretz, I Want You for the U.S. Air Force (but you'd better believe in Jesus), details the series of abuses at the Air Force Academy, where evangelical Christianity appears to have become the official religion. Mikey Weinstein, who served in Reagan's White House, and whose younger son is now at the academy, initiated a public campaign, which has "exposed an intentional policy going back several years of religious guidance from above, active encouragement of Christian evangelism by senior officers and prejudicial discrimination against members of other religions. Hundreds of families have approached Weinstein, and to date 117 people have filed official complaints through him. Only eight are Jews. The majority are Christians who feel persecuted by the policy of promoting evangelical Christianity on an institutional basis while employing the power of military authority." Congress has refused to do anything about this, and in fact when the issue was brought up in a Congressional committee, criticisms of the academy's bias against non-evangelicals were turned into complaints by Republican congressmen of anti-Christian bias (surely a new definition of what the word "chutzpah" means!).

And what is the Air Force Academy doing about this? "Last Friday, USAFA Superintendent Lieutenant-General John Rosa met with Anti-Defamation League activists, and for the first time admitted to them that there was a problem at the base. He said he is losing sleep over it, but noted that it might take up to six years to correct." It doesn't sound to me like he's losing very much sleep over it!

If Jews and non-evangelical Christians are being harassed in this way, just imagine how Muslim cadets might be treated there - if there are any who dare to apply. It's becoming clear that at least some of the people who are fighting the war on terror do think that it's a religious war - evangelical Christianity vs. everyone else.

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