WWW Opinion Times

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Air Force Academy Christians Under Fire

Now this is the shock of the century: there are christians at the Air Force Academy (some in influential positions), and they are actually encouraging cadets to follow Christ.
New York Times: "A chaplain at the Air Force Academy has described a 'systemic and pervasive' problem of religious proselytizing at the academy and says a religious tolerance program she helped create to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown to officers, including the major general who is the Air Force's chief chaplain.

The academy chaplain, Capt. MeLinda Morton, 48, spoke publicly for the first time as an Air Force task force arrived at the academy in Colorado Springs on Tuesday to investigate accusations that officers, staff members and senior cadets inappropriately used their positions to push their evangelical Christian beliefs on Air Force cadets."
When rumors of this horrible atrocity began to surface, a major survey was taken throughout the Academy.
The survey found that more than half of the cadets said they had heard derogatory religious comments or jokes at the academy.
I am sure that derogatory comments weren't made about christians as well. Actually, the program was designed to portray christians as mean spirited and incapable of normal human relations.
Maj. Gen. Charles C. Baldwin, the chief of chaplains for the entire Air Force, screened the R.S.V.P. program in October, Captain Morton said, and afterward asked her, "Why is it that the Christians never win?" in response to some of the program's dramatizations of interactions between cadets of different religions.

She said: "It was obvious to us that he had missed the point of the entire presentation here. It wasn't about winning or losing, some kind of cosmic battle, it was about helping our folks at the Air Force Academy understand the wonders of the whole range of religious experiences."

In an interview on Wednesday, General Baldwin acknowledged making that comment and said he had objected because too many scenes in the original program had portrayed Christians at fault for excessive efforts at evangelizing.

"In every scenario, where cadet met cadet in the hall," he said, "every time it was the Christian who had to apologize and say, 'I'm sorry, I wasn't sensitive to your needs.' I said, that's not balanced, and the Christians will turn you off if every time they were the ones who made the mistake."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has spearheaded a complaint against the Academy, and the Air Force has dispatched a committee to review the situation. They are apparently taking the complaint seriously as testimony begins this week.

This is nothing more than an attack upon religious people and not an attempt to find balance.